Kazi Nazrul Islam: Crossing Boundaries

Goddess as bringer of equality 2
Now there ‘ll be a new mantra, Mother,
To awaken you.
You’ll stay always in our homes,
Your image no more dropped in river water.
The hearts of men and women of all castes
That will be the image we worship,
Ma, the pilgrimage place where you reside.
With energy and devotion I’ll install your throne there
Where no highandlow distinctions
Impurity caused by touch
Can be.
Everyone together
We’ll speak out the Veda of Mother’s name.
We’re all children of one Motherwe feel it;
We’ll break down walls, forget our collective injuries.
No one will be wretched, none poor; all the same
We’ll all be great India,
The Vrindavan of eternal love.
(McDermott, 151)
Goddess as righter of wrongs
Wherever are the lowly, the suffering, and the poor
There I’ve seen my Mother
Though beggars’ clothes she wore.
I search for Ma in heaven, taking egotism’s flare,
But she comes on dusty paths
While I’m engaged in showy prayer.
Wandering wandering,
Far high up in the sky,
I return to bow my head
To one of Ma’s afflicted sons,
Her 0pen lap his bed.
I can’t climb down to meet them,
Those lowest of the low,
For whom my Mother of the World
Has let all riches go.
They’re hidden in a hell
Of ignominy
Where your blessed feet alone
Willingly can be.
Take me to them, Ma: come take me to them, Ma!
When I bring all people
To your heaven of delight,
Then I’ll see all darkness pierced
By your resplendent light.
(McDermott, 145)