Cosmic Slumber

The fish swam
till it grew too big
for the pot,
for the pond,
lake, river, sea.
Sky an inverted blue bowl
where water filled.
Docked at the meru
whose peak bounced
the fish waited for time to blur
and coil like a serpent
a dormant egg.
Days nights merged
darkness sunshine one
years of rain
years when wind blew.
Waking up after yogic nidra
microbes wriggled in the heat of desire
that emanated from the egg,
scales of the serpent breathed.

This poem is in response to the prompt at the Big Tent Poetry. I wordled the poems that I have been writing recently, based on my readings of the Puranas. These are the words that have kept repeating –  sea, ocean, sun, egg, coils, serpent, fish, golden, black, darkness, hills,time. Here in this poem I have used some of these; but considering that I draw again from the Puranas, the words might have repeated even otherwise:)

The Veda is called the Shruti , that which is heard. Veda is apaurusheya, that which has no author. In fact each one of us is its author. It belongs to everyone, springs from the deep fears and quest of each one of us, from the one who makes tools, to the herder of cattle to the priest. When I chant the Veda I become its author.

Written 2000 years after the Vedas (dated 1500 BCE),  the Puranas are called Smritis. Smriti means ‘to remember’, these bodies of texts are from the collective memories of people as they concretised abstractions that the Vedic people worked through. Hence while the Vedic hymns on creation is abstract, the Puranic creation myth acquires a narrative that has protagonists like the fish and the Manu who save the world after the flood. While the Rig Veda wonders if there is a before to the beginning and beyond to the end, the Puranas delineate through cycles of creation what happens beyond the end, or just before the beginning.

‘Yogic nidra’ can be loosely translated as ‘cosmic slumber’.

1 thought on “Cosmic Slumber

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