Today's Beautiful Gem: `Gods as human lovers' by Haala and Rabi'a.

aliaM cia phurioTThaM vi
aliamantaM haram namaha"

"Salutations to Lord Siva, who, while offering water in his prayers
sees the reflected image of the lotus-like face of Gauri in the
ocean, begins to mumble some mantra and finally forgets His prayer

"I pray God that you fall in love
With someone as cold and indifferent as you are.
Then you may understand
The pain of love, the sufferings and tortures of separation,
And you may appreciate my devotion."

Note: The first poem (in Prakrit) is by Haala from gAhAkoso (gAthAsapatas'ati). I presented sometime back another poem of Haala. In the above poem, he attributes human emotions like love and attraction to God Siva when he sees Parvati. In this respect one feels that it is the human beings who created the gods and attributed their feelings and failings to the divine. On the other hand Rabi'a (the first woman to write poetry in the Persian besides writing in Arabic) resorts to what is known as `nindAstuti'. One worships God by blaming Him! I am always moved by the delicacy of feelings of the second poem. Incidentally, one famous Tamil lyricist was so carried away by Rabia's poem, that he wrote a film song (kaDavuL manidanAga piRakkavENDum...) similar to the above. The English version of the first poem was based on the translation of Merwin and Moussaiaf and the second poem was probably translated by Najib Ullah.

Om s'aantih: Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao