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Counsel of Akka

My steps are heavy, oh sister
My burdened heart has fallen into my shoes,
If only I could close my eyes and sleep away from this world…

Oh, brother! Why do you weep?
Why has Maya rattled you so?
Do you not see that she rages in vain?
Be not saddened by this great illusion.

Sister, I beg of you,
Do not shrug at my sorrow.
For long I have sought a home,
But nowhere is there for me to rest my head,
If my people ask for healing, they deny us.
If we ask for a meal, they feed us poison,
When we sing and dance, they come with guns.
They accuse us of the worst things without proof and everywhere they seek to destroy us.
Are our tears not real, sister?
Does the blood of my murdered kin not stain the earth?

Great is Maya, the most powerful of lies.
This world is a corpse rotting away.
Do you remember?
Maya is like a beautiful lover,
She comes and dances,
Seduces and sings,
But you take her into your arms and she falls apart,
Her cold skin stinks of death,
her kisses are moist with corpse juice.
Do you remember?

I could I not?
Everywhere she assails me,
She forces me to kiss her,
The whole world bears her stench,
She gives me no respite,
How will I go on, oh sister?

Let me tell you of my refuge, little brother.
In the arms of the true Lover,
I lay my head.
His kisses are my food,
They heal my soul,
He is the Great Dancer,
Who dances and destroys Maya,
He stomps on her head and I see her vanquished,
I see her lying beneath His holy feet and I fear no more.

Run, run, brother!
Into the arms of your true Lover!
She awaits you longingly,
She is Brahman,
The true home.
Serve only Her,
Forget Maya and her people,
Serve only The Good and the oppressed,
Stand up and fight!
This earthly place is not a home,
Only a nightmare projected by our Lady-Lord.

So, do not attach yourself to a rotting corpse,
But run into the jasmine-scented arms of True Love!

Wise beyond words are you, big sister.
The truth you speak I knew,
But again and again,
Maya shields my eyes.
I will sing your praise, older sister,
And may your soul soothing songs bring me home,
Again and again!

The above poem/dialogue is inspired by the vacanas of the mystic Akka Mahadevi.


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