The Hridaya Sutra | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 21, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 21, 2019

Poetry

The Hridaya Sutra

A Quest

 

(You can) Take a break on the way to Kailash,

can try resting beneath the chimneys! 

Now it is necessary to stop than to walk.

You may also stop if it smells of salty air, 

when the sea is trailing behind the lake.

 

Around there the Brahmaputra bubbles 

just once, and prancing a few backward steps 

in a sudden gait, he splashes abundant power 

from shore to shore. 

When these happen, you need to stop.

 

Haven’t you walked a lot? 

Your outstretched feet show 

how close they are to the soil; 

but your halting isn’t needed for that:

the quest which they spin around 

signals to cross the threshold—to be dusted.

 

Stopping by such a path, would you not 

cater for these blunt opposites? 

Then hark! Hold on—

In smoky Himalayan heights 

nestled in the slopes of Tarai,

they know the Hridaya sutra

“gate 

gate 

paragate 

parasamgate bodhi svaha”

 

The Epiphany  

 

Form is no different from emptiness, 

emptiness is similar to form—

that which is form is emptiness, 

that which is emptiness is form. 

It is the same for feelings, perceptions, 

impulses, or consciousness. 

All dharmas are marked with emptiness; 

Dharmas do not appear or disappear, 

are not tainted or pure; they

do not increase or decrease. 

 

Emptiness has no form, no feeling, 

perception, impulse or consciousness- 

it is not a realm of mindful consciousness 

either. Emptiness is not ignorance, 

nor does it extinguish, 

until there’s no old age and death. 

And these again are perpetual. 

 

Thus in life there’s no suffering, 

no origination, no stopping, no path, 

no cognition, and, no attainment; 

as what’s there to attain anyway? 

The mind is no hindrance; and

without any hindrance no fears exist. 

 

Far apart from all illusion absorbed into 

Nirvana in life and beyond:

“Gone 

gone

totally gone 

totally gone over the top, 

wakened mind, so, ah!”

 

Bipasha Haque is a diaspora writer with particular interest in life-the way it is. By profession she is a university teacher.

 

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