Tag Archives: hinduism

‘I was nothing’ by Lalla

When my mind was cleansed of impurities,
like a mirror of its dust and dirt,
I recognized the Self in me:
When I saw Him dwelling in me,
I realized that He was the Everything
and I was nothing.

Lalla was a Hindu mystic and saint who lived in Kashmir, India, in the 1300s. I think this poem is a beautiful expression of what it feels like to meditate on God. We realise that God is “Everything” and that the “I’ — our ego — is “nothing”. This is not a negative thing, and we are losing nothing in this transformation, we simply become connected to the Divine — are filled and consumed by it — and become one with it.

Reviewed by Emily Ardagh

‘Unbreakable’ by Mirabai

Unbreakable, O Lord,
Is the love
That binds me to You:
Like a diamond,
It breaks the hammer that strikes it.

My heart goes into You
As the polish goes into the gold.
As the lotus lives in its water,
I live in You.

Like the bird
That gazes all night
At the passing moon,
I have lost myself dwelling in You.

O my Beloved Return.

Mirabai is a Hindu saint and she wrote an enormous amount of devotional poetry in the 16th century. I find her work very inspirational and full of wisdom and beauty. I think this is a simply beautiful poem. I love the images of the poet’s love for God as an unbreakable diamond, and of her heart as a lotus, and God as the water in which it lives. My favourite image is that of the lotus flower, because it is so still and peaceful and pure.

Reviewed by Emily Ardagh