Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Yashodhara: Hira Bansode

Hira Bansode


O Yashodhara!
You are like a dream of sharp pain,
Life-long sorrow.
I don’t have the audacity to look at you.
We were brightened by Buddha’s light,
But you absorbed the dark
Until your life was mottled blue and black,
A fragmented life, burnt out,
O Yashodhara!

The tender shy comes to you for refuge
Seeing your shining but fruitless life.
And the pained stars shed tears.
My heart breaks,
Seeing your matchless beauty,
Separated from your love,
Dimming like twilight.
Listening to your silent sighs,
I feel the promise of heavenly happiness is hollow.

Tell me one thing, Yashodhara, how did you
contain the raging storm in your small hands?
Just the idea of your life shakes the earth
And sends the screaming waves
Dashing against the shore.
You would have remembered
While your life slipped by
That last kiss of Siddharth’s final farewell,
Those tender lips.
But weren’t you aware, dear,
Of the heart-melting fire
And the fearful awakening power
Of that kiss?
Lightening fell, and you didn’t know it.
He was moving towards a great splendour,
Far from the place you lay…
He went, he conquered, he shone.
While you listened to the songs of his triumph
Your womanliness must have wept.
You who lost husband and son
Must have felt uprooted
Like the tender banana plant.
But history doesn’t talk about
The great story of your sacrifice.
If Siddharth had gone through
The charade of Samadhi
A great epic would have been written about you!
You would have become famous in purana and palm-leaf
Like Sita and Savitri.
O Yashodhara!

I am ashamed of the injustice.
You are not to be founding a single Buddhist vihara.
Were you really of no account?
But wait- don’t suffer so.
I have seen your beautiful face.
You are between the closed eyelids of Siddhartha.
Yashu,   just you.

Translated by Jayant Karve and Philip Engblom

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