Prayer: The Herb of Your Love

Today is Devashayani Ekadashi, the day of Bhakti. The four sacred months, according to Hindu culture known as Chaturmasa begin with Devashayani Ekadashi. It's known as Ashadhi Ekadashi for falling on the 11th tithi of Aashadh Shukla Paksha according to the Hindu lunar calendar. It's the holy day of Pandharpur pilgrimage. Famously celebrated as Pandharpur Wari.

If you're an active reader of Narayankripa you must have guessed that we perform pujas and celebrate holy festivals in our temple of blog Narayankripa.

As much as it would be important for me to visit the Vitthala temple, today, becoming one with the prayer to Vitthala is equally significant. It's even more necessary for me than ever. The ways of worships may vary, but the ultimate purpose is to melt in the Bhakti of Vitthala today.

I wrote this hymn few days for the prompt 'herb' suggested by microprompt. I have tweeted a few lines on 'herb' earlier. But I didn't feel the satisfaction of expressing what I meant to say.

I thought a lot but couldn't write it. The words didn't come as a natural emotion. Then, last Saturday, on the day of Jagannath Rathayatra I finished this poem. I hadn't decided to compose anything while watching the live telecast of the pilgrimage. But...with the Darshan of our beloved Bhagwanji words came, feelings arrived with the tears of love.

Even loving Him isn't possible without His grace. He is the love. He is the medicine. And He is himself the lover and devotee both.

The holy basil is worshipped in Hindu culture as the biggest devotee of Lord Krishna. Tulsi is present in Puranas. Basil is a herb as well. Tulsi leaves are offered to Krishna, Jagannathji or Vitthala. Priests adorn Him with the thick garland of Holy Basil leaves. He loves to have His lover basil close to His heart. Basil leaves are also offered to Krishna with Naivedyam. In this poem, I felt to seek the medicine of love of Krishna. It's my healer. I felt His love like His sacred devotee basil. I couldn't reason why I wrote in a strange way. We offer Tulsi to Krishna. How will He offer it to us? It's right because only He can bless us His love.

Here's the complete prayer.

Aches clashing
in the tiny bits and particles of my mind
with each other
in the war of anxious thoughts
seek one herb

to calm them,
to heal my soul
the Holy Basil of
Your love dear God!
kneeled I pray

Text Image for Narayankripa Prayer: The Herb of Your Love

Soothe, heal my wounds
Wounds...known, unknown
from past millions of lives
You can see them,
you can heal them
Only You can heal them

Heal them applying
the thick paste of basil leaves...
the basil leaves of love emerged 
from the chants of Your name
Krishna, Krishna, Krishna.

O my beloved Krishna,
calm my mind by showering the stream of Amrit
flowing from Your sweetest name
and tulsi manjiri of Your smiles
Heal me with Your smile
divinely fragrant with your blessings

Purify my contaminated thoughts
The way tulsi purifies the air 
by your unadulterable
unalterable love.

Surround me becoming the
sacred air of basil
protect me in all directions 
wherever my mind
travels, dwells, contemplates

I need,
I seek,
The herb of Your love
Krishna.... my Krishna

Unadultarable: The supreme love of Krishna that cannot be diluted or contaminated by the impurities of six vikaras. 

Meaning of Sanskrit Words used in the post: 

Shukla Paksha: The first fortnight between New Moon Day and Full Moon Day is Shukla Paksha as it is the period of brightening moon.

Darshan: Darshan has different meanings depending on the context of use. In the general use, when we visit a temple and meet the God, pray, and pranam Him is Darshan. It's also used as seeing the God appearing in the human form. I understand it as realizing the presence of God. Sometimes I feel the presence of Krishna in the sky or in flowers or in the innocence of children I may say that I have had Darashan of God today in the flowers. In general use, I would say I went for the Darshan of Lord Ram when I visit the temple of Lord Ram. 

Naivedyam: Special food prepared offer the God.

Tulsi Manjiri: Inflorescence of basil

Amrit: Amrit is a potion which makes its drinker immortal. According to Puranas, in the sea-churning carried by gods and asuras, Amrit emerged like many other treasures emerged, such as poison, Dhanvantari (the god of Ayurveda), Laxmiji and many others. The person who drinks Amrit becomes immortal. Amrit is like the elixir. The difference is elixir is the medicine believed to be created by several processes, however, Amrit is emerged from the sea-churning a natural medicine not man-made.

Chanting God's name is often described as Amrit by Hindu sants. This Amrit makes the Bhakta immortal in the way which liberates them from the cycle of births and deaths. Hinduism teaches that a jiva gets a new life after death. The body dies not the jiva. By Bhaktiyoga the devotee is liberated from this painful cycle and resides in the abode of their beloved God with Him, worshipping Him forever. The abode of Vishnu is Vaikuntha, of Krishna is Goloka, of Ram is Saketdham.

The stories of the sea-churning are found in many Puranas.

Vikaras: Vikara literally means the deviation from the original form or state of a substance or mind. Vikara is used in the context of Ayurveda as a form of the disease as well as in the Adhyatma as the emotions of minds deviating from the purest form of love which is natural in everyone. These emotions are Kama means desires (not just lust), Krodha means anger (anger that comes from the frustration of unfulfilled desire), Lobha means greed, Moha means the attachments leading us in making choices or taking actions despite knowing them ethically, morally, righteously wrong, Matsarya jealousy, Mada extreme pride in own power ignoring the fact that Supreme Power is always above own power of wealth or position. 

The significance of Sanskrit Terms:  

I prefer to use Sanskrit terms as they are instead of closely similar meaning English words. However similar the English word may be it doesn't have the exact meaning. After regular use of the English word, it's quite possible and it has happened that the original meaning is lost. Then the change that happens is not only linguistic, a change in cultural faiths happen. Examples: Dharma and religion, Mukti and salvation, Adhyatm and spirituality, Dharmic and religious. 

Because a word of different meaning is in practice, people tend to question the faith itself not getting the correct concept and label it as myth or superstition. Worse happens further when apologetic Hindus try to fit the terms of Bhakti, Mukti, Gyana, stories from Puranas in the confined meanings for acceptance and approval from the west. Words represent cultures. I attempt to study Puranas as they are (at least as they are available now) and my quest is to realize the Gyana in them. I try to study sacred texts of all religions as they are

English is the language that welcomes new words from other languages and embraces them wholeheartedly. The current term Amrit existing English means a Sikh term. The term Amrit mentioned in this poem should not be confused with the Sikh term. They carry different meanings. 

More Devotional Posts from Narayankripa for Ashadhi Ekadashi: 
Collection of Lord Krishna prayers and Hymns from Narayankripa: KrishnaMohini

Enter your email address to get latest poems, prayers, hymns to your inbox:

By clicking subscribe you agree to our Privacy Policy