a poem by P.K.N. Panicker, India


Parithranaya sadhoonam
vinasaaya chadushkritham.+1

Krishna, I am positioned here
on this earth.

The trumpets falling on my ears
are in your voice –
Are the sounds of your battle drums,
the sound of the Conch
that I hear epoch after epoch.

All the great teachers came after you too
repeated the same sacred hymn –

‘For the protection of the downtrodden
and destruction of the evil doers
take weapons and fight.’

Even so, why is it Krishna
that protection of the down trodden
remains a mirage –
farther away, in the distance.

We built new and newer weapons,
assembled arms and ammunition.
We conceived many theories,
social, economic and political,
United we under banners different
and fought;
Even so why is the human society like this -
protection of the down trodden
like a fairy tale -
farther away, in the distance.

We who have been trapped
in the fictitious circles
of the characterless followers
of many a great ones
get drowned
in the pool of confused thoughts
not knowing the path forward.

We are exhausted and tired
to fight any more, Krishna.

To erase the word ‘sadhu’
from our dictionaries
you may kindly advise us
a new logic, a new path.

Sadhoonama vacha nighanduve
thyakthaya sahayam prapthyatham.+2

Notes: 1. A famous quote from the Gita, considered to be the Bible of the Hindus, composed between B.C. 600 to 400 and relates to events happened, may be between BC 8000 to 6000 – Gita is a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna wherein Krishna standing in the battle field urges Arjuna to take up arms and fight against all types of evil and protect the week and the vulnerable.
2. This piece is my own, written with the help of my wife Leela Narendran.

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