Surdas - Fatephur Sikri manuscript - NPS 56
Type of spiritual experience
A description of the experience
POEMS OF SURDAS translated by Professor John Stratton Hawley
Madhar, please, control that cow.
Night and day she wanders over paths that aren't paths,
too elusive to be caught,
And hungy, so hungry,-why can nothing fill her?
She's stripped the Veda-tree of all its leaves.
From the eighteen vases she's drunk Purana-water
and still there's no slaking her thirst.
Place the six kinds of taste before her
and she'll sniff around for more,
Eating what's unhealthy food she shouldn't touch,
things the tongue can scarcely describe.
Oceans, mountains, forests, heaven and earth-
she forages through them all. They're not enough.
So every day she tramples down the fields of fourteen worlds
and even there she cannot be contained.
Her hoofs are dark blue; her belly brilliant red;
her horns, a satisfying white ;
So when she does battle with the three-colored world
this threefold beast has nothing to fear:
She subjugates the demons with the power of hooves and heart
and she tosses the gods off the top of her head,
Whose face and eyebrows are artfully shaped:
as she roams about she captivates the mind.
Narad and the rest, and Sanak Suk, and so forth-
they've wearied themselves to no avail,
So tell me, says Sur, how a bumbling fool like me
can ever hope to herd someone like her?
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
Observation contributed by: Francis Keeble