War a hearts ravage-8

English Translation: P. Jayalakshmi & Bhargavi Rao

Telugu Original : “Yuddham oka Gunde Kotha” by Seela Subhadra Devi

Religion that has to teach humanity

running amuck as wild elephant?

That which has to bring people together

apply paste of sandalwood to tired hearts

give comforting relief,

why is it gilding grisly ghastliness to minds?

Raising senselessness in

heart’s garden all over,

sedating sense with dope 

why unleash upon the world, the blood thirsty?

In truth, mistake is not of religion.

Indeed it’s not religions

battling for dominion and domination

wavered and bewildered.

That one tranquilizing humanity

with religion for pelf, he is blamable. 

Censured should he be who for his wants

re-interprets sacred texts

to write death warrants.

He who promised to kindle the soul,

bringing life to completion, 

as poisonous fume is setting afire green lives.

Failing to lead blind to see light

religion itself is straying.

Two ends of life’s thread —

birth and death, joy and sorrow,

sensations and raptures—

as flower garland strung together of colours bright ,

adhering to order and discipline,

lead to purposeful end,

that is true religion.

Means lead man to goals

lay paths to smoothen life’s walk.

That which teaches man ethics                        

is religion.

Which religion teaches man to become a beast?

From which religion’s pile sharpened weapons,

sharpened weapons to slay fellowmen ruthlessly?

A striking serpent became a victim

even before a black ant was dismissed 

as insignificant and ignoble.

History remembers to repeat itself.

Small wren, targets recently

of brutal Brahmastras !

Heard of pigeons trapped

with nets and bird lime.

Lying in ambush, ensnare corpses

with grains, is present practice.

Whence this reversal?

Predating, we boast of our piety.

Cannibalizing, wearing bones for garlands

claim to be demigods!

How odd! 

Odd, savaging, we boast of our refinement.

Those considered liliputans-

with eyes unabashed, unafraid are meeting eyes.

Scanning through magnifying glass even 

no ray of compassion reflects from eye corners.

No humane smile sparkles from sealed lip corners.

We are staking lives for an invisible God

whose very existence we are doubtful of,

with hope of heaven doors opening

dream and chant of a welcome entry.

Lives flourishing as green meadows,

why are they reduced to sooty cinders?

Why doesn’t man fondly recall mother

balmy as butter to burning heart?

Why like daggers

sprigs of love-thoughts spontaneous

to the roots severed?

How have men forgotten

art of preserving life,

resolve intricate problems

without cause for hurt delicately?

Why are lives changed to storm-torn boats?

Why is heart’s restlessness  

as a needle-end coursing,

causing spasms of pain?

The horizon, a blue of terror

sun and moon seem to burn alike.

Intermittently, destructive debris

star-like showered shimmering.

Co-mingling earth and vaulted sky

fiery fluid flash as lightning, 

rained fire on cities.


(To be continued-)

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