On Life Eternal
by Swami Krishnananda

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The fourteen worlds are held together in this little frame,
All glories past of bygone ages scintillate herein.
The ancient kingdoms, kings and wars of centuries before
Lie latent here in all their hues, as past with present fused,
Sri Krishna, Buddha, Christ and prophets are not dead and gone,
The here and now can manifest as timeless eternals.
That Dwaraka which shone as mighty suns in spotless sky,
Or Ayodhya where Rama rules with matchless majesty,
The journeys Buddha with his teachings moved on foot everlong,
And scenes of Christs's crucifixion, or lives of exemplars,
Are all as solid seals cast on the screen of firmament
And even now they all do exist, past is still alive
Since nothing dies externally since it is there eternally.
The winds of heaven blow on earth and keep contact aglow,
And God above here walks in streets with staff and bending back.

Then how can man his brother catch and imprison in bars
Or hunt in forests as his meal as if they have no life?
The eater eats the other who is eater by himself,
Then bacchanal of eating spree would rend the world apart.
Then, all this shows that none is free and none independent,
And life can live by non-competing cooperation.
The Veda hymn has loud proclaimed the need of sacrifice,
Which Veda calls as Yajna cosmic, actionless action,
Which goes as love for neighbour's welfare or selfless service.
But who is neighbour, this is hard for unlettered to know,
Since what is near and what is next door is called one's neighbour.
But what is near or is at hand, this who can clear pronounce,
The very earth or which we stand is nearest of neighbours.
The air we breathe, the sun and moon and all the stars and sky
Do all impinge on very skin which clothes tabernacles.
Then who is neighbour calling service from our hearts and hands,
Let each one ponder deeply this, and blessedness attain.