Monday, August 18, 2008


There is no music perfect to my ears,
No beauty can be pleasing to my eyes,
The greatest insignificant appears,
To my heart really nothing satisfies.
Let me drink the whole ocean's water first,
Then devour the earth's layers in a bite;
It would not quench my hunger nor my thirst
Due to the fire that burns me day and night.
No amount of philosophy can kill
All the dissatisfaction that I hide;
No ordinary entity can fill
This unlimited void I feel inside,
Which in all its dimensions is so great
That no one else but God can be my mate.

Metre: Italian hendecasyllable

© copyrighted at National Library,Brazil


  1. Demian, how is God your mate? How do you feel or perceive Him as such? I've always believed in His existence, but through Catholicism I learned to see Him as a father, not a mate or a friend. Also, what does it mean to you to "love" God, and I ask this because I haven't been able to answer it myself. The best explanation I've been able to give myself is that living for others is the way to love them and God in turn.

  2. These are great questions, and voluminous books could be written to properly reply. Let us go step-by-step:

    How is God your mate?

    Let me remind you that this is meant to be poetry, so we don’t have to take every statement so literally. Most of the time, I don’t think of God as my mate, and if I eventually do so, or at least wish I could, it is a great pretension. Therefore I gave it such a title. On the other hand, not only for me, but for everyone, God is the best mate, in whatever way one may take it. As you do, most of the time I think of Him as a father or as a master, but sometimes as my best friend and well-wisher, and also -at least functionally- as a son, since I have a small Krishna deity in a baby form, and I am supposed to feed Him, dress Him, put Him to sleep, etc.

  3. How do you feel or perceive Him as such?

    God is ready to interact with us at every moment in a thousand ways if we are sincerely willing it. If you have read the Bhagavad-gita, you know that God, out of His own will, from time to time appears on earth as an avatara in order to please His devotees and give instructions about the spiritual path. Once we take His instructions to heart and follow them, at some point we will realize that they do work. Just like after taking some medication and getting some relief, we have to acknowledge the doctor’s competence. So, this is my first point: by associating with God’s words and following them, we can constantly feel we are moving in the right direction and are not alone. Each verse of the BG is so sublime and full of knowledge that we can never have had enough of it, and this is one of the feelings that led me to learn Sanskrit. In the BG 9.18, He states that He is our best friend, so it is up to us to accept His friendship. A good friend is one who stands by you in any circumstance and is always giving you proper advices. Thus, who could play this role better than God? To chant His names(mantras) is a wonderful way to feel His presence all the time. Another way we can interact with Him is through His deity form, which indeed is another of His avataras, and is always ready to reciprocate. There are many books just narrating the experiences devotees had while worshiping a particular deity, and I also have mine. You may have a look at my article on the pastimes of Saksi Gopala to hear about one of the most famous deities in India. Though I am still far from that, I have no doubt that one who is in that platform can talk face to face with God.

  4. "I've always believed in His existence, but through Catholicism I learned to see Him as a father, not a mate or a friend."

    Sounds like you didn’t ‘delve’ much into Catholicism. I was a Franciscan as a teenager, and in those days I became acquainted with the ‘mystical theology’ of San Juan de la Cruz and St. Teresa d’Avila, which as far as I have seen, is the version of western spiritualism that came closest to the bhakti schools. San Juan describes the soul as a wife approaching her husband, God. St. Teresa also follows this line, and in a poem she describes the soul kissing God’s lips. You probably know that their works are considered some of the pearls of Spanish poetry. Jesus spoke of love of God as the supreme object. Love is love, and it is always personal, in whatever way it might be. The concept of loving God as a father is more appealing to most people, because they have lots of demands and like to see God as the provider. But this is still a somewhat materialistic and egoistic way to love God. A more detached person can start thinking of Him without such demands, and thus become receptive to have another level of loving attitude. In Sanskrit poetics, these different loving dispositions are called ‘rasa’, mellow, and are basically classified as five: admirer-admired, servant-master, friend-friend, father-son (here God is the son and the soul is the father or mother), and lover-beloved. The very first words of the Upanisads and Vedanta Sutra describe God as the Supreme Absolute and the source of everything, therefore it is natural to understand that God is the origin of all loving relationships and that the perfection of love is only possible if He is the primary object of our love. You might also find interesting to know that in the philosophy of bhakti, God is the only male, while the souls are all females. Of course, this has nothing to do with biological gender…

  5. "Also, what does it mean to you to "love" God, and I ask this because I haven't been able to answer it myself. The best explanation I've been able to give myself is that living for others is the way to love them and God in turn."

    The basic difficulty in understanding this is that usually people have a very vague conception about God, instead of thinking of Him as a Person. We all know to some extent what it means to love someone, be a relative, friend or partner, so the only difference is that in a relationship with God all the shortcomings that we find in the material world are not present. We being imperfect, and the objects of our love being imperfect, the outcome must be imperfect, frustrating. But this is not the case with God. To think that by loving everyone we will love God is a miscalculation, and the example given in the scriptures is that of a person trying to water every leaf of a huge tree, while a sober man just pours water on the root. Coming back to Jesus, he put love for God as the first commandment, and love for the brother as the second. This is the proper order, for unless we love Him, the attempt to love anyone else will be a failure. The essential point here is that love is pure only in the spiritual platform, and by loving God we gradually become spiritually conscious and start looking at others as spirit. Otherwise, in the material platform we are simply loving the body and its designations.
    Now, to answer it from the practical point of view, a Sanskrit verse summarizes the basic loving exchanges into six: giving, receiving, inquiring, revealing the mind, offering and accepting foodstuffs. It is part of any Hare Krishna’s daily life to have all these with Him, in any rasa.