Eating with Mahaprabhu

mahaprabhu-gaura-purnima-spA poem By Tadiya Dasi
 

Dear Mahaprabhu,

let me be honest and say:

I don’t know what to make of this,

this kitchen religion of yours …

 

I am unsure of the mercy

that comes as food

(this is a problem for me)

but how to refuse a gift? When the giver is you!

How to politely say

no

to a blessing?

 

Mahaprabhu, don’t you know me?

I am not a taster;

my tongue is an boring old man

that has smoked his whole life and is

incapable of tasting real food;

prefers yesterday’s leftovers

in between the overflowing sink and the kitchen counter

 

Prince of Tasting, you must know

that I know nothing about

love as food,

 

or about offering your heart

in between the pots and the spices

or about the kitchen becoming the heart of the house

 

know nothing about how to prepare

a feast like someone madly in love

and forgetful of tasting

 

nor about the beauty that takes the form of an offering:

the scent and the colors

unifying; creating flavors that melt in the tongue in perfect

sequence

 

Yet you come chasing me:

arms cupped in prasad; you want me

swimming in the flavors of your love

 

Let me be honest and say:

You hold such strange dinner parties!

Where all are invited

but so few choose to come,

 

where the tasting is so different

and the heart that chooses the flavors

 

But I do want to eat with you!

I want the boys and the picnics

 

the sun and the shining face of your

moon

that drapes my heart

protectively

like a night descending

while the sun rises

 

and takes me to a place

where even the dark

has light to offer;

take me by the hand

 

teach me to taste

the flavors of your love!

Give me an appetite for this!

Take me there

 

where

the smell of earth, and the ripened fruits

fill the air;

the air abuzz with friendship and excitement!

 

Where the day’s just starting

and what great adventures lie ahead!

 

Where you raise up a glass of homemade lemonade

squeezed by the loving hands of a mother,

every drop of her affection is in this juice

 

and how generously you share it,

pour the biggest cup for everyone;

somehow, you favor all

 

Where you hold hands with everyone,

such is your love, it reaches out to all;

the surrounding hills

and the sound of cows’ hooves hitting the ground

running

towards you

are filled with it

 

as the dust settles and laughter fills the air;

this is

the real kind of belly-laugh,

and this eating with you

a bubbling joy

 

Where the hands are busy feeding you

yet somehow; your tasting becomes theirs

(let it become mine too)

as every flavor

has something sweet to say about you

 

Where

everything tastes new!

 

Where cows

come forward

kiss your face with their wet noses

as you feed them sweets from the basket

 

and your friends take turns to let you taste

whatever they are tasting; in this friendship

the sharing, the greatest flavor!

No sweet as sweet as this!

 

In coming home with the empty baskets, they all know:

this is the delight,

this kind of emptiness. And how full, it is!

How sweet the mother’s love

that loves to nourish!

 

Filled to the brim all hearts make their way

back home as

the sun is setting

 

but the sky can’t keep the sun’s secret

and in her setting

and rising

shows

all of love’s splendor!

 

Your love has become the sky:

the sun and the moon

rising

while I pray:

 

When, when

will the day come

 

when everyday’s a picnic

 

when just the thought of

eating with you fills me

 

more than all the food in the world?

My cupped hands full of your Prasad.


About the Author

5 Responses to Eating with Mahaprabhu

  1. I would have LIKED it sooner, but it was hard to find the keyboard through the tears. What an amazing heart Tadiya has, and was a voice to share it! dandavats!

  2. Amazing poem! Jai Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!!!

  3. Thank you both for your kind words. I was feeling very hesitant to share this poem – so I’m glad to hear that you got something out of it 🙂 Dandavats!

  4. Your words resonate from the sweetest place. All glories to Maha Prasad and Srila Prabhpada who taught us the wonderful transformation of food offered to God. Thank you for this!

  5. Thank you Tadiya! This poem is so beautiful, so sublime…

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