I sit upon the bank and watch the river flow by, carrying in its flood an endless variety of shapes and forms. Some struggle and cry in fear “Let me live, let me live” but they go under, a faint ripple marking momentarily the end of their pilgrimage on earth. Before long, even that passes away, and the smooth waters glide unconcerned with deceptive serenity. Some go laughing by, happy and playful, till they and their laughter recede beyond the horizon, and the sudden silence leaves in ominous doubt whether they and their laughter have already ceased, or have yet a little way to go. Some float by too lost in stupor to know their fate, much less to care, and they sink here or yonder, it matters not. Once in a rare while, mercifully not oftener, there passes the gnarled countenance of one who grabs a weak victim and suffocates him as though he decides who alone will survive, but a moment later that one too vainly seeks desperate protection as the derisive waters part and unite, and a glossy innocence hides another secret.
I watch this dismal awesome unending procession, and suddenly wonder why I am not a part of it. I realize then that my body is wet and the water is dripping from my hair. I must have been drifting all too recently in the river myself. How was I saved?
I turn around and look up. I look into the face of Benevolence. Therein is a tenderness like the soft light of a candle. Therein is a radiance like that of the eastern sky at dawn. Therein is a fragrance like that of a dew-kissed rose.
I cling to His feet, and He smiles. He smiles for the dead and the living. He smiles for the saved and the lost. He smiles for the river and the bank. Nothing is said. Nothing remains unsaid.
Gurudev, I know not what you are. I know but a thousandth part of Thy Grace. Tears in the eyes must speak for me, not words upon the lips.
From Paada Pooja by V. Dwaraknath Reddy