Delightful Upside-down, Paradoxical Poems of Soamiji Maharaj from His Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry Verses
Upside-down language: Soamiji wrote a number of poems containing vivid but enigmatic symbolism in a style of poetry known since Kabir’s time as ‘upside-down language’ (ulat bhaasha). To aid readers in understanding these poems, the original editors of Saar Bachan Radhasoami Nazam yaani Chhand Band included a line-by-line interpretation of the images.
Everything my Master has taught me is upside down — he has taught me things that are totally paradoxical:
Sleep and you build up your treasure,
stay alert and you lose your baggage.
If you sleep to the world, that is, withdraw from worldly involvements and devote yourself to God, you build up your treasure in heaven. If, instead, you stay alert in the world, that is, are preoccupied with worldly pursuits, you miss the priceless opportunity for God-realization.
Sit still and you reach your destination,
walk fast and you won’t even make a start.
When the body and mind are still, the soul starts its homeward journey. When the body and mind are engaged in worldly pursuits, the soul is inert.
The earth rises above the sky,
the sky sinks into the netherworlds.
When mind and maya associate with the ascending soul, they rise with it and reach their destination in Trikuti. However, if the soul associates with mind and maya, it goes down with them into the netherworlds because of their downward propensity.
The bed is laid on the sleeping,
the awake are deep in sleep.
One who sleeps or shows indifference to the spiritual aspect of life remains buried under maya. One who remains awake to the needs of the spirit automatically sleeps or becomes indifferent to maya.
The barren are tired with bearing offspring,
the fertile are barren of womb.
Maya, which is really barren as it has no power to create on its own, becomes impregnated with soul energy and creates this world of colour and form. The soul, which is the real creator and sustainer of things, no longer creates because it has now withdrawn itself into Brahmand and the regions beyond, leaving Maya to shrink back to its infertile state.
Riding the camel, earth pierces the inner sky,
then on horseback it gallops at top speed.
In the initial stages, the withdrawal from the body (earth) is uneven, rough and painful, like the gait of a camel. Whereas once the consciousness has pierced the sky of Trikuti (Gagan), the ride is smooth and swift, like galloping on a horse.
Radhasoami has, through his gracious will,
finally united the soul with Shabd.
RADHASWAMI MAUJ DIKHAA’I,
SOORAT AB SHABD LAGAA’I.
— Sar Bachan Radhasoami Poetry