Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thiruvalluvar & the Seven Avatars

At the feet of Thiruvalluvar
At the feet of Thiruvalluvar

I last blogged a few days back, with the prospect of reaching the Tamil Mount Doom on the cards. What followed was a glorious day with driver & guides, wandering about the gorgeously green uplands of the Western Ghats, searching for the residue of the Jesusian avatar, Agastya. Travelling with locals helped us cruise through the security checks, & we had a splendid time; including a dip in a powerful waterfall at the Agastya Falls.

Photo2254

Another highlight was a boat-trip across a man-mad dam, whose surrounding scenery was more beautiful than anything I’ve seen in Britain – it was so epic!

Photo2320

This was as close as we were gonna get to the Potiyil Hill, for the trekking paths up it actually started on the other side of the Ghats, in Kerala. We didn’t mind, however, for the day had been a splendid one, & I slept a sound sleep back in Ambasamudram.

The next morning we were off again, cruising south on a couple of busses to Kannayakamari, the most southerly point in India. It was a profound moment for me, for towering tall on a roky island just off the mainland is a massive statue of Thiruvalluvar. Eleven years ago, the younger me had fallen in love with his kural – thanks to a ‘verteux’ mind & my first taste of opium, & compelled me to one day transcreate it into English. This I’ve done, & I guess, am still doing.

Photo2421

The research trip of Jesus is all but done now – its taken two months & in the process Ive literally traversed the sub-continent from top to bottom by land – which is no mean feat! Thus, I am now looking forward to moving into a beach cafe to write the book, during which time I’ll be reading & editing all my poetry – including the Kural. The idea is to emulate the literary life of Byron & Shelley in Pisa, where they’d go for a ride in the morning (I’ll have a scooter), then after lunch do a bit of shooting, with the ladies looking on. Then, of course, work on their poetry.

Back in Kannuyakamri, I would like to introduce the last of the Jesusian avatars – & somehow it turned out to be Thiruvalluvar himself! I don’t really have time to go into all the evidence right now – the book will explain everything perfectly. Thus, the seven Indian Avatars of Jesus Christ are;

Issa
Yuz Asaf
Iarchus
Ishvara Krishna
Asvaghosa
Agastya
Thiruvalluvar

Photo2224

What has happened, is that Jesus was given different names in different languages – & in a world without universally printed pages, where every copy was made by hand, it was rare to get the same name twice. A classic example of such a process comes with the word for butterfly, which is different in every language, examples include;

Skoenlapper
Nipwisipwis
Liblikas
Farasha
Pulelehua
Kupukupu
Marlimarlirni

Jesus, then, was an ascetic educated in India, who wrote some excellent poetry that formed the bedrock of several belief systems. For example, Krishna was a creation of his, while Mahayana Buddhism was built upon his visions. He did spend time in Palestine, & used yogic techniques learnt in India to feign death & ressusciate himself. After this he returned to India, where he set up ashrams at teh Govardhan Hill & in Tamil Nadu. His last years were spent up in Kashmir, where he was buried in Srinagar.

Kerala
Kerala

With all that banked, it was time to leave Kannuyakamari. A three hour train ride brought us into southern Kerala, a land of luscious fertility, where banana trees & coconut boles vied for space amidst the verdancy of its teeming junglery. Our destination was Varkala, the arrival at whose restaurant-topped cliffs & soft, sandy beaches announced to Victor & I the end of the ‘adventure’ & the arrival of the pleasure bubble.

Photo2541

From here on in we’ll be waltzing along the tourist trail, & all the comfortable living that embosoms them – I’m proper bored already! Still, the beers 1.20 a pint, the Ashes are on in the bars, & the waters warm, so I’m off for a dip…

Varkala
23/11/13

Agastya & Ambasamudram

Photo2088_001

Victor & I have just performed a rattlesnake of a tour across the vasty land of the Indian Tamils. It began in Auroville with a cyclone – or at least the threat of one – which was supposed to follow on from a monsoon-style downfall which consumed most of Friday night & Saturday morning, last. This became the catalyst for us to cut short our tour, argue with the French landlord, whose 3-night minimum stay I countered with my ‘act of god’ speech – comparing the situation to the England-Argentina World Cup Quarter Final of 1986, & that I was a bit like Maradonna & I definitely would not be paying for a third night, given the chance my hut could be lifted off the kitchen roof – with me in it – & smashed to pieces off some nearby rocks!

Photo2168

So that was it, with our bags swiftly packed we were cruising the red dirt-roads of Auroville & off on our 11 day mission to get to Calicut via Kannayakamari & Kerala. 8 k in we dropped off the bike, & then jumped in a 150 rupee rickshaw to Pondicherry bus-stand. There, after a half hour wait, we got on a bus to Chidambaram, which we arrived at two hours or so later. Five years ago, when I was originally working on the Kural, I’d spent 8 whole days walking & working among its compact, bustling streets. Things were different this time, just a bite to eat, a walk around the fascinating Nataraja Temple, & playing poker in the hotel with Vic over a couple of beers.

Photo1846

The next morning we set off early, catching an 8AM bus to Veeitheswara (Eswara = Ishvara = Jesus), a mad little townlet which is famous for the Nadi Astrology. The originator of the system was a saint called Agastya, who, of course is the 6th of the seven avatars of Jesus. According to my inquiries, Agastya is the Tamil version, whose name was originally given to a Vedic poet, who lived c500 BC. The second Agastyan strata was applied to a guy who lived in the first century AD, who is said to have left north India via Dwaraka, one of Krishna’s cities, which of course links him to Jesus. He was propelled to do so by a flood, which I’ve already shown in a previous post links him to Krishna – & Iarchus – at the Govardhan Hill. What is immediately striking about the guy, is that he possessed the same powers as Jesus, as in;

1 – One of his medicinal preparations – Boopathi Kuligai – could bring the dead back to life.

2 – He had the ability to make the physical body disappear completely and resurrect in a glow of light into a subtler vibrational field. This act is highly reminiscent of the Transfiguration of Jesus found in the Gospels, as in; ‘Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, & John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; & He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, & His clothes became as white as the light.’ (Matthew 17:1-2)

3 – He could render his body in a tomb in a state of suspended animation (jeeva samadhi) at will, where the blood circulation and the breathing have stopped but a luminous pranic energy keeps the body-cells alive. This is surely the most important connection, for it tells us the exact way in which Jesus survived the Crucifixion.

Agastya
Agastya – Looks a bit like Jesus

After an hour at Veitheswara, we carried on our Tamil tour, arriving at the town of Kumbakonum, from where we headed onto Thanjavur & then a place called Puddukotai – a good 6 hours or so of travel – it was a good chance to listen to the tunes we’d stocked up on previously, a journey broken only by food & drinks at the bus stations, & insane leaps into teh air whenever our bus hit a safety bump. Puddokotai was nothing special, but we managed to entertain ourselves with watching Thor 2 in a Tamil at a cinema, which Victor assures me was better than Thor I in English.

Agastyeesvara Temple
Agastyeesvara Temple

Next morning we took a rickshaw for 700 rupees, who drove us about the area looking for traces of Agastya. I found him at one place, where in a chola temple I found a curious stone carving of two intertwined snakes. Now, to anyone but a trained litologist, this wouldnt arouse much interest – however, I can trace that carving straight to the Nativity itself. The three wise men were known as ‘Magi,’ which strictly speaking were members of an ancient snake-worshipping (i.e. wisdom) philosphical system that stretched from India to Ireland – both druids & brahmins were the essentially the same. Thus, by showing Agasty was a membr of the system, we can draw a connection to even Jesus’ suggested visit to Glastonbury to study with the druids.

Photo1975

We had a nice driver, who after showing us the temple took us for chai, where chatting with the locals I managed to extract the local tradition that Agastya was once resident on a nearby hill. Over at said hill – well more like a massive rocky boulder dropped on the plain – I came across a series of beds carved into a natural overhang. With it being dated to the 2nd century BC, one can now imagine Agastya/Jesus having spent time in the place.

Photo2014

Photo2016

We had left Puddokotai by mid-day, & journeyed for a few more hours south to Madurai, where we took a hotel by the busy Bus Stand. Taking a rickshaw into the city, I showed Vic the mentally beautiful temple, before heading back for beers & a chill. The next morning we were off early again, catching a deluxe bus (plenty of space, no blaring Tamil music & good suspension) – the price for this was still only 1.15 sterling, & whisked us south for a hundred miles; which is 25p cheaper than a bus-ride up Leith Walk. We reached Thirunelvi in the early afternoo, from where we took another bus for an hour to a place called Ambasamudram. The reason being is that Agastya was said to reside on a hill near here called Pothiyil or Pothigai. Also said to have resided here, & to have taught Agstya the Tamil language, is the Boddhisattva Avaloketisvara, who I have already shown in an earlier post, was a poetic creation of the another Jesusian avatar, Asvaghosa. It’s from the latter’s name that we can observe where the philochisp took place, as in;

Asv-Aghos-a
Agas-tya

I arrived in Ambasamudram with two ancient geographical descriptions of the Pothiyal Hill, being;

Then, the merchant’s son Sudhana… arrived in due order at mount Potalaka, and climbing Mount Potalaka he looked around and searched everywhere for the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Finally he saw the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara on a plateau on the western side of the mountain in a clearing of large woods abounding in young grass, adorned with springs and waterfalls, and surrounded by various trees. He was sitting cross-legged on a diamond rock surrounded by a multitude of bodhisattvas seated on rocks of various jewels. He was expounding the dharma-explanation called ‘the splendour of the door of great friendliness and great compassion’ belonging to the sphere of taking care of all sentient beings. Gandavyuhasutra


To the east of the Malaya mountains is Mount Po-ta-lo-kia. The passes of this mountain are very dangerous; its sides are precipitous, and its valleys rugged. On the top of the mountain is a lake; its waters are clear as a mirror. From a hollow proceeds a great river which encircles the mountain as it flows down twenty times and then enters the southern sea. By the side of the lake is a rock-palace of the Dêvas. Here Avalôkitêsvara in coming and going takes his abode. Those who strongly desire to see this Bôdhisattva do not regard their lives, but, crossing the water, climb the mountain forgetful of its difficulties and dangers; of those who make the attempt there are very few who reach the summit. But even of those who dwell below the mountain, if they earnestly pray and beg to behold the god, sometimes he appears as Tsz’-tsaï-t’ien (Îsvâra-dêva), sometimes under the form of a yôgi; he addresses them with benevolent words and then they obtain their wishes according to their desires.
Xuanzang

Its only modern scholars who have assoicated the Pothiyil hill with the Potolaka of ancient history. My plan is to see if the descriptions do indeed fit the mountain. Unfortunately, on arriving in Ambasamudram, I discovered that to visit the mountain I had to go in from the Kerala side, gaining permission from Trivandrum forestry commission en route. However, not to be deterred, we took a hotel for the night, where a kindly local on a walk around time (i) pointed out the mountain in the distance & (ii) is gonna help us get there in the morning! Potiyil is a cone shaped edifice, erupting out of its less aesthetic shadowy cousins of this portion of the Western Ghats. As we looked upon at from a distance, I remarked to Victor how much it looked like Tokien’s Mount Doom – & that we were Frodo & Sam.

Photo2164

Potiyil is in the middle in the distance
Potiyil is in the middle in the distance

I just hope there’s no ring-wraiths (i.e. the Forestry Commission) on the road come morning…

Ambasamudram
19/11/13

Photo2134

Auroville & Sri Aurobindo

Photo1633

Since Chennai, Victor & I have trundled down the coast of Tamil Nadu, whose seas are not to be swam in, only admired from the safety of the shore. First port of call was Mamallapuram, a touristy place in which to eat fish & dawdle awhile, which we did for a couple of nights. The highlight for me was making use of a posh hotel’s swimming pool (£3 for two hours), followed by a poolside lunch for another £3 quid. Inbetween dips I worked on my version of the Tirukural & felt solace once again in my choice of vocation, where another man’s vacation becomes my personal office!

Photo1661

Mamallapuram
Mamallapuram

After a couple of nights we jumped on a bus south. The distance between Chennai & Kannayakamari, India’s southernmost point, is a 1000 kilometres, which is more or less the length of Britain. Thus, by reaching the Pondicherry area we have gone about as far, in comparative terms, as Aberdeen. Our actual residence has been taken up about ten miles from Pondy, in the spacious international ashram of Auroville. I’d visited here for the first time back in 2002, upon which visit I had encountered a majestic & divine epic poem called Savitri, by the Oxford-educated ascetic Sri Aurobindo (born 1872).

Savitri 2

It was the main work of his life, & is read out at the ashram once a week to devotees, an occasion which Victor & I were lucky enough to arrive for just in time. Auroville is also the world’s repositary of Aurobindo’s works, stored in a modern library on site, in which I have found a number of intersting paragraphs that have assisted me in my studies. It was while studying his words, I came across this remarkable description of poetry, which lovers of the art must enjoy.

‘All poetry is an inspiration, a thing breathed into the thinking organ from above; it is recorded in the mind, but is born in the higher principle of direct knowledge or ideal vision which surpasses mind. it is in reality a revelation. The prophetic or revealing power sees the substance; the inspiration perceives the right expression. Neither is manufactured; nor is poetry really a poiesis or composition, nor even a creation, but rather the revelation of something that eternally exists. the ancients knew this truth & used the same word for poet & prophet, creator & seer,sophos, vates, kavi.’

Photo1701

The Reve Guest House
The Reve Guest House

Across the several square miles of land that Auroville takes up, there are various places to stay, & we got quite a good ‘un called Reve (pronounced rave), where Vics got a great hut on stilts & Im in a cheaper hit on the roof of the kitchen. The place is full of young, mainly French, ashram-heads, & is a picture of perfect tranquility. To get about the place, a moped/scoooter is essential, & a steal at only a quid a day – with petrol being 70p a litre.

Photo1741

Vic’s even had a few goes on it, declaring it to be like riding a pushbike with a motor (well-observed that man). I love it me, for providing moments like this morning when I razzed down to the Boulangerie for chocolate croissants, listening & singing to Betty Boo – the chorusus especially startling anyone on the roadside. Also filling the roads are loads of cute birds on bikes, from all over the world, which is always good for a poet’s soul.

Pondicherry Beach - rockier than Brighton!
Pondicherry Beach – rockier than Brighton!

The word boulangerie is of course French, for ourse Pondicherry is the old French morsel of empire that carried on during the British Raj in much the same way the Portuguese held on to Goa. Cue bouleavards & avenues & white-washed villas that are positievly Marseilleian at the seafront, but then get swallowed by India street by street as one drifts inland, until about ten blocks in all traces of the French have dissappeared. It was in Pondy that Victor & conducted a little travel arranging – Vic bought a flight from Goa to Delhi for the 17th December, & we both got a ticket from Calicut to Goa for the 27th November, This gives us ten days – starting Sunday – to razz round Tamil Nadu & Kerala, about a thousand miles of travel, during which I’ll be still hunting for Jesus. It should be quite Indiana Jonesey, which is why I got into Litology in the first place, & I reckon there’s gonna be plenty to write about in the coming fortnight…

Auroville
15/11/2013

Chennai & Early Christianity

Photo1369_001

In the tenth century, a Persian scholar named Shaikh Al-Said-us Sadiq (The Truthful) wrote the following passage concerning Yuz Asaf – i.e. Jesus;

When Yuz Asaf heard the angel’s message he prostrated himself before God and said:
I submit myself to Thy command, O God Almighty! Enlighten me of Thy Will. I praise Thee and I am grateful to Thee for having guided me… The angel, therefore, guided him to leave the country…and then leaving Sholabeth he proceeded on his journey….Then Yuz Asaf, after roaming about in many cities, reached that country which is called Kashmir.

Sholabeth is an ancient name Sri Lanka, & if Shaikh Al-Said-us Sadiq was right, then Jesus must have at some point been in South India. Knowing this, as I reclined in my poetic duvet back in Orrcha, I felt it was a time to head south. Before, however, I made sure I took a few photos of that wonderful place, a little sub-piece I have called A Walk around Orrcha... enjoy!

Cenotaphs

Saddhu

Gathering Wood

Washing

Grocers

Cow (1)

Orrcha

The funniest episode at Orrcha was seeing this guy who was pretending to be deaf & dumb suddenly start talking to his partner-in-crime. On telling Victor this, I found out he’d fallen for it hook line & sinker & given the guy 100 rupees. This really wound me up & I confronted the scammers & got vVic his money back – unfortunately Vic wasn’t impressed it was only a quid & I should have let it lie – but an Englishman is bound by duty to play by the rules, & wearing a sign around your neck saying ‘I’m deaf & dumb, please give money,’ is just simply not cricket!

Our journey to South India was an epic one – 28 hours on a train – two days one night – a journey pleasantly eased by a half-bottle of whiskey & some low-grade valium. Getting on a sleeper train is a bit of a lottery, you don’t know who you’re gonna get, a bit like famous Yorkshire food dispenser Jack Fultons, where ya pay ya money & take ya chances! On this occasion we were sharing with a young mother & her two kids, the youngest of which was hilarious – better than the telly. On the night, however, I got annoyed by this young lad who only had a general ticket – ie no bed – he was part of a group of guys who were sharing one bunk, two of which curled up together & left no space for him. Then, when the mother & her eldest son was asleep, he starts asking her younger son, who was still awake, to go & sleep with his mum so he could share the eldest son’s bunk – it was actually ridiculous to a westerner, & I protested on the boys behalf!

Rude Boys

Then, half an hour later the youngest went to sleep with his mum, which was the cue for the bunkless lad to get in with the eldest son – a complete stranger might I add! A this point I gave up, thinking India had different rules, & started drifting to sleep, only to be rudely awoken soon after by a man who actually had the bunk which the eldest son & the ‘magpie’ were sleeping in. Cue a little bit of justice, when the ‘magpie’ was forced to sleep on the floor ‘right by me,’ with the eldest son squeezing in with his mother & brother.

Last night we arrived in Chennai, & it was a joy to be back. We’d arrived on the aptly titled Thirukural Express, and is the only train I know of in the world that is named after a poem I have translated. This morning I rose early & rickshawed to the highly lavish Hyatt Regency Hotel, where the current World Chess Championship Match is being played out between the champion, Vishy Anand -a Chennai Boy – & the 22-year-old Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlson. Unfortunately, the match is sell-out for the next few days, so I wont be seeing it. However, DD Sports, an Indian TV channel, will be showing it live, so I can catch it from the comfort of any hotel room.

Photo1610

This meant there was no real reason to stick around Chennai, so I accelerated my programme of study, spending the late morning & afternoon at Madras University & its Marina Campus Library right by the stretching golden sands of Chennai Beach, framed as they are by the choppy waters of the Bay of Bengal. During my studies back in Edinburgh, I came across mentions of books I could only find in Tamil Nadu, & I finally got to lay my hands on them, having ‘em photocopied for a rupee a page. Its apt that I continue my Jesus hunt in Chennai, for according to popular tradition, one of the city’s suburbs – Mylapore – saw the martydom of St Thomas – showing how Christianty was in Tamil Nadu from more or less the word go.

Chennai Beach

Of the Seven Avatars of Jesus Christ I have discovered, two are to be found in Tamil Nadu, & the next few weeks will be spent tracking them down – with the hedonistic pleasure-ride that is Goa to follow! With Victor buying a semi-acoustic guitar while I was studying, & my laptop full of banging tunes, we’re gonna pincer the party with a Tinky-Disco/Victor Pope slam-dunk combo…

Chennai
11/11/2013

Extra Bit - While at the Ancient Indian History & Archeology Department of the Madras University, by some crazy chance I met a professor who, to cut a long story short, is going to team up with me to produce a new rendition of Tirukural. He is gonna transliterate the Tamil into Roman script, & also translate my introduction into Tamil – an interesting project & one he says was sent to him by god – he even said I was an Indian in one of my previous lives, which kinda makes sense, & made me pray along to the Vedas with him, which I did awkwardly but silently…

Photo1599

Orrcha & the Poesy of Iarchus

Photo1025

It has been an eventful week since I last blogged, the majority of which was spent at Gwalior. Our programme included a visit to a blind school where we jammed with the best of the blind musicians. This was organised by Bhagat, whose Sarita School is the lucky new recipient of the Linkey Lea money.

Photo1037

While in Gwalior, I thought I’d check out the old recipients – the Snelhaya orphanage 16 k out of town. It was sad to see, actually, for the place had grown a lot shabbier since my last visit in 2006, & I left the place feeling upset & angry that Linkey Lea had completely abandoned the kids. The reason, I am told, are down to a fall-out between the orphanage boss & the Linkey Lea charity – but once again, as in the history of mankind, when power politics comes into play it is those who stand low in society who are the true victims.

Photo1115

To alleviate just a little bit of my emotions, Victor & I returned to the orphanage with bags full of sweets like venerable Indian Santas, if only to sprinkle a little happy dust for a few moments, & let the kids know that East Lothian was still thinking about them.

Gwalior

There was also time for some conventional sight-seeing, which saw us ascend the great hill at the heart of Gwalior – the Gibraltar of India – where the Man Singh Palace was a wonder to behold. Most disturbing, actually, was the sight of a thousand or so bats ‘sleeping’ upside down in one of the emty rooms – an unnerving experience but highly interesting. Back on the plain there was another, built for the Maharaja of Gwalior, whose opulence was quite ridiculous to see in a country of such extreme poverty as India.

Photo1136

Built in 1874, the dining room was a wonder to behold, while much of the regalia was scattered about the palace & opened to view. It was an excellent hour of museum-going, at a cost of only £3.50. It was also interesting to learn that despite the Maharajas having lost any actual power, the Gwalior version has set himself up in politics & in a few weeks will attempt to take control over the state. Some things never really do change, I guess.

Maharajan Dining

We stayed on in Gwalior an extra couple of days, for it was Diwali, & Bhagat & his family wanted us to share in the festivities. The festival is based upon a poem – the Ramayana – & is meant to celebrate the day which Rama returned home after rescuing his beloved Sita from the clutches of the Sri Lankan demon, Ravana.

Diwali Decorations 3

It is called the festival of light, & is supposed to reflect the candles that Rama’s subjects lit around their city upon his return. Just like them, Victor & I also lit candles all about the school, which was a great many indeed & quite some time to finish.

Photo1165

After this, we shared in the worship ceremony, in which Bhagat’s father, the founder of this school, & a wonderful man in his own right, read out a hymn from the Vedas which was sang along to be the women of the household. After this, we all consumed far too much food (at separate times I may add) while a million firecrackers erupted through Gwalior, whose quality puts our own Guy Fawkes efforts to shame. In particular I loved the ‘butterfly,’ which upon being lit would flit & sparkle randomly about the place, just like the real thing.

Photo1179

Yesterday – Monday – we finally left Gwalior, with Bhagat very kindly picking up the hotel bill for the week. A couple of hours to the south, then, we found ourselves at the village of Orrcha, which spreads about the wonderful 500 year old palace & fort of the old kings of Orrcha. I had been here before, back in 2006, when I was in the midst of writing Axis & Allies. I remember being here particularly, for it was in Orrcha that I composed the stanzas that were set in Hell – following a traditional epic device used by Homer, Virgil, Dante & Milton. This time, however, I’m here to work on Jesus. I can’t actually place him here, but the atmosphere is so chilling, & the scenery so lush, that any literary endeavours can only be pursued with a tranquility of mind rarely obtained in this modern world.

Photo1206

The gist of the work I shall conduct in Orrcha in relation to Jesus, is an exposition on the poetic nature of the Indian Jesus. In essence, Philostratus tells us how Iarchus was steeped in Greek literature, including the Homeric poems. To this I added the work of a certain Ishvara Krishna, whose name translates as Lord Jesus Christ. He is known for one text, the Samkyhakarita, which expounds a philosophical system known as the Samkhya. This system is also found in the Bhagavad Gita, spoken by the Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield at Kurukshetra. Looking at this text, we learn it was created in the first century & is inspired by the Greek literary form known as the Socratic Dialogue. Thus it is indeed plausible that Iarchus wrote the Bhagavad Gita, after which he was given the appelation Krishna. This also explains how the memory of Iarchus giving sanctuary to the flood-hit populace around Govardhan, became the myth of Krishna raising the hill with his little finger.

Photo1214

Ishvara Krishna then leads us to Asvaghosa, another famous poet of just the right time, whose names can be connected through the Chisper effect. Asvaghosa, we are told, began life as a Hindoo – giving him the opportunity to write the Bhagavad Gita – before converting to Buddhism. He then turns up at the Fourth Buddhist Council as one of the chief initiators of Mahayana Buddhism, whose central poetic figure is the Jesus-like Avaloketisvara. To explain all this, one must assume that Ishvara Krishna/Asvaghosa/Iarchus was a great poet whose fertile & divine imagination created Krishna for the Hindoos & Avaloketisvara for the Buddhists. It makes sense, for it is the poets who first create & articulate the gods, such as Homer & Hesiod’s work with the Greek pantheon.

Asvaghosa
Asvaghosa

Ah poetry – my life-blood, my mistress, my song! It seems that recently I have been struck by the muse, I guess. It’s been a long time since I really got going with my poetry, but every artist needs a fallow period. Anyway, as I get closer to Tamil Nadu, I have begun to think more & more of the Tirukural which I transcreated in 2008-2009. Ive barely looked at it since, but ‘fresh’ from my work with Y Gododdin, where I really began to concentrate on the cynghanned of my lines, I think the application of these newly-acquired skills on my version of the Kural can’t hurt, after all its one of the great pieces of my artistic life. So, back in Gwalior I printed out the Kural (1 rupee per page), & have just began to go through them one-by-one.

Photo1156

In addition to this, I have also began to look at my sonnet sequence - THE INDIAD - to which I have added on each of my previous four visits to India. I’ve decided to strip it down & rebuild it once more, which has led to the projection of three new sonnet sequences which I shall attend to at some salubrious spot, being;

(i) 14 transcreations of Vedic hymns
(ii) The story of the last Mughal King in Delhi
(iii) A Love story using the poetic techniques of Tamil poetry

Photo1216

But before all that, I think a beer in the sun on my hotel roof, listening to the Victor Pope Band gazing on the palace & river is in order.

Orrcha
5/11/13