The Grand Leela

This poem by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba elucidates the Reality behind the illusion, which is the material world that many perceive to be Truth and Real. Our beloved Swami reveals His great Leela that is the Universe and the purpose behind the greatest privilege granted to living beings - human birth.

1. Thai! Thai! Thai! Thai! Thai! Dummy
See the Tamasha play of this puppet doll.
O Jiva, listen to the long long tale
Of its past, its future, behind and front!
2. It rolled at first In mushy mire
Of mother’s womb, its prison dark.
It came with a whimper, but all around
They smiled in joy and feasts galore,
3. ‘O Tragedy! I am born again’,
It knew and wept, both loud and long.
But all the while, they caressed it
And laughed to raise a laugh!
4. In Its own dirt it wallowed day,
Without a sense of shame;
It rose and fell, at every step,
Acting daily a childish play.
5. It runs and skips with gangs of chums
And learns a hundred tricks and trades;
It grows so tall and thick and broad;
From year to year, very fast and fair.
6. It moves In pairs, and bills and coos
In rosy rainbow style;
It sings in tunes unheard before,
And quaffs the cup, unique and strange.
7. ‘Tis Brahma who makes
these dolls in pairs
And dolls and dolls in millions,
But this our puppet does not know
When It plays with dollies:
Thim! Thim! Thim!
8. This Maya Doll like the Holy Bull
Has the Tamas rope in nostril hole;
Lust and anger are the scorpion whips
Which whack the back of the Slave.
9. It gloats with glee, when others stop
Before it shuddering low;
It doles them pain; but cannot bear
A microscopic share!
10. It swears and shouts
And waves its arms
And frets and fumes with blood-red eyes;
It is indeed a wondrous sight—
Possessed by Devil Ire!
11. It scans and spells,
it scribbles and swots,
It does not know the reason why,
It runs in panic trying to glean
Fodder for belly, willy or nilly.
12. Ah, did you see this queer little dummy,
With so many books in its tummy,
Turning and twisting in jealousy green
When a learned doll encounters it?
13. And, you should hear its secret cluck
When a shameful sensual urge,
A wicked lurking greed
Is satisfied in sin!
14. It proudly pats; what?, its own back!
For beauty, brawn, vitality.
While all the time and step by step
It moves towards senility.
15. It totters and blinks
through wrinkles and folds;
and when the children cry.
‘Old Ape’ ‘Old Ape’
It gapes and grins a toothless grin—
Its bones do clatter so!
16. Unto the last, it is lost in fear,
Wear and tear and many a tearsome fray!
Of what avail, O Dummy Doll,
your gasp and groan.
You needs must meet the Doom.
17. Aha! The Bird! It shakes its wings!
It files out, brrrr, from out the cage of skin.
Empty, it tightens; vacant, it straightens;
O, drag it out of sight; it bloats and stinks.
18. The elements join their parents five;
The doll’s desires are dust and ash;
Why weep, you fools, when one of you
Falls on the crowded stage?
19. Uncles, cousins, aunts and friends
March in gloom until door of room! 
The Maya Doll, alas, forgot its kin,
The Divine Name, Redeemer True!
20. O Jiva, do not lean
Upon this slender reed;
Just a sneeze! This frail skin boat
Endowed with thrice three leaks
Will plunge you, middle stream!
21. This puppet weeps, it sleeps and wakes,
When the string is pulled by unseen Hand
The Lord it is, Who stands behind,
But the Dummy swears, It is I, I, I.
22. Dharma, Karma are the hardy strings
He tightens or He loosens.
Unaware, the puppet swaggers
Criss-cross, on the planks.
23. It takes the world as stable,—
This silly strutting Dummy!
A twinkle! He winds up the show!
Exit the pomp and pride!
24. O Jiva, you have waded
Through ant and snake and bird;
Seek and find without delay,
The road to lasting Bliss!
25. Bless your luck! You now can see
Sai Krishna, He has come!
Be kin with Him and you will know
Your what and why and how.
25. A million words so clever and nice,
Can they appease your hunger’s maw?
Light the Lamp of the soul instead,
And, freed from bondage, run out and play.
26. This song that tells of Dummy Doll
Makes Jiva sad and wise! I know;
But, Jiva! see the Leela grand of
Sathya Sai Nath
And Know Thyself!
 
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