Leave the River Full of Lotuses by Narsinh Mehta

`Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep.
He will definitely not spare you if he wakes
Moreover, the sin of murdering a mere child will be on our heads!
Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep!

Tell me, boy, have you lost your way, or has some foe led you astray?
You seem to have run out of your time, dear child
Or else, why would you ever think of coming here?
Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! ‘

‘No I haven’t lost my way and no foe can lead me astray,
O consorts of Cobra, back there in Mathura
I just happened to lose your man’s head in a friendly bet!’
‘Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep!’

`You are so cute, so pretty, and irresistible!
Tell us how many children your mother has
So that you are unwanted?
Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep!

‘I am Natwar, the younger of the two brothers
Go and wake up that snake of yours
I am Krishna – the dark one!’
‘Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep!’

` Come, come, we will give you garland worth lakhs
We will give you a necklace made of pure gold
Without letting our master know!
Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! ‘

‘What am I to do with that garland of yours?
Pray what is the use of that necklace to me?
And why should you pilfer in your own house, O serpents?’
‘Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep!’

Distraught they shook up the sleeping master by feet.
They wrenched him by his whiskers in great distress,
‘O wake up Master,’ they said, ‘there is a child at our door!’
‘Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep!’

The two powerful ones were locked in a mortal combat,
In no times Krishna mastered the colossal cobra,
His thousand hoods hissing furiously
Like the thundering lunar constellation in monsoon!
`Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! ‘

‘He will torture our cobra!’ the wives lamented,
‘He will take him to Mathura and behead him!
O forgive our husband,’ they pleaded
‘We ignorant sinners could not recognize you!
‘We could not fathom you O Lord!’
‘|Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep!’

They offered pearls in devotion and somehow managed to rescue
Their seized husband from Narsaiyya’s Lord!
`Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! ‘

Poet: Narsinh Mehta
Indian
1409 – 1488

Unable to speak until he was 8 years old Narsinh Mehta, also known as Narsi Mehta or Narsi Bhagat was a saint-poet and bhakta. He was an exponent of Vaishnava poetry. He is revered in Gujarati literature as an Adi Kavi and was a favourite of Muhatma Ghandi. He lost his parents when he was 5 years old and was raised by his grandmother.

Narsinh Mehta

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