Madhab Prasad Ghimire

Kaligandaki 1 – Madhab Prasad Ghimire

Translation- Himal Khadka

Beyond the peak of Machhapuchhre2
is Muktikshetra3, the land of liberation
where lamps glitter in the bubbling fountainheads

your birth-place is a divine pilgrim site of the first flame
O Kali, the river! please tell me
how do you sculpt the Shaligram4?

ducks, from the basin
reach the hills along the sandbanks
trees on the banks bow so low on the creepers
as if the shadows would get swept away
roam in this heart of mine, inside the womb of Rishi Jehnu 5
the sacred resources of yours, peak like the river Ganges

‘this is the very corner where Jadbharat 6 practiced austerity,
where, while she was filling the water
the magnolia fell from the fairy’s head

as if touched by the footprints of the fearless Vishnu 7
my stones have bound the crafts of Amaravati 8, the city of immortals’

‘breaking the high peaks, ventured towards so farther,
I have kissed even the rough and hard so passionately’
thinking that you would write some signs on the stones
how to portray me in art, by myself!

O, man! beneath your very heart lie
the secrete unknown nerves
it is said that various idols breathe life
under your incantation
you are the source of all the splendor, gross happiness
though it is you whose heart is unconscious
and it is you who is the mistake of the creation

on this soil, as an unskilled sculpture`s idol, cries,
pedestrians pass by, laughing,
who cares to listen to others’ sorrow nowadays!

O, my craftsman! give some healthy form to this whole,
draw this entire world, in one single, simple, and small composition

may there be the shadows,

may there be the sun that spreads over the green forest,
may there be the beauty that swings through this town,
may there be the skill that preserves that beauty in the city of immortals,
may there the oil lamp in my secluded hermitage, be

the witness

my absolute comfort is in some new creation daily,
on forgetting oneself in the luxury of that creation

whoever doesn’t find the source of the nectar under their chest,
will never be able to quench the heart’s thirst

when the whole country gets tired of overwork
when the sun sets far beyond the hills in no time,
with that crimson in the sky, I will shut my eyelids peacefully
along your bank O Kali! I will arrive at Muktinath

Jhuma 9, my ever-youth temple courtesan in the Himalayas
whose exuberant tresses hang lushly on her back,
this very evening
lighting a divine lamp with yak 10 butter
will take me to the caverns of the extreme mountain

may not, the remnants of the sunrays on the mountain, remain fresh
may hide, the talismanic images of the day, under the shadows

would Muktinath 11 himself sit
empty in meditation, static like a mountain
tying on Damodar lake`s head, the white constellation of seven stars.

Translations – Himal Khadka

Translation- Himal khadka

1 the sacred river situated in the muktinath religion
2 one of the famous mountains in western Nepal
3 one of the top holy shrines for Hindu and Buddhist
4 a revered stone
5 one of the famous Hindu mythological sage
6 one of the important Hindu mythological character
7 One of the Hindu trinity of the supreme godhead
8 Hindu mythological city
9 a girl surrendered to a temple to serve as the temple courtesan
10 Himalayan cow
11 lord Vishnu