Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Buddha at Kamakura


"And there is a Japanese idol at Kamakura"
O ye who tread the Narrow Way
By Tophet-flare to Judgment Day,
Be gentle when the 'heathen' pray
To Buddha at Kamakura!

To him the Way, the Law, apart,
Whom Maya held beneath her heart,
Ananda's Lord, the Bodhisat,
The Buddha of Kamakura.

For though he neither burns nor sees,
Nor hears ye thank your Deities,
Ye have not sinned with such as these,
His children at Kamakura.

Yet spare us still the Western joke
When joss-sticks turn to scented smoke
The little sins of little folk
That worship at Kamakura --

The grey-robed, gay-sashed butterflies
That flit beneath the Master's eyes.
He is beyond the Mysteries
But loves them at Kamakura.

And whoso will, from Pride released,
Contemning neither creed nor priest,
May feel the Soul of all the East
About him at Kamakura.

Yea, every tale Ananda heard,
Of birth as fish or beast or bird,
While yet in lives the Master stirred,
The warm wind brings Kamakura.

Till drowsy eyelids seem to see
A-flower 'neath her golden htee
The Shwe-Dagon flare easterly
From Burmah to Kamakura,

And down the loaded air there comes
The thunder of Thibetan drums,
And droned -- "Om mane padme hums" --
A world's-width from Kamakura.

Yet Brahmans rule Benares still,
Buddh-Gaya's ruins pit the hill,
And beef-fed zealots threaten ill
To Buddha and Kamakura.

A tourist-show, a legend told,
A rusting bulk of bronze and gold,
So much, and scarce so much, ye hold
The meaning of Kamakura?

But when the morning prayer is prayed,
Think, ere ye pass to strife and trade,
Is God in human image made
No nearer than Kamakura?

By Rudyard Kipling

4 comments:

Worried said...

Beautiful thoughts, images. Kipling had great insight and is not to be lightly dismissed because he sometimes delivered his insights in a light manner. His "Female of the Species" is one such, yet is very insightful into human nature, the female psyche and the "war" between the sexes. So many of his stories revealed his sensitivity toward human nature.

The Buddhas are ever so beautiful.

Kathleen Callon said...

Kept seeing "What the bleep do we know?" in profiles, including yours, so finally rented and finished it... at the moment I believe God isn't so much in our image as in us.

DA said...

Thx Worried. I didn't know about his female knowledge.

Wonderful movie isn't it Kathleen. In a few weeks the sequel will come out. Can't wait to see it..

Kathleen Callon said...

Didn't know that. I'll be sure to see it.