Returning Home by Kashmiri mystic and poet Lalla (1320 – 1392),
“I rushed here and there, longing,
seeking and searching, day and night.
At last I returned home and found
what I was looking for—the guru inside!
Like grasping a star, I held on.
Controlling my breath,
like fanning a flame with a bellows,
my heart-lamp came alight.
Breathing on that light,
the chaff that separates me
from my true nature scattered.
Now even in darkness
that light holds me tight.
Go ahead, rule a kingdom—no rest there.
Give it away—your heart’s still troubled.
Only free your soul from desire—
the soul that never dies!
Better yet, while alive, die.
Then you’ll know the truth.
Your reputation is like water
carried in a basket.
If you can hold the wind in your hand
or leash an elephant with your hair—
sure, then you can hold onto it!”