Poem 97

A sweet and intimate conversation between the lover poet and his Beloved. How courteous the poet is in addressing his Maker and paying Him such slightly humorous praise for His beauty and charm!

Without the error of your dreaming, O beautiful Dreamer,
I would never have needed, and found such a charming Redeemer.

The next verses carries on the same tone in his tease of a dear one who is not just the Creator but the Dreamer who makes everything happen. Not only this, but love for Him makes the whole shebang worthwhile:

I would still be asleep in the unknowing of the Beyond-the-Beyond —
Not even dreaming of one so exasperating, so tender and fond.

There would not have been any deserts or seas of separation to cross;
There would not have been anything at all – not even knowledge of the loss.

So much of Baba’s wonderful cosmology is an aid to make the notion of the divine fiat of making us from nothingness an imaginative reality. Baba used to sometimes (humorously?) speak of the creative act as being a big burden on His chest (see The Everything and the Nothing). Francis now begins to build up to a slightly outrageous conclusion to the poem. The argument is that just as through the poet’s sins or errors he has come to existence, it is a shadow of the great Error which providentially made creation possible!

He begins by saying how it is not his righteousness but his mistakes that have brought him to really need a Redeemer (How else would we come to cry to Him in need?).

Not by righteousness did I come to you, my Beloved, but by sin,
And if by sinning I have lost my soul, I count it a good bargain.

For each new life, out of sin’s residue I made a shining vehicle.
Alas, each one lasted but a moment – for each was only a bubble.

Every beautiful and wondrous form made by our sanskaras or accumulated past impressions is totally bound by time because being only imaginations, the bubble. Now in verse 6 a bit more raillery, Francis will put up with the Beloved playing hard to get because of all his own straying. Of course the serious message underlying all this is that whatever epic delays we have gone through, meeting the Avatar makes it all seem as nought.

Perhaps because of all those disappointments I now have such patience
With your vagaries, put-offs, promises and little-bit furtherations.

Finally even the rather outrageous comparison between himself and God can be put as a compliment, a thanks for the revelation of Love –

By means of your Original Error you came to know what you were.
By my sins – tiny shadows of your Error – I have come to know who you are.

A beautiful slant look at the whole mystery.