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Ramalinga Swami's Prayer

Like the bounding stag I have sought sensual pleasures and fallen into the lake.
I am the greatest sinner among sinners, unwilling to part with even a grain of rice to the noisy crow.

Like the fly buzzing about without any rest, I seek, O, Father, tell me what to do that I may not die, and grant me Your grace to support me.
Like the bull bearing heavy burdens, I have toiled caring the load of my own grief.

Not knowing anything, I have roamed like the unclean animal feeding upon the refuse of the streets.
I am lower than the dog, which tires itself out with barking in utter thoughtlessness.

Holy One, what can I do to obtain Your grace to support me in my distress?
I have taken pride in regarding my darkness as light and my desire as the great goal.

I have wondered with the monkey of my mind in the darkness of the jungles. Mistaking it for my kindred.

Oh, You who dwell in the heart of Your saints, I have not the mind to seek the great object of life.

Father, what can I do to get Your grace? Rule me with Your grace.

I do not know the medicine, the jewel, the mantra, the knowledge, the rule and conduct of life.

I do not know the repentance, the power of Your grace and the path of righteousness.

I do not know the place where I can life the controlled life, nor how to enter into the society of the wise, nor how to approach the holy place where the Lord resides.

I do not know the direction in which to go. How can I enter? Whom can I speak to? What can I do? I know not anything.

I have not abandoned the toils of class, creed and sect.
I have not abandoned plunging into the mire of theological wrangling.

I do not know the beginning nor the end, nor how to abide in the waveless sea of Your bliss.

I have not walked in the way of holiness, nor do I know the inward will of You who abides in the assembly of the holy ones.

How can I enter the world of my foes? To whom can I speak?
What can I do? I know not.


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