Divine Mother Collection

A Collection of Poems from 1986 to 2008

 

Copyright ©2008 Karen Lynn Sterkin


Table of Contects

Fighting for Seats
Lucky to be Here
Perfect Mother
Mother Says, Baba Says
Crimson Sari
Arts School
Console Your Children
Remove the Veil
The Devi Caravan
Thru Her Eyes
Dancing on the Floor
Prayer for Victory
Watching the World Go By
The Pageantry of the World
Nusrat’s Fate and Mine
Tsunami Suffering
Upasni’s Place
Father’s Day
Backbiting Na Karo
Two Saris
Calm Lullaby Balm ‑ Peace on Earth
Prayer to Maha Lakshmi
Prayer to Maha Kali
Our Infinite Mother
The Little Fisherman
Want of a Wife
Women’s Liberation

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Fighting for Seats

©June 2006 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(at Amma’s 20 Nov. 2006 from Hafez)

We’re also fighting for seats in Her court
Drawing straws that we hope aren’t to short
All the planes, seen and unseen worlds, I see
In the Darbar of the Queen of All that is, I see.
Every color shimmering on display, I see
Friends are happy greeting each other, I see.

Forgotten political religious brawling, I see
Verbal dueling of duality silenced, I see
From arch of that One’s Eye, I see.
Arrows from Eternity, I see
Hafez1   vying with Francis’ poetry,2  I see
Showing off English ghazals for academics, I see
Drunk on Meher’s wine in ecstasy, I see
Whirling dervishes around the sun, I see
Dazzling the nebulae and stars, I see
Amma’s darshan streaming down, I see
God’s effulgent Grace flowing, I see.

1     Hafez of Shiraz (Sufi Persian Poet)
2     Francis Brabazon (Meher Baba’s Australian poet)

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Lucky to be Here

©June 2006 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(at Amma’s 20 Nov. 2006 from Francis Brabazon)

I was more fortunate than you my lass
In Meher’s darbar the die was cast
In stone Meher hued my colors true
Cast me adrift on His Ocean of blue
Without a rudder or a mast
With lunatics for bed fellows and a mad crew!

But in every age the Masters of the Universe
Cast nets for gopis canting in verse
Their love songs dancing to tom-tom drums
While Big Fist insurance tax assessors
Cash in their sums.

It must be my fault if I’m the Creator
Of my life, my world, since I’m the maker
Law of Attraction says no one else is to blame
So don’t waste time on judgment and shame
Better to dance and whistle a tune
Seek the company of poets whispering a rune
In my ear from behind the Veil
Far better a song than a tearful wail.

Fresh pine needles green on the blue
Where rolling hills of golden hue
Sun light sparkles on the green lagoon
Preening white swans
Glide where lily pods float
Like lotus blossoms among fronds
And Meher left me on a ruddy boat
Oarless hopeless without a sail
With mad men as sailors daily to hail.

They lost one of the pea hens last year
Her devotees throw out compost for the deer.
How lovely Saraswati’s abode is here
How lucky I am to be alive here!

Inside Her Temple of Love
Where Hindu lamps shine bright
Brighter still the gleam in her eye
All knowing all seeing Saraswati
Brahma’s Creator and Creation’s Naad

Her Eternal Love melody playing
On the strings of every heart
In perfect tune the boy plays a sarangi
In every corner paintings for Her art.

How lucky am I to be alive here
What wondrous destiny
Hear the boy his sarangi play
Her curling locks round every ear
What wondrous love to be alive here!

But Meher left us wailing at the moat
Too late to cross into Her palace
I sailed rudderless and oarless in a boat
But ah the Captain Meher Baba alas
Has passed the key of destiny
To this South Indian white clad lady
No yogi or swami this is Saraswati
Francis whispers in Karen’s ear.

How lucky for us dear
That Meher led you here
To open Her palace gate
For us and those who came late
To this palace where creation
and Brahma the Creator
Meet in exaltation
At Saraswati’s invitation.

Francis says, O Karen call me
Any time night or day
I’ll give you my best poetry
In ghazal, song, jig or geet
Call me for Saraswati
To whisper in your ear so sweet
Serenading the greatest of All
Do you understand Karen
Creator and creation meet
As One dissolving in Her Ocean.

Do you know how lucky you are
Worry not about your house or car
Open your heart Meherkaren
While I sing in your ear
Meher Baba has not left you
He sent me to serenade here
To lullaby away your fear
To wipe away illusion’s tear
But never mind it’s just a bunk
Too hard to fathom when you’re in the junk
Just call me night or day
And see what miracles like bubbles
Floating in rainbow riot display.

Rest now Karen, Meher has not left
You are not alone bereft
Francis says call me night or day
Be jealous, if it gets you off your duff,
Of those you think are better singers
To us they’re just jaded
Palm – joined dead ringers!
And God wants an ever fresh tune – enough!
Francis yells, call me Karen when you’re feelin’ rough
How lucky we are that you are here!

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Perfect Mother

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
(Dialog with Baba in India - Oct. 24, 1986)

O Meher, I’ve heard tales of so many of your lovers.
Some build pilgrim centers and hospitals.
Some work all the time, others serve or clean or cook.
Some sing songs to your Brightness from our dark world.

Others help the poor, with the latest technology and science.
What am I doing here?

O Karen, if I did not call you, you’d not have come here.
Don’t listen to these thoughts of your mind.
My lovers are really great, but I don’t need anyone to do My work.
O Karen, are you afraid to commit yourself?
You’ll have to travel the Path anyway some day.
Why not come now while I have called you?

O Meher, am I truly ready?
So many times I’ve fallen, great falls from high places, and I’m so afraid.
Like a babe once dropped from her own mother’s arms.

O Karen, I am the Perfect Mother and I’ll never fail you.

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Mother Says, Baba Says

©2001 Karen Lynn Sterkin ‑ India 1972     From the New Humanity Collection

Mother says:
Babble babble from the rabble
Hold the energy instead
It will lead you onward, upward
Hold it in to forge ahead.

Baba says:
Do you love me?
Bear it, bear it.

Want my kisses?
Share it, share it.

Are you restless in despair?
Sing a song for love of the Fair.

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Devi Bhava Collection

Crimson Sari

©June 2007 by Karen Lynn Sterkin   (from Hafez)

Resplendent in red
There’s more to be said
About World’s End
Seas of curling S’s in her darshan queue
Reincarnated lifetimes for more than a few.

Earth turning on its axis
In the revolving Universes
But the sweet smell of curling incense
Keeps hope alive in the coming darkness
Brings hope in the menacing darkness.

Enthroned under a golden umbrella
Wearing a crimson sari, sits Amma
Embodiment of Love, truth & beauty

Her musicians vie then sing in harmony
As her lovers sip her nectar
Like mad bees around the sun
With less than four hours rest
From the morning program
Amma hugs each and every one
Like a long lost lover at last
And everybody gets her darshan.

Karen has an early token tonight
She won’t stay til the morning light
But Hafiz will keep watch all night,
Serenading Amma in Her plight.

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Arts School

©June 2007 by Karen Lynn Sterkin   (from Francis Brabazon)

Meherkaren wants a classical arts school
So she can learn a song or two.
Classical music, dance, and drama
For Baba’s babies and the toddlers of Amma.

To usher in the Golden Age
With kindness, truth, and courage
Values education and the classical arts.

Will Earth support the masses still at war
Long enough for peace to reign
Before global warning starves ¾ of ’er population?

We’ve had World’s End before
Both Atlantis and the Rishis saw war
The New Energy and the New Earth
That Shaumbra have already given birth
Wait the transition of Earth’s ascension
Saraswati’s Grace, not to mention
Meher said He’ll return in 600 years
So release all these fears
Build your music school Meherkaren
As Francis whispers love songs thru your pen.

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Console Your Children

©June 2007 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Sleepy babies howling, hungry infants crying
"Console your children" Amma told her devotees
Before the Puja the incredibly sudden hush
In wonder no more cries from the babies!
Wah! wah! I want I want desires’ push
Amma, like Meher Baba, listens to everyone
Then gives her hug and her darshan.

O wondrous One

Meherkaren cannot stop her wants
But longs for Amma’s suffering to be done.

Sita had her Rama
And Krishna had Radha
Mehera had Meher Baba
Even his wife had Ramakrishna
The Perfect Master of Calcutta.
Karen wants Amma’s suffering to end this Devi Bhava.

Dreaming of a home and a mate
With a rose trellis over a garden gate.
Meherkaren, sing your songs and don’t wait
God will not leave you alone in old age
The Romance of youth your gift from the Sage
Who as Source loves you most dearly
Trust and know it is your divine heritage.

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Remove the Veil

©June 2007 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

Paris Hilton’s gone to jail
Beautiful heiress weeping her wail
They do not blossom behind the veil
Behind the mask of wealth and beauty
This stunning girl with so much promise
Pink and gold rose bud that won’t flourish.

These children – youth of today
Have been led astray
Drugged on a false mask
Her image and hollow show
All outer no inner being to grow
A heart in perfume of damask.

I don’t weep for the lass
Whose had it all – wealth
youth, beauty and stealth
I weep for this Age – sans health
Depth and sanity.
O Lakshmi come and give us
Your True Prosperity.
Knowledge of the Vedas and Peace
O Devi come now from behind the veil
To get these children out of jail!

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The Devi Caravan

©June 2007 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

It’s 3 a.m. I got a 4 hour nap
Babies asleep on the floor or on a lap
Bodies laying everywhere about
Waiting for Her Darshan no doubt.

The crowds and traffic fight
The police car’s flashing light
The neighbors by now used to the sight!

Wherever She goes we hear song
Lullaby’s and bhajans all night
Kirtan and quawalli all day long
In Malayalam Hindi and Urdu
Persian French Gujarati and Hebrew
Love Songs in English for a few.

They pack up all the kitchen gear
And rent hotel space every year.

She comes to tell us in a carnival caravan
That man’s cut God into pieces and calls it religion.
Showing by Her example of Love and celebration
That God is both Creator and Creation.

In this Age God travels by airplane
No more camels and bells with a Sufi refrain.
But all the same love songs remain.

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Thru Her Eyes

©June 2007 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

I’ve not studied Ashtavakra
Narada or the Shiva sutras
Spent too much time chasing after money
And washing the dishes.

My actress friend[1] another lover of Meher
Accompanied me to Her Darbar.

I saw the Hindu Temple lights through her eyes
And heard the Om Para Shakti Namaha thru her ears
Together at Meher’s place for years
Does she feel as I did from Baba
Comparing the crowds of Amartithi
To this South Indian puja?

[1]Prudence Wright Holmes (Tina) is an actress
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Dancing on the Floor

©June 2007 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

They’re dancing on the temple floor
As we did on Baba’s Tomb before
Amma listens to everyone
And then gives Her Darshan.

Rock ’n roll, rap and pop to Her beat
Just as we sang and danced in Love Street.

Krishna’s flute and Mira’s songs attracting
The flocks who come dancing.
Following the pied piper Home
To bring Shanti Om
To Everyone.

Global warming brings floods to Bangladesh
And drought to the farms in Maharashtra
In a blink the pledge of $45 million from Amma
How did She get so much money asks Tina[1]
Dinner, a massage, frappaccino ’n soup de jour
It adds up when She hugs millions on a Tour.

Darshan line seva by Gita and Bhavani
Reminds me of Meher with Eruch and Mani.
The crowds held back with male macho mandali
Where here men wear a dhoti and the girls a white sari.

The angel babes wake up with the morning sun.
She’s always tuned, in tapped in, and turned on!
But we need sleep to charge our battery
To stay awake for the Devi Bhava Shakti.

She has high blood pressure and diabetes
But She chose to burn Her candle for us.
I cannot make it to the end
Her Seva to the Universe I can’t comprehend.

Please Meher give Amma relief and release
From this suffering that seems never to cease.
And shower Her with your Everlasting Bliss
To protect Her from pain as She gives all a kiss.

I have no poets whispering in my ear today
So I leave Amma hoping in these few hours
That I can sell these poem flowers
In Her Divine bookstore someday!

Heading back to the garage sale
The young music couple give me a hail
Passing me in my car
Don’t be a fool, don’t you know where you are?
Only two more hours to go
Of Amma’s traveling God caravan show.

She’ll marry a few
Feed babies their first chew
Of carefully prepared rice stew
Then shower the crowds with flower petals
As they circle round the temple in droves.

She’s marrying couples by the score;
To send them babies from Her store.
They think they’ve never met before,
Just wondered in through Her Door.

I wonder how Hafiz pitched his tent
Among the revolving Universe
Sadguru is the spoke in Creation’s wheel
Where only God is Real
God has no need to rehearse
Each act’s in perfect time and perfect verse.

The bhajans have speeded up tempo
Her disciples are packing up to go
To the next stop in God’s caravan show.
The swirling round her chair
Brings to mind visions of Meher
We yelled Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai
Here it’s Amritananda Mayi Devi ki Jai!

[1]Prudence Wright Holmes (Tina) is an actress
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Prayer for Victory

©June 2006 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

What will the world and creation do
If God cannot prosper through
Maya’s adversities and calamities?

Lotus blossoms open for the show
On the water sparkling bright
As Her swans glide by shimmering white.
The water lily’s pink and white
Like Her devotees dresses flow
In the morning light.

Saraswati knowledge Devi
May God’s Grace bring prosperity
From publishing my foolish poetry.
Lakshmi Goddess of Plenty
Please grant Amma victory
For World Peace and love successfully.

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Watching the World Go By

From Hafiz of Shiraz June 11, 2005
©2005 Karen Lynn Sterkin

I am watching the world go by
As Amma gives Her Darshan
Weeping I know not why
The musicians sing in Malayalam
Pretty couples with angel babes
Hippies dance and smile at me
But Meherkaren is inconsolably lonely.

Amma honors me with the best jobs
Thousands have swept the floor
With their eyelashes
Shedding blood tears for such sweet seva.

My heart is a bird who’s forgotten how to fly
From an open door cage.

The Master, sugar cube in hand, coaxes
The bird from its golden cage;
Where youth and beauty never age –
Where Hafiz pitched his tent
There’s the scent of incense
Among the Revolving Universes.

Meherkaren wants to marry
With kittens curled in her lap so cozy
Dreams of youth and home
A husband to bring home
The rent or mortgage money.

This desire to marry
Meherkaren, spawned the Milky Way
Super nova space clash with energy
Such are the dangers of feeling lonely
For the One who is God only.

Like Gandhi this one yearns for world peace;
Lives on airplanes flying from place to place.

Why yearn for a home and romance
For five minutes of his glance?
Marrying a homeless man
With millions on his payroll.
How to console women with such fantasies?
Meherkaren feels she’s missed her chance.

When a woman is in love
Even God the only One --
Feels lonely  --
Until her heart finds peace.

Those who know the Vedas and Gita
Do japs, meditation and yoga,
Cannot reach the goal
Meherkaren needs sugar to come out of her gilded cage.
She feels so old, that life has passed her by with age.

And this Guru – Empress of Spades
And Queen of all Hearts
Has all the parrots singing in her court
Serenading the lonely at heart.

See what Hafez of Shiraz is whispering
In her ear where wisps of hair are curling?
Seeking God’s Grace.

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The Pageantry of the World

From Hafiz of Shiraz June 11, 2005
©2005 Karen Lynn Sterkin

This is the pageantry of the world
Where all races, colors, nations gather
Whirling like dervishes of Maulana Rumi
Chanting bhajans and quawalli
Songs of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan1
Coming to take Her Darshan.

The poet night watchman of Meher Baba2
Today blessed me and
Passed his golden pen to Meherkaren.

In the Court of the Empress of the Universe3
Like a shy maiden at her first ball
I call upon Hafiz, Merwan4, and Allah
Mirror Mirror who’s the Fairest of them All?
The One we call Amma.

Then I called out, invited Avatar Lord Meher Baba
To come with me to this Devi Bhava
And protect my own energy.

They hailed Amritananda Mayi Devi Ki Jai
In this Hall of Mirrors
Who’s the Fairest of the Fair?
The One I call Meher.

Mirror Mirror, who’s the Greatest of them all?
Amritananda Mayi Devi – the One they call Amma.


1   A great quawalli singer from Pakistan who became well-known in the West. 
2   Bhau Kalchuri wrote a biography of Meher Baba and served as his Night Watchman. He serves now as the
    Chairman of the Avatar Meher Baba Trust, Ahmednagar, M.S. India
3   Amritanandamayi Devi (Ammachi) is considered by her followers to be an incarnation of the Divine Mother.
4   Merwan S. Irani was the family name given to Meher Baba by his parents at birth. Meher Baba’s first early disciples
      gave him the name of Meher Baba (Compassionate Father).

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Nusrat’s Fate and Mine

From Hafiz of Shiraz-June 11, 2005
©2005 Karen Lynn Sterkin

Even offense in this court proves a blessing
A beggar in rags too short leaves in a film star’s dressing.
One cannot serve selflessly until one attains God only.

Four a.m. and Amma has sacrificed
More than Jesus nailed to the cross.
I’ve seen no other selfless seva like this.

The darshan queue is over 5400 ‑ a short evening
Where in India she hugs a cool ½ a million.

I have the bad manners
To be jealous of her musicians.
They serenade the Queen of Heaven
Her lovers and her children
In Sanskrit, Telegu and Malayalam.

But this envy proves a boon
Spurns me on, encourages and entunes
Inspires these flower tunes
With God’s Grace to publish soon.

After darshan hugs, pearls of tears
and diamond glints in their eyes
rival the stars and dew kissed anemones.

Some whirl in ecstasy
Like planets round the sun
Some just weep in solitary ‑
Imagining they’ve lost or won.

I slept in my car wheezing
Waiting for the 4 a.m. curfew freezing
To make it back into Her Temple of Love.
I don’t even know why I’m here among
Begging Hafez to give me his golden tongue.
I have no job other than this word praising.

Some lie sick on the floor
Exhausted waiting the eons of birth’s
To make it to Her Door.
O Saki, your darshan
Is like the Darbar of Merwan
Quawalli just after dawn
Where once we sang Baba Hu
Here your children sing Allah Hu.

Bhau1 penned Nusrat’s2 songs
For Meher’s quawalli parties
And here in Her Darbar
Again I hear Baba Hu
I know the song in English and in Urdu
But while they sing, I hear only Amma Hu.

The Passion for the Divine
Has injured my spine
Was I searching in vain for Meher’s Wine
Because He left the Tavern in ’69?
Passed the key to this South Indian Saki?
But my fate is sealed with His Kiss and Her Hug.

Who taught us to be afraid of joy?
Of laughing and dancing in innocent glee?
This constant critic and judge
This fear and guilt that won’t budge
Making life on earth a hell state.

Nusrat, we sang your quawalli
At Meher’s Samadhi in tremendous ecstasy,
And now they’re sung inside Amma’s palace gate.
Please God grant me Your Grace for such a fate.

O Nusrat, that my fate shines like yours
By God’s grace to publish these poem flowers
And remain in my body to serve
If only to write what I observe.

1   Bhau Kalchuri wrote a biography of Meher Baba and served as his Night Watchman. Bhau has also written
   many published books of poetry.
2   A great quawalli singer from Pakistan who is famous in the West.


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Tsunami Suffering

From Hafiz of Shiraz-June 11, 2005
©2005 Karen Lynn Sterkin

The passion of sex takes these children to the skies.
And drunk with laughter is the light in Saki’s eyes.
She’s working on her hugging throne
To bring wealth to her children at home
Where tsunami floods left so many in ruin.

She’s pledged millions on the love of Meher’s wine.
Bringing thousands searching for
They know not what ‑ into her darshan line.

I am content and grateful to capture Hafez’ runes
I’ll wait a life or two to sing quawalli party tunes.

The price of one delicious meal
Gives a child one year in Her school
Massage, espresso songs so many nights
In this Tavern with Hindu temple lights.

She sits on Her hugging throne
Amidst the revolving universes – all alone
Crucified eternally but giving only bliss
Why did God make coming Home
Entail so much suffering and pain?
For Creator and Creation?

Where is the charm in so much harm
To Her Universal and physical bodies?

Meherkaren is dumb in God’s ways
Feeling helpless and hopeless
Wishing God’s suffering is not always. 

So many have taken birth from other worlds
Bhau says they exploit and plunder other species and the seas.
How to explain the tsunami’s destruction
As Earth adjusts to this over population?

Why does God make it so hard on Creator and creation?

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Upasni’s Place

©2006 by Karen Lynn Sterkin
 18 June 2006 from Hafiz

She has Upasni’s place in the hierarchy
But She flies from place to place
Making everywhere Her Sakori1


The blue blood turncoat sufi
Hooded serpent of hypocrisy
See how Meher’s Poet Night watchman2
Has become a beggar – bowl in hand.

Do not weep for those who serve the Master
Keep earth in balance – world’s end waylaid,
They circumvent mirrored halls of disaster.
Meherkaren, are you afraid
To end this pathless path alone
Seeking a mate for land and a home?

The Sweet Ones who sing in your ear
Will not leave you long in fear
A husband can’t protect from Earth’s shaking

Hurricanes, floods, fire and rain
So be content Meherkaren in Song-making
Your poem songs lessen the Guru’s pain.

Be an obedient slave to no man
See what the angels and devas bring
Continue to take Amma’s darshan
And sing Meherkaren while awakening.
Your longing for a wedding ring
Brings only more suffering.
Instead strive to make others happy
Sing your Love Songs to entertain
Like the birds – not caring for praise or misery
Sing all day before evening’s rain
Leave the critics in their blue coats
Along with the hypocrite sufi turncoats!

1   Upasni Maharaj was a Sadguru (Perfect Master). His ashram is still at Sakori in Maharashtra India.
2   Bhau Kalchuri wrote a biography of Meher Baba and served as his Night Watchman. Bhau has also written
    many published books of poetry.

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Father’s Day

©2005 By Karen Lynn Sterkin - 6/19/05

It’s been a wonderful week
But I’m too tired to stay awake
For Her darshan.

Beautiful moon in an azure sky
Hanging over a mountain high
Among the flowering hillsides.
Lovely night follows a beautiful day
Bright California blue sky way
Painted background forms bowers
For the green trees and flowers
That stand out in riotous colors.

Unusual rain pouring down in June
Birds singing in the green trees
Keep perfect rhythm and stay in tune

How many years I’ve spent looking
For my Father’s love and approval.
I sang well this morning at the hall
‘tho The Judge in me was not pleased at all.
He was not pleased on this Father ‘s Day
So I skipped the evening talk in the head
And went to Devi Bhava instead.

Alone at the Puja, I gave Her my despair
And loneliness and resistance
To my daily singing routine.
Because of all the hearts she is the Queen
Her Nazaar can clear the air
Of blockages to abundance and care
That prevent Creative endeavor. 
I gave my heavy heart’s tremor
To the one they call Amma – the Divine Mama. 

For Elizabeth Wagoner

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White Flowing Sadra

Backbiting Na Karo

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (White Flowing Sadra Collection)
Music: Ramashreya "Ramrang" Jha "Banvari na Karo" in Rag Yemen

Back biting             do not do ‑ na karo
Gossip, fighting       do not do ‑ na karo
Criticizing                do not do ‑ na karo
Judging others         do not do ‑ na karo
Hate and anger          do not do ‑ na karo
Jealousy, back biting     do not do ‑ na karo

1)    Tell Divine Mother what you need
     She will take away all of your hatred, fear and greed.
     Back biting, criticizing     do not do ‑ na karo

2)   Give Divine Mother all your sadness
     She will give you so much love, joy and happiness.
     Judging others        do not do      na karo
     Jealousy and envy      do not do       na karo

3)   We can bring Heaven right here     right here to Earth
     We can have Heaven right here      right here on Earth
     Give her all your sadness, shame and anger
     She will give you bliss, love, and mirth.
     Divine Mother will give you so much love and bliss,
     You’ll just want to share with others.      (Chorus)

     Fear and worry do not do ‑ na karo
     Shame and blame do not do ‑ na karo
     Hugs and kisses we will do
     Happiness and joy we will do      Mother for You!

In gratitude to Beloved Amma - who serves Beloved Meher Baba. Dedicated to Amritananda Mai Devi (Ammichi) -- the Incarnation of the Divine Mother.

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Two Saris [2]

© May, 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin      from White Flowing Sadra Collection

She stands straight and proud
Gleaming like a new fishing rod,
A jug of water on her head,
A child on one svelte hip,
And a village song on her lip.

God’s sister Mani[3] says "Two saris,"
Looking at her nodding
One’s for work in the fields
The other’s for festivals or a wedding.

So many shopping malls we have in the West
But ladies can’t find anything to wear to look their best.
On our daily commutes ‑ do we still sing songs to God?

At the well, long ago he tossed a stone and her jug broke
Water splashing all over her bright gulabi sari
Squealing in protest she loudly scolded the bloke
But secretly in her breast, her heart soared in ecstasy.

The millet and sugar cane fields may hide a cobra
But we eat cows in stress, Big Macs watching Oprah,
With less nourishment, more danger and no joy.

They arranged her marriage later to that same boy
She fell in love with when she was only seven.
Then he went to America for his education.
But he came back to fetch her for his wife.
She’d told no one she’d loved him all her life.
And they brought to my country this bit of village life.

Now he re-routes routers in the Information Age.
With all of our websites and programming language
We still can’t communicate; "we’re all natives here".[4]
From heart to heart and eye to eye is SO much faster,
Than the fastest router, huge bandwidth, and a good webmaster.
Does anyone remember computers were going to bring more leisure?
Instead of The Terminator and Darth Vadar’s nightmare?
Where 90% on earth go to bed hungry and scared.
How to let women choose not to have to give birth
Over-population, pollution, keeping helpless animals encaged,
To feed the unwanted children who grow up violent, wildly enraged.

In this Kali Yuga Age of chaos and strife
Can we import these two saris into our life?
Make technology heart’s hand-maiden
And bring down on earth the Garden of Eden?

When I go on Pilgrimage to Meher’s Samadhi[5]
I take my old clothes ‑ I’m too tall for a sari
And there’s no closet room for "things" up there.
But I’ve more in common with village women
Gossiping at the well ‑ than my sisters here
Nagging me all the time to go shopping with them.
I hate noise, traffic, shopping, and commotion
My soul longs for the peace of those days by the well
In a bright cotton sari before the blazing sun.
Love’s glance is all I’ve ever known of heaven and hell.

Dear God, is there still time to import these 2 saris
To bring Your Songs of Love and Peace on earth?


[2]Written for those who’ve come to my country with these 2 saris in their hearts.
[3]Mani S. Irani was Avatar Meher Baba’s sister and served Him faithfully all her life.
      She was also a consummate musician who played several instruments
      (violin and sitar) and entertained her God-brother and His family.
[4]Natives by Paul Doran (Bal Music) from The Rankin Family’s Endless Seasons CD.

[5]Avatar Meher Baba’s Tomb is 17 kilometers outside of Ahmednagar (near Arangaon Village in the state of Maharashtra, India.

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Calm Lullaby Balm ‑ Peace on Earth

©May 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin

When restlessness rips the sleep off my features,
Your melodies lullaby me into raptures.
Nobody’s songs soothe me or bring more calm,
Than your beautiful, gentle voice captures.
The Divine Mother’s sound, a healing balm,
Peace and chenne for my anxious soul.

Tho ’ separate Sisters in Song
Each with a different role,
I believe we share a destiny for world peace.
Seva for the Divine Mother
An aspect she wants to release;
To expel fear, bring down on earth
Brotherly Love for one another
With your lovely, gentle songs and my mirth.


(For Shweta Jhaveri)
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Prayer to Maha Lakshmi

©2001 Karen Lynn Sterkin ‑ Dec. 1984
From the New Humanity Collection

Behind white wings of silvery folds flowing
Beside arms flung open wide to capture
The body runs circling and dancing
To joy joy joy and rapture.

At her tinkling light laughter, mocking playfully
The docile donkey body sways and moves gracefully.

The dance for Maha Lakshmi is love.
Love unfolds within silently
And when love is freed internally
Simultaneously, quietly
A felicity envelopes all externally.

When Maha Lakshmi ‑ Mother of all beauty
Comes, beckons, and embraces
With her gracious divine graces
The body sings and dances
To the rhythms of love’s glances.

Strife, envy, selfishness, ingratitude, coarse lust
Leave you with such a divine disgust
That you disappear, withdraw and reject us
Rather than insist, you veil your face of happiness.

Sweet Maha Lakshmi come
And with your compelling attraction
Gather us under your simmering shawl
Harmonize us each with all.

Eagerly we long for the spell of your charm
For all ugliness, squalor and treachery alarm
Until the poisoned bitterness we can disarm
Clear our hearts for you to linger longer instead of harm.

Happy, graceful Maha Lakshmi
Mother of love, harmony, and beauty
Free within us your tenderness
Embrace and hold us in your joy and bliss
Please purify us with your Divine sweetness.

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Prayer to Maha Kali

©2001 Karen Lynn Sterkin (From the New Humanity Collection)

But when Maha Lakshmi’s love and beauty
Is too obstructed by gross mire
Sometimes an act of fierce intensity
Is needed to go higher.

First try, work harder ‑ pray for harmony
Then as Blake sings of his Tyger
"Did He who made the Lamb make thee?"
The call is made to Maha Kali
And callout to Maha Kali.

Tall, strong golden warrior ‑ black beauty
Fearless, formidable force of flame
There is no hesitation in her lance.
For those who know her divine aim
She pierces obscurity with a glance.

She clears, smashes the obstacles of Maya’s invention
And achieves in seconds what could take centuries
For those who allow this divine intervention
She swiftly removes, frees, emancipates
Shatters mind’s separation disease.

Oh wondrous Mother of Divine Force
You overwhelm those who fear your interference.
Others summon you as a boon without measure,
Your burn off limitations ‑ what grace of untold treasure.

You fend off adverse forces that lead us astray
You protect and keep us on the sacred way
Blake’s "What hand dared frame your fearful symmetry?"
Is God’s infinite compassion and divine mercy
What thank you is enough to Mother Maha Kali.

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Our Infinite Mother

©2001 Karen Lynn Sterkin (India 1972) From the New Humanity Collection

I want to get out of this prison of mind;
I know I built it on desires’ foundation.
But I’m mesmerized by the habits
the many conditions.
You might say addicted to the game.
And we play and play it all night and all day.
Whew!

Dear God Is
HERE ‑ waiting
Eternally patient
For His dear ones to let go
Of colors and mirrors so fine
The imaginings of mind;
And return to His apron of Bliss Divine.

Where He gave birth to Consciousness
and “Who Am I?”
So, you see we’re His children, you and I.
So, we’re all His children you and I.

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The Little Fisherman

©2001 Karen Lynn Sterkin (India 1972) From the New Humanity Collection

She brings up the brats that from His Shore are cast
Upon her door.
‘til woven in her Master’s net
Our souls she does ensnare.
How fetchingly she cajoles until the prize is caught;
Then fumes and blows the flame in heart,
The desires therein to stew ‑
‘til properly basted and well-cured
the cravings all consumed.

When softened enough for His perfect pallet,
She serves ‘The Kids’ His wine divine.
And as their dear servant, she then shows to them
That only His service is her every wish and whim.

That’s how they learn to go a fishin’ too
And spat and boil an even bigger stew
To bring to her door.

Where she picks only the mostest well-done
And places them again on His shore.

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Want of a Wife

©June 2001 by Karen Lynn Sterkin (India, Dec. 1998)

If you are lonely and need a wife
Tell Meher of your sorrow and don’t hide
Instead of attacking His lovers in bitter strife
Humiliating your Lord and those He has called to His side.

This hypocrisy for a woman or for coin gain
Is the business of Maya and her con-men.
You are deluded in serving Meher the Fair
If you humiliate and grieve those He calls here.

Far better a simple life on this earth
A wife, a home, in honesty and mirth
Than hypocrisy and hatred in Meher’s lane
Becoming Maya’s servant, causing grief and pain.

When a woman loves a man
He has nothing to do but honor her love.
When a woman does not love a man,
There is nothing he can do to win her love.

God inspires and ignites love in a woman’s heart,
Whether prostitute or nun, laundry woman or queen.
And no man can come between
God’s will awakening
Such a love in her heart.

You may earn it from Meher the Fair
This gift of a woman’s tender care.
But attack a woman in His home,
And you disgrace the One to whom they’ve come.
And you disgrace the One from whom you come.

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Women’s Liberation

©2001 Karen Lynn Sterkin     From the New Humanity Collection      To Majnun & Leila

I don’t want to be liberated
Emancipated, management motivated
If it means from you I’m separated.

I do these things, think these things, say these things,
Because I think they will please you.

Ah unhappy me when I am in error
When they do not.
And mouthe what is fashionable
Rather than the truth of my being.

A woman without love’s life
Is not liberated ‑ just separated.
Oh merciful God of Love and Truth
If you are love and God is Love,
Please I pray bring your love companionship
Back to me in a reflection of mine
Going out to You.
Or else from this world
Let me be truly liberated.

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[1]    Dedicated to Amritananda Mai Devi (Ammichi) -- the Incarnation of the Divine Mother.

[2]    Written for those who’ve come to my country with these 2 saris in their hearts.

[3]   Mani S. Irani was Avatar Meher Baba’s sister and served Him faithfully all her life.
           She was also a consummate musician who played several instruments (violin and sitar) and entertained her God-brother and His family.

[4]    “Natives” by Paul Doran (Bal Music) from The Rankin Family’s Endless Seasons CD.

[5]    Avatar Meher Baba’s Tomb is 17 kilometers outside of Ahmednagar (near Arangaon Village) in the state of Maharashtra, India.