Turn the heavens upside down,
see the sun spin on the ground.
Watch the moon play on the sea,
see the waters circle round
and Indra* topple from his throne,
fall at Vishwāmitra’s* feet;
and thousand-hooded Sēsha* arch
his yogic body forth to meet
boy-Krishṇa* and his singing flute.
(written ca. mid 2015)
For more about the poem, see notes.
1. Indra (in-draah): The king of the Gods, who lives in swarga (swur-gaah), or heaven.
2. Vishwāmitra (wish-waah-myth-raah): A king who through mighty tapasya (heat-radiating meditation) attempts to become a rishi (poet-seer) of the highest order. The puraṇa-s (tales of Hindu mythology) relate an interesting story where Indra (with the help of the rishi Vasishṭha) and Vishwāmitra duel; a duel that ends in a stalemate and leaves king Trishaṅku suspended between the earth and sky.
3. Sēsha (shay-shaah), also known as Ādisēsha: A fabulous thousand-hooded serpent of Hindu mythology on which Vishnu – popularly considered the “preserver” among the trinity of Vishṇu, Shiva and Brahma – and his consort, Lakshmi, recline. Sēsha himself lies on the ಕ್ಷೀರಸಾಗರ, or kshīra-sāgara, the Ocean of Milk. (cf. Jörmungandr of Norse mythology.)
4. Krishṇa (crish-ṇá): A most popular deity in the Hindu pantheon. His boyhood and youth are supposed to have been spent in Vrindāvan, where he passed his time caroling on his flute and flirting with the adoring gōpi-s (cowherdesses).