Sowing the Seeds of Compassion

More than a hundred times
I had wished I would die early
Before I could no longer
look after myself

If I ever happened to be
that old grandma
at least for a moment
I would rather die
than hearing the incessant
insult of the mistress
and its sharp boom
piercing the ears
almost like a wailing trumpet

The old lady was
perhaps in her nineties
Yes, the grey hair and
the pale skin
that wrinkled loose
from the bones
were a credible indication

One day I paid her a visit
and I couldn’t help me asking
why she would bear up all that cruelty
Then, despite the infirmities
she managed to stand up
and gently held my hands
I could well feel the slight
trembling of her chilly fingers

Then she caressed my head
and pointed towards the altar
that bore the sacred Buddha statuette
with the scent of the incense sticks
spreading everywhere
I saw how her feeble eyes
still gleamed with compassion
as she quoted from a Pali Gatha1,
“Nahi werena werani”
and translated,
“Hatred never ceases by hatred”

From that day onwards
I have been wishing
If I would also be blessed
with such a heart
So pious a heart
sowing the seeds of compassion!

  1. Gatha – A verse or hymn in Buddhism []
Indunil Madhusankha (B. H. I. Madhusankha) is currently an undergraduate in the Faculty of Science of the University of Colombo. Even though he is academically involved with the subjects of Mathematics and Statistics, he also pursues a successful career in the field of English language and literature as a budding young researcher, reviewer, poet and content writer. Basically, he explores the miscellaneous complications of the human existence through his poetry by focusing on the burning issues in contemporary society. His works have been featured in several international anthologies, magazines and journals. Read other articles by Indunil.