February 12, 2013

Kasturi mriga

Yes, the image is of the musk deer (a deer of the Himalayas) as you might expect. But if you put 'kasturi mriga' into a google search engine - DON'T FORGET TO ADD THE 'A' AT THE END OF KASTURI MRIGA OTHERWISE YOU GO TO ANOTHER SITE - you might get all sorts of surprise images in addition to this expected one. I did, including several of myself in poet mode, not to mention my wife having a 35 year reunion dinner with her old history teacher, a curry house in Norwich and several other mysteries!

I am assuming, perhaps wrongly, that my blog labels are responsible for these as I use the kasturi mriga in several of my blog-posted ghazals (an Indian love lyric originating in Persia.) The third couplet from 'My Valentine' ghazal (see my previous post, Your Valentine?) is one such:

My Valentine is a priestess who trails her heaven scent
To hell and back round a navel the musk-deer endlessly roves.

The extract quoted below is where it is coming from.

" There is a beautiful story of a Kasturi-mriga* which brings out the nature of all spiritual Sadhana. Once, while roaming about and frolicking among hills and dales, the Kasturi-mriga was suddenly aware of an exquisitely beautiful scent, the like of which it had never known. The scent stirred the inner depths of its soul so profoundly that it determined to find its source. So keen was its longing that notwithstanding the severity of cold or the intensity of scorching heat, by day as well as by night, it carried on its desperate search for the source of the sweet scent. It knew no fear or hesitation but undaunted went on its elusive search until, at last, happening to lose its foothold on a cliff, it had a precipitous fall resulting in a fatal injury. While breathing its last the deer found that the scent which had ravished its heart and inspired all these efforts came from its own navel. This last moment of the deer’s life was its happiest, and there was on its face inexpressible peace. "

from Meher Baba's spiritual discourse The Deeper Aspects of Sadhana

Whenever I read this fable of the quest of love, in which the little self 'dies', it seems to jog a memory of something deeply true (and exquisitely beautiful) and there have been nods of audience recognition as I've been performing that couplet and its source story this week. Whether it's just a story or whether the endangered musk deer really do chase their own inner heavenliness all over their natural habitat, I don't know. But I'm sure human beings do.

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