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In the world’s busy market-place, O Shyama

In the world’s busy market-place, O Shyama,
     Thou art flying kites;
High up they soar on the wind of hope,
     held fast by maya’s string.
Their frames are human skeletons,
     their sails of the the three gunas made;
But all their curious workmanship
     is merely for ornament.

Upon the kite-strings Thou hast rubbed
     the manja-paste of worldliness,
So as to make each straining strand
     all the more sharp and strong.
Out of a hundred thousand kites,
     at best but one or two break free;
And thou dost laugh and clap Thy hands,
     O Mother, watching them!

On favoring winds, says Ramprasad,
     the kites set loose will speedily
Be borne away to the Infinite,
     across the sea of the world.

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