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Within This Body

Within this body
breathes the secret essence.
Within this body
beats the heart of the Vedas.

Within this body
shines the entire Universe,
     so the saints say.

Hermits, ascetics, celibates —
all are lost
seeking Him
     in endless guises.

Seers and sages perfectly parrot
the scriptures and holy books,
     blinded by knowledge.

     Their pilgrimage,
     and fasting,
     and striving
          but delude.
Despite their perfect practice,
they discover no destination.

Only the saints
who know the body’s heart
have attained the Ultimate, O Tulsi.

Realize this, and you’ve found your freedom
     (while teachers trapped in tradition
     know only the mirage
          in the mirror).

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