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shankarananda poem

in the preface to Hariharananda Aranya’s “Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali”

To catch the mind and keep it still,  Is no small problem for my porous will;  As many times as I shut it down,  Unceasing thoughts on me rebound 

In youth I tried through alcohol,  To ease my stress and cool my gall;  In later years I turned to grass,  The effects were good—but did not last. 

At last with failing hopes I turned,  To Eastern paths, and my soul yearned  To scale the mystic heights of bliss.  Alas, no easy message this. 

And now with age and turmoil weary,  All that’s left me is this query:  Will heart break or mind implode,  Before my vrittis do nirode.