Like a Tiger

You are like a tiger, compelling in your beauty,
yet terrifying in your strength.

You are like a honey-comb on the branch of a tree.
I can see the sweet honey, but the branch is too high for me to climb.

You are like a goldfish swimming in a pond.
Only an arm’s length from the bank: yet if I try to catch you in my hand,
you slip from my grasp.

You are like a snake.
your skin dazzling in its bright colours.
Yet your tongue able to destroy a person with a single prick.

be merciful to me, O Lord. Give me life, not death.
Reach out to me, and hold me in your arms.
Come down to me, and lift me to heaven.
Sustain my feeble soul with your power.

Manikka Vasahar (8th century), India.

From: Marcus Braybrooke, ed., The Bridge of Stars: 365 Prayers, Blessings, and Meditations from Around the World (London: Thorsons, 2001), p. 172.