ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Uddalaka and Swetaketu

Updated on January 4, 2016
swalia profile image

Shaloo Walia is an astrologer and tarot reader. She is an Art of Living teacher and also an ardent Krishna devotee and a follower of ISKCON.

This poem is inspired from a story from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Hope you enjoy it!

Uddalaka was a renowned wise sage

With a son Swetaketu, seven years in age

Who was sent to Gurukul as per the tradition

To study well and realize his ambition.

Years of diligent studies under the Master

Swetaketu learnt the scriptures a bit faster

And back he came bursting with pride

With his achievements, he was satisfied.

Glad and yet saddened to see his son

Uddalaka wanted his son’s ego to be undone.

True knowledge brings humility, not pride

And with subdued ego, in Lord’s love satisfied.

The education was done but still incomplete

Without humility, it was all obsolete.

Swetaketu was eager to tell the praises he received

But was asked a question to test what he achieved.

“What makes one hear what cannot be heard,

And by what one can see what cannot be seen,

And by what one can know what cannot be known?”

Swetaketu was stunned as if hit by a stone.

Realizing his ignorance with ego shattered

He requested his father for the answers that mattered.

Uddalaka started with how the creation began

There was only ‘Sat’ before he created his angelic clan.

Then came Tejas (Fire), Apas (Water) and Annam (Food)

Entering them as Jivatama (Soul), he started his brood.

Different names and forms yet bound as one

‘Sat’ the all powerful rules and we are none.

It is from ‘Sat’ that we are born

And in Him we merge while the world lies forlorn.

He is the Absolute, the only perfect One

In front of Him, my son, you are none.

Like the different rivers merging into the sea

We arise from the same source and go back to thee.

Just like from a tiny seed sprouts a mighty tree

The Absolute brought forth the entire universe.

As the salty water tastes salty yet salt cannot be seen

The Supreme pervades every atom yet cannot be seen.

Understanding the ‘Sat’, the magnitude of the Absolute

Swetaketu was grateful realizing humility has no substitute.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

© 2016 Shaloo Walia


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      "Humility has no substitute"....very true words. Thank you for the lovely story and lesson of life.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 17 months ago

      Thank you billybuc! This is a story from our ancient scripture Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. I have just tried to write it in poetic form.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 17 months ago from london

      Well Done! Christopher Isherwood and Swami Prabhavananda, both put the Gita in poetic form and used tapes and music as well. So inspiring.

      A great story and a wonderful way of reminding us of the importance of humility.

      Have you read Srimad Bhagavatam? Great for teaching the essentials of the Spiritual Life. Much Love, Shaloo.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 17 months ago

      Thank you Manatitia! I have the first canto of Srimad Bhagavatam with commentaries by Srila Prabhupada. But the whole set of eighteen volumes seem intimidating. May be someday soon!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 16 months ago from Stillwater, OK

      Wonderful work. This flowed smoothly, and was so easy to read.

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 16 months ago

      Thanks Deb!

    Click to Rate This Article