Ultimate Yogi Christmas

This is a copy of a poem I wrote back in 2005 that was first published on Swami Atma’s blog. It’s a take-off on Clement C. Moore’s “Twas the Night Before Christmas”… dedicated to all yogi’s everywhere – Merry Christmas.


‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, the whole ashram asleep,
Not a yogi was stirring or making a peep;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Sri Lakshmi soon would be there;

The swamis were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of satsangs danced in their heads;
Karma yogis exhausted from cleaning the brass
Had just settled down for a long nap, at last.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window we flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to our wondering eyes should appear,
But a small, strange ascetic, and a bull very near.

The little old man, it seemed hard to believe!
Still, I knew in a flash – it must be Lord Siva.
More rapid than Garuda, towards us he came,
And he whistled, and shouted out loud with acclaim:

“Now, Svapna! now, Sakshi! Akarta and Lila!
Viveka, Vairagya, Vidya, Mudita!
Ganesha and Vishnu, Lakshmi and Guru,
Rama and Krishna and Saraswati bless you!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
Up to the house-top with Nandi he flew,
With the trident in hand, Lord Siva came too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of the bull Nandi’s hoofs.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Lord Siva came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bag full of snakes he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a sadhu just opening his pack.

His eyes were half-lidded – no dimples of merry,
His cheeks red like roses, made us feel wary,
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the blue of his throat gave a poisonous glow.

The Ganga flowed from his hair underneath,
And the snakes encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face, a complexion of blue,
The crescent in his hair a silvery hue.

His appearance was frightful, a scary old elf,
Still, I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
His third eye turned with a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And blessed all the yogis; then turned with a jerk,
With his hand in a gesture of peace he then chose
To give us a nod, and up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his bull, gave to Nandi a whistle,
And away they both flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he flew out of sight,
“Moksha, Moksha, to all, and to all a good-night. “