Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Having walked with friends & relations over many miles, one can see that we all have our own journey. Even with the best of intent, I need not labour my point of view. I can accept it... as it is!
There is a tree in our street that has its bark peeling off, given its age. It still has a fine presence for me. I accept it... as it is!
Nearly 25 years back, 'had gone out for a weekend get-together with few friends from the industrial unit, where I was a trainee. It was a lively, relaxed, fun session. There was a soothing classical song, pretty popular at that time - that was played 30 times during the evening ! Over the years, I have figured out, each meeting need not be the same. Am able to accept it... as it is!
It's an earnest effort to gradually be in a frame, whereby, am comfortably accepting most of the events, interactions, developments.... as it is!
One of the most fundamental concepts am trying to internalise is that of "surrender". The best I can describe, it is our effortless internal acceptance of Life force, ultimately our own Self... as it is !
With warm good wishes & season's greetings
Monday, November 29, 2010
Long back, as a small kid, while watching a movie, I was pretty upset & tense to see the hero being bashed up on the screen. In fact I walked up to my Dad, to seek comfort from this tense situation. In hindsight, I can label the whole episode as superficial, just a tense scene on surface ....surface tension !
Wherever we are in touch with others, in social and business setting, for a collective goal, there will be scope for cooperation, competition, comfort, even conflict.... surface tension !
With practice, hopefully we get to the stage, where we can exist peacefully, like a river, in-spite of.... surface tension !
Friday, November 12, 2010
Having enjoyed, reflected on, thrilled by and floated with hundreds of songs over many years, one form of meditation for me is ...music
Having attended several discourses, workshops, retreats about personal & spiritual development, one can add that company of learned ones, as also discussion with fellow travellers help immensely.
There are several moments, that are so complete that time seems to stop at least for a moment This could be a leisurely talk with an acquaintance,, a gentle walk with a pet, explaining a concept to a class, finding a way out of a problematic situation or just being "aware" of an issue of concern!
Am gradually finding that comedy is serious business! It's always fulfilling to share a joke, a cup of coffee, watch a movie with family & friends.
To me, writing & sharing these notes is also a ...form of meditation!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
As I was leaving home to join uni in 76, my Grandfather asked me to take down a sentence for guidance :[translation] one who fights the storms, is a good Human Being, one who fights the intent, is the Real Being ! Over the years, I have reflected on this ... just one sentence !
My Grandmother gave me a picture of her chosen deity, saying "He will protect you" ...just one sentence !
It's fascinating to see how much can be conveyed and retained through... just one sentence !
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Having read several books, attended many sessions regarding positive psychology, art of living .. one sort of gets to a saturation point. One continues to learn all through, without saying ... am fed up!
Several songs have shaken me to the core for several years, helping me resonate with and absorb many elements. Gradually the interest in a particular song plateaus. You still value the words, the concept and the artists. There is no need to say that ...am fed up!
Having learnt about lives of few eminent people in different fields, it seems they have "turned around" their set backs and gained fine insights where they could easily have said .. am fed up!!
Monday, October 11, 2010
Nearly two decades back, we moved overseas. What was the foundation and identity for decades, the place of childhood, youth, marriage, birth of kids, the parental "home" continued to have massive pull within for long. After a while the parental family also migrated. Happened to visit the place few months back. While I have vivid memory of many miles, I can see ... the shifting ground!
Sitting in the train, on the way to/from work, sometimes I doze off. Few stations pass by, without noticing ...the shifting ground!
Gradually, am trying to figure out, what stays with you, despite ...the shifting ground!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Some 35 years back, I started preparing for HSC. It was real slog to cover the subjects thoroughly essentially to excel. I had my moment of glory, with decent results. In hindsight, while I do question the whole process sometimes, I still attach some value to ... the medal.
There are several others, more determined & dedicated souls, worthy of superior medals. An aunt has been a pioneer of woman lib, steadfast to facilitate education & self reliance for younger sisters. She remained a spinster and has lead a pretty run down and lonely life in later years. One can question many facets, but I do offer her.. the medal!
My salutations to hundreds of driven people, who have enriched other lives by virtue of their will, skill & effort. They may or may not be delighted with the results they got. Still in my humble opinion, they deserve more than just... the medal!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
- about 7 years back, I was visiting a close family elder, who was not keeping well. His condition disturbed me. I had seen him for years in fine spirits - always in warm friendly frame. At this point, all I could do was hold his hand and sob!
- Few years back, I had picked up a favourite CD to listen to on the way to work. The moment the song started, I was flooded !
- A simple warm gesture from a pet can sometimes stir many chords within !
- A tiny toddler resting in your lap can easily give you a feeling of bliss! A toddler crying can shake my inner being !
- Some 25 years back, one fellow hostler declared that he was going to tickle a pillar & Raj is going to crack laughing. He did precisely that & I was nearly rolling on floor laughing ...
The list can go on ... These tender moments, represent to me the firm ground, on which we stand to grow!
Friday, September 3, 2010
Over a period of time, we do get used to the available means of communication. Having survived on the notes from friends & relations for long time, it has been my good fortune to be able to relate to associates over phone as well !
Like most facets of relationships, phone connectivity takes time, effort and will. Having made sincere effort to keep in touch, share warmly and honestly, am very satisfied with this dimension. It's a fulfilling experience to sense a pleasant frame, may be even a smile, at the other end.
Hopefully, with patient practice, I can get to a point, whereby, if need be.... I can ... just call Me !!
Friday, August 27, 2010
This note is from St A Hospital in Adelaide - where my Father is undergoing medical procedure. Its fulfilling in many ways to be of assistance to your nears & dears. Some 32 years back, had the privilege to spend sometime in a Delhi Hospital with my Grandfather - undergoing medical treatment.
As the Sanskrit proverb goes - we are like logs of wood floating on water - a current underneath brings us together & we float together for some distance. And then . . .
Am pretty convinced that relations one is walking with in this lifetime are being carried forward from earlier lives. we choose to float together, thru a range of options : parent-child, partners, friends, teacher-student etc.
Am also able to add that something within is still exactly the same after these 32 years - can be labelled as the "observer" - a friendly "witness" to TAKE 2.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Interestingly, am finding that the process has several parallels : After reading a book, absorbing from it, reflecting on it, we can leave it gracefully. We can revisit, but don't have to stick to it. While one continues to learn all through life, one does not stick to the school or college. A ripe fruit does not stick to the branch!
Each association has its phases of forming, norming and storming. Gradually, you get past the point of stick-ability. Long back I read & accepted the phrase that 80 % of ones ability is stick-ability. At this cross section, my understanding is that it's an internal process !!
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Normally you interact with a handful of people for work! A reasonable degree of mutual acceptance with work colleagues helps with our sense of well being!
A handful of relations leave a deep lasting impact within for a lifetime.
With the best of intent - you are able to develop, sustain and enjoy a handful of friendly contacts.
At any cross section, one is able to manage just a handful of issues!
Our life has significance for ... just a handful of people
We absorb innumerable suggestions, ideas, insights, leads over the years. At a particular point of time, we are aware of .. just a handful
As we depart for the next abode, we have hopefully "touched" ... just a handful!!
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Walking past the famous Sydney Hyde Park, to & fro work, I find few people loitering around - asking for few coins at times. Occasionally I feel they are wasting their time. Gradually am realising, this is another ...part of the Manifestation.
It has been my effort to pick up groceries on a regular basis. Once I have picked up the items needed, there is hardly any interest in what the shops have to offer. this is another ...part of the Manifestation.
There is distinct space & longing within for friendly contact, dialogue and association. Its certainly very reassuring, comforting, uplifting and fulfilling to spend time with friends & relations. I do value this ...part of the Manifestation.
Long back, I read a fine sentence in the book Man the Unknown : plurality of Manifestation is due to methodological necessity"!
Some 13 years back, I was glad to see a small tender tree survive the turmoil of our house construction work. It was a pleasure to see the yellow flowers blossom in August. Over the years, am finding the same comfort from those yellow flowers all over the place. After all they are ...part of the Manifestation.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Despite our repeated requests for the charge to be waived, we were required to attend court to defend charges. With all the deliberations with the other side proving futile, the matter was listed for hearing at the higher court, a few months later. Surprisingly, just 2 days prior to the hearing, the matter was "unconditionally" withdrawn, by the other side.
In hindsight, the whole process was not worth it, in terms of time spent in follow up, appearing at different sessions and preparing briefs. On the other hand, its very reassuring and comforting within!
The calm within, is what am trying to retain, without any ripples, once any such episode is over ... fight or flight !!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Rafta rafta woh meri hasti ka saamaan ho gayey [ Gradually, it became the power/reason of my existence]
Pehlay jaan, phir jaan-e-jaan, phir jaan-e-jaana ho gayey [First my life, then the love of my life, then it became the beloved of my life]
Din-b-din badti gehin us husn ki raaniyaan [Day by day, their beauty / influence increased]
Pehlay Gul, phir gul-badan, phir gul-badamaan ho gayey ! [First a rose, then the body of a rose, then it became the greatest rose]
Aap to nazdeek say nazdeek-tar aatay gahey [You became closer and closer to me]
Pehlay dil, phir dilruba, phir dil kay mehmaan ho gayey [First the heart, then the sweetheart, then you became the guest of the heart]
Pyar jab Hadd se badha saare Taqaloof mith gayey[When love grew to its limit, all formalities got destroyed]
Aaap se phir tum huay phir tu ka Khunwaan hogayey [From a formal ‘you’ to an informal ‘you’, then ‘you’ disappeared]
To me this represents a fairly evolved stage of Unity - where formalities drop off automatically! Beauty is that this fine degree of empathy can be experienced with anyone - a close relation, companion, child, mentor, pet, even one's vocation / profession can be ...rationale of one's existence !
Thursday, July 1, 2010
There are several moments, that represent to me, deepest of human pain. This is an attempt to describe, decipher and comprehend some of these moments essentially to understand the strength of human Spirit. I distinctly remember the sight of my Grandmother, crying helplessly at the death of my Uncle. Her only son had departed, leaving behind the whole family. The way the family has sailed through nearly four decades remains a testimony to the strength of human Spirit.
There are several other moments that are comparable to this one. In every single instance, some Bigger force helps with recovery, as I understand, from the ...depth of Pain!!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Several times, I wake up after a sound nap, feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. How does one describe this experience, apart from stating the effect it had. Am sure we all look forward to such .. drops of Bliss!!
Having walked many miles with friends & relations, I treasure many fine moments. They are complete, fulfilling, evergreen and nourishing within. Am sure we all have enjoyed such...drops of Bliss!!
There are times, when I do eagerly & desperately long for these... drops of Bliss!!
Friday, June 18, 2010
Parental Debt [ Pitri Rin in Sanskrit] : Given that we get initial nature, nurture, bonding in parental setting, its desirable to repay the best one can! My personal orientation has been to be mindful of elders’ needs and accommodate in the best possible way. Further translation of it has meant – providing a “secure” environment for kids! At this cross section, with all humility, am pleased to tick this element.
Teachers’ Debt [Guru Rin in Sanskrit] is our obligation towards those who helped our learning along the way! It has been my rigorous effort to maintain good rapport with all that have facilitated learning in any setting. In addition, keen effort has been made to pass on my own understanding to younger generation! It’s almost a tick!
Nature’s’ Debt [Dev Rin in Sanskrit] is our obligation towards Nature, Divine forces. The suggested means include charity. I am keenly aware of this dimension and the need to decipher my own nature. Among many boons I have enjoyed, Friendship certainly is one. My orientation towards friends remains one of mutual acceptance, little or no expectation, no regrets, easy bonding and sharing – preferably a good laugh as well! It is my earnest effort to nurture and sustain this dimension all the way for. .. Tick of approval!
Friday, June 4, 2010
This is to explore the concept at fundamental level of Life design ... perhaps it has Zero Defect too!
We do strive for different things at any cross section. These "things" do give us satisfaction, at least, for some time. Gradually, we figure out, most important things are not "things". Essentially its our ability and determination to get to the stage of experiencing ..Zero Defect!
Given that there is a lot of uncertainty about life, events, people, I can only do my best at any cross section. The passage becomes a lot easier and enjoyable, if the Faith settles within that Life, with all its manifestations,has .. Zero Defect!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
One of the more ingrained pictures for me is that of our elderly maid in early 70s. She conveys a spirit of sheer determination and hard work, against all odds to protect and nurture her grown up son, who had gone off tracks.
The picture sits somewhere within to guide me, help me make sense of the bigger picture. Its not that I make a deliberate attempt to remember the Maid. I don’t even know her name nor have her picture. She surfaces in thoughts, of her own accord and Grace.
Its part of my respiration… not just inspiration!
A famous poem fits this note “Mere Man Ke Andh Tamas Mein, Jyotirmayi Utaro” [O Mother: light up my inner being!] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmOsefz8C-s
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Among the things that are prominently visible – unconditional love, non stop playfulness, ability to enjoy simple things in life – just food, walk in the park, faultless loyalty, a friendly disposition all the time. Its a delight to see their excitement & joy as you reach home or once they figure out you are taking them for a walk! They almost dance in ecstasy!
Hopefully, one day, with same intensity & purity ... am able to ..... dance for Me!
Thursday, May 13, 2010
To begin with one prays for material gain, achievement, a sense of self-worth, security, social status…On several occasions, automatically, you find yourself praying for the well being of nears & dears. It has been a pleasure to have seen several deep rooted prayers mature beautifully ... not necessarily in a linear fashion.
Gradually you try to figure out, who is asking Whom for What! At this cross-section, the best I can say I am seeking Faith, It’s said that a little mouse in a cat’s mouth feels most scared. A little kitten in cat’s mouth feels most safe! It’s essentially a matter of cultivating Faith!
One can just admire the creative genius of several artists that have captured such fine notes, so beautifully: [In Punjabi : Hor kee mangna main rabb kolon, nit kher manga tere dum dee, baaj sajjan lajjpaal tere, mai kohjian kede kaam dee] what more can I ask God, I pray only for your longer life, because without my guardian my true love, I am worthless …
Thursday, May 6, 2010
At the age of 16, I went to join Uni, at a distant location from home. Rigorous ragging was part of the informal “induction process” at the residential hostel. One night, few seniors decided that I must have a smoke & offered me a cigarette. Despite my humble & repeated pleas to the contrary, I was required to smoke. Without much of a choice, I was going to smoke! Just as the cigarette was going to touch me, a senior instructed – its OK – leave it!! Life has presented few challenges over the decades, driving me to the brink & thankfully saving me as well! Each such episode leaves you with a little message within.
One day, while cycling back from high school, I stopped for a drink of water at charitable water dispensing joint, called pyoo. An elderly man gave me water in a glass. Unintentionally, I left the empty glass there without rinsing it. He called me back & instructed me not to leave the glass unrinsed! A simple lesson that has been pretty handy for decades.
Our senior school physics teacher described an experiment one day. Next day, I openly questioned part of the description. It was fairly embarrassing to be given a dressing down for my bluntness! Gradually the edges rounded off – finally gaining kudos from many a teacher over many years.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
- It can happen in company of several others, with whom we have / feel limited connection or common interest.
- Presence of challenges, responsibilities, hopelessness, fears can all lead to feeling of alienation
- Surprisingly, once 'am connected to myself, the external factors become less relevant & challenging. Listening to music, enjoying a comedy, sharing notes, spending time with family, friends & pets help me connect to myself.
- Its fascinating to see some evolved souls express the joy of solitude even in a cave. Few have composed poems expressing their link to the hostel room or even a prison cell.
I guess its a reflection of my inner state whether am feeling at home ... or Home Alone !
Thursday, April 22, 2010
manzil na de charaaG na de hausalaa to de
tinke kaa hii sahii tu magar aasaraa to de
If you cannot give me the destination, or the light / direction for the passage, at least give me the encouragement/will/hope (hausalaa) to get there. Even if it is in the form of a little twig – please give me some hope & confidence – as am sinking!
mai.n ne ye kab kahaa ke mere haq me.n ho javaab
lekin Khaamosh kyuu.N hai tuu ko_ii faisalaa to de
I have never asked for the Verdict to be in my favour, but why are You so quiet about Your Judgement.
baraso.n mai.n tere naam pe khaataa rahaa fareb
mere Khudaa kahaa.N hai tuu apanaa pataa to de
For decades, I have convinced/fooled/kid myself in Your Name. O My Lord! Do let me know where You are!
beshak mere nasiib pe rakh apanaa iKhtiyaar
lekin mere nasiib me.n kyaa hai bataa to de
Have all the control over my Destiny- just let me know what It holds for me!
For me, this hausalaa – will, hope, resolve and confidence has emerged from varied experiences. A note, phone call, visit or an innocent smile from a dear one has been the source sometimes. An expression from years back from a learned soul, has suddenly emerged from within to sustain me. Interestingly, even some unpleasant, challenging, threatening situations have also helped keep the flame going sometimes !
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Gradually am finding that ... probably am a liar because I can hardly describe completely:
- the satisfaction I can derive from a cup of coffee
- the lasting impression that a brief encounter with another being can leave within
- the reason a warm gesture from our pet can reduce me to tears sometimes
- the fact that some piece of music can shake the core within, even after few decades
Hopefully, I get to the stage where I need not say that .... probably am a liar!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Beep thought: Essentially marks early stages of friendship, empathy, association. You would “beep” the other person
-When you want to share a joke, an article you read last week
-When you want to spend few leisurely hours
-When you buy a new mobile, plant a few trees, get a promotion!
Creep thought: Gets a fair bit more serious here. You look for company where you can share your insecurities, failures, fears, anxieties etc – may be a shoulder to cry on – to lighten that creepy feeling within.
Sleep thought: This forms pretty advanced stage of any acquaintance, relationship etc. You “think / feel” that
-The other person will not be able to sleep peacefully – without the knowledge of your wellbeing.
-“their” picture is incomplete without your inclusion & vice verse
As the old couplet goes “sirf ahsaas hai – rooh say mehsoos karo” [it’s a deep feeling, experienced only within]. To quote Amrita Pritam [translation] “in case mention of your name – brings moisture to their eyes – you can be rest assured – you still exist in their inner being. It’s strange that we always look for this proof of our own existence!” She was right!
Friday, April 2, 2010
The poet has beautifully captured the illusionary, transitory, impermanent nature of the World we “see”: labelling it as a Magical Toy: it’s of little value when we have it, but becomes invaluable – in case we lose it!!
duniyaa jise kahate hain jaaduu kaa khilonaa hai
mil jaaye to miTTii hai kho jaaye to sonaa hai
For reason whatsoever there is no point cribbing all the time and not be fully with and absorbed in the present “moment”: whether it is the fine weather or even a solitary moment by itself
achchhaa saa koii mausam tanahaa saa koii aalam
har vaqt kaa ronaa to bekaar kaa ronaa hai
Highlighting the unpredictability of the events, the poet adds that the cloud has a mind of its own! Does it know which path to avoid & which roof to shower on!!
barsaat kaa baadal to diivaanaa hai kyaa jaane
kis raah se bachanaa hai kis chhat ko bhigonaa hai
Happiness & unhappiness are both temporary phenomenon: our companions for a short while, what remains is the passage, without any need to rejoice or regret!
gham ho ki khushii donon kuchh der ke saathii hain
phir rastaa hii ras-taa hai haNsanaa hai na ronaa ha
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
main Khayaal huuN kisii aur kaa, mujhe sochataa koii aur hai[Am someone’s thought : am thought by someone else!!]
Ability of poets, artists and sages to decipher and present fine elements of Life has fascinated me for decades. This is to share a few waves, beautifully captured, tenderly preserved and tastefully decorated through this Gazaal… illustrating me!! much better than I can aim for
main kisii ke dast-e-talab men huuN, to kisii ke harf-e-duaa men huuN
Having walked several steps and miles with different people at varying platforms, am delighted to be part of many lives, the roles that one has played, the warmth that has been shared, the obstacles that have been overcome! The poet adds “Am part of someone’s prayers, some want my company for fun!!” It’s a complete expression!!
main nasiib huuN kisii aur kaa, mujhe maaNgataa koii aur hai [ I become someone’s destiny! Someone else asks for me!] Given that Life is understandable to a certain degree only: we are often trying to cope with a state of flux!
meraa jurm to koii aur thaa, par merii sazaa koii aur hai[My fault was something else: am given some other punishment] It’s certainly difficult for me to correlate: what I have been “awarded” or “punished” for. Infact what appears as “punishment” at one stage, at times turns out to be a blessing in another context!!
Tujhee dushmanoo kee khabaar naa the : mujhe dostoon kaa pata na tha !! [You had no news about your enemies; I was missing the news about my friends] We all have different craving at different cross sections. I have very eagerly waited to hear about welfare of my friends and relations!! There have been occasions when moves of some people have caused unease within!
tuu qariib aa tujhe dekh luuN, tuu vahii hai yaa koii aur hai
[Do come close to me: so that that I can see that you are the One, not someone else!!]
With a sincere wish that we can be with the One!
Monday, March 15, 2010
Kabir sahib said the same thru his doha :Dheere Dheere Re Mana, Dheere Sub Kutch Hoye : Mali Seenche So Ghara, Ritu Aaye Phal Hoye [Translation] Slowly slowly O mind, everything in own pace happens ;Gardner may water a hundred buckets, fruit arrives only in its season
We are generally advised to be slow & steady for Bhajan (devotional prayer) and Bhojan (eating) : am getting the same impression regarding most activities of life : there is not much point in rushing through a cup of coffee, or past your friends' birthday or your neighbour's narration of the flat tyre: as far as possible!! Patience is generally of good value while dealing with fellow humans at all levels!
In exceptional circumstances, we are told that a day can be counted as a year. After all Time is a relative concept: there are flies that live just for a day. On the other hand a day in the life of higher deities spans several million years!
Am reminded of a narration from Zen - it seems a student asked the Master - how long will it take to achieve enlightenment - if he followed the prescribed Path. About 5 years was the reply. The student was very keen - he asked if he devoted twice as much time every day - how long will it take - am given to understand the Master replied - 10 years!! The idea is that Nature takes its own course - while we do put in our bit!!
My personal understanding is that most of our sincere efforts bear fruit within 6 years (Ardh –Kumbh- half of 12 years is said to be full cycle ): while a very few deeper ones can take up to 36 years!!
It’s appropriate to quote the famous Gazaal Aah Ko Chahiye Ek Umar
Aah ko chaahiye ek umr asar hone tak ,[The sighs of love a life-time need, their object to attain], Kaun jeetaa hai teree zulf ke sar hone tak [Who lives long enough for your dark mysteries to attain?]. . . Khaak ho jaayenge ham tum ko Kabar hone tak [Dead and in the dust I’ll be when news of me you obtain]
Sunday, March 14, 2010
The poet says "Near and far, somebody lives: somebody do lives in my heart." in Urdu paas rahtaa hai duur rahtaa hai ko’ii dil meN zaruur rahtaa hai
Our inspiration can be from any source. Once the inspiration settles within, the drive is automatic! "From the time I have seen their sight, I remain mildly intoxicated. “jab se dekhaa hai unkii aaNkhoN ko halkaa halkaa suruur rahtaa hai
Its a blessing to be in an ecstatic frame, without any fear or greed, most of the time. My understanding remains that this state is achievable with due dedication, practice and Grace from above ! "“Adam” is of such a disposition that at every step he remains intoxicated and ecstatic." ab “Adam” kaa vo haal hai har qadam mast rahtaa hai chuur rahtaa hai
Several scholars, poets, sages have highlighted the impact of graceful look of a Realised Soul. The poet adds This mild intoxication is because of your Sight / Eyes, that taught me drinking.[ The words "intoxication" & "wine" need careful interpretation!] ye jo halkaa halkaa suruur hai, ye terii nazar kaa qusuur hai, ke sharaab piina sikha diyaa
The poetic description of elated state where the whole landscape is filled with Grace, Peace and Joy is experienced by us all, at least momentarily! “saaraa jahaaN mast, jahaaN kaa nizaam mast, din mast, raat mast, saher mast, shaam mast, mast”
The poet has beautifully described his devotion to & faith in the Chosen One. We are advised that there are no formalities between us & our Chosen One: just pure Friendship, Oneness and Unity. As the poet says neither I know prayers nor ablutions, I prostate whenever you come in front of me. na namaaz aatii hai mujhko na vuzuu aataa hai, sajdaa kar letaa huuN jab saamne tuu aataa hai
The poet has beautifully captured the essence of Union with the Higher Self: The distinction between You & Me vanishes. Your remembrance is my prayer [and] your wish is my wish. This is the miracle of my frenzy that where ever I prostrated a place of worship was made there. jo terii Khushii, vo merii Khushii
ye mere junuuN kaa hai mo’jizaa, jahaaN apne sar ko jhukaa diyaa
vahaaN maine Kaaba banaa diyaa
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
‘There was this hermit .living peacefully in a hut next to a river. Devoted... simple guy … had a cat. The cat daily saw a little plate hanging from the ceiling. Thought it was butter. One day this fellow went for a long wash. Cat was determined to get the plate. Went all out for it. Jumped endlessly to get the plate! The efforts paid off! Cat managed to hit the plate. The plate fell down. Alas there was no butter. It was cotton, for the lamp. In sheer frustration, the cat …died! Some where along the line … I see achievement motivation!
A sage was visiting a poor household. The lady was trying to clean the table with a cloth – that happened to be dirty. Every time she would wipe the table – the dirt remained. Ultimately the sage remarked “Clean the Cleaner!”
Ghalib says “Ghalib Khasta key begair – konsay kaam band hain – rooiyah bar bar kyon – keejiya hai hai kyon?”[Without perfection also, nothing has stopped in this world – what’s the point of you crying or feeling sad?]
Scriptures constantly remind us that it’s the Almighty that’s carrying the entire burden – we just need to cultivate the Faith!
During his rigorous training, one day a young Swami spread his Guru’s cloth for drying. Later that evening the cloth is found to have a little scratch – while the young swami pleads innocence – he is labelled as a Liar by the Guru – that too in presence of others! Much later the young Swami figured out that the Guru was right – TRUTH can not be described & hence he was a Liar!
It’s customary for great Masters of Sufi music tradition to make keen students wait for years, before they are initiated into music!
Am told that students of Ayurveda can take up to 20 years to master the art of reading human pulse!
Traditional wisdom holds that Guru will appear when the student is ready. In my experience – Guru(s) did appear at the appropriate time – on different occasions, in different forms – certainly with a reassuring message.
"People want to find a "meaning" in everything and everyone. That's the disease of our age, an age that is anything but practical but believes itself to be more practical than any other age." Pablo Picasso
The famous saying from movie Samsara: How can you prevent a drop of water from drying – by putting it back in the ocean!
In the process of developing Faith, trying to comprehend the rhythm of Life, on the way to the Ocean, am often reminded of couplets like “Shaam Udeekan, Fasar Udeekan, Akhain tay sari umar udeekan” [Will eagerly long for You day in & day out - may be for the rest of this life]
“Kee Janna main koon Bullaya” [Do I know who am I. . . ?] says the sage Bullay Shah!!
Friday, February 19, 2010
I Am That – who marvels at the creative genius of poets, singers, sages, artists, actors, scientists… for their beautiful insights, creative energy and ability to structure an abstract idea….
I Am That - who is thrilled to bits, at least for some time, for positive outcomes, after prolonged efforts, prayers and commitment!
I Am That – who some times feels restless, frustrated and listless when things go haywire, commitments are not honoured or directions are uncertain.
I Am That - who enjoys a cup of coffee, a walk in the park, a lively discussion with friends and relations, a funny narration or movie, a good nap!
I Am That - who earnestly tries for, deeply values and longs for an internal bond with guarding angels and well-wishers: also experiences it - sometimes!
I Am That – who “witnesses” moments of pure Existence and Peace, often precipitated by a favourite narration, song, dialogue, reflection or recollection!
I Am That – who “enjoys”, relates to and gets absorbed in a thing of beauty – like a beautiful song !
Gradually, with practice, look forward to realising … I Am That!!!
Saturday, February 13, 2010
- A close family uncle saying “Rajeev … it (life) is just a dream ... the best way out is daan (charity / donation)”
- A very close elder saying “… we have more faith in Rajeev than in God…”
- Arrival of our kids - source of deep joy - sometimes challenging - but always comforting within
- Meeting our parent like family ( no blood relations) at Jamshedpur & the association taking deep roots within
- A close friend reaching our place in dire stress
- There are several occasions of being in presence of elders and evolved souls that go way beyond the realm of a regular meeting.
- I must mention the maid servant at our place in mid 70s - an old frail lady - from her meagre income - she used to save & buy shoes for her grown up son, who was behind bars - she was one courageous & determined lady
Such encounters - that I feel are Guru Moments, have a deep impact:
- Seating of a concept within - like yogurt sets in a pot - it becomes an integral part of ‘you’ - it may not be at the forefront all the time - but its there.
- Clearing of cob-webs - your confusion settles down, you feel fairly rooted
- It adds to your conviction and self acceptance without any arrogance
These Guru Moments
- Are mostly unexpected, unrecognised, unstructured, unplanned :- often recognisable only after a while
- The Guru is what you see in the picture - it’s a very different picture for others
- “Guru” need not be in a particular robe, posture, place or platform - infact they may not even know that you are seeing the “Guru” in them at that moment
- These moments are often loose ended, organic, almost evolving of their own accord - can be occasionally confrontational, uneasy, unsettling in short term but positively reassuring in the long term.
The journey certainly continues…
- There is a deep rooted acceptance within of “blessings” from elders, well wishers, saints & sages
- As a learned saint described – blessings can not be given / sought at will. It’s a phenomenon that takes place of its own accord, when the giver and recipient are ready,
- Few illustrative points as I see
o Blessings can flow from anyone to anyone – between any two living beings
o The impact is normally long term – e.g. clearing of a deep rooted doubt, fear, energy blockage, misconception etc
o An eagerness to seek meaning of life, be in touch with rhythm of life, seems to help in seeking blessings – a respectful orientation helps too.
o One can add the classic Zen illustration of empty cup – you can only pour into an empty cup!!!
o Am tempted to note that blessings keenly help with spiritual progress, self understanding, journey towards final destination, like a catalyst
- It was Newton who “discovered” laws of gravity – Earth pulls us with exactly the same force, as we exert, despite its huge mass.
- Einstein: spent several long years – trying to demonstrate a “unified” force – it still remains to be demonstrated.
- Experience when you can feel the pull of Gravity :-
o Very moving, immensely intense, you feel “pulled”, helplessly teary at the same time fully aware, joyful and blissful – more than just happy! Probably it’s a state beyond duality of happiness & sadness – its bliss!
o Almost “choking experience” – with water taking over airways and dissolving all solid matter within! – and you want it that way !
o You want the experience to last for ever. It seems time stops for few moments!
o Your inner self melts – feels very much in presence of a bigger Self.
o You almost cease to exist as an individual entity - you are sort of “consumed” by the bigger Self – you feel safe & fearless, though there are hardly any feelings!
o Normally this is precipitated by an event or recollection of the event :-
- A song, narration, illustration very dear to you
- Meeting or leaving a very close relation, illuminated being, friend, associate after a long time or in special circumstance!
- One can not engineer this state – though regular practice, meditation and reflection help. The same song, the same episode, the same dialogue may or may not precipitate the experience.
When you try to recount the experience – only few pieces are scattered around! One way to describe it is – that at that moment – you are not concerned as to when the bough breaks!
Kiven mukray tun nazran hataavan Kay tere vichun rab disda [How do I turn my attention away from your face: for I see the lord therein !]
Minnu shauq mahi tere deedar da, Mukh rab da hai, muck sarkaar da sajna[I long to see your Face. It’s the face of the Lord for me!!]
Iss ishq di marz anokhi ae, Nayee hatdi vedh haqeeman tun
Tere saamne marzan katt jaavan Mere dard da chaara tun ve
[The ‘pain’ caused by this Love is strange indeed, not curable by physicians. ‘Am prepared to sacrifice myself completely: as You are the only cure for my Pain!]
Naii teryan nazaaryan jee bharda, Tennu takda ravvan ae jee karda[I can’t get enough of your Sight, just want to look at You endlessly!]
Mukhra dhekna tera, hajj sadda Teri deed ae namaaz saddi
[Looking at You is my supreme pilgrimage, To see You is my prayer!]
Ro ro kay hanju suk gaye ne Taaray vi gin gin muk gaye ne
[The tears have dried off after long crying. The stars have also gradually disappeared]
Teri deed umeed hai jeenay di Ik pal araam na theevay aaye
[Prospect of meeting you is my only Hope, otherwise there is no respite for me]
Chad doorian nu kadhi kohl tea a Dhuk sunan sunaan nu jee karda [Leave this distance come close to me, Am longing to share the joys & sorrows with You]
Mein qabar de vich vi jag soneya Akh kholan saamnay tun hovayn [I want wish to see You in front of me : even when I open my eyes in my grave]
Tennu akhiyan de vich mein lukhaavan Kay tere vichun rab disda. [ Want to hide you in my eyes, for I see the Lord in You]
There is longing within at certain stages in our life, for the fine union with the Infinite. To start with, this can be experienced through relations, friends, pets, passion, profession and even a benevolent cause. It’s deeply moving to have a glimpse of this all consuming, almost deafening and overpowering Love – that defines Itself. It has been my great fortune to have seen this Love – manifest Itself on several occasions, especially through caring souls, when they find a loved one at stake…
With an earnest wish to get to the state where: You are mine & am Yours!
- We all need friendly contact based on our nature & nurture.
- Distance from nears & dears can be a daunting experience for most - even during the best of circumstance for the strong willed as well!!
- Several poets have tried to capture this distance beautifully
Akhiya Udeek Diyan Dil Vaaja Maarda Aaja Pardesiya Vaasta Eh Pyaar Da Aaja Tenu Akhiya Udeek Diyan
[Translation: My eyes long for you: this Heart calls for you O Dear! Please appear O Foreigner, for the sake of my love!!]
- Gradually it emerges that the "real" friend resides within, always - quietly!!
- Given that the "real" friend is so close - its not visible to the naked eye. It can be felt at certain times
- Its fascinating to see that most of us, most of the time, are seeking something - that we already have and don't need much else!!
- We are aware that our heart beats - non-stop, our organs function non-stop mostly without our knowledge. We need assistance to "listen" to our organs that are functioning within. Perhaps we need assistance, practice, patience and silence to listen to this closest friend residing within.
- One is aware of immediate surroundings: our actions, reactions, concerns, thoughts, most of the time, when one is awake. We have memories of all sorts from past experiences, pleasant & not so pleasant. Sometimes, one has only a partial recollection of an event - "I remember meeting them at 6 pm outside the station - I do not remember what we had for dinner" it becomes clearer that "I" is always present, as a witness, fully aware of what's going on....
- This ever present, often felt, very seldom visible friend - needs fine tuning and silence to "reveal" itself - its there always!! its more than:
o our thoughts - : thoughts are very strong forces : still transitory
o our thrills, fears, concerns, plans - these are also forces to be aware of - these are not permanent
- Its probably the canvas - on which Life paints itself - every moment!!
- Am pleased to reflect and include earlier notes from the diary as well :
Love thy neighbour: to develop a relaxed, friendly orientation towards oneself, it’s imperative to: know, understand yourself - your primary needs, fears & driving forces: provide for, arrange, reinforce, facilitate your own support structure - it often involves family & friends: forgiveness towards yourself - nobody is perfect: charity begins at home - be kind to yourself also: listen to the "kid" within!
It's rather simple to conclude that “I " am just an observer of this ever changing, never stopping Samsara. The OBSERVER (" I ") is Always there – whenever there is any observation, experience, expression, interaction :UNAFFECTED by the phenomenon – its detached by its very nature : At times mixed up with body-mind complex – It "appears" to be in pain, pleasure, concerned, delighted etc – Actually it is NOT !
Based on our nature & nurture, we absorb from our surroundings: our behavior and thought pattern. At social and operational level, any effort that helps with internal consolidation is acceptable: reading a certain text, worshiping a certain deity, following a certain routine or ritual, chanting a mantra: essentially to strengthen mind and body – to prevent disintegration.
We are familiar with common folklores where evolved souls have sought further direction from simple every day beings like the cobbler, the fisherman or the householder or for that matter a rat or a snake! The basic underlying Unity, as we are told, permeates throughout anyway. In my limited experience, there have been several occasions when a cab driver, a security guard, a maid, an hotelier, a close relation, an associate or a pet have provided valuable insights towards this Unity!!
When asked how long the legs should be, we are told, Aristotle said: “long enough to reach the ground”. My Dharma is my ground: so is yours too!! It keeps us Grounded, connected and consolidated as One entity. One gradually figures out one’s Ground!
It’s said that if you give someone a ton of fish, you are feeding them for a month. If you teach them fishing: you are feeding them for a life time! By logical extension: a real friend is one who “imparts” the skills and “disappears” in the background! That’s your Dharma: the silent, benevolent, ever-present, yet mostly invisible Friend!
Tum Ek Gorakh Dhanda Ho
[Translation] Sometimes you are hidden as non-existence and somewhere you appear as existence…If you are not then why deny? Even the negation confirms Your existence. The one I call my Existence who is that if not You? If you didn’t come in my thoughts…Then how did I learn you are God?
With earnest wish that we walk pleasantly with our Dharma!!!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
It has been customary for us as young kids in early 70s in India to write essays about our “favourite” leader, teacher and friend – glorifying them to divine proportions, larger than life.
This is an attempt to describe My Closest Friend (MCF) to the best of my ability and integrity
- We have known each other for a very very long time – almost the whole of life time
- There is no experience of my life, no ambition, no desire, no fear, no thrill that’s not known to MCF
- MCF is fully aware of my dedication, devotion, determination or limitation thereof
I really value MCF despite the fact that
- It may not be the most talented singer like Jagjit or Nusrat.
- It is certainly not the most gifted scientist, painter or artist
Its difficult, rather impossible, to portray a picture of MCF – its there some where – perhaps within!
As this note is being written, am not sure about the role of MCF – a witness, a mentor, a coach or just the author? For sure it has travelled a long way ….
Friday, February 5, 2010
Life needs attachment to gain form and attributes
It needs detachment for growth and eventual transformation
Roots, to me, represent attachment. Leaves, on the other hand, represent detachment. Both are needed for feeling of completeness. Roots and leaves are linked – physically through fine mesh of capillaries and ducts, “notionally” as one “entity”. It’s difficult to comprehend – if roots feel any “loss” as the leaves fall of in autumn or feel elated as the new ones appear in spring – or it’s just a steady state of existence: Sat- Chit-Anand [Existence – Consciousness – Bliss]
There are several pleasant experiences that one looks forward to repeating and sustaining for ever.
Most of these relate to sense & ego gratification
Avoidance of fear and uncertainty
Some experiences can be labeled as soul satisfying – these go beyond the realm of sense & ego gratification
Gradually we get to a steady state, as I understand, where sense & ego gratification start taking less importance, fears and concerns subside.
It’s our nature to search for the Infinite Nature – the notional reservoir of Infinite peace, bliss and sustenance. Once again to quote Tagore Sahib “We are like a stray line of a poem, which ever feels that it rhythms with another line and must find it, or miss its own fulfillment. This quest of the unattained is the great impulse in man which brings forth all his best creations. Man seems deeply to be aware of a separation at the root of his being, he cries to be led across it to a union; and somehow he knows that it is love which can lead him to a love which is final.”
At this cross section of time, am coming to the conclusion that two means are readily available to all of us to explore our link to the Infinite:
Our breath : we are inhaling from & exhaling into the Infinite constantly
Our thought: we have a constant stream of thoughts – mostly involuntarily – often labeled as head talk!
One of the simpler and pretty effective ways to establish the link is to just observe the flow to-and-from the Infinite, through observing the breath and thought: to discover our own passage to the Infinite bliss Sat- Chit-Anand!! It takes time and practice: few years, as we are told!
At times a couplet does seem to take hold of you from within as you travel along: Sahib Teri bandi haan !! (O Lord: am Yours: irrespective is my status - good or not so good!!)
Bliss on the other hand, does not depend on external factors at all. It’s like the TV screen that has all the programs, dramas, matches projected on to it, while remaining unaffected itself. Any program, however interesting, lively, fascinating or frustrating, will not affect the TV screen. Likewise, we are actually in a state of bliss, totally unaffected by the events around. To experience bliss, we need to get past the veil of ever changing “pictures”, probably through meditation, increased awareness and reflection within. Given that all our sense organs are directed outwards, it’s a matter of redirecting our attention inwards: to find, feel and then live with “bliss”. It’s actually the inside where peace, completeness (or incompleteness), fulfilment (or lack thereof) resides.
Human beings have all the basic needs, social and ego needs. Equally important is the need for “blissful existence”. As we need regular doses of sleep, food, fluids... we need regular doses of spiritual/blissful insights for our wellbeing. From meditation, to paining, to music, the sources of bliss are pretty interesting and varied, depending on our nature and nurture. Gradually we come to recognise our own “bliss” that’s independent of external factors, name and form. Just as a reminder to ourselves, we can use prompts like a picture, a song, a painting, even a mantra: the Bliss is ever present, formless and colourless.
It’s our own choice, resolve and understanding regarding “what’ and “how” one is seeking! More fundamentally “who” is seeking - no one can prompt you in this direction - water will evaporate of its own accord!! Steam will condense of its own accord & drizzle of its own accord: its all part of Bliss flowing!!
The real “fearlessness, desirelessness” will only be experienced once you reach the “core” where “bliss” resides. Your passage to your core is likely to be different to any one else, as we are all stationed at different points.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tere Bin Nahi Lagda Dil Mera Dholna
Without you,my heart is not at peace without you my love
Jaania Haania Tu Vi Sikh Ke De Dukh Sukh Pholna
My life, my love...you too learn how to share happiness and sorrow
Puchh kaale baddlan to Seene Vich Ag Lage Lang Gaya Kayee Barsatan
Ask the black clouds how the fire in my chest still burns, yet many monsoons have passed
Tur Gayo Sajna Neendran Kho Ke Jaag Ke Katiyan Rataan
You have gone away after snatching away all my sleep I've spent my nights awake
Avija Na Sata Wasta Pyaar Ae ruttan Sohniya Murr Nai Aaniya
Come back, don't test me, for the sake of love, Sweetheart, these times(seasons) are not going to come back
Jaane Khuda Meharbaan Tere Siva
God knows how I cry without you
Several scholars have pointed to the same fact... in different words. Tagore Sahib says in Song Unsung: The song that I came to sing remains unsung to this day.
I have spent my days in stringing and in unstringing my instrument.
The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set;
only there is the agony of wishing in my heart. ..
only I have heard his gentle footsteps from the road before my house.
The livelong day has passed in spreading his seat on the floor;
but the lamp has not been lit and I cannot ask him into my house.
I live in the hope of meeting with him; but this meeting is not yet.
Another poet adds : "main safar mein huun mere saath judaayi teri : hamasafar gam hain to phir kisako juda kisase karein" [ am travelling this path with "separation" from you as my companion!! How can one be separated from this feeling of longing-ness / "pain "]
This note will remain incomplete without this couplet:
jo fanaa huye Gam-e-ishq me.n u.nhe.n zindagii kaa na Gam huaa
[Those who got destroyed in the pain of Love, never regretted it!!]
[Those. who could not be consumed by their own Fire, were engulfed by others flame!!]
With an earnest wish that we find our own Fire...
This is an effort to describe Life, Light & Love with the help of a beautiful song that has resonated within for four decades!
pyaar ko pyaar hi rehne do, koi naam na do:
ek khamoshi hai sunti hai kaha karti hai
na ye bujhti hai na rukti hai, na thehri hai kahin,
noor ki boond hai, sadiyon se baha karti hai,
sirf ehsaas hai ye, haath se chhoo ke, ise rishton ka ilzaam na do,
Love / Light / Life are not a declaration, narration or a sound, rather it is a “silence” that listens and is heard within. It never extinguishes or stops. It does not stagnate at a place. It’s a drop of Bliss that has been flowing for ever! It’s essentially an internal experience. Let’s not contaminate it by touching or labeling it as an obligation. These couplets, to me, illustrate the core concepts of human knowledge: material, interpersonal & spiritual.
muskuraahat si khili rehti hai, aankhon mein kahin,
aur palkon pe ujale se, jhuke rehte hain
(In Love) a subtle glow and smile radiates through you, your face / looks.
In a simple way, as I can add, this glow can be seen on a tiny toddlers’ face, totally engrossed in making a sandcastle or a pet having a nap after a meal!!
honth kuchh kehte nahi, kaanpte honthon pe magar, kitne khaamosh se afsaane ruke rehte hain, sirf ehsaas hai ye, rooh se mahsoos karo
You do not say anything, but so many unsaid / subtle expressions are silently sitting there.
We humans are often trying to find a meaning, a lasting value for our existence. In my limited experience – an expression from a close friend, relation, pet or a song can become our guiding light, comforting thought or validating benchmark! The poet says Mujhse Kuch Teri Nazar Pooch Rahi Ho Jaise: “It’s as though you are asking me a question!”
Woh Nazar Chupke Mujhe Dekh Rahi Ho Jaise: [I get the feeling that someone is watching over me] This feeling that “someone is watching over me’ can be very comforting and reassuring. It can also be our “inner conscience” guiding us!
Koyi Fariyaad Tere Dil Mein Dabi Ho Jaise Most of human behaviour is driven by desires of all sorts. In very close associations, we tend to live with implicit understanding and acceptance of each others motives. The poet adds “I get a feeling that a deep rooted desire, prayer, wish is lingering inside of you”