Friday, February 19, 2010

I am That ..

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

Guru Moments !

There are several occasions when one can say - I was in the presence of the Guru. Few instances include
  • 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

..pull of Gravity !

There are occasions when you can feel the pull of Gravity on your soul, not just on your body. This is an attempt to describe, illustrate and share these ecstatic moments.
  • 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!

... looking at You!

There is longing within at certain stages in our life, for the fine union with the Infinite...

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]

Tun mera mein teri hovan [Want to realise: You are mine & am Yours!]

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!

Where are You !

  • 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 !

Dharma !

Like any other word that points to a process within and manifestation outside, Dharma can be interpreted, illustrated and assimilated in many different ways. One of the more practical illustrations that I have come across implies “that which holds you together: prevents disintegration”.

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! :
This song – is a devotional dialogue between a devotee & Divine - trying to understand what it is ALL about!
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

My Closest Friend

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

Attached Detachment !

It’s a fundamental concept of Life:

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]

Constant thrill

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!!)

Happiness & Bliss

It’s rather simple to see & conclude that all human action is directed towards maximizing one's happiness. - right from the baby crying for milk, to the young boy striving for medal at the race, the young girl looking for a decent match, the mother leaving kids at school & driving off to work, the old parents longing to hear from kids that are on trip overseas!We see that happiness depends on external factors: interaction with fellow humans, rewards for ones efforts, the share market, interpersonal relations and ones health … A malfunctioning air-conditioner can send the temperature soaring: outside and inside!

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.