Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Here, there and everywhere are all the same -- and all present in here.

‎"What is here is also there; what is there, is also here. Who sees
multiplicity but not the one indivisible Self must wander on and on from
death to death." -- Katha Upanishad
Tu hu tu out there or main hi main out here --these ahve never meant two different things.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Billion ways to be grateful

Life has a billion ways of making one realise that we can never be too grateful. It just showed me one more.

Music on the silent seas

That moment had been a song. Music hung lightly on the serene still waters and then gently melted into the ocean, touching its surface into a million shy little waves.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Science, religious truths and myths

Isn't it funny and amazing that just when science appears to be confirming the basic philosophical concepts of religion about the underlying oneness of the whole creation, it is not science but religion that should be protesting. Could it be because, to the bigots, it is not the profound truths of religious thought but theological myths that are more important -- and those theological myths have been torn to bits by science ? The validation of religious truths by science, ironically, does not appear to matter to the religious.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sipping blissfully at the fountains of cool wisdom..to MG

About Osho ( I prefer to call him Rajneesh), I totally agree -- that his was a brilliant mind but not a realised soul. And that he Osho-ised the wisdom of the master. To some extent, we are all guilty of the same flaw -- personalising the received knowledge. He did it better than most as he had an intelligence superior to most. About "Your (my) views on the ultimate reality..." no, quite honestly, I have none, as of now. I am merely groping and still saying Na-eti, Na-eti. ( Not this, not this) Yes, I often make pretentiously confident noises and assertions , but more often than not, that is merely to draw the best out of the person I am speaking to. There is lot ot be gained through listening to superior voices such as yours, and sometimes, I do mischievously try to provoke those whom I most sincerely respect, to get more out of them. I sip most blissfully a the fountains of cool wisdom that generally flows from your wall, and if I ever seem to disagree, it is only to get more and more out of you. When you speak, I am devoted listener, and I feel blessed in my silence.

Relationships and reservations

You can take it from me: Where your partner is always afraid to express an honest reservation for fear of offending you, your relationship could be treading on thin ice. Water this relationship with some faith and a little smile.

Never born, never died- only visited this earth- Osho, you and me

I am a Rajneesh fan. And I was just wondering if "Never born, never died -- only visited this earth"-- ( from where?) -- is not as true of Rajneesh as of you and me and all the rest on the Facebook and away. I think the great man himself said so many times.

God or Cosmos: why not stop a step shorter?

Birth is not a beginning except of this life, and death is not an end, except of this life. No one knows if cosmos itself has had a beginning or whether it will have an end or not. But surely, in its present form, it has had a beginning in either the big bang or something similar to that. It is impossible to think of a beginning of or an end to the totality of things we see. Was it Sagan who said that it is meaningless to think of God as the Creator this universe for that leads to the obvious other question:"Who created God?" If the answer to that question is that God is self created,( Swayam bhoo or sai-bhung as in Japuji Sahib) why not stop a step shorter and say that Cosmos is self-created, or that it without a beginning , without an end. Stopping at Cosmos as the starting point of our search will at least save us one step. In any case, all religions in their purest forms identify creator with creation and call them one ( khaaliq khaliq, khaliq meh khaaliq)... so does it really matter which name we give to reality: God or Cosmos ?

Fear in a relationship

You can take it from me: Where your partner is always afraid to express an honest reservation for fear of offending you, your relationship could be treading on thin ice. Water this relationship with faith and a little smile.
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Bartering happiness for greed

It does not take a saint or a genius to discover that greed and anger, jealousy and possessiveness, anger, lust, impatience, intolerance, ego and hatred are not among the best ways to be happy. Amazingly, most of us end up bartering happiness away as ransom for the fulfillment ofl one or more or all of these questionable desires.

EC and its brand ambassador

Whoever thought of detailing Jaspal Bhatti as the brand ambassador of the Election Commission surely knows how to make us laugh !! Considering how some people have already been praising the EC for its role in saving the Indian democracy from the dangers of becoming a serious exercise, and turning it instead into some kind of a joke, this is a great choice. And with assembly elections to several states round the corner, the EC's decision to provide the nation with some comic relief does not come a day too soon. Comedy is no joke, indeed.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My death will be an event only for others.

Nothing is guaranteed....except death. And before that, life. And there is one thing to be said for life: it lasts longer than death. Plus, my death will be an event only for others. i am never likely to be dead as long as I am alive. Let others then be bothered about it. Why should I waste even a moment's worth of my life worrying about something that is never going to happen to me as long as I am alive. ...And if there is life after death, I can not imagine myself crying over my death in that because then, I would already be living beyond my death. So its like this: Death does not matter now because I can not die as long as I am alive. And death surely does not matter to the dead; nothing matters for them. And death wouldn't matter even if its not -- especially if its not -- the end of my soul, because then in any case its a non-event. So does death matter, really?

I have never agreed with those -- even if some of them may have been prophets -- that this life is unreal and death is real. To me , real and unreal make sense only so long as I am alive. The moment I die, reality dies too. As for life after death, unlike many others, I will have to die to find that out, and I am in no mood to do that as long as I am alive.

Having said that life is real while it lasts, let me hasten to add that its always good to remember that, though not unreal, life is still not permanent. Its of foolish to let our behaviour, beliefs and attitudes be such as if we believed we are going to be here for ever. Far from filling us with despair, awareness of life's impermanence must make us more aware of the value of the sources of happiness that can not be taken away from us. And it does not take a saint or a genius to understand that greed, bitterness, anger and pettiness are not those sources. On the contrary, these are the very tools that make our happiness a hostage to factors beyond our control.

Everybody around here knows God. So I can just get on with my life.

Thank God that there is God and that everybody around me knows Him well enough to argue for or against Him. This is particularly satisfying because it leaves nothing for me to do.I can just get on with my own life.

MEDIA AUDIT: A newspaper is a legalised mass rape - 'in the interest of the victim!'

I intend to select one news item every day from newspapers as "the Best News Item of the Day" and call it "The News of the Day". The idea is to pick an item which focusses on something that is likely to have the widest , preferably the most positive impact on society around us. I won't call it a 'development news' or 'positive news' or anything like that. Just "The News of the Day." to keep its range and scope wide open.The idea is to bring out and highlight the best face of journalism, avoiding its vulgar obsession with politics, crime, sex, scandals, sensationalism etc. Media indulges in all kinds of vulgarity in the name of 'exposing truth', and 'spreading awareness', and/or 'educating the readers'. A journalist, especially in India, is weighed down by his own mammoth moralistic delusions. For the period when he/she is doing a story, the journalist arrogates to himself/herself the unquestioned and unquestionable authority as the sole unelected legislator of mankind. The way a journalist uses the presumptuous and arrogant "WE" to refer to highly personal and restricted version of truth would be funny if it did n't inflict such colossal social damage.The Readers (or the viewers in the case of the TV) have become as much a class of helpless victims of mass rape as the voters have in the optionlessness on the voting day. The press comes off no holier than the politician in their pursuit of vulgarly selfish goals ( votes and notes neatly translate into readers and revenue) The common man, who is no enlightened Daniel come to judgement, is flattered into believing that its all done in his interest, and that he/she is the soveriegn master and judge in shaping government decisions or newspaper or TV 'editorial' policy. Both the politician and the press commit this rape, and it is committed supposedly to protect the innocence and the honour of the raped. ( I know its a strong word, and one that I would avoid using given even the slightest alternative)

Recent disclosures about the way media finctions in our country have been neatly pushed out of glare, while its spin-offs --notes for votes, 2-G scam etc - continue to hog the limelight. Is there no design behind this? I would call it a case of smart media management by the press. What does not suit the press does not matter to the people. Period. --##@@!!!

I know that print media just loves making fun of electronic media for its resort to cheap sensationalism, in which a crime reporter must not only look a criminal but also talk like one -- for credibility and impact.

The term 'soft story' tells us a lot about the mindset and the professional approach of our media persons. Anything that is not loud is soft - and generally 'not news'.

The interesting part is that most of those now heading or managing electronic media houses were once print media luminaries -- editors, news editors, bureau chiefs, specials, pricnipals and staffers. What we see on our TV channels is only magnified visual versions of pet fancies of the men of eminence from the print media.

However, there is scope for picking out stray cases of good reporting -- media persons who may still occasionally be doing some good work, resisting the temptation to take the easy option of sensationalising non-news into news and news into gossip. So much good work is being quietly done by scientists, inventors, farmers, teachers, students, government officials, shopkeeprs, factory owners, factory workers, even governments, NGOs, doctors, health workers, socially committed individuals but all of it makes either no news at all for the media or is at best material for "soft stories." But there are soldiers of conscience even in the media, although their proportionate presence is as thin as it is in other walks of life in today's society. Their courage and sicnerity and refusal to buy the bait deserve as much notice as the courage of any of our heroes and heroines. But , I repeat, their number - alas ! - is so small, its worrisome.

My "News Item of the Day" effort is dedicated to them. It is my salute to these warriors of quiet competence. The item for today is reproduced below. Not only is the news story one that leaves the reader feeling realistically good but ( for a change) it is also tastefully written ( all sober and matter of fact) and has, for a change, been given the prominence it deserves -- Page One of The Tribune of Chandigarh. I am not saying that this is the best story I would have wished to read, but it definitely is the best I got to read today.

I invite friends to select their own "news items of the day" and share it with us. We can also perhaps have a "Write up of the day" from print media to include non-news items such as literary or lifestyle items, or editorials and articles -- and then perhaps we can expand the exercise to have "News Story of the Day" from the electronic media.

One request: choices may please be kept free from political or other forms of prejudice or preferences - by which I mean preference for A or B party.

I intend to call this stream "Media Audit".

( A Note and a confession: There is a loud and dliberate contradiction within the contents of this note. But I am leaving it to friends to find it and point it out. Hint: Its a pretty significant contradiction.)

Today's Choice: October 10,2011

T H E T R I B U N E, C H A N D I G A R H


$10 tablet possible, says maker of Aakash

Aditi Tandon/TNS

New Delhi, October 9

“At first, even I didn’t think it was possible,” quipped Suneet Singh Tuli, maker of the world’s cheapest net access and computing device priced at just $45. But he is talking of the old times when the idea of a cheap computer was still laughable for a world brought up on the staple diet of hi-tech devices that serve more as symbols than anything else.

Today, everything is possible. “If India can usher in a mobile revolution, why not an Internet revolution? A rickshaw puller, who has a cell phone today, can have a computer tomorrow. Our client is not the man who can afford the iPhone. Our client is the man on the street who still reveres the computer.

“We want to end that reverence by making the device as simple as a toy - that common, that easy,” said the Ludhiana-born, 43-year-old Sikh entrepreneur, who, along with his brother Raja Tuli, gave body to India’s vision of producing cheap laptops as educational tools for the poorest of students.

The government was looking for $35 bid, but $49.98 was the closest it got, with Tuli bagging the contract. “I still remember that day. I was in the lounge of IIT Rajasthan at Jodhpur waiting for the results when the other lowest bidders started teasing me. They asked me if I had done the calculations right. I was so anxious that I called my brother back home in North Alberta to check. Luckily, all went well,” recounted Suneet, whose family migrated from Ludhiana to Iran in 1976.

Few would know that their first business venture was “Witefax”, the world’s biggest fax machine which the Guinness recorded as such in 1992. Ask Suneet of its history and he says, “Necessity is the mother of invention. In 1989, the fax machine had just appeared, but it could not do our engineering documents. So we invested in a project to develop our kind of machine which turned out to be the biggest world over.”

But even with a history of invention and 18 US patents on a technology that enhances the speed of downloading on Internet, the Tulis were not sure about “Aakash”. Providence, however, ensured that they bid for it.

Asked if Kapil Sibal’s dream of $10 tablet is possible, Suneet explained, “When I got my first Macintosh, it cost $5000. Today for $45, I can take home an “Aakash”. Tomorrow, it could cost me $10.”

Ask him if “Aakash” can be called an Indian product considering it has imported parts and he quips, “A product made by Indians, in India, and one that generates revenue and employment in India is essentially Indian.”

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kennedy and Lincoln: Amazing Parallels

Two of America's best loved presidents met a tragic end through assassination. Interest in their lives and deaths has never ceased. In addition to the charismatic persona of each of these two presidents, amazing parallels in their lives and deaths have continued to fire the imagination of their admirers and others world wide. Here are some of these parallels:

President Lincoln was elected to the Congress in 1846 .

President Kennedy was elected to the Congress in 1946.

Lincoln was elected the President in 1860.

Kennedy was elected the President in 1960.

Both presidents lost a child while in White House.

Both were shot on a Friday.

Both were died of shot in the head.

Kennedy had secretary named Lincoln.

Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy.

Lincoln's secretary had advised him not to go to theater where he was killed.

Kennedy's secretary had advised him not to go to Dallas where he was killed.

A month before his assassination, Lincoln was in Monroe, Maryland.

A month before his assassination, Kennedy was with Monroe, Marilyn.

Lincoln was succeeded by a Johnson (Andrew).

Kennedy was also succeeded by a Johnson ( Lyndon B.)

Andrew Johnson was born in 1808.

Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth who shot Lincoln was born in 1839

Lee Oswald who shot Kennedy was born in 1939.

Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth was assassinated before his trial was completed.
Kennedy's assassin, Lee Oswald was assassinated before his trial was completed.

Lincoln's assassin Booth ran from theater after the killing and was captured in a warehouse.

Kennedy's assassin Oswald ran from a warehouse after the killing and was caught in a theater.

Both assassins belonged to South.

The successors of both presidents also belonged to South.


The names of Lincoln and Kennedy contain seven letters each.

The names of their assassins contain fifteen letters each.

Both presidents were particularly popular among the non-Whites.

Both presidents were known for their commitment to civil rights.

Teachers and students : interaction wth a former student

Interacting with an old student, who is now a teacher, felt like being in a class room again !! And can never thank him enough for what he wrote. (He wrote: for teachers who truly want their students to learn, there is no other choice. You are a living example of the love you had for your students. Every one of your students, including yours truly, holds you in high esteem for a combination of multifarious attributes you possessed as a teacher; love, knowledge, delivery, style, substance, compassion, empathy, the list of adjectives is endless…) Coming from a student, these words are a priceless reward for years and years of deeply felt love. And it feels even greater because that love itself was such a wonderful reward for being a teacher, to begin with. Just one thing more - from one teacher to another: when students want to make a noise or simply to indulge in plain fun, lovingly ask them ," Can I join in too ? And lets decide how many days we will have fun only ! We have a life time left to teach and learn." This always worked for me, even though the price was being thought of as careless or irresponsible by the 'authorities'. But I never cared about or for the authorities, and my love for my students and theirs for me always saw me through . Somewhere else, I have called teaching a life long romance" - the exact words I had used in one of my communications to the then V C . The 'authorities', for whom love and romance meant something entirely different,, simply made fun of my letter -- and I was glad that they hadn't surprised me with a superior response. Love is the most critical factor in a teachers art, for this love takes him to higher and higher levels of skill, knowledge and wisdom. And the journey of a teacher's knowledge and art begins daily in the class room. Its fascinating -- and sublimely up - lifting.

Teachers,Plumbers and our children

A society which ensures that even a plumber earns more than a school or even a university teacher should stop pretending that it worries more about the private baggage of intellectual and emotional clutter in the minds of its children than it does about material clutter in public or private places. Our concern and love for our children is reflected in the respect we pay to their teachers. As for teachers themselves, there is no better way for them to understand their job than to see in the face of each one of their students the face of their own children. It is impossible to teach without first being in love with one's students. Love is a critical component of a teacher's art. Knowledge and wisdom come next

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Start your life before you are born into it

The only time you can start a new life is before you are born, and that applies as much to your biological birth as to your intellectual, moral or spiritual awakening in life. You need to start your new life before you are actually born into a new avatar.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Love and humility - two little gods for company

  • I must confess that I have been trying to know who and what I am for nearly half a century now, and haven't made head or tail out it. I seem to know everyone except myself !! Sometime back I decided to give up trying to understand who and what I am, and started just being that.
  • Simplistic as it may sound, I have chosen two little gods to accompany me in my remaining years: humility and love. Whenever I find even one of them deserting me, I feel lonely and sinful -- and that often happens. Someone said love is a journey of discovery - of self and the universe. I am putting my faith in that. Yes psycho-analysis might help too but probably won't be half as much thrill and bliss as love and humility bring. This path seems to work for me, but I am not suggesting it will work for everyone. We all must pick our own little pathways to join in to the high road to life and happiness. Love also makes me aware of the thousand imperfections within me, and o the deep crevices in my soul. But Love itself flows in to fill these crevices. Humility, when I walk hand in hand with it, keeps my eye focused on these imperfections -- and teaches me to accept these as my own features, and teaches me to caress these to smoothness and perfection. Not the robot perfection we referred to elsewhere, but a living perfection which only a life full of meaning and love can bring. I want to be on my way

Steve Jobs and the moisture in our eyes

We know Steve Jobs for the genius he had and not for the physical frame that contained that genius, not for who he was but for what he did - and that lives on. But yes,we loved the person which that frame reflected. To that extent it is natural there will be some moisture in our eyes.

Little games life and we play with each other

‎"The process of understanding" life is a part of life and can be enjoyed as such. There is no need to understand life, but its fun to go on trying to do so. That's a little game life and we play with each other.

Keep it simple. Open your heart to the winds of love.

"Keep it simple. Instead of carrying all that baggage of ethics, morality, norms, religious commandments and all that stuff, just open your heart to the winds of love. No morality can reach where love can, no religion goes beyond it. And if you don't let go of love, there is hardly any principle you will need to hold on to. Think hard: all that you may ever have done wrong can be traced to the absence of love in your heart. You can never sin if love guides all your actions. And without it, no virtue is possible."

Morality I have none but there is a little conscience which stands up to rebuke me.

Morality I have none. Ethics I have never regarded as sacrosanct and inviolate. Conscience -- perhaps I have a bit of it, to be kind to myself. It hurts when even that little conscience stands up and rebukes me. I have never believed in a robot perfection. That is why stuff like prudence, wisdom and discreet conduct etc seldom hold much charm for me. But there are some core values guided by solely by the way I feel after I have done something - or left something undone. My mother's memory has been a great navigator, but the mariner in my soul has often ignored that navigation -- and suffered in private hell. That's all I meant.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why should universe bother to exist- Hawkins

‎" The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model cannot answer the questions of why there should be a universe for the model to describe. Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?" --Stephen Hawking

Ravan and I

I have often tried to read Ramayana as a metaphor for internal conflict. What saddens me is that the evil I keep fighting against within me has more faces than ten, and that the virtue that rises to fight them does not always have the will and the energy that the protagonist in the epic had. I can not celebrate Dussehra so long as I am not able to put my hand across my heart and declare: "I have conquered evil in me." Isn't it enough of a disgrace that I should have vices worse than those the villain in that epic had, and none of his great virtues. Why am I so keen to see the evil in others torched in full public view and yet refuse to acknowledge its obvious presence in me- - even in private - ? If the Ramayana does not happen within me, it never happened.

Is imagination composed of basic building blocks?

I have often wondered if imagination and ideas are composed of basic building blocks like photons that travel at speeds exceeding the speed of light by billions of times. When we think of something - say the outer edges of the universe -- does the image travel to us or do some invisible tendrils of thoughts or imagination travel to touch, measure and formulate them? May be some physicist would provide the answer - or does this fall in the realm of psychology or mysticism? All sciences at their core are one. Hence the search for a unified theory.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Do not make sky your limit. There are worlds beyond this sky. There are skies beyond those worlds" Hazel

" Do not make sky your limit. There are worlds beyond this sky. There are skies beyond those worlds, and each sky is only a limit to be crossed, till you find another sky to keep your wings interested in the flight. You were not born to own a house or rule a state or lead a crowd and your life is not just an effort to fill a gap between a certain date and a certain other date. Yours is the path of love, and love has never known these limits, or any limits. Far beyond the farthest star is your home, and lost in the stardust is your path. But tarry not, nor despair. Something deep inside you knows that you can never go astray. The stardust hides a billion, billion paths. Take any path. These paths run in different directions, but all paths take you to the same place, your home. Once home, a quiet smile will adorn your face. Once home, you will know that you were never away from it. You will also know that if the goal of all that flight across universes that you traversed was only to reach your home, its was a journey in vain. But in vain it was not. Each point on the journey was your home. And the home that you have reached has not ended your journey but started a fresh sojourn. To find this out, you had to travel this distance. Without this, you wouldn't have known your home is everywhere. And that is why you will not be disappointed that the journey has not ended. You will feel a strange bliss in your heart. A strange light feathery presence will kiss your soul. And you will feel fresh again.All the tiredness will be gone. Then, start your journey again, this time not to reach home but to spread it. Carry the limit of your home with you. The farther you travel from home, the wider your home will be, till you are able to see that there is nothing in this universe that is not within your home, or does not belong to you - nothing that is not your home. Thus and thus alone have we traveled this far in life. Thus and thus alone have we lived. Go meet the universe; it waits for you to come and claim it. You have always loved all of it. Therefore , it belongs to you because whatever you truly love belongs to you. And that love will teach you that you and the universe you love are one. You and anything you love are one. Something in you is already telling you that you can not love this or love that: you can only love. The day that knowledge becomes an experience, there will be nothing you will not love. Then, there will be voices around you. Some voices will taunt you and call you a lover; others will worship you and call you a saint. Don't be misled by either. A lover and a saint are the same. It is not possible to be one without being another. The day you fully live this truth, all pain will cease. You are not very far off fro that. Take one little, tender step more, and you are there. And once there, your heart will be filled with boundless humility. It will be humility born of the knowledge that you have nothing to be humble about, nor any reason to be proud."

Tomorrow obeys only those who listen to their today. Tomorrow is an elusive maiden except for those who listen to their today. Hazel

"To be here is not to deny elsewhere but to focus everywhere in here. The whole universe is wrapped over in a single point - the point where you are. Destroy that point, and the universe is destroyed. To be here is not refusing to be everywhere but to be anywhere at any time so intensely that everything, everywhere is contained in it. Your tomorrows and your yesterdays exist only in your today. To focus on today is not to kill the by-gone yesterday and the unbron tomorrow;it is in fact to lend intensity to all your yesterdays and meaning to all your tomorrows. When you think of tomorrow, think of it as something present here. Enjoy the thinking. Experience the thinking. Enjoy your little dreams and your little plans and your little hopes -- do not look at them as something that will happen in future. They are already happening. For those who love today as the only time they will ever have power over anything, tomorrows are obedient slaves and yeterdays invisible sweeteners. Tomorrow obeys only those who listen to their today. For all else, its an elusive though attractive maiden. Here and now control everywhere and all time. Be here, experience now, and everything else will take care of itself. That will happen the day you have more faith in what you are than in what you want to be.It is what you are that will determine what you would be.Be who you are. For those constantly lost in the receding mirage of future, past is a haunting ghost over-shadowning the present. Celebrate. There is no other way to live."

The way to know truth is to be it. Be the experience

And these wars , these quarrels of religions and ideologies -- all these quarrels are quarrels merely about a definition, and therefore pointless. Nothing will ever come out of trying either to define or to understand a definition. You must get at that which you are trying to define. There is - there can be no quarrel there. Nature, Life, God, Energy, Spirit -- call it what you will, it siimply ...does not matter. All your attempts to define it or ever to understand it are like fluttering your wings in a vacuam; nothing will come out of it, nothing will move. Definition is only a concept. Definition is only words. If you change your words, that will not change what the wrods are trying to describe..... One force moves it all -- Nature, God, Life, Energy, Spirit or whatever -- it is the same thing. And it is indivisble; it is the only thing that exists.Nothing else can exist. All divisions , and therefore all wars or quarrels -- are artifificial. You can not define or udnerstand Truth, but you can experience it. When you experience Truth, you will BE Truth. Be the experience.You can not be truthful. You can only be Truth. And the way to be Truth is to know that you are It. Aham Brahamo Asmi. An al haq. I am the Truth. Jit dekho tit laal. Kirshna's song is not the arrogance of ego; it is the humility of knowledge. It is submission to Truth.To be Truth, you surrender your Self. To be anything completely, you let go of who you already are. And it is not a transformation of substance. It is only a journey from not knowing to knowing, from ignorance to awareness -- awareness that truth is all that there is, and that I am that truth. So is everything and everyone I come across. We will talk, "........

Saturday, October 1, 2011

You can find without seeking but you will miss the thrill that seeking gives: Hazel

"Yes," she said, " you can find even without seeking, but you will miss the thrill that the act of seeking gives by itself. Finding is not the goal but a by-product of seeking, as destination is not the goal of a journey for a man who loves travelling. Journey itself is often the goal, as any lover would tell you. It is important to seek because even if you may not always find what you seek, there is a lot else you will find through the act of seeking alone."

He was listening as he usually did when she was speaking - with rapt attention. But questions hung out before his eyes. As usual, she -- and she alone -- could see and understand those questions, better than he could see them himself. Above all, as he had always known, she alone had the answers to the questions he never asked because he did not know how to . "Why is it that it is only after she has given the answers that I realise what I wanted to ask . Why do her answers precede my questions -- always,"he wondered aloud, and thought it was because she had some miraculous powers through which she could see an event before it actually happened. He was right about the miraculous powers. But he did not know that this power was her love -- love for him and for everything in life. In other words, she was in love with life and living -- which is "not the same thing", as she had once told him.

" Answers always precede questions because mind never asks a question to which it does not already know the answer. Answers walk with questions in their wombs, and toss them up ahead of where they arrive.The act of asking itself confirms the existence of an answer," she had once told him, and this had intrigued him. " The strong predictive powers of love determine all that happens in this universe. Go ask a mother," she had said.

" Is then there a purpose to life - to living?" he asked, as much from himself as from her.

"Yes -- and no. There is no purpose to life beyond living. Not living well but living full and wholesome, which is the only way to live well . Everything else including 'purpose of living' is a by product," she said.

Here she sensed a bewilderment in his mind. " Of all the persons, she should talk about purposelssness. She is the only one I know who has ever had any purpose to life, to everything she does. And does she know that she herself could bE the purpose of many lives. My life, for sure, but many others I know."-- she caught him trapped by these thoughts. And she spoke gently: " It does not feel nice to know or believe that there is no purpose to life because it sounds dangerously like purposelessness. But life is too grand a process to be dictated to or shaped by your purpose. Its like love. How can there be a purpose to love beyond loving? If there is, you must look closely at what you believe to be love. Love -like life - is a purpose unto itself. A journey is its own goal. The goal is generally an excuse invented by journey to undertake itself."
He was listening intently. But he felt as if he had heard only a fragment of what she had spoken. It always felt like that when she was speaking. What he heard was much less than what she spoke, although in a literal sense, he could repeat every word she had uttered. He often wondered why he had this strange feeling of having missed a lot from her conversations with him.

"But what about the teachings of the prophets who spoke about a purpose to life, a purpose higher than life itself? A design, a grand design, a grand purpose?" he asked.

"No prophet ever spoke of a purpose higher than life. But we have a problem with prophets. By life, they do not mean the same thing as we do. The chief difference between a prophet and you and me is this: He lives his life by the seconds; we live it in years. To him, there is no tomorrow that is not contained in his today. To us, there is no today. There was a yesterday and there will be a tomorrow: our todays are lost in our yesterdays and tomorrows. This is because we are bothered more about a purpose of living than about living. Freedom from the past and the future alone is eternity. There is no infinity beyond here, no eternity beyond now: kill your now, and you would have killed eternity. To be everywhere, you need to be here. Here is everywhere. Or everywhere is here - its the same thing."

Was this philosophy not close to epicureanism? he wondered. But before he could give it words, she resumed - as if she had anticipated his doubts, as she always seemed to do.

" Life does not run itself to your script or your "isms". Your scripts are your attempts to impose a pattern on life, rather than understanding the script woven into life. Life is constantly writing and revising its own script -- and living is the only way it chooses to achieve that. That is why its scripts always follow its act," she said. But having spoken, she realised that not all her words had been heard by him, although as usual he had heard the sound of each word and each syllable in that word. And memorised it. And he could reproduce every word he had not heard.

She smiled as she combed his hair with her fingers. She always did this whenever she found his mind overburdened with thoughts he did not think or understand.

She smiled, and she spoke again:

"Do not seek any meaning in my words. I enjoy my conversations with you and you do so too, leave it there. Do not spoil it by trying to seek any meanings here, for if you do find some meanings, these will not be the meanings of our words but only the echoes of something distant. But never look for meanings in words. Words never explain a meaning. Its the meaning that explains the words. Meaning is always beyond words, and yet words like posts on the high road to truth. They may point a direction but they do not undertake the journey with you. Enjoy the words but look for meanings elsewhere. I never heard anything more meaningful in life than the sound of your laughter when you were a child. And your childhood is whenever you laugh. Only the innocent know how to laugh," she said, and as she spoke, he had already reconnected to his childhood and thrown his head in her lap . Suddenly, the burden that had been weighing on his mind was lifted. He could hear the gentle flutter of leaves of the peepal tree under which they sat. An easterly breeze combed through these leaves as her fingers had combed through his air. Every leaf smiled at him. The breeze kissed him gently and filled his soul.

He did not know when he dropped into a dreamless sleep but it was the most peaceful sleep he had in a long, long while. She kept caressing his hair and forehead as he lay in her lap -- a little baby, secure and beyond the need of any answers, and therefore, beyond the need of God or of an alternative to God.

Strangely, he always felt a indefinable divinity around him whenever he was with her. And this was a divinity that made God strongly present but utterly irrelevant.