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I would like to give my life
Away
I would like to die
To this moment
To hold in my ears
The sound of the Eternal
Nee…

I would like to take to ochre
And dress with nothing on
Save the name written
In my soul
Nee…

Of love they say
It is an infliction
Of the mind
But
They never say the same
About
Nee…

I would like to throw
The burden of waiting
For the Name
Written across my destiny
Nee…

Nee…You!

With your coming
the pain sleeping in my eyelids
have subsided.
The little plant hiding in the seed
has sprung up to meet the sky.
My heart has come alive
with our relationship.

My eyes have opened
with ecstasy
Surprise, shock
laughter, goose bumps
admiration sparkle
in these eyelids.

In the screaming mind
loneliness persisted
but emerging from behind the curtain today
the frozen, cold moments sped away
the heavy burden days disappeared.

Half comfort
half happiness
thus, surprise
laughing
smiling
Goosebumps
admiring
In these eyelids

(is)You!

 

Rough translation/transcreation JD  & KN

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Sunshine cloud

Sunshine_at_Dunstanburgh

Shadow lies

I may not have told you yet
My heart skipped a number of times
when we met, briefly

My mind said
No, this is again one more mirage
your mind has created to divert
your attention from yourself

Perhaps, I said
maybe! But please I need

To look at other things

Some love, some feelings and sensations

to know that I am alive and kicking
I might have been alone

Very alone
In fact the aloneness only a bad relationship can bring me to
But was it not her desire too

I saw in her eyes behind her specs
that light of anxiety mixed with desire

May I not rest in those longing eyes
which reflect my desire too?

For too long I have slept on a pillow which harboured bad dreams

Is it not time to open a little window and look out at the sunshine?

 

Picture credit: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/Sunshine_at_Dunstanburgh.JPG

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smriti62It is said that a king once came across a sage and was so deeply affected by him, that he gave up his huge kingdom, his wealth and his women to follow the sage in the search of The Truth.

This sage was not any ordinary man. For years he had been practicing a silent meditation. Thus, when the king, often questioned him and pleaded for spiritual guidance and direction, the sage answered nothing. However, when the queries got deeper and more persistent, the sage snapped – Be Silent!

That was it. For years the king sat at the feet of his Master, in total silence, from sunrise to sunset, day in, day out. Until one day, a little dog found his home and came to live with him.The king tried to shoo him away, but it would not go. Hence, despite his efforts, the king was forced to look after the dog – feed him and watch on him.

It so happened that a few months from then, a man wandered along and seeing the sage went up to him and fell at his feet.

“ Guru”, he pleaded, “give me something to eat. I am so hungry…”

The sage looked at him and said –

“ There is no food here, as you can see. But you can go to that sansari who live below and he will give you the food you want.”

Hearing this, the king felt a terrible sense of disdain. He loathed to be addressed as a sansari. Was it not he, who many years ago left everything to follow this sage? His kingdom, wealth and women, all renounces for a search? So why was he being called a sansari? However, his thoughts took him to his habits in the recent years and he knew why the sage had called him a sansari.

It was the dog and his attachment to the dog that made him a sansari. Having left everything in his world as a king, he still had not left his attachment to things, be it a dog even. Suddenly, it hit him like a bolt from the blue – it is not what you leave behind materially outside, what you need to leave behind is attachment itself. If one is not free of the bandhans inside, no matter what one leaves outside, new things will only replace it again. So if one has to be really free, then, one has to cut off the very threads that bind us to the things outside.

A great realization struck him and in that moment, he left, now even knowing where he was going to. He left the dog, the house and the sage, all in one stroke.

When the moment is ripe, all things fall into place themselves. The rest of the time is spent, only preparing for that moment.

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If your thought are deeply entrenched in the contemplation of someone you love, you become the person you love.

 

Therefore I will only speak of myself, for in me now you have merged. Not of your volition but of mine. Not of your need but of mine.

 

And you think I have forgotten you.

Yes and no!

How can I remember you, when all that I am is you in me? How can I see myself as separate from you, when you and I have merged like two different coloured inks on one blotting paper?

 

We were different. Separated by time and space, over lifetimes. Two bodies. Two minds, searching one another over lifetimes. Now the search is complete. Not because I have found you, but because my love has acted as the blotting paper into which our two separate lives have merged into one.

 

It was the best thing that happened to us. Now there will be no hide and seek. No need to go anywhere to look for the other. Not even to avoid the other, if we wish to.

Now we are – me.

 

In fact, it was all an illusion – two separate beings, traveling over lifetimes to find each other.There was no time and space in which our souls traveled in search of each other. It was only how we thought we did. But, now even that is over.

I have thought of you so much and imitated your ways so often, in wakefulness and in sleep, I have devotedly contemplated upon you, like Radha upon Krishna and now I find the difference between us has disappeared.

I can say we are one, if there still were two of us. But, when that is naught, there is only a lack of words to describe what Is.

If your thought are deeply entrenched in the contemplation of someone you love, you become the person you love.

 

 

 

Art by Smriti Vohra

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The Free Soul

“There is but one Infinite Being in the universe, and that Being appears as you and as I; but this appearance of divisions is after all a delusion. He has not been divided, but only appears to be divided. This apparent division is caused by looking at Him through the network of time, space and causation.” .”- Sw Vivekananda in The Complete Works Of Vivekananda, Volume 3, chapter 6, page 9-10

 

A lifetime spent in contemplation of the non-existent, the false and delusions. Like a sage sitting and cogitating on the beginning and the end and the in-between, not knowing that the clay from which he is made is the same clay that holds the secret of Existence –Shunya. Not zero but Whole.

Everything, that ever was, ever will be. The complete reality. Not a black hole but Shunya, the heart and Being of the Universe.

Yet, I have sat through the dark night to see the light of day. I have suffered great pains and struggles just to arrive at the Truth, not knowing that the object I seek is of what I am made. I have sat outside the clay pitcher, day in day out contemplating Who Am I, not once looking inside to see the blazing Light, nor the complete Stillness, of which I am. Looking outward, only one after another delusions eluded me.

I am the Shunya, never born, never to die, I am. I know but then again I forget, the same Truth, for I have got used to believing in a mirage in the desert of my life. I spend the whole life looking for that which cannot be found, because, there is nothing to find except only delusions, mirages in the canvas of my life.

“I was once traveling in the dessert in India. I traveled for over a month and always found the most beautiful landscapes before me, beautiful lakes and all that. One day I was very thirsty and I wanted to have a drink at one of the lakes; but when I approached that lake, it vanished. Immediately with a blow came into my brain, the idea that this was a mirage about which I had read all my life and then I remembered and smiled at my folly…..the next morning I again began my march and there was the lake and landscape, but with it immediately came the idea, this is a mirage.”- Sw Vivekananda in The Complete Works Of Vivekananda, Volume 3, chapter 6


I am in the habit of forgetting I am
The Free Soul, The Absolute. Like the Shunya that exists inside the pitcher, outside the pither and in all parts of the pitcher, I am that Whole, The Absolute.

 

Still, a lifetime spent in idle thinking to arrive at the Silence of the Lamps.

 

 

 

 

NB: Art By Smriti Vohra

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When a fruit is ripe, it drops by itself. So does our attachment to things, persons and ideas.

 

Theory after theory, talk after talk, book after book has been written on this subject – how to overcome attachment, for attachment brings pain, self-inflicted pain. But the mind of man is hungry. It thrives on desire. And it is the desire for things, persons, ideas, that finally brings pain. The same thing, that causes, pleasure in the beginning, is responsible for bringing pain afterwards.

 

Saints and holy men, thinkers and philosophers have given their own theories on how to overcome desire. J Krishnamurthy says – look at desire like wind passing through the leaves and branches of trees. However, for a spiritual person, on the path, it is an increasingly disturbing realization that no matter what s/he tries, desire does not leave his mind. These forms of desire keep surfacing in one form or the other.

I have heard a story of a man, who, having taken the permission of his whole family, left home of his last journey – vanaprashtha ashrama. He stayed away for many years in the forest, trying in the process to forget the world he had been in and all that came with it, to find God. Naturally, he wrote no letters, made no phone calls, nor sent any telegrams to his family. Slowly, the memory of his family left him and so did the attachment he had to the images and feelings he had in his mind, for them.

 

Then one day, a young boy arrived. Distressed from a broken love, he wanted peace of mind.

” Show me the way by which I can find peace of mind ”, he pleaded.

 

Suddenly a great flush of feelings rushed out of some corner of the man’s mind. His whole face lit up. Someone had heard of him. Someone had recognized that he had overcome desire. He was at peace. Someone had approached him, for their peace of mind!

 

And the man’s head swelled up.

 

Realizing the bloated attitude of the man, the young boy left. There was nothing to learn from him, he thought. He could see the disturbing characteristics of a man full of vanity and pride over his achievements.

 

The devices of the mind are cunning and numerous. It is therefore called bhavasagar –  the sea of thoughts which one must cross to realize the Eternal. It’s ways are myriad and it is a many headed serpent. Which one will raise it’s when, is difficult to know. Indeed, impossible too.

 

Even if apparently the man had forgotten his family and the attachment he had to the images and memory of them, actually, the attachment had only taken a round about turn. He had become the whole family himself. His attachment to them had become attachment to himself and his achievements, instead. And it only required the young boy to come, to show it up.

 

Indeed, nothing had been gained.

                       

When the fruit is ripe, it drops by itself. There is nothing to do but watch.

 

A sea of thoughts occupies our minds at all times. All these thoughts have an electric charge. Some are strong and dominant, some aren’t. All thoughts give rise to action. Dominant thoughts arise again and again and force us to act upon them. But, just in case, we break the pattern and stop to act on them, then, they will keep arising again and again, getting stronger and stronger every time till finally, they lose their charge on us, because only when we act on these thoughts, we recharge them so to say. If we don’t they will ultimately, drop.

 

Not easy to do however. A persistent thought comes to my mind about my ex-boy friend. The thought compels me to act. Make contact. Check out if I am still on his mind; has he really forgotten me; and even if he has, my reappearance will bring back in his mind, thoughts about me. He will begin to think of me; he will act; he will return to me…..etc, etc.

 

All games of the mind. The more we are attached to our thoughts, the more games the mind will play. The more will be our misery.

 

But, if we stop to “give energy” to these rising thoughts, one day they will die out and fall into the vast sea of thoughts that have no electric charge at all. In fact, they will cease.

 

Both thoughts of good, bad, anger, jealousy, thoughts of rejection, bitterness, happiness, indeed all thoughts keep us attached to the objects of our desire. But, one day, when the time is ripe, the object of our thought drops and with it our desire for it.

 

The tree is never in a hurry to see its fruits ripen. It knows that the flower has come and will be followed by the fruit. And just as the petals of the flower fell when the fruit came, so will the fruit, grow and ripen with age and time. And when it is fully ripe, its own weight will pull it down by the force of gravity. It will fall effortlessly, leaving the branch on which it grew.

 

The tree is not in a hurry. It is intrinsically stable and grounded. It has been a spectator of events when the flower came. It remains a spectator when the fruit falls. It is neither attached to the flower nor the fruit. Neither to the flowers that will come again, nor to the fruits which will follow. And never to the fruits that will finally fall, for it knows that – when a fruit is ripe, it drops by itself.

 

So does our attachment to things, persons and ideas.

 

 

 

 

Art By Smriti Vohra 

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                                                        One-Handed Basket Weaving

 

There was a dervish who lived alone in the mountains,

who made a vow never to pick fruit from the trees,

or to shake them down,

or to ask anyone to pick fruit from him.

 

“Only what the wind makes fall.”

This was his way

of giving in to God’s will.

 

There is a traditional saying from the Prophet

that a human being is like a feather in the desert

being blown about wherever the wind takes it.

 

So for a while in the joy of this surrender

he woke each dawn with a new direction to follow.

 

But then came five days with no wind,

and no pears fell.

 

He patiently restrained himself,

until a breeze blew just strong enough

to lower a bough full of ripe pears

close to his hand, but not strong enough

to detach the pears.

 

He reached out and picked one.

 

Nearby, a band of thieves were dividing

what they had stolen.

 

The authorities surprised them and immediately

began the punishments: the severing

of right hands and left feet.

 

The hermit was seized by mistake

and his hand cut off,

But before his foot could be severed also,

he was recognised.

 

The prefect came. “Forgive these men.

They did not know. Forgive us all!”

 

The sheikh said, “This is not your fault.

I broke my vow, and the Beloved

has punished me.”

 

He became known as Sheikh Aqta,

which means, ‘the teacher

whose hand has been cut off’.

 

One day a visitor entered his hut without knocking

and saw him weaving palm-leaf baskets.

It takes two hands to weave!

 

“Why have you entered without warning?”

 

“Out of love for you.”

 

“Then keep this secret which you see

has been given to me.”

 

But others began to know about this,

and many came to the hut to watch.

 

The hand that helped

when he was weaving palm leaves

came because he no longer had any fear

of dismemberment or death.

 

When those anxious, self-protecting

imaginations leave, the real,

cooperative work begins.

 

        Jalaluddin Rumi, Mathnawi, III

 

 

At last, the walls that were full of stories written of you and me have left their hold on me. They have just dropped away. For years I held in the crevices of my mind, indeed all the empty spaces inside, words, thoughts, acts, memories…

 

Suddenly, the walls are no more. They have vanished. Not even whitewashed! They have no colour; not even the absence of colour. The stories have just vanished. There is no rubble to retrieve the stories from, even if I wanted to. Just nothing! All is gone!

Chor aaye hum, woh galiya…..said Gulzar. He was right. I too have left the gallis and the roads. Even, those rooms in my mind full of your fragrance. I know I held on to them as long as I needed them. These stories had their purpose. They took me on a journey to my Self. They broke my resistance and they brought the flood to my eyes. They seasoned me, molded me, twisted me like you turn an iron rod in the furnace to make it steel…and when that is done, neither the iron knows itself, nor is the furnace any more needed.

 

Suddenly the walls that were full of stories of you and me are no more. They have disappeared. As long as I was insecure without them, they were with me.

 

When those anxious, self-protecting

imaginations leave, the real,

cooperative work begins.

 

Goodbye Devashish! Our work together is over. I must be on my Way…..

 

 

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