Thursday, 16 March 2017

From Bird-watching to Lord Shiva -Inspirations from Daily Life

I was bird watching a few months ago at home when the lady who sweeps asked me in Tamil, "ஏனுங்க தன்னை போல இருந்துடீங்க?"

The literal translation may closely be "Why are you being by your SELF?" (This is a very common utterance)


The words "தன்னை", which means 'Self' and "இருந்து", which means 'Being' struck a cord.





Similarly goes the saying in Tamil, "சிவனேனு இருக்கிறேன்...", which closely may be translated as "I am being engrossed with Siva," or may be "I am inhering in Siva." (Also a very common utterance)

Language seems to be reminding us of the 'essence', the 'being'.... May be all Indian languages or all languages for that matter. 



Random musings....

Thursday, 22 December 2016

As I Falter as I Fly.....





Attachment binds,
Love sets you free,
Attachment masquerades in the mask of love,
The Master's love is unalloyed,
For He teaches you to be free,
He touches not the mind,
He sits in the heart (as the very heart)
I may not have realised complete freedom,
Like the early efforts of a little bird
that makes its flight in the sky,
I may falter as I fly 
before I realise that flying is my natural ability,
But His glance has bestowed me with the glimpse 
of being uncaged in infinity.




Monday, 2 March 2015

The Embrace of Grace on Mahashivratri

Grace humbles one utterly. This poem is a simple and a humble narration  of the immensity of  the Grace of Lord Siva as Panchavarneshwara abiding in an ancient temple in Uraiyur, near Trichy on Mahashivratri. 

In Shiva’s sacred night,
Thousands thronged at His Feet,
Into the massive temple that night,
The timeless in time stood; to the eyes, an utter treat!

I walked my way in the precincts,
Of sculpted splendour of magnificence!
In the ancient abode of Uraiyur distinct,
Where Siva abides as Panchavarneswara, the significant!



A form so small, yet with immeasurable might-
I stood almost mute to address,
With eyes fixed on Him in sheer delight,
“Appa”, “Appa” were all that I could express!

The priest waved the lamp to the light of all lights,
For the earthly eyes to behold,
Lost in the fanciful world of ethereal heights,
To merge with Him within in bliss untold.

I took a few steps turning around,                                    
To make my way out, at the ritual’s end,
While some received flowers that the Lord adorned,
The wish seized me, and my arm I extended.

Just then, the flowers were done,                                   
With nothing more to offer,
The priest with an expression of having none,
Looked at me helpless in that hour.

Swiftly he looked about to secure one-
And tried to pluck a rose,
From the garland that hung in the arm of another one (priest),
To appease my wish that arose.

The latter turned around,
Sensing the little pull,
The former requested for me a fair flower, round,
As I stood still.

No second thought, the latter handed it to me,
A long garland that adorned the Lord!
Dazed, I reached out for the one for me to be,
As the former smiled with an affirming nod.

He raised his hands in the air,
And said, by grace “all will be well!”
The latter smiled too assuming care,
 I smiled back with gratitude in swell.

As they turned to the crowd to attend,
I gazed at the Lord amazed,
With such unfathomable Grace He tends,
Only to leave one dazed.

I reflected alone in leisure,
That insignificant are my wants,
As He gives beyond measure,
Humbled I am against any further haunts.








Saturday, 24 January 2015

A Little Conversation on Reality



We were on a holiday. The surmounting silence of the place tuned within, while I sat in the surrounding wilderness. Rocky peaks peeped behind the clustered treetops; a little river with emerald waters flowed with soft gurgles; monkeys and Malabar squirrels scrambled up and down the branches; a variety of birds chirped continuously as they nestled in the trees. As I partook of nature’s glory silently, my two little nieces joined me on the little stone bench and started a candid conversation.

B: What are you doing Priya?

Me: Just sitting silently

S: You do not come to Bangalore these days….

Me: Hmm… yes…. Will visit you sometime soon.

B: Do you like the place where we stay now or the one that we stayed in Tadoba?

Me: Both are fine, but the location of the one that we are staying now is good. Look! There are three big Malabar squirrels on that tree….

B: But, tell me which place you like the better of the two?

Me: Ok let me tell you something interesting.

The question that you are asking me is of the past. It is from memory. Memory is only in the mind. Similarly, anything regarding future would be of imagination, which is also in the mind. Past and future cannot be real; they exist only in the mind. The present, this scene, here, now is simply real. So let us enjoy it!

It rang a bell. Both of them laughed, and I joined in the laughter.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Musings on 'Never Mind the Mind' of Ramana Maharshi


The only burden that we have is the mind. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi asks one to "Never mind the mind". This saying (Talks - 97) of Bhagavan Ramana is popular among devotees. The conversation between Bhagavan Ramana and the devotee goes thus:

D.: How to control the mind? 

M.: What is mind? Whose is the mind? 

D.: Mind always wanders. I cannot control it. 

M.: It is the nature of the mind to wander. You are not the mind. The mind springs up and sinks down. It is impermanent, transitory, whereas you are eternal. There is nothing but the Self. To inhere in the Self is the thing. Never mind the mind. If its source is sought, it will vanish leaving the Self unaffected.

D.: So one need not seek to control the mind? 

M.: There is no mind to control if you realise the Self. The mind vanishing, the Self shines forth. In the realised man the mind may be active or inactive, the Self alone remains for him. For the mind, the body and the world are not separate from the Self. They rise from and sink into the Self. They do not remain apart from the Self. Can they be different from the Self? Only be aware of the Self. Why worry about these shadows? How do they affect the Self?

In the normal sense, we think of mind control only to remove the negative traits, negative emotions in the form of worries etc in us. We also involve in mind control to check it from straying. Ramana says, "If the enquiry is made whether mind exists, it will be found that mind does not exist. That is control of mind. Otherwise, if the mind is taken to exist and one seeks to control it, it amounts to mind controlling the mind, just like a thief turning out to be a policeman to catch the thief, i.e., himself. Mind persists in that way alone, but eludes itself"- Sri Ramana Maharshi (Talk 43)

We also try to develop positive qualities in us like practising certain disciplines like Ahimsa, checking one's temper, quelling hatred, jealousy, inferiority and superiority complex etc etc... While they are good, the truth is that all our attempts to become noble is exercised within the ambit of the mind. This should be fine if we are into personality development. In the Ramana way we try to dissolve the personality, the individuality, in the pure being, which is our true nature. Bringing in good thoughts will purify the mind. However, in the direct path such as the Ramana way, we simply enquire to see if the mind exists and on finding it doesn't, one simply is in his natural state of being.

In the direct path, the focus is to find the source (the being or I AM)  of the 'individual I' or the ego (the mind) which is responsible for the rising of thoughts. With the practice of Self-enquiry, one stays in the Source. 

In the very beginning of sadhana, for some, it is natural to use “Never mind the mind" as a tool to stay at the source. It is only too natural for us to pacify ourselves when thoughts arise by saying "Oh it is only the mind". When clarity emerges with sadhana, we realise that even such reminders are basically thoughts. In the moment of such realisation, we experience the pure being, the peaceful state as thoughts dissolves in it. 

Sometimes thoughts spring up in a gush from past happenings that bog one down. The urge is to quell them immediately. The more we try to, the more they arise causing restlessness. Self-enquiry-'For whom are these thoughts?', 'Where-from do these thoughts arise?', 'Who am I', may also seem mechanical. It may seem as if we have lost all control. Ramana says 'never mind the mind' for its nature is to wander! We will have to inhere in the Self, which is the source. This becomes involuntary when practise becomes stable. We then focus directly on the source and not on thoughts.  The thoughts recede to a hazy background when the ever-present Self, the source takes over; stronger the attention on the source, dimmer the thoughts become. This may be true when we have considerably practised Self-enquiry that to shift the attention to the source in a moment becomes possible. 

Stray thoughts, worries of the future, thoughts arising from the past and other forms of thoughts as mere shadows of the ego ghost (I thought). Experiencing the source or staying centered  in it proves them non-existent.

'Never mind the mind' becomes natural, automatic and rather an involuntary process to stay in the source, to stay in peace with continuous practise by the Master’s Grace. 

By the way, why do we muse on "Never mind the mind", when the Master has said just that! lollll :) Lets not think, lets us just be!

Monday, 22 September 2014

My Master's Feet O River Ganges...

This poem glorifies the Master, Sri Ramana Maharshi's Feet as more sacred than the River Ganges. While it is a belief that the River makes one pure of one's vices, the Master's Feet takes one beyond virtue and vice to experience ultimate freedom.



O ancient river, purity's door,
Multitudes march to Thy shore,
Your holy waters wash the sins to emerge clear,
While my Master's Feet bestows it now and here!

In your waters, breath arrested, heads dip and rise,
To remove the accumulated vice,
But virtue adds ensuring continuity,
At my Master's Feet dissolves both in eternity.

Arising from Shiva's locks,
You make pure of those who flock,
But seeds of deeds after, impregnated in future,
At my Master's Feet no space nor time,
No seeds to nurture.

Virtue and vice arise from ego(individual self),
Traced back to the source to forgo,       
The phantom ego which emerge from the heart,
With it the two dissolve in, from the place of start.

My Master's Feet, O Ganges,
It is but the Heart,
In it when the ego merges,
Freedom it is beyond thought!