Monday morning

The strangest Monday morning. Tapping away on my phone amidst a deluge of impending tasks. Am definitely in a talkative mood. But I am not able to figure out the topic. Not about work or family or anything to do with my friends.

Yes, I can talk about Yoga. 9 years since I started and have come a long way. It has ceased to be an item in my daily routine. It is now a part of me. I am shedding my coloured glasses one by one. I can see more clearly now. I can understand better. All the lines that are said and those unsaid, in seriousness and otherwise. Intentionally & otherwise. Directly & otherwise. The next knot was being judgemental & opinionated. Am working on it.

Where is my paper?

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Meditation diaries

As days have moved past me, I am spending increasingly more time understanding the nuances of Kundalini Gnanam. I have broken away from addressing my practises as mere Yoga or Kundalini Yoga. It is definitely because it is not so. While Yoga lends itself to a lot of interpretations, Kundalini lends it a lot of character and the word Gnanam is in a similar vein.

The difference lies in Kundalini being a more particular description of the science and the word Gnanam being even more descriptive. Let me first start off with the word Kundalini. While Yoga is considered to be strongly related to ‘Asanas’, the word Kundalini gives it a more subtle sense. Kundalini talks about the subtle energy which keeps the whole world, me inclusive, going. The word Gnanam is descriptive of the highest sense of understanding, the pinnacle of Yogic achievement, as explained by my Guru.

Have started exploring various books in English and Tamil to collect my thoughts, experiment and understand the science. More to relate to what has been already been written. The fact that I have studied anatomy during my graduation has helped to a great degree. What is challenging in this initiative is the fact that so much has been written on this subject by so many Masters. All I can do is add my 2 pence to it.

Let me see.

Meditation diaries – Guru Bhakthi

I have been practicing a science called ‘Kundalini Gnanam’ for the past 8 years and it never ceases to amaze. What is thought as relevant yesterday lies in tatters today. What I thought was right is no longer right. Right is not relevant anymore.

Recently I had the chance to visit my Guru for 3 uninterrupted days and that helped me clear a lot of air. First and foremost I was increasingly losing my sense of direction in the last couple of months. My sense of discipline and my understanding of what I should do were both suffering. Days in and days out, I was increasingly getting frustrated that I was not doing what I wanted to do and I was getting further perturbed by the course of events. It was a negative loop and I suffered further due to my habit of not speaking to my Guru in such phases. Then it happened.

Arun, one of my buddies, called me out of the blue and told me that he was done with it (metaphorically and meaning of ‘it’ does not matter) and he had made up his mind to visit our Guru for a whole week. He wanted to meet and asked me to plan. Cutting a long story short, I was there for 3 days with my Guru. All kinds of things happened in those 3 days.

First and foremost, I understood the importance of Guru – Bhakthi. While in popular parlance, it would mean thinking about the Guru and worshiping him, for me it took on a deeper dimension. For me it meant understanding what he wants his students and disciples to do. A Guru wants nothing less than all of his students becoming a Guru themselves. This is a unique aspect of ‘knowledge’. It is one of the few assets, which makes the one who possesses it, want to share with as many people as possible. If one has to become a Guru then one must want to teach. For one who wants to teach, one must possess knowledge. To possess knowledge, one must research. The word research is beautiful isn’t it?

You have to re – search. The way I understand it is that you must probably abandon all that you hold true today and start from the beginning. The way I see it, religious people are not truly spiritual. Particularly the ones deeply embroiled in symbolic rituals and everyday ablutions. This has nothing to do with what they do and more to do with their outlook. They have accepted that this is it and have left it at that. The spiritual aspirant’s foremost quality would be to accept nothing as it is and question everything. Because they day one says this is it, he or she stops learning and is for all practical purposes, non-existent. Life is energy and energy that stagnates is more or less dead. As Vivekananda once said, the atheist is more religious than the Brahmin who unerringly performs pujas everyday.

So to me Guru – Bhakthi would also mean to tirelessly pursue the knowledge which will help me understand things better. The Spiritual Masters say that there is a knowledge which will be sweeter than forest honey. There is a knowledge which is ageless and timeless. There is a knowledge which will change the whole plane of existence. To me Guru – Bhakthi would mean to seek it with the same sense of urgency as a deer which just escaped from the hunter’s nest. It would mean to search it with the same emotions as the desert nomad who is thirsty and sees a mirage for the nth time.

This would take time and ceaseless effort. But like Lao Tse said – ‘The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step’. Please start, my friend. Start today. Start now.

Meditation diaries

I had written a post sometime back, on a particular observation during practise of asanas and meditation. Interestingly I had a comment by a gentleman talking about the a very sweeping description of meditation.

It was a very good description and I would like to agree with him on a lot of aspects. But if I look back and pick up something which had left an impression on me, it was his statement which can be equated with logic.

‘A wise person is intelligent, but an intelligent person is not necessarily wise’

How true?

One thing which I have noticed as a change during the past few years spent in meditation is that there has been a change in my maturity level (a.k.a wisdom). I would strongly attribute this to that fact that I am able to move away from my selfish self. I take myself less seriously and even so others. Can this really be called maturity?

Somebody I know recently said,

‘Let me be myself’.

I asked,

‘What are you, that you want to be yourself? You are but a mixed bag, predominantly composed of your parents and close friends,….and bits and pieces of all the people that you have met since you were born.’

I reflect upon it and isn’t it true that we are all clowns, imitating other in everything starting from the language we speak, body language to everything else. We talk like others, eat like others, think like others. The society seems to be a collective bag of largely identical units walking and talking in a mundane symphony. It as even perfected the art of sustaining itself through generations?

So there is no you as such. So why take yourself so seriously?

My husband, my work, my life……

So much of tension because of these thougths that you are responsible for everything and it is your headache to turn things around.

Is it necessary?

You have no control over why your were born by the collective union of two specific individuals in this wide Cosmos. If you have no control over this fact then you have no control over all the parameters that have influenced you ever since. Everything from your first teacher to the icecream vendor on the street.

A thought like this helps you take yourself less seriously. Can this be called maturity? Can a thought which makes you ligther be called maturity?

Simon say ‘Yes, we can!’

Hah!

Knowledge and Spirituality

I was reading from a book written by guru

I stopped for a moment and started thinking about spirituality as such and the amount of material that one can find in this world. The sheer number of religions, sects and sub-sects. The number of Saints and Yogis and their followers in this world. Ironically each saint would have been written upon multiple times in terms of interpretations and translations. This presents a mind-numbing amount of content.

Is it possible to read all this in one span of life?

This brings a very interesting question to the fore and that is the relevance of information and the difference between information and Knowledge. There is only a certain amount of information that any human being can ingest in a lifetime. So we obviously have to be selective about the information that we ingest on a day-today basis. This can only be done by understanding the relevance of information to ourselves. The relevance of information now brings us to the difference between information and knowledge. When information is converted into something useful, by the application of our mind to syncretise a conceptual understanding of information and concepts that we have collected so far, then the information is converted into Knowledge. Knowledge helps us understand.

Now the question shifts to the more important question of how to differentiate amongst the information that we collect on a day-to-day basis. The straight forward answer to this question will be that it depends on what one wants to do or is doing. If you are doing business then the focus should be on information related to business. So on and so forth. But at the end of the day the mind is like a machine which needs lubrication, a kind of mental rest and this is where spirituality comes into play. Spirituality has only one goal and that is to give you peace of mind. While one’s ambitions and goals will leave us in a constant state of restlessness and anxiety about what will happen in the future, spirituality will leave us bereft of all these symptoms and tend to push us towards a more balanced state of mind.

For the beginners in spirituality, ingesting some bit on a daily basis will definitely help. While for the advanced practitioners (don’t ask me for the definition), again discretion is adviced. I have come to realise this because of two factors, one is that it is more important to syncretise rather than ingesting information. Sometimes it is better to understand 4 lines of poetry rather than read 100 lines. I have read the book by Guru once and I decided that I will not finish the book in a hurry. I will rather stop and weigh my thoughts over and over to be able assimilate the last drop of Knowledge before moving forward.

In the seashore of the collective knowledge of this world, there are way too many footprints and I am confused. If I follow every other footprint, I will end up in ‘Brownian motion’. I do not have ‘apriori’ information to be able to select any one. In this melee, I met my Guru and out of pure intuition, putting down intelligence and trusting my intuition alone, I follow his steps and I have never looked back since. I am not asking you to do the same as everybody might not have the good-luck of meeting with a Guru. What I am asking you to do is to prioritise your sources of information, syncretise rather than spend all your time in collecting ‘General Knowledge’ (which remains General) and lastly to spend sometime in spirituality for that balance in life.

And totally out of the blue, trust your intuition once in a while.

Meditation diaries

I had received a book written in Tamil by my Guru and it has been quite an interesting journey.

For one, it is not a book which can be read at one go. To say the least, it is a book which should only be read a couple of pages a time. This is because of the fact that the book is about experiential learnings which cannot be be experienced at any predictable rate. This puts me in a quandry as I had set out to jot down notes on my interpretation of the book.

It seems to me that to literally translate it will not be the best things to do. Instead I will need to write my own bits and pieces.

Let me start with the most recent one.

Generally I sit in ‘Padmasana‘ and meditate for a decent amount of time. It so happens that due to pressure differences in the internal blood vessels of each individual leg, the blood supply is significantly compromised in one leg as compared to another. This is because the pressure is greater on one leg as compared to another.

Now when I come out of meditation and try to relax my legs, one leg is blue due to anoxia and the other leg is more or less reddish in colour. I am immediately reminded of the fact that some represenations of ‘Shiva‘ in India are done with Shiva representing one half and ‘Parvathi‘, his consort,

Arthanari

Arthanari

representing¬† the other half. ‘Shiva’ is depicted in blue and ‘Parvathi’ is depicted in red. The theme behind this sort of a depiction seems to be that ‘Shiva’ and ‘Parvathi’ are not male and female in the traditional sense, but represent some dual nature within the human body. This seems to be at the physical plane as well as a the spiritual plane.

Will continue in my next piece.

Meditation diaries

I have noticed many a time that I would like to express myself, but it turns out that the subject has already been broached by a different author in a different medium. This is particularly true for reflections in the spiritual space.

Just to give an example, I have heard of a Tamil song, one portion of which goes on like this

‘ Thathuva kuappaiyai marandhuda cheyvai nee..’

To explain word by word,

‘Thathuvam’ means meaning or moral attached to a story or preaching

‘Kuppai’ meand garbage

‘Marandhidu’ means to forget

‘Cheyvai’ means to make something happen

‘Nee’ means you

This song is part of a devotional hymn sung during prayer in Tamil households, particularly devotees of Lord Murugan.

I have found this thought flashing through my mind many a time. This particularly comes to the fore when life in general is being dissected on the logical plane.

I can come up with a few arguments in support of my opinion that life cannot be dissected on the logical plane. But I would be contradicting myself.

Then the question is about how to go about this subject. The fact remains that some questions are never going to be answered by dissections on the logical plane and to move ahead in this search of this ethereal knowledge, faith helps a lot.

I do not why, but I have faith.

Faith that there are some unanswered questions in life and that I need not search externally, but I can get all the answers from within. One simple reason for this faith was the fact that I could see within myself, every grain of emotion that I had seen or heard of. I could just go through all these emotions at my whim and fancy.

I could feel like a sinner and saint. I could feel them all. When I went through this, I knew that the mind is the panoply of a lot of things that I need to explore and learn.

This same faith brought me in touch with my Guru. I never have a logical explanation of why I have spent about 5 years in meditative practices and a bit of yoga thrown in. From an outsiders point of view there are a few things which seem interesting like my ability to exert immense control over my habits, but they seem irrelevant to me. I can observe that my decision making abilities have improved immensely, but they again seem irrelevant to me. This puts me in a situation very similar to that of some of my colleagues. This does not help me answer the simple question, why am I they way I am?

Now I would like to agree with the Tamil adage that I started this write-up with. And I want to write about it. But some intellectual had realized it eons back and had written a poem about it. Here I am trying to expand the essence only to realize that there is nothing new in it.

Come to think of it, have ( Humanity) we really changed the way we think we have? It is a very interesting question. Think about it.