To have but not to hold
To hold and not to keep
To keep but not to own
To own and not to love
To love but not to be
To be and not to have
To have but not to hold
‘My very being is stricken with the weakness of sentimental pity. With my mind bewildered about my duty, I ask Thee. Tell me, for certain, which is better. I am Thy pupil; teach me, who am seeking refuge in Thee.’ (Bhagwad Geeta, 2:7)
The more the number of questions that I ask of God, the less that I hear back from Him. And then suddenly, as if struck by a thunderbolt, it all comes back to me. Heaven relents. The emptiness disappears. The fog recedes into the crevices deep inside of me. It's day light again. It's given to me in the precise hour that I am supposed to know.
I had hit upon this article in 'The Hindu' dated June 27th 2007 (Paul Davies) which states that the Universe looks suspiciously like a fix. And no, one cannot fully explain this to anything external (internally anchored cosmos, eh?) to it, be it an unexplained God or an unexplained set of mathematical laws.
What would you have to say if I were to tell you that the solution to the population explosion (seen as a whole globally) lies in our collective and individual Karma? Sounds absurd but merits an examination.
Duality was on the fore in the first ever inter-religious dialogue held in Bangalore, between Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Art of Living) and Dr. Zakir Naik (Islamic Research Foundation) to understand the concept of God in Hinduism and Islam. One spoke of love as a channel to God whilst the other seemed to insist on a more scholarly path to Him (to resounding applause from the gathering). Of course, the former was being really humble in declaring his ignorance of the scriptures being quoted by the latter. Interestingly, the very scriptures that he feigned ignorance of and resisted quoting from, teach that simple trait that he already embodies - that of humility, ignorance and of love. For if not for ignorance, how does one prepare oneself to learn? If not for one's acknowledgement that one doesn't know enough, how does one open his heart and mind to gain from other viewpoints? Thoreau once said, 'How can we remember our ignorance which our growth requires, when we are using our knowledge all of the time?'
"For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away" - 1 Corinthians 13:9,10
With the glare of the sun strong across my face, I waited with the gentiles. As the wings of time flapped away into the distance, I asked, 'Where's he?' And the sun only seemed to tighten it's warm embrace of me. I shielded myself with a torn cloth masquerading as a handkerchief when the clouds, having gathered together into a ball of cotton, curtained the ball of fire, as if to let another resplendent one into the scene. My accomplice rushed to him to get his audience and touched his feet. I waited, absorbing in the gentle visage of a man. An hour later and after having been spoken to in an alien tongue, I felt satiated. I knew I was sure to come back to feel the ripples of the spirit again.
My colleague was shocked to find a ten day old baby boy wailing at her doorstep this Sunday evening. Clearly, its mother had left it there to rot fearing social stigma that would otherwise have been her fate.
Each one of us is the effect of the infinite past. This is the law of Karma. Each one of us is born into this world to work out our past deeds. Each one of us is the maker of his own fate. In effect, I alone am responsible for what I suffer or enjoy today. In that event, a question surfaces on my mind. Why don't we hold onto our memories as we travel from one shore to the other? Why is the connection with our past disconnected once we move into another form? If I'm conscious of my past lives, I would desist in doing just what led me to my fate today. Will that not take me closer to the Infinite faster by making me able to build on my knowledge steadily? Will God not want that Himself?
Last Saturday, a woman called at my door, claiming to be out on His work. She began by asking if I ever wondered why every other day, some people have to die. Before I could offer, she continued that it is because Jesus has returned and it is a holy retribution for all our misdeeds.
If I love you, it's a sin,
As I look skywards for a sign, I notice the sheer helplessness that emerges from the futile attempts to salvage my space and identity. Why do I still look for you in all the wrong places? Why do I cling onto what was never truly mine? Why do I hope against sinking hope for the reinforcement of my deeply held desires? Am I then, only human?
When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment in law, (Matthew 22:38), he replied, 'You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.'
Will be back with more learnings soon...have just switched cities in India...it sure has been busy with the usual trappings of the outside world.
What's this balderdash about immortality one may wonder. Anything that has name and form is transient. And when we get fixated on all that will have an end, we further move an inch towards mortality.
Popular Culture, Science & God fill a great part of our daily lives. Thought of compiling what a few personal idols of popular culture and science think of God's place in the scheme of things.
I wrote this piece in honor of my evil side. I still have no luck!
Thought of converting my comment to questions (over my last post) raised by an old friend into a blog in itself. I'll break that up into questions and try to take them in order.
When can we be really happy? Man thinks foolishly that he can make himself happy, and after years of struggle finds out at last that true happiness consists in killing selfishness and that no one can make him happy except himself. So long as there is desire, no real happiness can come. (Yet, all that we desire is happiness. However, once we tire our mind of running here and there and everywhere in pursuit of it, we shall realise that it lies right within us) Swami Vivekananda taught that it is only the contemplative, witnesslike study of objects that brings to us real enjoyment and happiness. Which means that if we flow away with the current of things, whether sorrowful or happy, we can never attain to ever lasting bliss. Happiness presents itself before man wearing a crown of sorrow on its head. He who welcomes it MUST also welcome sorrow. In the Swami's words, 'What we want is neither happiness nor misery. Both are chains, one iron, one gold; behind both is the Atman which knows neither hapiness nor misery.'
Ever hurt by someone you know well/don't know well/love/a stranger/a sworn enemy? Well, you can take heart. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says 'In the company of your friend, you lose your centeredness. Your enemy puts you back in yourself. Your friend sympathizes with you and makes you believe in matter. Your enemy makes you feel helpless and takes you to the spirit. So your enemy is your friend and your friend is your enemy!'
Reading about who we really are brings more questions to my mind than answers, for instance, if this body is not me, then why do I feel it's pain? Sense perceptions, I guess, further bind us to the mortal world. I remember my first 'Art of Living' session in New Delhi...the teacher said, 'What is it that you want in this life?' Pat came a litany of desires (mortal all of them). The teacher replied, 'Doesn't that want you to free your self of all that's holding you back'? Profound words they and they set me thinking....What is the purpose of this life? If Hinduism preaches that the smallest of creatures has a soul, then why has my soul chosen to manifest itself in a human form?