Monday, December 31, 2012

Into a new reality...


One morning I ventured out alone when my mother wasn’t looking.  We were living in a small hut at that time, just at the edge of the forest. The long winding path led me deep into the woods somewhere I hadn’t been before. Amidst soothing sounds of chirping birds, morning sunlight filtering down through the rustling leaves and a gentle breeze, what I remember most is that I wasn’t scared. For a seven year old kid, alone in the middle of a dense forest inhabited by wild animals, this comes across a striking, but no, I felt no fear, just an insatiable curiosity and an itch to explore. Then there, in the middle of nowhere stood the ruins of an old building.

Who would build such a structure right in the middle of a jungle? And why is it abandoned and falling in places? I wasn’t thinking these but trying to get in when I spotted a flight of stairs winding down into an underground cellar. I stepped down and walked into the basement. On either sides of a narrow hallway, there were small cave-like structures. And there I saw him! A very young man, with long flowing hair, in deep meditations. His body shone with a bright golden hue. He had the most divine smile on his calm face.

‘Come here,’ he gestured after opening his eyes. I walked towards him, as if drawn by a magnet and sat close by. He was tall, incredibly tall, even while sitting. ‘What are you doing here?’ he asked gently and I mumbled something. His face, his skin and that golden colour—I was mesmerised. ‘What’s your name?’ I asked him. He said his name, a very familiar one. Then he asked, ‘do you want to stay with me?’ I nodded. He closed his eyes and went back into his deep state.

I was back home before mother could notice. Barely able to conceal my excitement at the morning’s adventure, I tiptoed into the kitchen where she was busy with her work. ‘Where were you?’ She had noticed after all. I blurted out everything, not forgetting to mention that there were two playful dogs with that young man in the jungle. Then I said, ‘I’m going away, to stay with that tapasvi.’ 

Before feeding and putting me to bed at night, she gave me the scolding of my life. I was her only son after all, so why wouldn’t she be upset. But I was determined. Before drifting off into sleep, I noticed the blanket that mother had pulled over me. It was shining with a golden hue… the same colour of that young man’s skin!

***

What differentiates a dream from ‘reality’ is something up for debate. All dreams aren’t just chemical reactions inside your brain where your daily life is mixed and mashed randomly. And some say, your reality is nothing but one continuous dream but you’re unaware because you’re inside it, just like you wouldn’t recognise a dream as long as you’re inside the dream. Maybe it takes something like ‘stepping out’ to realize the dream like quality of our everyday reality. Memory doesn’t distinguish between the two. It takes both and puts them in the same storage place and retrieves it when you ask for it.

2012 ended like a dream and we stand on the threshold of a new year. Prophesies failed; the prophets passed over, as if to remind that no prophesy can withstand the super dynamism of the future. It’s tempting to make fun of all the failed projections, the visions of earth-standing-still, of people dying in the grand alignments, of a New Age starting right off the bat, of shifting into higher dimensions and Light bodies! Maybe the Rishis and God are rolling on the floor, laughing their guts out. Maybe Existence itself is suppressing a good laugh after tickling us with promises of apocalyptic, enlightenmentalism!  

Personally, I feel we’re at the beginning of an abundance! Both individually as well as at the societal and global levels too. Donno how this abundance will manifest and play out but I feel it’ll be beautiful, easy flowing and soothing. There’s darkness yet to reconcile to, anger yet to sublimate and wickedness still lurking within. But these shall vanish like evaporating mist when the Sun rises. We will receive the opportunities which elevate each one of us into the truly divine beings that we are. There will be newer realities and brighter playgrounds for us to indulge in to our hearts content. Light shall manifest in its highest glory on this Planet and we shall witness it, in our very lifetimes.

Here’s wishing everyone an abundant 2013! May this be the start of our unfolding divinity and magnificence. May we be guided to discover our purpose and also be blessed with the passion to pursue that purpose. And may we all come together, in our own small ways, to share our gifts, love and happiness.

May the Light shine and radiate through each one of us!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cometh the Moment...



..and it’s gone even before you blink. Like a whisper, a dew drop, a thin veil of mist and a fragrance. A thing of extraordinary beauty, yet so fragile. As captured by the poet when he sang, Aanewala pal jaanewala hai’ (a moment that is yet to arrive is also about to depart).

No matter what happens or doesn’t, one thing is for sure. In two days, 21st December 2012 will be history! Gone! Cholegache. The world may be better off, or worse, but it won't remain the same. It’ll be poorer without this spectacle, this magical date which kept us enthralled all these years.

In the midst of every despair, we at least had this solace and hope—an apocalyptic, mystical date is over there, just a few years away. It’ll end the misery. It'll blow up this world and begin a new one.

Now? What do we have? That comforting solace will be gone forever.  Like a childhood friend who goes off, never to return, leaving you a shade lonelier. Leaving you with memories--bitter and sweet. Now, what do you look forward to? Which is the next date? And will it be as powerful and magnificent as this one?

 As our Planet hurtles into the core of the photon belt, while simultaneously stepping into the Mother of all alignments on the December Solstice, as the Mayan calendar ends  and a 26000-year Solar cycle completes…. and as you open that door and step into Dec 21st….remember this! You were right here, on this planet, in this space-time, inside this small piece of history when a grand synchronicity happened, when the Gods smiled, when the Cosmos converged to cuddle you, when the heart of the Universe skipped a beat….you were right here in this moment! Along with 7 billion Souls and all life! Blessing this moment with your Presence! Carrying Light in your heart as you walked through that door!

 This is a once-in-a-several-lifetimes moment. Embrace it as it departs!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Guruji Krishnananda...Finger pointing to the Moon


One evening, not so long ago, we were talking and I asked him matter-of-factly, “After you, what’ll happen here? Who’ll take care of things and guide...?”

 He smiled and said something but what’s amazing is my total insensitivity and stupidity in asking someone about his own death! No doubt, I was dumb but it hardly mattered because he took no offense. With him, it was okay to be dumb and stupid. Emotional and Open. He spoke warmly as ever about many other things.
The warmth of that moment still lingers on. And those were blissful days. We were young, idealistic, thirsty for new spiritual knowledge and madly enthusiastic about bringing the heavens down to Earth—a small group of focussed youngsters who gelled together with an amazing rapport. And we had Guruji as our guide and mentor—a wise, old man weathered in the ways of the world and seasoned in the mystical realms. The scene looked straight out of mythology. Take any episode from the epics/myths, where a rag-tag bunch of nobodies are taking on the might of an empire, with nothing but their raw, honest energy and an experienced elder’s guidance to fall back on. We all would perfectly fit in there!

No, we never thought that the old man wouldn’t be amidst us. Although I asked a hypothetical question-‘who after him’, there wasn’t an ‘after him’ thing. There wasn’t a life imagined without him. Neither was there a life imagined without the company of that group. We were bonded for life—that’s what we thought.
First, the group frittered away. It took something like his Death to bring most of us back together, briefly.

***
‘The past is another country, things happen differently there,’ who said this, donno. But yeah, the past is a crazy different place. So many things happened in the last decade, and the one before that. I almost died and came back to life. Lost hope and found a purpose. Made great friends and lost a few. Put anchor into life, caught hold of a dream and before long, woke up from the dream world.

Guruji gave us that dream. And we embraced it and held it close to our hearts. For me, who had just come out of days of despair and aimlessness, the dream became my purpose.
It was simple. Just wake up. Find spiritual light, not away from life but right there, in the middle of it all. Experience Spiritual enlightenment. Open up your dormant faculties. Establish contacts with the mystical realms. Travel astrally. Become capable of bringing down new knowledge and energies from the higher realms. Commune with the Highest Reality. Most importantly, transform into a better human being, slowly, step by step. Be in the thick of life and find God. Just awesome!

The second part of the dream was equally spectacular. Be a part of a commune. A place to share your gifts, knowledge, love and presence. A place full of unconditional love and freedom, free from judgement and all vices. A self-sufficient community of enlightened individuals, living a righteous life of the New Age, in total harmony and balance. The first citizens of an entirely new World! Nothing less than another Shangri-la!
I am not kidding. Think Christ and his disciples at the beginning of 2000 years of history. We were staring at something more magnificent. And the seeds were beginning to sprout—we could feel it. The awakening had begun. There were transformations--subtle and also profound. And the bonding and camaraderie we felt in that group... perfect for a budding commune

... ... ... ... ...
... ... ... ... ...
... ... ... ... ...

Then we woke up, one by one.
They say ‘you never know the twilight zone between dream and reality.’ But when the dream started turning sour, I heard this...

Things fall apart
the center cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosend upon the world
The blood dimm'd tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
are full of passionate intensity
-W B Yeats

How could Yeats guess our disillusionment, predicament and sorrow?
***

There are innumerable memories of the times spent with Guruji and others. One, I gotta jot down, because it's important.
One day, in a volunteer’s meeting, someone asked him: ‘Now, you can contact the Higher realms and bring down knowledge, guide us etc? When will we too become capable of doing this? How long it takes?’
Guruji pointed towards a girl and said: ‘She too can do it. All of you will be able to. It’s just a matter of time. Until then, take my guidance. Or you can refer to her and seek guidance’.

Suddenly, there was a gush of hitherto unknown knowledge. There were fantastic revelations. Guruji wrote a very interesting book ‘Beyond 2012’ which had many fascinating facts. An unstoppable enthusiasm began surging through us. The spectacle of 2012 was looming right in front, just a few years away. We were all geared up, gung-ho, ready for big, mad sacrifices.
Most of this new knowledge and revelations came from that girl. After quitting, she and her brother launched a website called VishwaAmara

***
Why does it matter, after all? It matters. Because you stagnate if you hold on to what’s handed down to you. To stay alive, you need to move on. Gather new knowledge and energies according to the changing times. Find your own light and direction, right at your core. And if you’re guided to do so, point the way for others.

That was what was expected. And these two youngsters did it with Vishwa Amara, even when Guruji was very much alive. The dream hadn’t perished! Although he didn’t express much, heart of hearts, he must’ve felt proud and ecstatic. Because he knew that...
...the dream didn’t come from him. It came through him, he was just a conduit. And the source was something beyond. This subtle difference between ‘from’ and ‘through’ is what differentiates a ‘devotee’ and a ‘disciple’. A Devotee latches on to ‘from’, worships the master and finally destroys His message. The Disciple recognises the ‘through’ factor and goes beyond.

That’s the imagery of the finger pointing to the moon. ‘Look at the Moon’, says the master, ‘not at my finger’. That’s what he meant when he said once, ‘I want disciples here, not devotees’.
It’s easy to worship and sit pretty. But to transcend and go beyond... it takes balls. Pure balls.

That balls gives you the ability to channel this knowledge, at critical times like the present.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I'm not ready for this departure...

There’s a maahaul of death and departure around. It’s as if one is getting used to these deaths so much that it doesn’t touch us anymore. We read about a school bus hit by a train and kids dying, or a car plunging down a ravine and wiping out a family, or air-strikes in Gaza or Syria which kill hundreds of civilians. Every day or the other an important person departs and the news channels give a full coverage for a couple of days. Death is another news item, it doesn’t move me, it doesn’t shake you, doesn’t prompt anyone of us to ask, ‘What’s this?  This thing called death. Where does it take people?'
 
 But it shakes us when Death strikes nearby, takes away someone close. Or threatens to whisk away someone we’ve been connected to for quite a while. There’s fear, a deep sense of loss, terrible sorrow. Reminds us of our own mortality. Maybe touches a few people at great depths and stirs in them a desire to know Death or even find ways to transcend it.

The first time I read somewhere that only 5 % of human population on this Earth is expected to make it to the next decade or so, I felt nothing. Imagine 6 and a half billion people dying! Forget whether you believe it or not, but the enormity of such a great departure? Or when I was told that it’s possible that only 65% of us will see 2013!

It does not shake me because I assume that I belong to that surviving 65%. Or that precious 5%. And all my friends, relatives, colleagues, milk maid, paperboy, water supplier and the shop-keeper across the street will also survive these mad figures. It’s this assumption that ‘Death happens elsewhere’ that numbs me and makes me insensitive.

Between these two extreme reactions to death—insensitive and fearful—there must be a middle ground. It’s one of total acceptance and understanding—not just in theory but in your heart. Maybe it comes when one is on the threshold of death and is able to view things impassionedly. Or it might arrive when one attains enlightenment. Or in some other state of mind I’m not yet aware of.

There’s only one person I know who speaks of transcending death, believes passionately in physical Immortality and has devised and shared the spiritual practices which makes one Immortal.

For me, however, Death is still a concept which swings me between the two extremes—indifference or one of sorrow and loss. And I’m too much at the grosser level, unable to stand at a distance, at a height, and view things from a broad perspective. If a stranger departs, I’ll not be moved. If someone close departs, I’ll shake and shiver and brood. And I’ll always be blissfully unaware of the fact that death is something that’ll happen to me too.

Transcending this humanness is difficult but I wish I could do it. I wish I were Enlightened, now and here. But not yet...not yet.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Your life is not yours...

it's difficult to forget this....

 the little boy was around 7 or 8 and he was playing in the courtyard while the maid sat at a distance, washing clothes. It was a regular school day, but the boy was sick, so his parents wrote a leave letter and dispatched it with his sister who was a couple of years older. At around 11 am, when the house was empty and the maid was washing clothes outside the house and the boy was playing in the mud nearby, a tall dark young man came near the fence.

 'The boy's mother has met with an accident,' he said to the maid.'And she wants him to be sent immediately. Send him, I'll take him to her.'

 The maid was no more than 15, a village girl who had accompanied the family to the city, lived  in their house, did all the household work as well as taking care of the three kids. Maybe she had been warned of such incidents or maybe her instincts were alert. She flatly refused to send the boy inspite of the young man exhorting her, again and again, that the mother was in a very serious condition and wanted to see her son one last time. 'It's alright,' the boy heard her telling the young man. 'Let anything happen to the mother, i'll not send him.'

 What if she had given in and sent the kid with that man? Where would I be now, in which part of the country(or Universe)? Maybe they'd have sold me into begging in some big city, or given away in adoption, or maybe worse? It's no exaggeration that I owe the rest of my life as I know it, from that point onwards, to my maid and her little act of bravery and common sense. I'm recollecting and writing that incident now, thanks to her.

What I really wanted to reflect upon was this....how much of our life is really ours? What forces control our lives and destinies? How do very insignificant incidents and activities change the course of one's life, or set in motion a new set of events? How do the past, present and the future come together in one grand syncronicity, forming a perfect arc of events, stretching over from birth to death--maybe extending infinetely back and forth into eternity?

It's easy to get emotional about this. I had a friend come over and remind me how our lives were shaped because of the grace of one particular person and how we gotta be grateful, etc, but it's not that simple I guess. You can't place your finger on one event, person or decision that lead all the way to where you stand right now. Sometimes you feel that the whole Universe is conspiring in a curious way in order to shape your life. At other times, it appears as if everything is random or chance, and you're no more important than a speck of dust. That person whose grace was supposed to have shaped our lives had himself been helped, supported and uplifted by umpteen individuals, without whose grace, he would have spiraled off into obscurity(and thus have no opportunity to bestowe his grace upon us). In this long chain of unknown people and events, to whom do you express your gratitude?

 Does it all matter, really? I was born at a time when parents had a craze for a baby boy(they still do), and I know people who've had half a dozen daughters, still trying for that elusive son. The first two in our family were daughters before I incarnated(!), but I'm pretty sure that if my parents had had a son and a daughter instead of two girls, they wouldn't have considered going for the third child. So, in effect, I owe my very existence to my two elder sisters and my parents' conformist inclination towards having a son. Damn all grace and stuff, they came later!

 Much of this was triggered after watching the trailer of Cloud atlas! Can't wait to watch the movie, and more importantly, the book on which it is based!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Future Crazy...

 September is a big month, as far as Soluntra is concerned. She sends out a newsletter every month or so and it's full of love, light and inspiration.This month, she has information of intense Solar flare activities and major changes at the personal level for each of us. No doomsday stuff but something to be aware of and observe.

 I remember NASA predicted similar things a few years ago, about intense solar flares in Aug-Sept 2012, and how it 'might' destroy our Earth's electromagnetic grid. What it also means is the possible breakdown of our electrical and telecommunication systems, or in other words, a complete freeze of our modern world and daily activities. All these are just possibilities and such events have been averted or postponed, or gone kaput quite a number of times.

So, will september see such major events? Nobody can tell for sure. However there are subtler things which we can do through our meditations, or through our 'inner work' as Soluntra calls them. These I believe can strengthen us and help us cope up in the event of major disruptions. And also help the world in the bigger picture, in small ways that can't be perceived logically. She has mentioned a beautiful practice in her newsletter which is summarized and also reprinted in full, here. You can participate in this work, by practicing it everyday for a few minutes, until Sept 22nd.

 If you feel inspired to follow it up or practice a bit and loosen up, check it out. 



Friday, July 20, 2012

New Dawn...new beginnings

 Rains on a morning. Melodious spluttering on the corrugated roofs of the small church next door. Look out the window and the world is green, fresh, alive. My house is nestled in a semi-urban, semi-rural environment and there's always a background of Natural sounds and rhythms which we successfully ignore. But a lazy dawn with good rains, chilly wind and you can't help but pay attention to the chirping birds, the cooing Koels and the chattering cicadas.

Breathe in freshness and breathe out your worries.

*
 Getting interested in Martial arts, again, after 20 years. I'd done some karate kicking in my high school years but quickly gave up after having my guts punched during a couple of sparrings. Then followed a few years of Yoga exercises, some gym workouts and regular jogging during cricket net practice. Once I came into IT and settled into a cubicle and started testing stuff, all physical workouts went out the window.

 Add to this some seriously arrogant and naive advice which we took to heart: "Meditations are superior to asanas and other physical exercises". "Martial arts attract lower energies". Not that we were experiencing spiritually elevated states, swimming in higher energies and activating our dna strands so that any physical exertion would pull us down. But hear such stuff often and you ignore your body and start getting lopsided and slothful.

 Now, when I'm putting all these long held beliefs and free advice into the fire and testing their mettle, I realize my body is requesting attention. And asking me to get out of laziness and step into a rejuvenating physical culture.

*

 There's a 'honey moon' period in our work circle-- something I was fascinated about as I saw my friends go through it. It happens when you find a new job and resign from your current position and enter the 'notice period'. It used to be for one month but off late it's 3 months. These three months, you work in the current company but without any stress or pressure. You do your work and go home, unbothered about deadlines, reprimands or appraisals. What matters is the quality of your work, nothing else. Some guys laze off and do almost zero work but you still can enjoy whatever you're doing and deliver results, without any garbage dangling above your head. Blissful. Just what work should be in a sane world.

 I was beginning to worry that this phase will never arrive for me. That I'm destined to retire from this company--utterly bored, bitter and grumbling. After struggling to get out of the rut for nearly 2 years, I started to give up, resigned to my fate when suddenly, a door opened, something snapped and kicked me right out of my hopelessness and right through the door, and voila! here I am, in the middle of the honeymoon.

 Grace? Luck? Hardwork? Maybe a mix of all as I get ready for the next phase of my career in a new job. Sunny days are here, smack in the middle of monsoon rains and I'm enjoying this chotu pampering and cuddling from the Universe! Thank ye!!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Early Warning...

'how much liquid assets you got?'

 'a little,' me says.

 'Take it out, and keep it safe elsewhere... for some time.'

 I had received similar advice last year, on some blog. Take out some cash from the bank account, maybe worth three months of your salary ( or more or less ), and keep it safe. Wait and watch for some time. If nothing happens put it back (you'll lose only the interest ). But if there's a rumble and the economy begins to shake and you're not able to withdraw cash from the banks and all hell breaks loose, you're at least a bit safe, with your reserves.

 I guess, there's such a rumble out there, and if you are not sensing it, you must be in a coma! Just keep an eye on the banks. Watch.

 If you have liquid currency, I would say, have some reserves just outside the banking system. Or at least be ready to take it out on a short notice.

 How much do you take out? Do you withdraw everything or just a part? Or do you wait for some clear signs before taking action?..... You decide!!!

 Does it help much? No idea, but it's better to have something instead of being empty pocketed. Will this save us from the consequences of a bank freeze? Nope. It'll only give a small lead on the long road winding down there. It'll give some comforts, for some time, and maybe that'll be highly needed. There's much more to be done--at the individual and community levels-- and a greater preparation is necessary for this rough journey. And we are already out there, on the road.

 I guess, nobody can predict how seriously close we all are to the SHTF ( Shit Hits The Fan ) situation. A worldwide economic collapse has been on the expected list for quite some time. Currently, European countries are lining up for this catastrophe and it'll only be a while until Asian economies and India follow suit. The IT boom in India and the millions of jobs it created---all stand on the thin ice called US Economy. A freeze there and we catch cold here. A tight economy overseas and the interview calls and openings dry up here. A falling rupee value against US dollars sends the oil prices soaring, which raises not only vegetable prices but also my son's transportation cost to his school ( The only thing that doesn't rise is my salary! ). In a globalised, interconnected world where one economy after the other is lying sick, it's only prudent to ask: How safe are our jobs? How affordable will be the cost of living in the days to come? What jobs are recession proof? How do you prepare for the coming lean days? What goes for a toss when the economy crashes? What'll be the social condition then? How safe and secure will your family and your community be? How do you unshackle yourself, your family and your community from this decaying global chain....

Maybe it's all far fetched and, as some of the my optimistic friends say, 'nothing will happen, relax'. But I ain't optimistic and don't believe in the 'business as usual' mantra. My hopes and dreams go way way beyond optimism. I believe in no less an utopia in the years to come and nothing but an enlightened state of mind for all of us on this planet(How do you get there from the current rotting system, don't ask because I'm clueless). Everything that's happening in and around us NOW, I believe, is a part of that process which'll ultimately lead to such an exalted living.

 Until such a state of living dawns here, there will be urgent situations to cope with. There are a thousand things to learn, many more to unlearn/let go and quite a few shocks and jerk-outs from our comfort zones. A tight economy with a possible bank freeze is the first devil to face, right now.

You'll have a hundred fools blabbering about like experts( including yours truly ), giving free advice on what to do or what to avoid, but if you're sane, you'll calmly listen to all that shit without responding. Then you'll silently ask, what's the right thing to do and listen to your gut instincts and take a call. That will be the right decision for you. That's what I'm doing now.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

You are the mob...

... and it takes time to realize that you're a part of it.

 Petrol prices got hiked yesterday night. It jumped up by nearly 7 Rs, effective midnight. And as expected, there was a huge rush at almost all petrol bunks across our city(around India?), with people standing in long queues to fill up their bikes and cars before the new prices kicked in.

 The logic kinda stumps me. How many liters of petrol can you fill in your two-wheeler or car? 10? 25? And saving 7 Rs per liter, you'll be saving 70 Rs, or maybe 200 Rs, if you've a car. To save this amount, you gotta stand in long queues, sometimes for hours and get into fights and brawls at the gas stations. The fights did break out and you had police vans deployed at many bunks in our city. Is your 100-200 bucks worth all that waiting, fatigue and altercation? Maybe.

 I guess, its the 'default thinking' (about which David Foster Wallace spoke here) that kicks in at such times. Be one with the mob, and follow what others are doing. Don't think for yourself. Don't listen to your common sense. Save that small amount and feel satisfied. Or be in the herd because you're too afraid to be left out, to be on your own. It's okay to be a donkey for some time.

 Wonder what'll happen if the banks close shop tomorrow or if the economy comes crashing down. It takes only moments for the looting and savagery to begin. No, it's your average man on the road who does it, and it includes you and me too, if we're not paying attention to what goes on inside our heads.