Saturday, April 24, 2010

From ‘Temptations of the West’ by Pankaj Mishra

….Kashmiris often claim………they have been slaves of foreign rulers since the sixteenth century…….In the chaos of post-Mogul India, with the old empire rapidly disintegrating, Afghan and Sikh invaders plundered Kashmir at will…………..Barbaric rules were imposed in the early nineteenth century: a Sikh who killed a Muslim native of Kashmir was fined no more than two rupees. Victor Jacquemont……………….in 1831, thought that ‘nowhere else in India were the masses as poor and denuded as they were in Kashmir’

………the valley fell in the mid-nineteenth century to a petty Hindu feudal chief who had helped the British defeat the Sikhs. The British ceded the entire state – the valley together with Hindu-majority Jammu, Buddhist-majority Ladakh and the noth-western parts that later were to come under Pakistan’s rule – to the chief for a meager sum of Rs 7.5 m. The sale is still a source of rage and shame for Kashmiris.

Things didn’t improve much under the new Hindu rulers. In 1877, a famine killed two-thirds of the population………..Muslims were rarely given jobs; the administration was staffed overwhelmingly by the small minority of Hindus (about % of the population in the valley.) The Maharaja and his Hindu courtiers built up fabulous private fortunes.

………………Kashmiri Muslims under Hindu rule………..although they formed 96% of the population the rate of literacy among them was only 0.8%

……(Sheikh) Abdullah’s own view of the demand for Pakistan was more qualified and less emotional. He felt, as he confessed in his autobiography, a subconscious sympathy for it; he saw it as a Muslim reaction against Hindu sectarianism, which he believed, despite his personal regard for Gandhi and Nehru, the Congress party insidiously practiced. Indeed, he thought he could discern strains of Hindu revivalism in Nehru’s sentimental attachment to Kashmir.

……..As usually happens, the lack of a political alternative turned Abdullah into an authoritarian ruler……………he interpreted all opposition to him as an attempt to undermine his personal authority………….He had bargained hard with the Indian government to preserve the state from excessive interference by New Delhi……………He now revived his idea of an independent Kashmir…………..Nehru……felt Abdullah moving away from him and towards a course of action that was likely to end in the loss of Kashmir and India’s secular credentials. He was quick to act: Abdullah was dismissed in 1953 and put in prison, where he stayed, initially without trial, for all but four months of the next eleven years.

This sound rather unbecoming of Nehru, who by then was known internationally as a statesman. He had praised Abdullah’s land reforms; he had ensured there was no viable opposition to Abdullah; he had offered personal friendship to him. But now Abdullah was working against the ‘national interest’.

Approximately 130,000 Kashmiri Hindus left the valley within two months of the insurgency beginning; few have been able to return.

Although the Tibetans are a politically diverse group, they generally agree that since the Chinese communists invaded Tibet in 1950, they have killed – mostly through execution, torture and starvation – up to 1.2 million people and have destroyed tens of thousands of Buddhist monasteries and temples.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Movies ‘R’ Us: #1-2010

1. Prahaar (Assault) (1991) (Hindi Film)

A Nana Patekar directed-movie, slow moving though not boring. Not a classic, but with enough passion to sustain it through. With emphasis on some of the ideas Nana is passionate about: the army, patriotism, corruption and the lack of values in public life etc.

One of the main couples is Christian (that’s unusual for a Hindi movie) Peter and Shirley i.e. Gautam Joglekar (in possibly his first and only Hindi film……no wait, he’s acted in one more ‘Thodasa Roomani Ho Jaayen’) and Madhuri Dixit. Another beautiful lady in Dimple Kapadia and both of these ladies sans makeup

Only a couple of scenes really that stand out. One is a brilliantly picturised scene where Madhuri discovers her beloved boyfriends disability.

And yes, there are some very potent action scenes in the end when Nana beats up the thugs. its almost as if he is exterminating the pests of society, squashing them.

2. Lahu Ke Do Rang (The Two Colours of Blood) (1979) (Hindi movie)

A pretty mediocre film with hardly anything to recommend for itself. 3 fine actors, Vinod Khanna, Shabana Azmi and Danny are more or less wasted on a painfully weak masala script. The pretty mediocre set of hangers-on don’t add much value either.

Yes, there is a pretty fine sequence involving SA and her deranged mother. There are some good action sequences including the climax in a dockyard. SA is great in the emotional sequences, not so great in the masala scenes including the dancing. VK is competent all throughout.

Crucial parts in script continuity are missing: how SA meets VKs ma, why Ranjeet the villain needs a diver from HongKong to recover treasure from a river bed in India.

Helen you could say is the surprise package. Her only contribution to licentiousness in the movie is sleeping with VK outside of marriage. Otherwise she has a very serious role, a non-item girlish role. She got a once-in-a-blue moon opportunity and has grabbed it with both hands. For an emotional role with meat in it, she does well in emerging fairly unscathed.

But all in all a dud movie


* Chahiye Thoda Pyar (I want love) is the only song that may be remembered by many from my generation.


Vinod Khanna
Shabana Azmi
Danny Denzongpa
Prema Narayan (exists to display her ample cleavage)

Playback: Lata, Kishore, Rafi, Danny, Anuradha Paudwal, Yesudas, Chandrani Mukherjee
Dances: Vijay-Oscar
Editing: Waman Bhonsle and Gurudutt Shirali
DoP: Pravin Bhatt
Lyrics: Faruqh Kaiser
Music: Bappi Lahiri
Story, Screenplay and dialogue: Suraj Sanim
Produced by Seroo Daryanani and Bhagwan S.C
Directed by Mahesh Bhatt (a real surprise / shocker from him)

3. Andaz (Hindi Movie) (1949)

A pretty forgettable movie though it was pitted as the battle between the 2 superstars of that era: Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar, with Nargis as a side highlight

Essentially a love triange, where DK falls in love with N who is in love with, and marries RK and how the sloppy mess is sorted out

Other than the chemistry between Raj and Nargis which is all too evident, there’s not much in this movie to recommend.

The DoP gives us all those close-ups are unnerving since the editing to accompany it is patchy and the deficiencies of the stars are revealed at a close glance. There is an extremely irritating comic actor for diversion and also a racist comment:

“Ji Ha, main Africa ka rehnewala hoon. Ab aap mujhse ye puchengi ki meri shakal gorilla se kyon nahi milti?”

“Oh Yes, I am from Africa. Now you will ask why my face doesn’t resemble a gorilla’s”

Forgettable! Avoid!

4. Shreeman Funtoosh (Hindi Film) (1965)

Villains with names such as John and Francis, SF is a movie that is utterly forgettable and which manages to screw-up on all fronts.

‘Balma kitna nadaan hai tu’ is a unique song because of the choreography which also includes a milder version of the Michael Jackson crotch dance step done here by Kum Kum!!

There are some wonderfully quirky character actors, including the scientist father, the servants and the tantric but all-in-all, the thought remains that the movie reels should have been isolated and destroyed long-ago




Kishore Kumar as Sreeman Funtoosh
Kum Kum
Anoop Kumar
Mohan Choti
Harindranath Chatopadhyay

Written by R.Priyadarshi
Photography: Babubhai Udeshi, Rocky Fonseca
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi, Asad Bhopali
Music: Laxmi-Pyare
Produced by Shamim Bhagat
Directed by Shantilal Soni

Movie Review: Aar Paar (Across the Heart) (1954) (Hindi Movie)

How does a minor, superficial crime-thriller in disguise happen to have such wonderful songs, each and every one of them: classic and eternal melodies. Savour each one of them.

Aah, the magic of those times.


Kabhi Aar, Kabhi Paar

Babuji Dheere Chalna

Sun Sun Sun Sun Zalima

Ae lo main haari piya

Hun Abhi Main Jawan

Mohabbat Kar Lo Ji Bharlo

Main Na Pyaar Karungi, Tauba Tauba: the mandatory Johny Walker song in a Guru Dutt film

Ja Ja Ja Ja Bewafa

Starring: Shyama, GuruDutt, Shakila, Johny Walker, Jagdeep (stars a young Jagdeep at that)
Screenplay: Nabendu Ghosh
Dialogues: Abrar Alvi
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Photography: V.K.Murthy
Editing: Y.G.Chawhan
Music: O.P.Nayyar
Produced and Directed by GuruDutt

Movie Review: Patthar Ke Sanam (The Stonehearted Lover) (1978) (Hindi Film)

A forgettable film in terms of storyline and the movie experience. But there are some takeaways.

Two charming leading ladies: with different leanings. Mumtaz the younger of the 2 is more spontaneous, tomboyish, sweet with more than a hint of unbridled sexuality, Waheeda the elder is more mature and delightful, her impulses reined-in, no horsing around (what will all the equine terms flying around)

Part of the charm of watching this movie is that this is one of the (or very possibly ‘the’) first movie that I have seen in a theatre in this lifetime. So this was also a nostalgia trip.

A hark back to the days of miscued colour combinations: dark pink carpets and bright red curtains, red walls of the same shade and green sofas all in the same frame; the initial flush of making color films maybe. W.R. in a shocking pink outfit (with a light green ‘odhni’) against a backdrop of a bed of red roses, Pran in a red embroidered jacket and purple turban. MK is a dark muddy red outfit, the same cloth used for the shirt and the trouser and it goes on. And in a strange sort of way, its quite comforting too looking back at those times and colour schemes.

Anway, the songs are what deserve a mention here

Whether its the chirpy song: Tauba Ye Matwali Chaal

Mehboob Mere – very hummable

Ye Chotasa Nazrana Piya Yaad Rakhoge – was totally besotted by Waheeda in this charming song

Patthar ke Sanam tujhe hamne khuda jana – sung so wonderfully by Rafi and Mumtaz looks terribly charming in this song. The movie for me really alternates betwixt besottement over Waheeda and Mumtaz.

But hang on, doesn’t Rafi say ‘tuje’ instead of ‘tujhe’ as it should be said? Hmm, or is there is problem with my hearing.


Waheeda Rehman
Manoj Kumar
Lalita Pawar
Aruna Irani

Story: Gulshan Nanda
Screenplay and Dialogue: Akhtar Ul-Iman
Playback: Lata, Asha, Mukesh, Rafi
Photography: Sudhin Majumdar
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Music: Laxmi-Pyare
Produced by A.A.Nadiadwala
Directed by Raja Nawathe

Thursday, April 22, 2010

On Sanjna Kapoor

An incredibly charming lady…….also, daughter of Shashi Kapoor and Jennifer Kendall

Beautiful people-1

Beautiful people-2

Beautiful people-3

Actress Sanjna Kapoor on her childhood

Her Journey

How I entered Bollywood

I am not an ambitious actress: Sanjna Kapoor

And here she is in a panel discussion on ‘Who does Mumbai belong to?’. With a South Mumbai attitude and opinion……starts at 1:08

And finally a song from the movie she seems to remain embarrassed about

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Movie Review: Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya (The Heart Remembered Once Again) (Hindi Film) (1966) And Mere Humdum Mere Dost (My Soulmate My Friend) (Hindi Film) (1968)

Two films with Dharmendra and Rehman as the common thread.

In the first, DNPYK, D and R star in a kind of two-hero film (the way Riteish Deshmukh needs a two-hero film). Perhaps D’s career had still not stabilized and needed the suave R to prop him up. The second film MHMD, released about 2 years later had D firmly ensconced in the role of the hero and R playing a negative character.

The lives of the two, too, are quite interesting. R (so tells me), was born in a Pathan family believed to be the descendants of Afghanistan's King Amanuallah. Wikipedia adds that his family was exiled to India during the 2nd Afghan-British war (1879) to India. Sach Bhagwan jaane (in the manner of speaking). But, what is a fact is that R joined the Indian Air Force as a Pilot and then somewhere down the line strayed into films. R impresses with his regal presence, immaculate diction, and an aristocratic bearing. Initially R played all roles including lead roles, but with time the roles he got were mainly those with a shade of grey (per wikipedia).

D meanwhile came from a Punjabi semi-rural (?) background to become a romantic cum action hero in Hindi films. While his current roles, the ones in the recent and not-so-recent past are immensely forgettable, these 2 films in question do show a glimpse of a gentle, subtle D who also gets a chance to show his acting skills.


DNPYK was made about 19 years after India won independence from the British, this movie in a way also serves as a record of the changing times and the changing India.

Nehru had died in 1964, his successor Shastri died in Jan-1966, the latest war with Pakistan had ended in Sep-1965. Indira Gandhi as the dynastic heir ascended the throne in 1966. Yet to prove herself she had been branded as a ‘Goongi Gudiya’ (Dumb Doll). In is in this context that perhaps the movie was influenced.

For a start the film is dedicated to ‘that friendship between man and man which knows no barriers of caste, religion or language’.

The wish of Dharmendra (right at the beginning of the movie) said in jest, that of making each of his 3 sons an officer in the Army, Navy and Air Force respectively and of the fear of one of his sons turning out to be a blackmarketeer; is perhaps indicative of the times they lived in and the need to inject a nationalistic fervour

The evils of the feudal system (now almost absent in the current set of movies) still persists here in the form of Jeevan, the village villain exercising his right on Nutan and attempting to molest her. But then there is much more resistance too on the part of the oppressed.

Villainy exists in another form, the capitalist shopkeeper without sensitivity or compassion who fires Amjad (played by Rehman) and Ashok (played by Dharmendra) resigns in protest. The initial stirrings of a labour movement here?

The close friendship of the Hindu and Muslim characters (Ashok and Amjad) who stay together through thick and thin perhaps indicative of the need of the hour, particularly in politically dynamic times.

The movie itself is no great shakes. The story hardly matters. But for the record, D is in love with Nutan, who dies in a train accident. R is D’s best friend and Muslim and his newly-married wife is an exact hum-shakal (copy/replica) of Nutan. D is recovering himself from the train accident and R contrives to place his wife before D as D’s girlfriend so that D can recover fully.

There is a sad lack of depth in acting by all, aided in no small measure by a weak script, contrived situations and melodrama all round. But D and R do show some indication of their talent, inspite all…….

And there is some terrible dancing by Nutan in the eye-opener (for Dharmendra) song ‘Mohabbat ka humko sila mil gaya’

In a bizarre ending, the bullet-struck Dharmendra follows the ghostly spectre of the singing Nutan presumably down a cliff signifying thus that the movie can go downhill no further.


Tun Tun

Playback: Lata, Rafi, Asha, Manna Dey, Suman Kalyanpur, Usha Mangeshkar, Usha Khanna, Krishna Kalle and Mukesh
Editing: Pran Mehra
DoP: Taru Dutt
Music: Sonik Omi (What appropriate names!!)
Produced by B. L. Rawal
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues and Lyrics: G.L. Rawal
Directed by C.L. Rawal

Mere Humdum Mere Dost (My Soulmate My Friend) (Hindi film) (1968)

Another terrible movie which attempts to be a thriller. The story is a mess. D (Dharmendra) falls in love with S (Sharmila Tagore), who he believes is poor. S, a rich gal falls in love with D because all others fall in love with her money first. The twist is that long ago, when they were kids, S’s father murdered D’s father. Another twist is that the reason for the murder is a suspicion that D’s father may have had an affair with S’s mother (who is/was actually a prostitute). So we have implied incest, false identities, hidden secrets (S doesn’t know her mother till she is quite grown-up and that her father is serving a jail sentence), karma catching up (S’s father is killed by the man who took care of his business when he was in jail). And along the way, S discovers that her attendant, Mumtaz, is her sagi bahen in reality. Phew!!!

The Dharmendra I saw here and indeed in the other previous too is of the subtler, gentler variety as compared to the ‘kutte kamine’ brand of Dharmendra more familiar to many.

As in many other Hindi movies, some of the songs are the saving graces

* Na Ja Kahi Ab Na Ja – Rafi, Oh! Rafi

* Allah, Yeh Ada kaisi hai in hasino mein – Mumtaz sparkles, Lata delights

* Chalkaye Jaam – Rafi again

The songs though are a dime a dozen and not always well placed or paced. Somehow the editing seems much below par (and this from the master editor Hrishikesh Mukherjee who is editing). But it may also be a problem with the DVD in question (Moser Baer’s at fault)

The movie is a challenge for the artistically-inclined.

We have a geographically challenged director who shows D in Mumbai which is depicted as having coniferous tree forests and a backdrop of the Himalayan foothills.

Also a colour-sense-challenged colour consultant

An acting-challenged heroine, Sharmila Tagore who confidently tries to pass on her emoting as acting. S’s emoting is silly at times, but maybe that’s what was acceptable in those days. This is in sharp contrast to the much more controlled, subtle ‘acting’ from Dharmendra.

And when we have a script-challenged script writer, what else can you expect from such a movie.

It’s a melo-melo-melo-drama, as they would say in Marathi.

And just to complete the package, there is a kind of race / religion caricaturing/profiling: a Parsi is described by his wife as cowardly, the pimps are 2 guys named Lala and Khan and when Dharmendra gathers some goondas, 3-4 of them sport the Muslim skull-caps.

So, onto some eye-candy

No wonder, Daddy’s Girl ( has a whole blog dedicated to him. D’s G: are you listening?

What’s with the hairdo of that era. Horrid!!

And one more

This btw, is how lovers get intimate in Hindi cinema

Mumtaz is a dear, doesn’t she remind you of Audrey Hepburn in this photo? Or am I rambling?

You were the life of the movie………ok, maybe I am exaggerating a bit.


Sharmila Tagore
Om Prakash

Dialogue: Rajinder Singh Bedi
Story: Nirmal Kumari
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Editing: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Playback: Lata and Rafi
DoP: K Vaikunth
Music: Laxmi Pyare
Produced by Kewal Kumar
Screenplay and Direction: Amar Kumar

Sunday, April 11, 2010

From ‘Face to Face with Sri Ramana Maharshi – Enchanting and Uplifting Reminiscences of 160 persons’ published by Sri Ramana Kendram, Hyderabad

Photo: courtesy Wikipedia

The earliest Western seeker to come under the Swami’s influence (in 1911) was F H Humphreys…..When asked how he could help the world, Sri Ramana replied, “Help yourself, and you will help the world. You are not different from the world, nor is the world different from you.”

Paul Brunton, a British journalist, who lived near Sri Ramana for a few weeks in 1930, writes: “I like him because he is so simple and modest when an atmosphere of authentic greatness lies so palpably around him; and also because he is so totally without any traces of pretension and he strongly resists every effort to canonize him during his life time”

…He emphasized the unity of Being and its accessibility through one’s own efforts. According to him, the practical path to realization is atma-vichara, the search for the Self, through constant and deep meditation on the question Who am I? The approach is neither a religion nor a philosophy. It entails no belief, no scholarship and no psychological doctrine.

In Sri Ramana’s view the trouble afflicts us due to the mistake of limiting ourselves to the body. Constant self-questioning helps us to understand and imbibe the true knowledge about our identity, which is our Higher Self (atman), residing in the body.

……….The monkey-mind which is only a bundle of thoughts, would eventually vanish through persistent and serious meditation on the question Who am I?

The gist of his message is: “Pursue the enquiry, ‘Who am I?’ relentlessly. Analyse your entire personality. Try to find out where the ‘I’ thought begins. Go on with your meditations. Keep turning your attention within. One day the wheel of thought will slow down and an intuition will mysteriously arise. Follow that intuition, let your thinking stop and it will eventually lead you to the goal.”

………Hui Neng who said: “The only difference between a Buddha and the average man is that one realizes what the other discards”

……..The Maharshi…..said, “He is a real sadhu in whose presence you get an indescribable peace without making any effort”

Bhagavan treated animals and birds with great affection and concern. Sometimes a couple of monkeys would walk into the meditation hall. Some devotees used to get agitated. Bhagavan would gently call the monkeys and give them cashewnuts or groundnuts. They would go away screeching with delight. Sometimes a squirrel would scramble up the couch. Bhagavan would fondle it and give it whatever was available and it would leave without disturbing anyone. Similarly a peacock would come and get some puffed rice from his hand.

……..Maurice Frydman, a Polish Jew…..plied Bhagavan with ingenious pleas for practical guidance for self-realization……..When pressed to say something, Bhagavan quoted from the Bible, “Be still and know that I am God”, and added a rider that the Lord said ‘know’ and not ‘think’ that I am God

The Real is ever-present, like the screen on which the cinematographic pictures move. While the picture appears on it, the screen remains invisible. Stop the picture and the screen will become clear. All thoughts and events are merely pictures moving on the screen of Pure Consciousness, which alone is real.

In a cinema-show you can see pictures only in a very dim light or in darkness. When all lights are switched on, pictures disappear. So also in the floodlight of the Supreme atman all objects disappear.

He called nothing as his. He never asked for anything. He refused to have any special consideration shown to him……………..Bhagavan Sri Ramana was meticulously exact. His daily life was conducted with a punctiliousness that Indians today would have to call pure Western. In everything he was precise and orderly. The books were always in their places. The loincloth, which was all he wore, was gleaming white. The two clocks in the hall were adjusted daily to radio time.

“What is the purpose of Creation?”……………… “……Creation is the mirror for the ‘I’ to see itself.”

“………..Arunachala is God himself in the shape of a Hill. So special sanctity attaches to going around Arunachala.”

Bhagavan was invariably kind to all animals. Snakes and scorpions were never allowed to be killed. For dogs he always had a tender spot………..He seemed specially to love monkeys and often said that in many ways they were better than human beings………….He also told us know, at times, people would reincarnate in the body of some animal just for a chance to be near him. There is of course, the famous example of Lakshmi, the Ashram cow.

……….Bhagavan told me that in the early stages a person who was regularly meditating would usually at first go into a trance which would probably last for some thirty minutes, and if he continued with his tapas properly, such samadhi would become more frequent. A person can still carry on with the ordinary day-to-day business but he no longer identifies himself with the activities, but watches them like a dreamer watching a dream.

Bhagavan said that the mind was like a monkey, never still for one second, it was an almost hopeless task to try and quieten it: the best thing to do was to give it a productive employment and never allow it to fritter itself away. Let it concentrate on ‘Who am I’? And then there will be no room for any other thought.

Bhagavan never initiated by touch. He always refused to place his hands on a person’s head though very many besought him to do so.

Bhagavan said that principal sadhanas we should practice were to eat only sattvic food and observe satsanga. He laid no other rules. He said that the mind was entirely created by the food we ate.

Bhagavan never taught morals, and had no special abhorrence to sex. He once said in answer to troubled disciples in my hearing, “It is better to do it than to be always thinking about it.”

On Keats’ letter on ‘negative capability’ his passing comment was: “So there are Upanishads in English as in Sanskrit.”

Bhagavan’s mother was a very orthodox lady, full of caste prejudices and superstitions. Bhagavan did not tolerate any of her ideas. He criticized her many times and was quite ruthless in destroying all that stood in the way of her emancipation from ignorance and fear. When she refused to cook onions, which are taboo to a Brahmin widow, Bhagavan would show her one and say, “How mighty is this little bulb! It can stop my mother from going to heaven.”

………..personal instructions from Bhagavan. One of them was that we should get into a meditative state before going to sleep. We were also advised to go into meditation for sometime, immediately after getting out of bed.

Once a mongoose larger than the ordinary size, of golden hue [not grey as a mongoose is], made straight for Bhagavan. It sat on his lap for a while. Later, it……….disappeared into the bushes………Bhagavan said, “Who do you think he was? ……….He was a sage of Arunachala who took on this form to visit me. How many times I have told you that sages come to see me in various forms.”

The Ashram people requested Bhagavan to send the man away, for his presence would tarnish the good name of the Ashram. Bhagavan called the man and told him in front of everybody, “You have done some wrong, but you were too foolish not to keep it secret. Others do worse things, but they take care not to be caught. Now, the people who were not caught want you to leave the Ashram because you were caught.” The person was allowed to stay.

Bhagavan would allow nothing to go waste. Even a grain of rice or a mustard seed lying on the ground would be picked up, dusted and taken to the kitchen…….He said, “Yes, this is my way. Everything is in my care and I let nothing go waste. In these matters I am quite strict.”

As for giving leftovers to beggars, it was not possible because Bhagavan insisted that beggars be given the same food as everyone else, and not some inferior stuff. Even dogs had to be fed from the common meal. Bhagavan would come to the kitchen in the early hours, see the leftovers from the night before, warm them up, dilute them, and add some more ingredients to make them palatable.

……..He gave his smile, and said, “You came up from the bungalow this morning in a cart, yet you do not say, “The cart came.” You say, “I came up.” You did not make the mistake of identifying yourself with the cart. In the same way, look upon your body as you do the cart. Treat it well, and it will be a good servant and instrument. But do not be deceived into thinking it is ‘I’………….”

“If a mantra is repeated and attention directed to the source from where the mantra-sound is produced, the mind will be absorbed in that. That is tapas”

Bhagavan had a special fondness for children and often used to joke with them and touch or caress them, though he scrupulously avoided touching adults or being touched by them.

“If all thoughts are controlled, automatically the breath is also controlled. By intense and sustained practice it will become habitual. Controlling the breath through various yogic exercises is like putting brakes to the train when the engine is working. But by watching the source of the mind with full concentration, the thoughts would get controlled. This method will be more effective and easy. It is like shutting the power of the engine and thereby stopping the train completely.”

“……….All this book learning and capacity to repeat the scriptures by memory is absolutely of no use. To know the Truth, you need not undergo all this torture of learning. Not by reading do you get the Truth. Be Quiet that is Truth. Be Still, that is God”

…… “For shaving you use a mirror, don’t you? You look into the mirror and then shave your face; you don’t shave the image in the mirror. Similarly, all the scriptures are meant only to show you the way of Realization. They are meant for practice and attainment. Mere book learning and discussions are comparable to a man shaving the image in the mirror.”

Bhagavan insisted on parayana (repetition of sacred texts). He felt that though one may not be able to understand them in the first instance, gradually the ultimate meaning would flash by itself. Bhagavan also said that writing once is equivalent to reading ten times.

…….. “The aspirants should eat a very moderate quantity of whatever food comes their way and not stipulate, discriminate, or pick and choose in the matter of diet.” His insistence was on continuous one-pointed enquiry (Who am I?) like thailadhara – unbroken flow of oil while being poured from one vessel to another.

……..He placed his right hand on his right breast and continued, “Here lies the Heart, the dynamic, spiritual Heart. It is called hridaya and is located on the right side of the chest and is clearly visible to the inner eye of an adept on the spiritual path……”

……..a devotee asked, “Is it possible to revive the dead?” Bhagavan replied, “Jnanis, siddhis and yogis can restore life, but is it for this purpose that they have come?”

……we heard a child like voice say “Chee, asatthe!” (Fie, you creature!) We …………….saw a small goat, a little monkey and a squirrel and Bhagavan who was sitting on his haunches with his legs folded up to his breast. Bhagavan was holding a small paper packed in his left hand and was picking groundnuts from it with his right hand fingers to feed the goat, the monkey and the squirrel and himself, by turns. His remarks appeared to have been addressed to the monkey, which had tried to snatch the nut he was going to place between the squirrel’s lips. As we watched, the four companions went on enjoying the eating. All the four seemed to be equally happy; the way they looked at one another and kept close together was touching
……..the nuts over, Bhagavan threw the paper away and said: “Pongoda!” (Go away, you fellows!), just as any old man speaking to his grandchildren. The goat, the monkey and the squirrel left and Bhagavan got up.

On the evening of April 14, 1950, we were massaging Bhagavan’s body. At about 5 p.m. he asked us to help him sit up. Precisely at that moment devotees started singing ‘Arunachala Siva.’ When Bhagavan heard the singing, his face lit up with radiant joy. Tears began to flow from his eyes and continued to flow for a long time. I was wiping them from time to time. I was also giving him spoonfuls of water boiled with ginger. Bhagavan’s breathing became gradually slower and slower and at 8.47 p.m. subsided quietly. There was no struggle, no spasm, none of the signs of death. At that very moment, devotees who were outside saw a bright meteor in the sky, which reached the summit of the holy hill Arunachala and disappeared high in the sky.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

OshoSpeak – 2010: #2

From ‘Die O Yogi Die. Talks on the Great Tantra Master Gorakh’

Neither emptiness nor fullness,
Neither isness nor no-isness –
So unfathomable, and beyond the senses.
In the inner sky of the crown chakra,
It is the innocent voice of a child,
How can it be named?

Laughing, being playful – the knack of meditation
Day and night, sharing this divine inspiration,
He laughs, he plays, his mind untroubled.
This unwavering one is always with God.

Day and night dissolving mind into no-mind,
Dropping the knowable, speaking the unknowable.
Discarding hope, living without hope:
Brahma the creator says, “I am your servant.”

What flows down, he channels up,
A yogi burns up his sex.
He releases his embrace and shatters illusion:
Vishnu the sustainer washes his feet

Die, O yogi, die! Die, sweet is this dying.
Die this death that Gorakh embraced and awakened

The great Hindi poet, Sumitranandan Pant, once asked me, “Who in the vast sky of Indian religion, in your opinion, are the twelve brightest shining stars?” I gave him this list: Krishna, Patanjali, Buddha, Mahavira, Nagarjuna, Shankara, Gorakh, Kabir, Nanak, Meera, Ramakrishna and Krishnamurti.

…….He asked me further, “Next, could you give me seven names?”

…………..I gave him seven names: Krishna, Patanjali, Buddha, Mahavira, Shankara, Gorakh and Kabir……….I said, “Nagarjuna is contained in Buddha…….In the same way Krishnamurti is ………Buddha’s latest edition………Ramakrishna can easily be included in Krishna……Meera and Nanak can be dissolved in Kabir”

………He said, “And if you had to make a list of five?”

……..I gave him this list: “Krishna, Patanjali, Buddha, Mahavira, and Gorakh – because Kabir can be merged into Gorakh……..And Shankara easily merges into Krishna”

………Then he said, “……if only four names are to be kept?”

Then I listed for him: “Krishna, Patanjali, Buddha and Gorakh – because Mahavira is not very different from Buddha…….”

……….He started saying, “………….Please choose three persons.”

I said, “Now it is impossible. I cannot drop any of these four………..these are four dimensions”

Gorakh is the first link of a chain; through him a new type of religion arose…………no one else has ever created the number of techniques that Gorakh invented for the inner search………Hence while people have forgotten Gorakh, they have not forgotten the word gorakhdhanda…..meaning ‘an intricate maze,’…………..

Don’t speak in haste,
Don’t strut, place your feet with care.
King Gorakh says, don’t be an egoist, live naturally.

Swami, going to the forest, hunger arises,
Going to the town, its illusions attract you.
By overeating, sexual desire harasses you,
Why squander this body born off passion?

Don’t attack your food and don’t die of hunger,
Feel the mystery of brahman day and night.
Don’t overwork and don’t lie around, thus says Gorakh Deva.

Overeating stimulates the senses, destroys awareness,
And fills the mind with sex.
Numbness overtakes, death closes in,
Such a man’s heart is always troubled.

The milk-drinking monk’s mind is on others’ cows,
The naked monk always craves firewood.
The monk in silence longs for a companion.
There can be no naturalness and trust without a master.

…………..without finding a master these people have not found the essential thread of life. They have fallen into this meaningless nonsense from reading books, reading scriptures.

Place your hopes in one who has found.
How can thirst be quenched by an empty lake?
…………Is there any water in the scriptures? There is nothing but words – thoughts about water, description about water, but where is the water? Only with a master can you get the secret formula, the sutra, the key.

What is Gorakhnath’s fundamental teaching?

It is short, very brief:

Laughing, playing, making merry,
Neither lust nor anger remains,
Laughing, playing, singing a song,
Keeping consciousness well centered.

……..If you cannot laugh, then you can never become religious

Live in the heart, not saying the secret,
Speak nectar-soaked words.
If others become fire, O avadhut, you become water.

Gorakh says: Listen avadhut, live in the world in this way:
Eyes see, ears listen, mouth says nothing.

Nath says: Stay centered in the soul, don’t insist on debate.
This world is a garden of thorns, place each step with care.

Balanced posture, balanced food, balanced sleep,
Gorakh says: Listen sons, such a man neither dies nor grows old.

One who eats, dies, and one who doesn’t eat, dies.
Gorakh says: O sons, only the sanyami, the balanced one, transcends.

Always reside in the middle.
Mind unmoving, breath becomes still.

Learn sitting…………asana, posture…..Sit within in such a way so that there is no movement. The outer asana is only a preparation for the inner asana. Sit so still that the outer body does not move. This is only the beginning. Then don’t let the mind oscillate; there should be no waves. Asana is when neither mind nor body move, when you have stopped, come to a standstill both within and without.

Yogis who condemn others,
Yogis eating meat, drinking wine, taking drugs,
By the hundreds they go to hell.
Shree Gorakh Raja speaks the plain truth

Rejoicing in aloneness, the siddha,
Dwelling as a pair, the seeker,
Needing four or five, the householder
Ten or twenty is an army.

Greatness is when greatness is effaced,
Consider this word of truth.
The master seeks out the one who is humble
And lifts the load from his head.

Hope is distress, doubt is sorrow,
These two major diseases won't leave without a master.
Being with a master gives birth
To the self-disciplines of meditation and love.

He who burned sex to ashes when young,
Look for such a yogi in the world,
All others are just filling their stomachs.

How can I tell you, O pundit, where God is.
If you look within your own self,
There is no I, no thou.

A stone house for God, a god of stone,
How can love burst forth by worshipping stone?
Wasting life in worshipping the lifeless,
Being so unaware,
How can you cross the ocean of the world?

Bathing in one holy place after another,
How can the inner be penetrated through an outer cleansing?
Adinatha my grandson, Machhindranatha my son,
Gorakh Avadhut beholds his offspring.

Adinatha my grandson, Machhindranatha my son,

………A very amazing statement……..Adinatha is ….a mythical name in Indian history……..Adinatha seems to be the original source. As if all the traditions of the country emerged and flowed from this one single individual………….Gorakh’s statement is very startling…….Adinatha is my grandson…….and my master – his master was Machhindranatha – is my son…………Gorakh is saying: Since I have known myself, since then I have known that everything else happened after me.

A statement of Gorakh’s is

Hide seeing in your eyes, hide listening in your ears,
Hide breathing at the nose tip.
Only nirvana remains.

Listen, O emperor, to this statement of pure intelligence.
This dream world arises from the five elements.
First the beginning, then the vessel, the recognition, and the conclusion -
Shree Gorakh says, do these and you will know you are an emperor.

To begin, drop sex, anger, ego,
Dreams of the mind and the impurities of indulgence.
Renounce worldly cravings, drop greed -
They catch hold of the swan and kill it.

Drop duality and remain nondual,
Drop embracing others, remain boundless,
Naturalness is the technique and asana happens,
Body, mind and breath become steady.

Awaken sanyama; take only necessary food,
Renounce slumber, the death of your life.
Drop tantra, mantra, yantra,
Ancient medicine, amulets, metals and stones.

All this use of devices will only lead you
To the king’s door, to politics.
Drop using spells of all kinds and all sorcery,
Listen yogis, to the start of the path of yoga.

Move totally away from all other states,
In all ways, remember the divine.
Dropping all kinds of acting,
Burn lust, anger and the ego.

Don’t wander on pilgrimages with your eyes full of great desires.
No need to carry the weight of matted hair turned into heavy locks.
No need for any virtues of planting trees and making gardens,
Do not die digging wells and pools.

The breath weakened, the body decays,
Be centered in sitting, O king.
Don’t waste your life in climbing mountains,
Insisting on pilgrimages and vows.

Drop all this worship and ritual, of chanting with beads,
Enough of the pretensions of yoga.
Abandon all business and your trade in knowledge,
Your studying, your contemplating, your social conventions.

Don’t gather disciples,
Avoid titles as if graveyards and debate as if poison.
Hence I say,
Realizing death, O king, remain alone.

Seeing a gathering, don’t boast of knowledge.
Just be like someone dumb and ignorant.
Drop the hopes of both king and commoner,
Begging for your food, remaining absolutely indifferent.

Let go of all potions, magic brews and alchemy,
Renounce riddhi and embrace siddhi.
Drop drinking alcohol and the taking of drugs,
They create all sorts of dreams and fantasies.

Nari, sari, kinguri, the master says to drop all three.
The beginning, the vessel, the recognition, the conclusion -
Shree Gorakh says,
Do these and know you are an emperor.

First the beginning, then the vessel, the recognition, and the conclusion -

………..Beginning means that until now you have been running outwardly; you have not even commenced the inner journey………The vessel means a clay pot. This is the body – a vessel of clay……Inside this pot the sky is hidden…………recognition. When your body becomes beautiful, full of music…………you will recognize consciousness………then you come to the conclusion, your enlightenment.

Nari, sari, kinguri, the master says to drop all three.

…………Myna birds are called sari. Many…….train myna birds to select cards…….predict people’s fate or foretell the future……Drop all this meaningless nonsense….Kinguri is the sarangi. There are some people who are engaged in playing the sarangi, an Indian violin, thinking that that is enough……….But when are you going to play the inner music, the inner sarangi?