Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From ‘My Life and Quest’ by Arthur Osborne

When a devotee complained to the Maharshi that other thoughts arose more forcibly when he tried to meditate, he replied: “Yes, all kinds of thoughts arise in meditation. That is only right, for what is hidden in you is brought out. Unless it rises, how can it be destroyed? Thoughts rise up spontaneously, but only to be extinguished in due course, thus strengthening the mind”……. When a person first understands and sets forth on the spiritual quest one may see a new radiance overspread him, a sort of foreshadowing of his perfected state, making him altogether delightful. However, this will not last. It will be followed by a stage when all his lowest possibilities come to the surface and he seems to be worse than before. At this time patience is needed.

When his body’s death seemed imminent and some devotees asked how they could pursue their sadhana without his continued guidance, he replied with the cryptic rebuke: “You attach too much importance to the body.”

Sometimes Bhagavan would say: “Your duty is simply to be; not to be this or that.” ……. He also often quoted the sentence from the Psalms: ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Keep the mind still, free from thoughts, and know that the ‘I am’, the pure Being, is God.



When Life moves on with unperturbed stride,
As though you had not been. Even while you are,
Nothing is there secure, little for pride.
Health is on loan from time; frustrations mar
Ambition and achievement; friendships end
In death or forgetting. From afar
Old age creeps on, filching the zest you lend
To work and pleasure, chilling the vital power,
Still narrowing the circle you defend
Of life’s attachments, till the final hour
When thoughts, drawn in from schemes for which you fought,
From work you lived for, office held or power,
From wife and friend, from child, things sold and bought,
Converge on one point only, your next breath;
Stripped of attachment, to naked being brought,
To be squeezed out through the narrow womb of death.

To Whom?
Why fumble about blindfold
In the box of things
The future may hold?
They will take to their wings
In whatever form time brings,
Never as told.
Give them no chance
To lodge in your mind,
Or soon you will find
A true devil’s dance
Going on without cease,
No respite, no peace.

Let the mind be still,
Like a clear lake
Where no waves break.
Then, come what will,
The thoughts that fly over
Have no cause to hover,
No place to nest
In a mind at rest.

If still they come,
Never follow them home;
Ask only to whom
The thoughts come.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Arundhati Roy – I Disagree

This is Arundhati Roy’s take on the Anna Hazare phenomenon (the dictionary meaning being “any remarkable occurrence or person”)

I have previously praised Arundhati in this blog for her frank and fearless opinions. But this latest article has saddened me somewhat. The article is reproduced below with the offending parts in yellow and my comments in embedded thus “**........ **”


I'd rather not be Anna

Arundhati Roy

While his means maybe Gandhian, his demands are certainly not.

If what we're watching on TV is indeed a revolution, then it has to be one of the more embarrassing and unintelligible ones of recent times. For now, whatever questions you may have about the Jan Lokpal Bill, here are the answers you're likely to get: tick the box — (a) Vande Mataram (b) Bharat Mata ki Jai (c) India is Anna, Anna is India (d) Jai Hind.

** Oh, please do your 4 choices make any sense? Would you rather ignore the popular sentiment expressed on the streets. Would you rather ignore the extensive research and work done by the IAC team. Haven’t you heard any of Kejriwal’s elucidations on the proposed bill? Do you purposely choose to simplify a complex phenomenon into smart alecky one-liner? **

For completely different reasons, and in completely different ways, you could say that the Maoists and the Jan Lokpal Bill have one thing in common — they both seek the overthrow of the Indian State. One working from the bottom up, by means of an armed struggle, waged by a largely adivasi army, made up of the poorest of the poor. The other, from the top down, by means of a bloodless Gandhian coup, led by a freshly minted saint, and an army of largely urban, and certainly better off people. (In this one, the Government collaborates by doing everything it possibly can to overthrow itself.)

**overthrow the state? Isn’t that rather extreme? What about a sense of the outrage that the common man feels. Don’t you think it's your duty to document it? And the ‘largely urban’ and ‘better off’ people, are they the new untouchables then? Or are they supposed to have no voice. I am quite surprised by your tone and tenor here**

In April 2011, a few days into Anna Hazare's first “fast unto death,” searching for some way of distracting attention from the massive corruption scams which had battered its credibility, the Government invited Team Anna, the brand name chosen by this “civil society” group, to be part of a joint drafting committee for a new anti-corruption law. A few months down the line it abandoned that effort and tabled its own bill in Parliament, a bill so flawed that it was impossible to take seriously.

Then, on August 16th, the morning of his second “fast unto death,” before he had begun his fast or committed any legal offence, Anna Hazare was arrested and jailed. The struggle for the implementation of the Jan Lokpal Bill now coalesced into a struggle for the right to protest, the struggle for democracy itself. Within hours of this ‘Second Freedom Struggle,' Anna was released. Cannily, he refused to leave prison, but remained in Tihar jail as an honoured guest, where he began a fast, demanding the right to fast in a public place. For three days, while crowds and television vans gathered outside, members of Team Anna whizzed in and out of the high security prison, carrying out his video messages, to be broadcast on national TV on all channels. (Which other person would be granted this luxury?) Meanwhile 250 employees of the Municipal Commission of Delhi, 15 trucks, and six earth movers worked around the clock to ready the slushy Ramlila grounds for the grand weekend spectacle. Now, waited upon hand and foot, watched over by chanting crowds and crane-mounted cameras, attended to by India's most expensive doctors, the third phase of Anna's fast to the death has begun. “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, India is One,” the TV anchors tell us.

While his means may be Gandhian, Anna Hazare's demands are certainly not. Contrary to Gandhiji's ideas about the decentralisation of power, the Jan Lokpal Bill is a draconian, anti-corruption law, in which a panel of carefully chosen people will administer a giant bureaucracy, with thousands of employees, with the power to police everybody from the Prime Minister, the judiciary, members of Parliament, and all of the bureaucracy, down to the lowest government official. The Lokpal will have the powers of investigation, surveillance, and prosecution. Except for the fact that it won't have its own prisons, it will function as an independent administration, meant to counter the bloated, unaccountable, corrupt one that we already have. Two oligarchies, instead of just one.

**How about a detailed analysis here about the ‘draconian anti-corruption law’? How about comparing it with similar laws and institutions in Singapore, Hong Kong and elsewhere? Or are you above all such kind of research? And we do have such similar institutions in India, the CVC, the Election Commission, the CAG? Are they draconian too?**
Whether it works or not depends on how we view corruption. Is corruption just a matter of legality, of financial irregularity and bribery, or is it the currency of a social transaction in an egregiously unequal society, in which power continues to be concentrated in the hands of a smaller and smaller minority? Imagine, for example, a city of shopping malls, on whose streets hawking has been banned. A hawker pays the local beat cop and the man from the municipality a small bribe to break the law and sell her wares to those who cannot afford the prices in the malls. Is that such a terrible thing? In future will she have to pay the Lokpal representative too? Does the solution to the problems faced by ordinary people lie in addressing the structural inequality, or in creating yet another power structure that people will have to defer to?

**Ok, so you want a broader definition of corruption here. But then, do we get anything perfect the first time around? How can every single person be ever happy with a single bill? That’s impossible, isn’t it? Can’t you acknowledge the need here of a strong redressal mechanism that we have been missing for so long? Why this immense cynicism? Is everything so dark as you imagine it to be? **

Meanwhile the props and the choreography, the aggressive nationalism and flag waving of Anna's Revolution are all borrowed, from the anti-reservation protests, the world-cup victory parade, and the celebration of the nuclear tests. They signal to us that if we do not support The Fast, we are not ‘true Indians.' The 24-hour channels have decided that there is no other news in the country worth reporting.

**’choreography’? so the words planning, coordination, disciplined approach are to be addressed thus? Yes, there are elements in this movement that I am most uncomfortable with, the aggressive nationalism, the shrill language of some, the unleashing of some baser instincts? But at the end of it? Is this your summary of what has been happening for the last few days? This is not exactly a Hitler we are talking about here, are we?**

‘The Fast' of course doesn't mean Irom Sharmila's fast that has lasted for more than ten years (she's being force fed now) against the AFSPA, which allows soldiers in Manipur to kill merely on suspicion. It does not mean the relay hunger fast that is going on right now by ten thousand villagers in Koodankulam protesting against the nuclear power plant. ‘The People' does not mean the Manipuris who support Irom Sharmila's fast. Nor does it mean the thousands who are facing down armed policemen and mining mafias in Jagatsinghpur, or Kalinganagar, or Niyamgiri, or Bastar, or Jaitapur. Nor do we mean the victims of the Bhopal gas leak, or the people displaced by dams in the Narmada Valley. Nor do we mean the farmers in NOIDA, or Pune or Haryana or elsewhere in the country, resisting the takeover of the land.

**So now we are rating fasts here, are we? So you somehow think that by denigrating Anna’s fast you are showing loyalty to the other fasts. Yes, agreed that this is also a media driven movement to some extent. Agreed, that it has got more publicity than the other fasts. Agreed that we as a people are guilty of ignoring some other very just causes. But your anger against our apathy to some other very well-deserved causes translates somehow into shrill rhetoric against Anna. That’s not fair is it?**

‘The People' only means the audience that has gathered to watch the spectacle of a 74-year-old man threatening to starve himself to death if his Jan Lokpal Bill is not tabled and passed by Parliament. ‘The People' are the tens of thousands who have been miraculously multiplied into millions by our TV channels, like Christ multiplied the fishes and loaves to feed the hungry. “A billion voices have spoken,” we're told. “India is Anna.”

**One person said ‘India is Anna’. Are you going to go on and on about it? Aren’t you insulting thousands of people, sincere people who have walked the streets to show their support to the cause? Or in your vision, of the ideal world, are only the poor, dispossessed entitled to a voice and not us the more well-to-do, as if somehow we should feel terribly guilty about it……**

Who is he really, this new saint, this Voice of the People? Oddly enough we've heard him say nothing about things of urgent concern. Nothing about the farmer's suicides in his neighbourhood, or about Operation Green Hunt further away. Nothing about Singur, Nandigram, Lalgarh, nothing about Posco, about farmer's agitations or the blight of SEZs. He doesn't seem to have a view about the Government's plans to deploy the Indian Army in the forests of Central India.

He does however support Raj Thackeray's Marathi Manoos xenophobia and has praised the ‘development model' of Gujarat's Chief Minister who oversaw the 2002 pogrom against Muslims. (Anna withdrew that statement after a public outcry, but presumably not his admiration.)

**Ok, so according to you, Anna should be giving a comment about each and every issue in India. And if he doesn’t, he is judged guilty by you. There are many elements of Raj Thackeray’s tirades that have my sympathy. But hell!! Would I vote for him? No. Would I like to see him in power in his current avatar? No. And you are reducing the complex phenomenon to a simple black-and-white statement ‘He does however support Raj Thackeray's Marathi Manoos xenophobia’. Has something gone to your head? Did you really write this article when you were in your senses?**

Despite the din, sober journalists have gone about doing what journalists do. We now have the back-story about Anna's old relationship with the RSS. We have heard from Mukul Sharma who has studied Anna's village community in Ralegan Siddhi, where there have been no Gram Panchayat or Co-operative society elections in the last 25 years. We know about Anna's attitude to ‘harijans': “It was Mahatma Gandhi's vision that every village should have one chamar, one sunar, one kumhar and so on. They should all do their work according to their role and occupation, and in this way, a village will be self-dependant. This is what we are practicing in Ralegan Siddhi.” Is it surprising that members of Team Anna have also been associated with Youth for Equality, the anti-reservation (pro-“merit”) movement? The campaign is being handled by people who run a clutch of generously funded NGOs whose donors include Coca-Cola and the Lehman Brothers. Kabir, run by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, key figures in Team Anna, has received $400,000 from the Ford Foundation in the last three years. Among contributors to the India Against Corruption campaign there are Indian companies and foundations that own aluminum plants, build ports and SEZs, and run Real Estate businesses and are closely connected to politicians who run financial empires that run into thousands of crores of rupees. Some of them are currently being investigated for corruption and other crimes. Why are they all so enthusiastic?

**Ok, so RSS is completely evil and so are all the people in it? We are after all talking of a legal organization over here. With a long history, with peaks and troughs, with highly committed, sincere and people with integrity in it, as well as all kinds of madcaps. Hell, I am not even an RSS-supported, generally speaking. But, Madame Roy, can we have a more nuanced viewpoint here? And what exactly do you have against the Ford Foundation? Or would you rather that only people born of virgins donate money here? Perhaps you woud care to add some proof to your shrill hectoring or perhaps we should just take your word for it. All your statements are so superficial, how does one take it seriously, please tell us.**

Remember the campaign for the Jan Lokpal Bill gathered steam around the same time as embarrassing revelations by Wikileaks and a series of scams, including the 2G spectrum scam, broke, in which major corporations, senior journalists, and government ministers and politicians from the Congress as well as the BJP seem to have colluded in various ways as hundreds of thousands of crores of rupees were being siphoned off from the public exchequer. For the first time in years, journalist-lobbyists were disgraced and it seemed as if some major Captains of Corporate India could actually end up in prison. Perfect timing for a people's anti-corruption agitation. Or was it?

**So you are pointing to something without any proof whatsoever and that’s the foundation upon which your whole stance is based-on. And you hope we will jump on to your bandwagon? But seriously …….**

At a time when the State is withdrawing from its traditional duties and Corporations and NGOs are taking over government functions (water supply, electricity, transport, telecommunication, mining, health, education); at a time when the terrifying power and reach of the corporate owned media is trying to control the public imagination, one would think that these institutions — the corporations, the media, and NGOs — would be included in the jurisdiction of a Lokpal bill. Instead, the proposed bill leaves them out completely.

**Ok, we get your point. But in your eagerness to point out the dangers of corruption with NGOs and media, you are dumping the baby that we have here. Is that of no value at all? Is this agitation just hot air according to you? **

Now, by shouting louder than everyone else, by pushing a campaign that is hammering away at the theme of evil politicians and government corruption, they have very cleverly let themselves off the hook. Worse, by demonising only the Government they have built themselves a pulpit from which to call for the further withdrawal of the State from the public sphere and for a second round of reforms — more privatisation, more access to public infrastructure and India's natural resources. It may not be long before Corporate Corruption is made legal and renamed a Lobbying Fee.

Will the 830 million people living on Rs.20 a day really benefit from the strengthening of a set of policies that is impoverishing them and driving this country to civil war?

This awful crisis has been forged out of the utter failure of India's representative democracy, in which the legislatures are made up of criminals and millionaire politicians who have ceased to represent its people. In which not a single democratic institution is accessible to ordinary people. Do not be fooled by the flag waving. We're watching India being carved up in war for suzerainty that is as deadly as any battle being waged by the warlords of Afghanistan, only with much, much more at stake.

Arundhati Roy, you have disappointed with this article. Hopefully you will get back to your old form soon. For now you seem to be painting yourself into a corner.

Jana Gana Mana – Complete National Anthem of India

The complete national anthem brought to screen with well-known vocal and instrumental talent of India

To start with is Kavita Krishnamurthy, I think the honour should have been given to an older and more senior figure

Seniors like Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan and Girija Devi are rushed past while Hariharan and Alka Yagnik hog more time …… even Sunidhi Chauhan, Kailash Kher, Shankar Mahadevan etc.. That’s not fair, is it?

But an interesting concept overall, ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’ really set the ball rolling. The series continues ……..

More details at

Thoughts … … …

Every beetle is a gazelle in the eyes of it's mother – Moorish proverb

All the world is going to die, perhaps even I too – Italian proverb

A man dies and meets his friend in heaven. They talk and he says, ‘If I am dead why do I feel so awful?’

Tolkein: “not all who wander are lost”.

In my own training, I’ve been taught to look for the gaps: the gap at the end of each out-breath; the space between thoughts; the naturally occurring, nonconceptual pause after a sudden shock, unexpected noise, or moment of awe. Trungpa Rinpoche advised intentionally creating these gaps by pausing to look at the sky or stopping to listen intently. He called this “poking holes in the clouds.”
- Pema Chödrön

The reality of the society that we are in is that there are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation where they work long hard hours at jobs they hate, to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like and it's my contention that going to work on a Friday in jeans and T-shirt isn’t really getting to the nub of the issue
- Nigel Marsh

Happiness is not about having what you want. Instead it's about wanting what you have.
- Rabbi Hyman Schachtel

It can be so humbling once you see the bigger picture !

How Big is the Universe

Where do we really figure in the whole scheme of things !!!!

Pale Blue Dot

Carl Sagan sets the perspective

The text

From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

From ‘Sadhguru. More than a life’ by Arundhathi Subramaniam

……. I recalled Sister Nivedita’s line about her early encounter with Swami Vivekananda: ‘…. I saw that although he had a system of thought to offer, nothing in that system would claim him for a moment, if he found that truth led elsewhere.’

A body ‘from which God was radiating terrifically,’ was how Frank Humphreys, a Western disciple, once described Ramana Maharshi.

….. linga …….. is a symbol associated with phallus worship …….. But it is also much more than that, he tells you. The ellipsoid is actually a fundamental form. Modern science holds that the core of every galaxy is an ellipsoid. Spiritual seers from various traditions have always known that it is the first form to emerge from formlessness (or the void, or whatever you choose to call that primordial state.) It is also the last form before dissolution.

….. if one could just learn to dream dreams of which one doesn’t feel compelled to be the protagonist. ‘If you have the necessary stability to remove yourself from the activity you are doing, if you can completely eliminate your person from whatever you do, suddenly you can raise the pitch of your activity to a completely different dimension. ’

The traditional veneration of snakes and cows in India, he often explains, is not a mere matter of superstition. ……. the snake is a significant step in the evolutionary process of the being. So is the cow. That’s why in this culture, you are not supposed to kill either. ….. A snake always gets a proper burial, because in terms of it's being, it is very close to a human being. Killing a snake has always been seen as murder.’

If mothers do die …… it's not the end of the world. Most of the people suffer from an excess of guilt rather than grief anyway. That’s why the Hindu way of giving the bereaved lots of activity to engage in immediately after the death has always seemed to me to be a clever way of handling things.’

….. Jaggi …….. ‘ … I had nothing to do, so I went to Chamundi Hill.’

. ……. He sums up what happened next simply: ‘I went up and didn’t come down.’ When he eventually did return, it was five hours later……. He had gone up, a young happy-go-lucky motorcyclist. He returned, a mystic.

‘I was just sitting on this particular rock,’ he was to say years later. ‘I had my eyes open, not even closed. I thought it was about ten minutes, but something began to happen to me. All my life I had thought, this is me [pointing to himself]. Suddently, I did not know which was me and which was not me. The air that I was breathing, the rock on which I was sitting, the atmosphere around me, everything had become me. ……. What was me had become so enormous, it was everywhere. I thought this lasted a few minutes, but when I came back to my normal senses, it was about seven thirty in the evening ………..’


A week later, the experience recurred. He was at the dining table with his family when it happened. ……. He thought it was for a couple of minutes. Seven hours had elapsed. On another occasion, thirteen days passed. ‘I just sat down for thirteen full days,’ he says. ‘I neither ate nor slept nor used the toilet for these thirteen days. I simply sat down.’

……. ‘My voice changed; my eyes were bigger, brighter,’ ……

People usually become heavy and serious with knowledge. But when knowledge is transmitted in the form of energy, not as memory, the burden of knowledge is not on you.

… Jaggi took a group on a trek up the Kumara Parvat in Karnataka. …. And ….. informed the group that Lord Kartikeya or Muruga …… had left his body up on this very hill.

….. a line by the Buddha. ‘Gautama said it is better to walk alone than in bad company. If you are alone, you could walk slow r fast, but at least you are walking in a certain direction. It's better than being dragged backwards.’ ……….

He once recounted a story about the Sufi mystic, Jalal-ud-din-Rumi:

‘When Rumi went to the house of his beloved and knocked on the door, his lover asked, “Who is it?” ’

‘Rumi replied, “It is I, Rumi.”

‘The door did not open. Rumi was so much in love that he wept for days together. Again and again he went to the door. Each time, the voice asked, “Who is it?”

‘Rumi said, “I, Rumi, and I am willing to die for you.”

‘The door stayed shut. One day, after all this turmoil and suffering, he arrived at a different state within himself. He went to the door once again.

‘The voice asked, “Who is it?”

‘Rumi replied, “It is you.” And the door opened.

‘One aspect of Samadhi is your contact with the body becomes minimal. It can be brought down to a one-pointed contact. We call that nirvikalpa samadhi. It means that your contact with your body is minimal, like a thread. If you break that thread, then it is mahasamadhi …….. Normally when people are like that we keep them in certain levels of inactivity and safety. We keep them in protected atmospheres. We don’t expose them to outside situations, because with the smallest disturbance, they may leave the body.’

Sadhguru’s description of the Dhyanlinga consecration has to be the most lucid account in recorded history of an incredibly arcane yogic process.

The aim, he says, was to create an energy form with seven chakras operating at their optimal condition. In the human being, the chakras are held in place by karmic substance. For the Dhyanalinga, however, he was clear that no karmic substance was to be used. …… The challenge, therefore, was to lock the chakras with pranic substance from all three participants, although this lacked the tenacity of it's karmic counterpart.

…….. Since one person was missing, creating three threads of prana without karmic substance from three different bodies, taking and weaving it and tying it up in a certain way, was difficult ….. The three threads were actual nadis or channels, one from Bharathi, one of mine, and another also from me created in Vijji’s flavor.

………. Bharathi …….. ‘I remember the lingarandhram – the copper tube containing mercury, energized with qualities of the seven chakras – which was to be inserted into the lingam and sealed before the completion of the consecration. This was a major step’

…… perhaps the most intriguing was the locking of the throat chakra or vishuddhi (known as the seat of power). Vishuddhi meditation, Sadhguru explained, is rarely encouraged, since it can create needlessly powerful people who lack the responsibility and balance to handle that power. …… Sadhguru eventually decided to use a one-time yogi for the process. ‘He was a disembodied being, looking for dissolution,’ he said later. ‘It was late night on an amavasya ……. We used a coconut in a certain way to trap this being and do what we had to do. He was being willingly trapped ……. Once he realized how he was going to be used, he was more than willing …… So we actually trapped this yogi, made him into pure energy and put him in the vishuddhi chakra. He became a part of the Dhyanalinga.’

A brahmachari recalls that once the coconut was set in a certain place, a little snake crawled up to it right away. Sadhguru explained later that snakes are invariably attracted to a certain kind of energy.

The most distinctive feature of the entire consecration process was the fact that it entailed no rituals or mantras. This, Sadhguru has often pointed out, is a characteristic of the south Indian tradition of yoga, associated with the sage, Agastya. ‘Everything here is done with pure energy. We don’t care to use mantras. We simply use energy’

The Dhyanalinga consecration was completed on 23 June 1999. ….. Sadhguru has often said that it will take a couple of generations for the world to fully appreciate just what the Dhyanalinga signifies for humanity at large. ……. What every viewer sees is the imposing black stone ellipsoid. ….. the only reason for it's existence is that most people need a visual focus for their meditation. The actual linga is essentially a fully functional subtle body, entirely invisible, with all the seven chakras operating optimally. It's function is essentially meditative. While the well-known Jyotirlingas in various parts of the country address specific issues of health and material wellbeing, the Dhyanalinga is the only linga that addresses all the seven chakras simultaneously. Sitting in it's precincts is equivalent to sitting in the presence of a live master – one who showers his grace unceasingly, freely, impartially, silently.

Is the linga a phallic symbol? ….. Sadhguru explains that the linga is a combination of the feminine and the masculine – one of the most unique and audacious ideas conceived by Eastern spiritual culture. ‘When the masculine and feminine meet at the lowest level, it is known as sex. When the same masculine and feminine meet at the highest level, it signifies the union of Shiva and Shakti. In this conjunction, Shiva is rupa or form; Shakti is shoonya, or nothingness.’

….. why are there no rituals in the Dhyanalinga? ……. Sadhguru explains that rituals are traditionally a means to renew the energy of a sacred space. But the Dhyanalinga has been consecrated through pure energy work and requires no maintenance or revival.

…… ‘engineering marvel’. ‘The elliptical dome that we built to house the Dhyanalinga is seventy-six feet in diameter and thirty-three feet high. No steel, no cement and no concrete have been used; just brick and mud mortar, stabilized with lime, sand, alum and herbal additives …… The nature of the design ensures a life of at least five thousand years for the dome’

As he once remarked, ‘I utter every word consciously, not habitually. That gives the words power. Spirituality is about not allowing anything to happen to you unconsciously.’

…… This life energy in you created your whole body. These bones, this flesh, this heart, this kidney and everything, can’t it create a piece of cartilage? If your energies are kept in full flow and proper balance, they are definitely capable of recreating the physical.

…… Kailash ……. he has often termed ‘the greatest mystical library in the planet’.

‘You don’t look for your guru,’ says Sadhguru firmly. ‘You just deepen the longing in you. When you know the true pain of ignorance, a guru will happen. You don’t have to look. If you sit with him, everything in you should feel threatened. You want to run away, but there is something in you which keeps on pulling you towards him – you can assume then that he is your guru. …. A guru’s intention is to awaken you, not to put you to sleep. He is somebody who disturbs all kinds of conclusions that you have drawn. ……’

Once during a car ride, I asked him if there was anything he immediately ‘knew’ about his surroundings. ‘If I am passing a place that is consecrated in a certain way, I would know right away,’ he answered. ‘And if someone is recently dead around here, I would know that as well.’

Any deep identification – with scripture, ideology, opinion, philosophy, prejudice or belief –becomes the hurdle on this journey. …. If you don’t mess with the human mind, it's very natural for human beings to seek. Unlike a believer who thinks he knows, a seeker starts from the position, “I don’t know”. As soon as you become an “I don’t know”, life begins to happen to you in a huge way.’

……. Schoolteachers, followed by parents, have, with all their good intentions, probably perpetrated more collective evil on humanity than Hitler.

….. truth is necessarily beyond belief and unbelief; that the spiritual journey needs seekers, not believers.

‘In yoga we don’t believe in sudden enlightenment. We make enlightenment into a process. In Zen, they wait for enlightenment to happen like a blossoming flower: a sudden enlightenment. But in yoga, we let it happen gradually, because, if it happens suddenly, you could leave the body. We don’t want that to happen. ’

‘ ….. Sex in the body is fine; money in the pocket is fine. It's only a problem when they enter the mind.’ …… ‘Brahmacharya’ he says simply, ‘is just a way of organizing your energies in such a way that your peace and your joy are all your own. …. If you do it willingly, it is wonderful…….’

‘ ….. If you have sufficient mastery, if you’re able to leave your body consciously, you should leave when everything is well. ….. the way I will die will be visibly spectacular – like a signature.’


Monday, August 15, 2011

From ‘Simplify your Life’ by Elaine St James

Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink, for thirst is a dangerous thing

- Jerome Klapka Jerome

Wise men and women in every major culture throughout history have found that the secret to happiness is not in getting more but in wanting less.

How has it happened that the size of the average American home has gone from the roughly 900-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bath home of the 1950s to a roughly 2000-square-foot home with three bedrooms, three and a half baths, an eat-in kitchen, a dining room, a library, an exercise room, a “great” room, a TV room, at least a two-but often a three-car garage, and an entry hall that rivals the size of the Sistine Chapel? It certainly did not happen because of the need to house larger families; in the past fifty years the average family size has gone from 4 to 2.5.

Studies have shown that in the typical American household the TV is on approximately seven hours per day. ………

Think about whether the lives portrayed on your favorite sitcom contribute anything positive to your life, or whether repeated exposure to crime and violence contributes to your peace of mind. Think about whether the “thirty-second sound bite” format of most television news gives you any real information. Think about whether the addictive habit of watching television contributes to your aliveness, spontaneity, and sense of freedom.

From ‘What should I do with my life? The true story of people who answered the ultimate question.’ By Po Bronson

It surprised me how often we hold ourselves back until we have no choice

“No eloquent words of a man can replace the pathless forest or the quietness of a rock.”

“He was a CPA, and miserable doing it. A few years ago he sent me a poem he had written, way back in 1977. It was about how his pinstripes were his jail bars, holding in all this sexual energy, urging himself to come out. ‘Come on out, motherfucker, I know you’re in there.’ It was called ‘Who’s in There?’”