Immortal “I”

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In this vast world of innumerable universes, stars and galaxies, planets and constellations, we exist. It is strange that existence is experienced by us. What about the other living beings and non living things?

Does the universe know it exists? And what about the sun, moon and stars? Have they any idea about who they are and what are their duties?

Plants? Animals? Maybe a little quaint idea they may have, yet they may never face existential crisis like we do.

Humans are way distinct from the rest that exists. Main reason being we know we exist and that everything else exists! Probably that’s the reason we tend to be in a dilemma .

Who am I, where am I and so on are the questions that trouble some of us…

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Though these are questions we need to ask, at times I wonder, whether there is any point in asking such questions or seeking answers for the same?

Does it matter who I am and what I am? If it matters, then it matters to whom? Does the universe know I am there…NO!

I will come and I will go and the universe will not even know. Only the humans whom we associate with might know and feel the difference for a short while…in some cases a bit longer. But then life goes on…

As we contemplate on the who I am and I will come and and I will go…where will I go? Where had I come from?

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Existence is really strange. If we exist then we exist all the time. In what form and what shape doesn’t really matter. Right now I may seem to be existing in a particular form, shape, color etc. At some point I may have existed in a different form and later also I may be in some other form.

So eventually the form doesn’t really matter. The understanding that ‘I exist’ is all that matters. Now besides this form, or within this form I exist can be experienced.

A simple way to understand would be to just recollect our childhood days, teens and later until the present moment. Though I  do not resemble in size and shape what I was as a child, ‘I was there’ and in all changes ‘I was there’.

 

Now also ” I is there’…which means whatever changes, the “I” does not change. What does not change is not an illusion and so it is the truth!

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Now is the time to reflect on this “I” ! The unchanging…immortal “I”…

Roots or fruits?

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When we see a beautiful high rise building we stare at it with wonder. Amazing buildings 40 ,50 even more than 100 floors leave us astounded. The elevation, exterior finish and the visible pillars etc look so magnificent.

Another example I would cite is a beautiful tree with branches laden with fruits or flowers. Isn’t it an amazing sight? Wow! such colorful flowers, such fresh delicious fruits are some of our observations.

What I am getting to is the unseen strength that lies below. A good foundation laid assures a beautiful structure. A tree with roots gone deep into the soil can have beautiful flowers and fruits.

Who notices the foundation or the roots? Who praises or even acknowledges them? The visible beauty is all that catches the eye and thereby receives applause.

Deep below lies the one that bears the load while the branches bear the fruits. The unseen one, the one who is actually doing all the work without any expectations, without any acknowledgement.

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Is this what Lord Krishna was trying to explain to us in the Bhagavad Gita second chapter, verse 47? That we have a right to do our duties, but hold no right over the fruits?

Whether the roots are acknowledged or not, they continue doing their work. how many of us are like that?

Without anyone noticing us, praising us, awarding or rewarding us, would we continue doing our work silently, unconditionally?

How many of us are like the roots or the foundation? How many of us love being the lovely fruits and flowers?

For every action we do we seek approval or some kind of response. We want to be noticed and appreciated. Nothing right or wrong about it…

Just that, for a moment we need to pause and think. Would we do what we do totally, if no one appreciated us? Are we focused on the action or the reward we would get after doing it? Where lies the focus?

Time to sit back and think as glorifying our actions has become quite common nowadays with all types of social media platforms. What we eat, what we do, where we go and so on and so forth…

How and when did so much focus shift on all our actions to the point of sharing it on a minute to minute basis?

Even while we are eating a meal we are clicking images and uploading it to people who may or may not even care. What about the prayer before mealtime and the reverence to the food?

Are we in a crowd and yet lonely? A question we need to ask ourselves…

Nazm …mera ghar…

A string of words straight from the heart…about the various houses we move into and yet keep looking for the real home awaiting real peace…It is the transmigration of the soul and how it longs to merge into the infinity…

नज़्म लिखा है – मेरे घरों का और उन में मेरे सफर का …

यूँ तो लगता हैं महल जैसा घर मेरा
सुन्दर चीज़ों से कमरे जो सजाये हैं

हर कमरा अपने ही अंदाज़ में सजाया हुआ…
मैं घूमती रहती हूँ हर कमरे में

जाकर खोजती हूँ जगह मेरा
कहा गया वो जगह? घर मेरा … कमरे मेरे

इतनी बड़ी महल का हर कमरा सजाया हुआ
मानो भूलभुलैय्या बन गया हो…

अजनबी की तरह मैं हर कमरे में घूमू
उसे सवारु और फिर निकल जाऊ

बोलने को बेडरूम है और लिविंग रूम
किचन है और बाथरूम

हर रूम में मैं अजनबी घूमू
घूमकर सवार सवार कर थक जाऊ

इस घर में मुझे जगह न रहा
कहा बैठु कहा सोउ कहा रहूं ,

सब रहकर भी न रहने के बराबर लगे
ऐसे कई घर बदले कई कमरे सजाये

हर घर में मुझे अजनबीपन महसूस हुआ
क्यों कहते हैं हम के ये घर मेरा है

क्यों कहते हैं हम ये कमरा मेरा है
क्यों कहते हैं घर का सामान मेरा है

जब की घूमने पर सवारने पर न लगे वो अपना
हर कमरा लगे किराये का हर घर मेरा किराये का

इस किराये के घरों में घूम घूमकर
किराये वाले कमरों में रह रहकर

अब रूह परेशां सा होगया हैं…

कब जाउंगी मैं अपने घर
जो सच मुच् का अपना हो

कब रहूंगी मैं अपने कमरे में
जो मेरे असली घर में हो

कब सोऊंगी मैं चैन से मेरे बिस्तर पर
जो मेरे कमरे में मेरे घर में होगा

कहा हैं वो घर कहा है वो कमरा
कहा हैं वो सिरहाना

जिस पर चैन से चैन की नींद मैं सोऊंगी…

Ahimsa – Yama Niyama -Yoga Sutras

 

In the eight limbs of yoga, we have Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyaana and Samadhi.

Yama is further divided into 5 applications and they are:

Ahimsa – Satya – Asteya – Brahmacharya – Aparigraha

What exactly is Ahimsa? Translated into non-violence, it is a single yet powerful word.

As soon as we hear the word violence we visualize war, fights, anger etc. Something really violent and usually on the physical plane. Yet, what about the emotions? What about the verbal himsa or violence?

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Pen is mightier than the sword…so words can hurt or have equal or more violence than probably a slap.

Most of us would be off the physical violence for sure. But what about the speech? This is where yoga helps…

When Sage Patanjali wrote the Yoga sutras, he covered every single aspect of the human nature. Therefore though most of us would just run through or rather skip through the Yamas, I believe that we can never actually completely master them.

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Ahimsa happens more at the speech level. The tongue which is one of our five senses has a dual role wherein it can be used for taste as well as speech. Both these factors are immensely strong and can deter us on the path of Yoga.

This in no way means that we stop doing yogasana or pranayama thinking that we are not able to master the 8 limbs of yoga. It is a long journey and there are absolutely no shortcuts here. But this journey can be made blissful and peaceful if one starts with an honest note.

So let us work on Ahimsa on a deeper level. Surely we are not harming anything or anyone physically. So it is the sense organ (tongue-taste&speech) that has to be in control.

So how do we do it? Here is a simple method…

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Daily practice deep breathing for 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes before sleeping. With every breath in, visualize the divine energy within gathering force. With the breath out, visualize the devils energy filtering out. Technically these are the toxins from our body that get released with our breath.

Here we need to understand that breath is the thread for our mind and with all the negatives being released, the mind gets clearer.

A lot of impressions (samskaraas) get released through the breath when we breathe in and out with awareness. It leaves us in an entirely calm state.

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While practicing our asanas, even if they are just a few rounds of surya namaskars or any simple asanas, we must bring our mind to every stretch and quieten it.

Suppose we are stretching back -step 2 of surya namaskar- with our hands held high, face tilted a bit, breathing in, hold for a moment continue breathing, feel like a bird ready to fly. Feel the energy on the tips of the fingers and the mind focused on the fingers. Become aware totally of the breath as the mind rests and calms on the tips of the fingers. Breathing out bend down to touch the toes, head down, fingers touching the toes or palm flat on the floor. The mind now moving with the fingers reaches the floor or the top of the toes. observe, relax in the pose and continue breathing. Continue the entire surya namaskar with the same awareness. Complete one set (right and left) taking time in each pose, bringing awareness, quieting the mind and lie down in shavasana for 2 minutes. Allow the body and mind to relax totally.

Yogasana is not about just doing the asana. It is about being able to transport the mind and bringing awareness.

With increased awareness, the speech and taste desires are much in control and we gain mastery over our desires.

Ahimsa then naturally becomes a part of us…

Being Nice

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Passing judgement on others, whether it is on their behavior, their nature or character is seen as a common trait in most people. In fact from our very childhood most of us would have seen this happen in the house or among neighbors or friends.

This soon became a habit for us and we thought it was harmless and just our opinion. How true is this?

Having our opinion, is surely our right! But slapping that opinion onto the person about who it is, may or may not be a very good idea.

Let us take a moment here and think if we are in that category…if so…then why are we doing it?

What is the point in giving out statements that might hurt another human being? What is the intention of our speech? Also how necessary is it?

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We need to save our opinions and take great care when we feel its necessary to pass that opinion to the concerned person as a remark. What is our intention is the first question we need to ask ourselves before speaking up. In case our intention is to help, guide and hope for the good of the other person, then the remark will have to be re-framed in a nice manner so as not to hurt the other.

All this is an issue only when we are passing negative remarks about others. What about the positive ones? If its honest and straight from the heart, it can be simply told.

Many times we might confuse our opinion with our judgement. Opinion is something that we feel close to about something or someone. Judgement is a remark  and does not come from the same space as opinion.

Judgement happens in court! There is a judge and there are lawyers fighting a case and a judgement is passed…

So thereby judgement is more of a statement where a decision about something or someone is made.

In personal relationships, there should be no court, no judge and yes we can all be lawyers fighting our cases!

Humans can share beautiful relationships with each by leaving out the judgement, strong opinions, anger etc.

Love should be the essence in the relationships we share, otherwise bitterness and hatred would soon set in leaving us with a bitter taste of life…

 

So whatever age we are, wherever in life we are, with whomsoever we are currently associated with, let us work on being nice, kind and let acceptance and care reflect in our words and action…

 

 

Space & Privacy

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“I need privacy, I need my own space so leave me alone…”

This major desire for space and privacy has broken joint families into nuclear families and now it has become one or two individuals as family and soon will be one man/woman family.

Living alone has become “Fun” as “space” is what everyone needs. Earlier we had one room with the entire family sitting together and now each has his own room and the family has reduced to 3 or 4 members with hardly any time spent together.

We are communicating less on the physical level and more through mobiles and messages. The specialty of speech given to us humans to express, interact, emote and connect thereby has gone missing. Nowadays emojis are saying what words can say. It has become convenient to reduce the use of our tongue for speech and silence has become golden!

But due to this has the mind become more tumultuous? As a being, have we become lonely even in a crowd? Does the crowd truly exist physically or are they in the mind or on the browser or on social media?

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The scene as far as the current and coming youth is that they are becoming individualistic and lonely. They need a lot of space on the physical level and yet their social media is jam packed with the so called friends. Messages are so many that the mobiles run out of space. The mind has so much that it is constantly signaling to delete some stuff. Brain is multi tasking, while the body is not moving out of the chair or bed.

It is worrying to see all of them trapped in the virtual and plainly ignoring the visible. Understanding as per the Gita that everything is Maya, changing constantly and therefore an illusion, I would definitely love to see a lot of change.

As we delve deeper into the scriptures, the one thing we understand is all that we see is unreal. So probably it has been understood by our younger crowd in a way where they feel that all the people and beings they can see are unreal and all that they can see in the virtual or on the mobile screen are real!

Actually both are unreal only because change is constant and what we saw a moment ago has already changed. So what exactly is real or who exactly is real…this is something very important to ponder about.

But the virtual is addictive and also far away thereby more preferred by the current generation. Technology was supposed to be of help to connect with more and more people and communicate with more people. It was to join all and yet it has made most kids into recluses who avoid talking to everyone who is visible but would talk for hours to someone who is not physically available.

It is an escape wherein the true responsibility of Being human is evaded. Technology is to be used for the benefits it offers and not as the only medium of survival.

If we tell the kids of today to leave their cell phones/tabs or usage of internet totally for a few days, they might undergo withdrawal symptoms like what happens when one takes drugs.

But even before that actually happens, they will have to go through a list of mental illnesses, traumas due to loneliness, insecurity and fear and a lot more.
Who is going to take responsibility for this? As parents are we trying to balance what our parents taught us and what our kids feel is “cool”?

A lot of questions have to be asked and a huge shift in the current mindset is needed to avoid what seems like “The End”!

A lot of broken marriages, disputes and separations in the last few decades could have been one of the reasons for the way the children have drifted from humanity. Technology suddenly boomed and entered as a respite, replacing all wrecked relationships. Technology took over the lives of people and destroyed most of the interpersonal relationships.

A virtual world was created that took away the pain that would arise from physically relating to people. It was safe, hidden, and private and pain free.
Where there is love, pain might exist. So what? It is all temporary! What is the big deal about privacy? What is it that we are doing so privately that except our own family the entire search engines on the web know!

We feel whatever we are sharing or posting is private and limited only to the people who we share with. It is so?

When I share with my spouse or my kids or my loved ones I know it is private. When I share on the internet its ‘public’ even though, I might have chosen to opt ‘private’ in the settings.

Is it not time for us to direct and guide the young kids away from so much internet and give them a happy loving fun filled time with family? Is it not our responsibility as Human beings to bring back togetherness, love and care for all living beings on the physical level? Actual visit to farms, meeting farmers, sharing our things with the ones who are not as privileged, spending time with the aged, playing with the mentally challenged and orphans who long for friends and company…

So much to give back to humanity…being a human being…

“Being Human”

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As we move farther away from our own clan on the physical level and end up in the virtual world, we are escaping from our very responsibility of being born as a human being. “HUMAN” has MAN in it and also sounds like “Woman” and the “Woman” has “Man” in it and thus creates the base for the male and female element to stay combined and operate as one.

Many species of beings are getting extinct and if the virtual world continues and deepens as a trend in the coming generations, humans might very soon become extinct too!

Earlier every boy and girl had dreams of marrying and having a family. Now marriage is out and “live in’ is IN. This means directly running away from responsibility of understanding and adjusting with another human being. And if they marry they surely do not want any kids so that they can live freely enjoying their life! (considering that bearing and rearing children is a big burden?)

For the ones who do wish to have kids, technology is helping the extinction process by creating all kinds of hormonal issues ruling out conception.

Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita is in tears not wanting to be on the battlefield where the war is against his own family members, friends and near ones. His emotional bond with them is termed as bondage and it is this bondage from which we need to cut off and be in a state of equanimity. How can love be a bondage?

Love, togetherness, involvement are the qualities of humans. It is these very bonds that raised us from lower beings to humans. Emotions come naturally to humans and “Being Human” is respecting life for what it is, it is about respecting and adhering to humanity.

Growing cities are taking us farther away from our roots and living in concrete jungles feels like living like a king. In reality, riches has made us poorer and the one living in the lap of nature among the birds and bees, animals and trees and all real humans with minimum use of technology is the richest man alive.

How far are we now from our roots? Are we happy being lonely? Is this the way humans should live? Has virtual living taken over actual living and the true essence of life?

Questions that we need to ask, we need to ponder over and also work towards finding practical solutions…

There is much more going on and the posts will continue on this line of thought…