Monday, February 23, 2009

Enter the spring of bliss!

It’s the night of Shiva; the Lord of all Lords; the Maha Yogi. A night celebrating the silence of Shiva, the power of HIS presence; imbibing the supreme knowledge- Shiva; rejoicing in the spring of bliss- Shiva.

Shiva- the destroyer; Also, the cause for creation! Shiva- the Lord of meditation; the Lord of awakening! Shiva tatva means ‘to be awakened’. A night to shake up, wake up from all slumber; to dispel ignorance and bring in light- opening the doors to bliss! To freedom! For me, this Shivratri is about freedom. Freedom from all the inane, mundane worries, pains, aches that have tortured my body, mind and soul for lifetimes... Freedom from the numerous, sly tricks that my mind plays, successfully digressing me from the path. Freedom from the boredom that haunts me time and again. Freedom from routine; from everything that binds me, holds me... Routine- it binds; make something a discipline and all your freedom is restricted. The mind hates it... it will never let you hold the reigns in your hand- will wander here and there and ensure that the leash you so sternly tied around it, slowly and gradually falls away- rather you throw it away. The mind is very cunning- the more you tie it down, the more loop holes it finds! It doesn’t seem to tire of this game! Well, it wins so often, no wonder it loves the game, add to that the fact that we get fooled so easily and fall prey to its tricks. No sooner have we started on a routine, a discipline... than we feel constrained, restricted even stifled... and we stop the discipline... there- the small mind won again! How much longer? How many more such victories to the small, sly, wily mind? There is a very beautiful knowledge sheet by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Freedom and Discipline (Intimate Note to a Sincere Seeker- Vol 1). He says that the defence is regimented. There is no freedom in the defence services. Yet, they protect the freedom of the country. We often mistake freedom for freedom in action. That is the cause of the problem. Freedom is of the mind. Discipline is of action. So, this time, the wish is for Freedom in the mind, discipline in action. The prayer is for discipline... cause in the depth of the discipline is hidden the spring of bliss...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Something about that evening

The deep lines along his forehead, the dark hollows of his cheek, the shallow feel of his skin hanging limp by his face, the depth of his eyes… they saw the pineapple yellow of the setting sun, but those rays also brought along with them a setting boredom in those deep eyes. After all, he had seen many a yellow sunset, many an autumn and felt a few too many times the warmth of the cool evening breeze. And yet, that sunset was special, was different, and was nothing like he had seen before. The breeze wasn’t like the one he had felt in the many passing years.

There was something about that evening which held him spell bound, which made him want to breathe deep, to sing like he had never done before, to play, to dance… the light that the setting sun was taking with it, in that light, he wanted to immerse himself. He wanted to bathe in those rays, to laugh while the sun tried to steal them from him… cause he owned those rays… he was their master… today, he was the carrier of light. His heart was dancing, not even waiting for his body to move an inch. His heart was overjoyed, was pouring love and bliss. His smile got wider with every passing breath… his mind raced through the past, through moments of joy, through the pains of birth…

There was something about that evening, about the breeze… there was something about those setting rays that weren’t the same as he had ever experienced. There was something about that evening when he wanted to dance, to laugh, to play… something that made him want to live and yet, his eyelids felt heavy, he simply couldn’t gaze into the distance, something closed his eyes… something about the sun rays - burnt through his supple skin… something about the warm breeze - chilled him to the bone… taking away all that he ever had… leaving behind a smile that froze… there was something about that evening that took his breath away… never to bring it back…

PS. I don't know why I wrote this... yet, even while writing it, I realised for probably the first time, how beautiful and intriguing the mystery of death is- a secret that can never be unravelled! What also came to me, was the importance of living each moment to the fullest- like its our last one... being 100 per cent in each moment! (The Guru never ceases to provide us opportunities to reiterate and live the knowledge!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Flowing with the notes…

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan live in concert
As he strummed on his instrument- with the tip of his finger nails… everything fell still. Forgotten were the careless whispers, the loud guffaws and everything in between. The occasional clearing of the throat or even the rustle of his crisp turquoise blue kurta were drowned in the sound that emanated from that shining instrument… a sweet, delicate yet sharp sound that permeated the environment. Ah! Wasn’t it bliss to hear the maestro at work? Anyone who has heard Ustad Amjad Ali Khan ji at the Sarod will know what it is like to be transported into a state of peace and joy. One can’t but help flowing with the notes and yet, the mind comes to a rare stand still! Such is meditation- flowing with the breath and watching the mind come to a halt…
It is amazing the effect that sounds have on living beings- everything ranging from plants, water, animals to of course- the social animals ;) It’s true that singing to our plants, talking to them can make them happy and encourage them to grow faster… I tried it with my little rose bush- for some reason, it didn’t bear flowers in the season that it should and after a few days of chatting with it, viola! There were 3 beautiful buds- bursting to bloom… J just by being a happy rose plant! Anyway, that’s another story for another day- how sounds and vibrations affect the plant kingdom.
Coming back to the sounds and their effect on the human body and mind complex; each sound has a distinct impact on a designation region in the body leading to an overall sense of well being and relaxation. There is a lot of research going on about this, about sounds and how they affect the body- a science that our ancient Rishi’s, Muni’s, Ustads had mastered and handed down over generations through the ragas and mantras. Each chakra (energy center) in the body responds to a particular sound, a particular vibration and through those sounds and vibrations, we can unravel the mysteries of the universe. By just meditating on those mantra’s we can get a glimpse of restful awareness of Samdhi… all we need to do, is flow with the notes, with the sounds, with the music…
Like the wise one has said-
Stretching sound is music
Stretching movement is dance
Stretching the smile is laughter
Stretching the mind is meditation
Stretching life is celebration
Stretching the devotee is God
Stretching feeling is ecstasy
Stretching emptiness is bliss!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another 45 rhythmic breathers!

Sajita and me- 2 rocking teachers on the course
Participants sharing heart warming experiences on the last day of the course
45 more people in whom the seed is now sown, who have opened another doorway to work with emotions, thoughts and feelings. 45 more people, who will breathe free, smile more and live better! Am just done with another Part 1 course – another opportunity to spread the ancient knowledge that His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji has revived on this planet. Every moment of donning the teachers’ role, of allowing the Guru to talk through you was an experience that refreshed the mind, rejuvenated the body and soothed the soul. Each moment on the course was so special for me. A moment to treasure and yet not hold on to; And for me, another reason among the millions I already have to be grateful to my Guru, to bow down to HIM… another opportunity to see the event and appreciate the happening.