Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The absent colours of Advaita

How hard can you be hit by Love?

Sometimes I forget the name of the beloved. Sometimes I forget that white has all colors in it. Sometimes I confuse white with black. Yesterday I forgot that my Guru has a teaching.

Everyone, including a pup, has a mind. Ok, some people may have a worn-torn bundle of thoughts which they drag along, but hardly ever is it empty.

We were sitting on the lawn of her home, seeking answers from each others bundles. We were trying to understand 'the individual's responsibility' in a world where God does everything.

'So Ramesh does not ask you to be mindful, to be aware?', she asked. (Read Ramesh Balsekar, advaita teacher in Mumbai.)

'Nope.' I replied.

'Then he must be a jerk.' she said.

'Well. You could call him that.' I said, half conscious.

'Then even you are a jerk.'

'I maybe.'

On my way home, the tube light lit. Ramesh does have a teaching. A method to understand the teaching. A spiritual practice. Just because I never questioned his basic, Fatoti theory, (short for Functioning of Totality), I never bothered to go through the doership inquiry method he prescribes. I always thought, Oh, thats for the intellectuals. I can chuck this class. I can happily go on with my life.

Being happy can lead you to being called a jerk. Which I don't mind, least of all from a friend. But my Guru, he ain't no jerk. He can talk the most head heavy seeker into silence. In hindi, bolti band karaa dena.

And the spiritual practice that he preaches, is not even compulsory. If you are used to a spiritual practice, and you want to know, 'Yes, Ramesh, I agree with you that there is no individual doer, but, till the time that this understanding reaches my gut, is there anything I can do, to ... pass the time?' (This is the politically correct approach. If you ask, can I do anything to speed up to the big E, he will say Nope. Can a particle of dust speed up to get out of the dust storm?)

Here is the doership inquiry : Take twenty minutes off, in the evening, or whenever you have the time during the day, sit in a comfortable position (not with a straight back, this is not a discipline). If you need a cup of tea, coffee to be comfortable, have it, if you like beer, you can have that too. Switch off your mobile, ensure that you are not disturbed, and go through the events, the deeds of the day. Single out a few actions that you feel proud / guilty of, that you are convinced that you have done, and find out if it was you who did them.

Well, I don't need twenty minutes. I get Fatoti out of my bundle in a second. Yes, it gets tossed and lost in the storm, but occasionally, we collide.

This is a Ramesh take on Ramana Maharishi's self-inquiry, 'Who am I ?' I am so and so because I do such and such. I am, because I do. So question what I do, and bit by bit, if you are lucky, if it is part of the Fatoti, the doer fades out and only 'I' remains.


shikhar said...

Balsekar writes clearly . I have read one of his books - "The only way to live". But sometimes I feel , I get a little tangled in all this Advaita jargon.You know how the mind is :)

Grasshopper said...

Yes, I too pull my hair sometimes, wanting to pull out those words like subject of object and object of subject. One day I guess I will have to understand these terms, but as of now, I am postponing that day to sometime next life..:)