Thursday, July 31, 2008

the lilies in the fields, they toil not...

I met old friends at Tiru who don't even look at the Mountain. They sit in tea shops, smoke bidis and grow their hair longer each year. Some of them are born overseas, a few don't even remember their 'native place'.

One such friend just came back to India with a fresh passport, a first time visa. He had overstayed his visa expiry date last time by three and a half years, until the Iskon fellowship hauled him out. Two years later, he is back in Tiru, with a new identity.
'First time to India?' the custom lady asked him, smiling.
'Yeah, first time.' he smiled back.

'What do you do all day in Tiru? What is your spiritual practice?'
'We cross the street, to sit in the tea shop across the road.'

What gives a bum, the supreme confidence to be a bum?

Two stories come to my mind:

1. As told by Shree Ramakrishna :

At the time of Jesus, there were two sisters called Mary and Martha. Jesus Christ went to their house with his devotees. At the sight of him, Mary was ecstatic with Happiness. It reminds me of a song by Gauranga:

My eyes sank in the sea of God's heavenly beauty

And did not come back to me again,

Down went my mind, as well, forgetting how to swim.

The other sister, all by herself, ran around arranging food for Jesus. Mary just sat at his feet, blissed out. (Maybe she washed his feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair, but this is another story.)
So Martha complained to the Master, 'Lord, please judge for yourself. How wrong my sister is. She is sitting in your room and I am doing all these things by myself.'
Jesus said, 'Your sister is indeed blessed. She has developed the only thing needful in human life: love of God.'

2. Once Ramana was sitting peacefully on the Mountain, minding his own business when an earnest seeker came to him and said,

'You are so ripe, you must take diksha from my Guru. I will come back in the evening and we will go together.'

Ramana was wondering how to escape the diksha, initiation, when another earnest seeker stopped at Ramana's hut for some water. He was climbing up to the peak.

'May I keep my holy books here? I will pick them up on my way back.'

And this was how the Mountain loved Ramana, for in that bundle of books, he opened a book to a page with these lines,

'Anyone residing within thirty kilometers of Arunachala need not do any sadhana whatsoever. No japa, no tapa, no guru, no seva, nothing needs to be done, because the Mountain Does Everything!'

and provided him with self defense against the initiation.

This is the promise, this is the creative license, and this is the secret of the lazy seeker.

It doesn't end here. There is another promise.

'Those who are meant to get enlightened will be drawn to the Mountain. They will not be able to resist the pull of the mountain.'

When I first heard / read this, my pride swelled up, until I looked around at the bums gathered on the tea shops. Someone is a jail bird, another has obviously run away from a nut house, this one is a proud dope addict, and of course, on almost each trip I get hit by a homeless sadhu.
'Are you single?' he asks me, too lazy to think of a better line.
'Happily married.' I smile back, no offense taken.

Years ago, during my first steps on the path, I was hammered by the concept, 'Keep Good Company.' But good company is a narrow lane, I get claustrophobic. I like to take U turns, I like to skip, jump or sit on the road. And the earnest seekers, may God warn me should they hover near. Let the white collared devotees run to the ashrams to make it in time for the one hour meditation.

I prefer to sit with my friends, the chilled out cronies of Shiva.


Banno said...

Could I take a day off without guilt? Though I have never been on a spiritual quest I soak in your journey. And now I know there will be more of your pilgrimage. I would sit at the tea shop too.

JOY said...

a small story for you
LORD KRISHNA was dancing with the gopis on the bank of the river. on other side of the river there was mahrishi durvasa he was in his ashram.
the gopis they cook nice food for LORD KRISHNA. he says offer the food to DURVASA than he shall take the food. the river YAMUNA was flowing furiously, and none of the gopis had courage to cross the river. so they all asked LORD krishna how to cross the river. lord KRISHNA said tell the river YAMUNA , '' IF LORD KRISHNA IS NITYA BRAMHACHARI THAN PLEASE GIVE THE WAY". The gopis go to the bank of the river and conveys the words to river yamuna. and they all get the way to go to the ashram and they all cross the river.
they meet the mahirishi over there. he consumes all the food brought for him. but the RIVER had again started flowing furiously, so they gopis ended with the same problem they did not have the solution. they conveyed the message of lord krishna to the rivere but no solution. so they all requested to MAHRISHI that he gives them the solution and they can get back to the other side.
mahrishi said , tell the river, '' that if the DURVASA is nitya upvasi than the river gives the way to other side.
the gopis said the same to the river and they had the way.
ultimately all the gopis crossed the river and ended up in confusion with questions in mind.
than they put their confusion to lord krishna ,, and he answered.

bramhachari is the one who stays in constant state of bramha and is taking care of all the functions.
upvasi is the one who has the his heart in the heart of beloved. so the story goes this way when we love the lord it is upvas and lord is the one who is one with that one divine which can make us divine. because in human life only the possibility of turning divine is there.