Wednesday, June 30, 2010

the koyal out my window

It still thrills
the cuts,
the b and w,
the bong,
a song so pure
and gentle
it could be
a koyal out my window

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Am That - Nisargadatta Maharaj

Q: How does one reach the Supreme State?
M: By renouncing all lesser desires. As long as you are pleased with the lesser, you cannot have the highest. Whatever pleases you, keeps you back. Until you realise the unsatisfactoriness of everything, its transiency and limitation, and collect your energies in one great longing, even the first step is not made. On the other hand, the integrity of the desire for the Supreme is by itself a call from the Supreme. Nothing, physical or mental, can give you freedom. You are free once you understand that your bondage is of your own making and you cease forging the chains that bind you.

Q: How does one find the faith in a Guru?
M: To find the Guru and also the trust in him is rare luck. It does not happen often.

Q: Is it destiny that ordains?
M: Calling it destiny explains little. When it happens you cannot say why it happens and you merely cover up your ignorance by calling it karma or Grace, or the Will of God.

Q: Krishnamurti says that Guru is not needed.
M: Somebody must tell you about the Supreme Reality and the way that leads to it. Krishnamurti is doing nothing else. In a way he is right -- most of the so-called disciples do not trust their Gurus; they disobey them and finally abandon them. For such disciples it would have been infinitely better if they had no Guru at all and just looked within for guidance. To find a living Guru is a rare opportunity and a great responsibility. One should not treat these matters lightly. You people are out to buy yourself the heaven and you imagine that the Guru will supply it for a price. You seek to strike a bargain by offering little but asking much. You cheat nobody except yourselves.

Q: You were told by your Guru that you are the Supreme and you trusted him and acted on it. What gave you this trust?
M: Say, I was just reasonable. It would have been foolish to distrust him. What interest could he possibly have in misleading me?

Q: You told a questioner that we are the same, that we are equals. I cannot believe it. Since I do not believe it, of what use is your statement to me?
M: Your disbelief does not matter. My words are true and they will do their work. This is the beauty of noble company (satsang).

Q: Just sitting near you can it be considered spiritual practice?
M: Of course. The river of life is flowing. Some of its water is here, but so much of it has already reached its goal. You know only the present. I see much further into the past and future, into what you are and what you can be. I cannot but see you as myself. It is in the very nature of love to see no difference.

I Am That - Nisargadatta Maharaj
Extracted from Chapter 64. Whatever pleases you, Keeps you Back

For those who don't know, Maharaj was Ramesh Balsekar's final guru. He used to sell bidis, and in his satsangs, it was ok to smoke. After he met his Guru, Shri Siddheshwar Maharaj, Nisargadutta did an escape act, that is, he left his family in search of enlightenment. He came back from the station, and set up his own corner in his attick, and spent time there by himself. Until whatever had to happen happened. And the bees came swarming, from all over the world.

Ramesh met him through an article in the Mountain path, a magazine published by Ramana Ashram. When Ramesh walked in to his house, Maharaj said absently, 'What took you so long?' Since both lived in Mumbai, Ramesh became a regular. Maharaj disuaded Ramesh from the temple brand of worship. Ramesh started tranlating the talk for the foreigners.

'No absentees!' Warned the Bidi seller to the Banker. The (retired) banker agreed. And one day, Ramesh was talking faster than his Master spake. That day, the understanding got transfered.

I love the blazing fire in Maharaj's eyes. He beams something. He is a bomb that would love to explode on you.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

why do kids fall sick?

After a week of sleepless over a sick child nights, I wake up refreshed. Pavan is sleeping soundly, he has no fever either. As usual, he has thrown off the covers. I have to buy him warmer clothes to sleep in.

As I have my morning chai, I reflect. Why do kids fall sick? Because they seek attention. Hmm.

All right, I promise the little one. 'I will give you attention. More than what you ask for. More than I can give. Just get well. Make the doc stop giving you those strong medicines.

He wakes up around nine.
'Whats the plan for the day, Mom?' he asks.

'Whatever you want, darling. Today I am all yours. We can go boating, we can go..

'What do you mean, today I am all yours?'

'It means today is your day. We do whatever you want to do. I wont say no to anything you ask for.'

'Anything?' he asks.

'Anything under the sun, beyond the moon ...'

'Can I have my gullak money to spend on whatever I want to buy?'



He danced around for a bit then stopped. He ventured to test the waters.

'Ai, can I wipe my nose on your kurta?' he asked me, his nose full of muck.

'Well. I might not like that, but I cant say no to you for anything today.'

'I can do anything?'


'You wont scold me at all?' he couldn't believe his luck.

'Does a servant scold his master? Today I am all yours. At your beck and call. You can ask me to do anything you want.'

He took a moment to digest this.

'Today you are all mine? And tomorrow?'

'Tomorrow you can be all mine.'

'And how will it be when I am all yours?'

'Well, I might ask you to make tea for me again and again and you cant say no, even if you want to go and play.'

'I will be yours on Saturday. No, Sunday. Come here! I want to wipe my nose.'

As he played with the ball, he gave me instructions for the day.

'You are not going to touch the computer.'


'You will play carom with me.
Without cheating.
You will give me a bath.
I will wear whatever clothes I want.
Even when I am going out to play.
You will bring down water for me and my friends when we get thirsty.'

'Anything else, Sir?'

'You don't have to call me Sir, Ok?'

'Ok Shona.'

After the daily visit to the doc, we went shopping.

'Ai, how much does a salwar kurta cost?' he asked.

'I don't want more salwar kurtas. I already have materials that need to be stitched.'

'How much does it cost to stitch one?'

'Not much. Two hundred.'

'Only two hundred? Ok, I will pay the tailor.'

'Hey, thanks buddy. Mighty sweet of you. But this is supposed to be your day, no? Lets buy something for you.'

'For me we will buy this coconut water.'

We shared a coconut water.

Then we came home and the brat did something he never does without much haggling and drama. He opened his English homework and asked me to help him.

'How come?' I asked him.

'Today you cant shout at me if I do something wrong. So I might as well get it over with.' he said.

He then offered to plant the plants in their pots. Both of us sat in the balcony and played with the mud. He didn't even go to play. Both of us got soaked in affection.

As I write this, I reflect, why do kids fall sick? Because we seek attention?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When the night is so momentary,

and the path to the temple unlit,

when all the sages have emptied your altar,

and become a lamp within.....

the heart burns ecstasy like the tip of a cigarette,

that each moment begins with yearning

and ends in utter fulfillment.

A grasshopper then sits by her computer,

done with the seeking,

and sings this bittersweet song of the Beloved

over and over again.

Monday, June 7, 2010

the exact moment

that a toddler falls asleep in your arms

can take you there,

if you are aware.

of the change in the smell of her hair,

if the length of her breath suddenly reaches your neck,

her body relaxes its contours into yours...

oh yes it can take you there

without looking at her little face,

something tells you that the air is thicker,

the sky is bigger. you are one

one with the deep sleep of a baby

a sensation so deep, so pure.

No wonder

a mother loves a child most when it is asleep

it is because the trusting sleeping beauty,

within the exact moment,

takes you there.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

beauty can be bought, but...

During my recent trip to Tibet, (read Dharamshala), as I am walking down a road, I pause in front of this beautiful statue. From fingertip to forehead to posture, happiness radiating.

'Manjushree!' greets the Tibetan shopkeeper, smiling.

'Hello.' I reply, flattered that someone remembers me by name, after more than ten years of my last visit.

'Saint Manjushree!' he says again, approvingly. 'Very auspicious.'

'Oh yes. This is the Tibetan saint, Manjushree, right?'

'Yes, Maam.'

'And so beautiful. I cant take my eyes off it. My name is also Manjushree,' I tell him.

'You also, very beautiful, Manjushree maam.'

'Thanks.' I mumble, and walk on.

'Special price for you, Manjushree maam!' he shouts.

'I know. But who will I buy me from?' I ask.