Does anyone remember the story of Shekchilli? Its about a person by that name who's sitting on the branch that he's cutting! This story suddenly struck me as a good analogy of what I'm doing. Here's how...

Adi Shankara said that the sword of knowledge should be used to cut the darkness of ignorance, forever. He has refuted so many opponents' views that jnana can go hand in hand with karma. Having said that, I'm trying to cut my karmas sitting on the same branch, while also trying to get jnana out of it. This, I'm sure, will never happen. The only way to do it is by renouncing whatever is possible, be it in bits and pieces and moving a step away from all this at hand, in the process going a step closer to eternity.

To someone who doesn't agree so, I've my point of view: To a spiritually advanced person, being amongst the worldly things and still being secluded comes naturally. This is called as "hands in the society, head in the forest" principle. But for a student like me, its not so; he has to be in the forest! For the true master, there is no branch to cut, no darkness of ignorance, no sword of knowledge, no student... all that is, is The Knowledge.

Om tat sat

A musical Tuesday!

All this while today, I spent time listening to songs. I've been meaning to do this since a few weeks, thats from the time we went for the Sting show! Later, I'd heard that Eagles would be performing sometime in June. I'm looking forward to that day, even now.

What I've done today is playing out a mix of Sting, Eagles, Scorpions, Billy Joel & REM. While Sting is one of the best story tellers, Eagles are no less when you get to know The Girl From Yesterday, The Sad Cafe, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Lying Eyes and such. People who've heard Wind of Change, Still Loving You and You & I would say similar things about Scorpions. Billy Joel's She's Always a Woman and REM's Everybody Hurts make interesting stories too. Of course, there are other songs that make up good listening (and reading, for the lyrics), but these are the ones off the top of my head right now.

If anyone has any doubts about Sting as a songwriter, I would suggest reading lyrics of Russians, at least.

Cruising the weekend

Tirupati, the temple that is made around a deity thats believed to be Lord Vishnu in his own form. This means that Lord Vishnu Himself froze as an idol in Tirupati. There is also a popular belief that when one says that s/he'll visit the temple, s/he must do so. Well, I follow it too!

So Saturday that went, a friend's family and I drove to Tirupati. I was really looking forward to it for many a reasons: its a great darshan, driving is fun and of course, its with Sandeep, his wife, Vidisha and their son, sweet li'l Arjun. Its surely becoming a good mix of trips to Tirupati.

The first time I went was with Anya. It was quite a sudden decision and we didn't get any arranged-tour tickets, so we took some local bus. Hotel was difficult to find there and we ended up spending a lot of money! Moreover, all this because we got a queue time 18+ hours later. But the darshan was great.

The second time was by ITDC's Volvo tour, this time with Anya, Rags and Harish. The driver drove like crazy and reached us in a mere four odd hours! The Volvo made us feel as if we were floating in the air. It was around one o'clock and we were to ready ourselves in an hour's time before leaving for darshan. With some issues, we still made it to a great early morning darshan.

Until this Saturday, I hadn't realized that the roads are so good. We left quite later than initially planned. That caused us some traffic trouble, but more than that was the rather hot weather. In either case, we cruised the Zen at 120kmph smooth, at times. The trouble was missing the Chittoor bypass, clocking more kms and adding time to our already delayed schedule. We couldn't get an early morning darshan, but did get it around noon. Its commonplace that the hardships in the journey and over-crowded queues feel nothing past the darshan.

After the darshan, as expected (by us), we'd a difficult time to trace back our car parking area. We managed only to leave after a late lunch at around 1530 hrs. The drive down the Tirumala hill was fun at a rather slow speed. I wanted to speed away once we got down to Tirupati so as to cover as much a distance before night showed up. So I did, with our usual tea breaks. This time, we kept an eye open for not bypassing the Chittoor bypass. Although that road pulled down speeding, it was quite an empty stretch with good sideview. Nearing the city, traffic caused more delays reaching us only past 2100 hrs! Having driven Sandeep's Zen so, I wonder how my Wagon-R will be on those roads. In any case, worth a drive.