Glimpse of madness

First of all, I want to clarify whose perspective is this madness I'm about to talk of: its from the worldly perspective!

What I went through in the past five days was fever and sleepless nights. This fever didn't seem like fever in physiological terms (only). Its was quite psychological too. One may argue that the latter happens in times of fever, but I'd rather attribute it to regular spiritual readings since a long time and a lot of involvement of continuous thinking since what must have been atleast a few months now!

A few blogs earlier
, I'd mentioned that Kundalini, as a part of Raja yoga, does bring in a stint of madness along with it (so, I'm not going to blabber much about that). This is what Gopi Krishna underwent and there have been quite a few others. There is a huge amount of risk involved in playing with Kundalini, without a proper initiation and a guru to guide who takes you forward. Whilst this is taken as true, it should be well understood that the other paths of Jnana, Bhakti and Karma yoga-s have their bits of madness too, but only at a certain stage! Whether these have something to do with the Kundalini loosened is a question I do not have an answer to, but what I do know is that madness piggybacks them.

In Jnana yoga, trying to follow scriptures such as Upanishads and Gita and contemplating on the readings itself is a herculean task. If you think you've understood something, you are wrong. Think over again. Its bound to happen; in your repeated reading, you'll find how the earlier understanding was wrong. Moreover, most of what you read will have linkages to some other Shruti vAkya, that you should refer to, and on and on. Once all this looping through is read, one tries to assimilate. This is where the fun starts; the logic fails you. Most of what you've *learnt* in modern terms is found as being a limited set of tools that in quite a few cases leads you nowhere! But the mind goes on in its various stages of work or dream/sleep to try to assimilate to prove its learning's worth. At other times, its just plain simple happiness of understanding something that goes overboard and into the areas unknown. At still other times, you're convinced to *throw* your modern knowledge and beliefs that have lived with you since times unknown (atleast your birth) or rather, they've lived you instead. This, however, seems an impossible task or of such herculean difficulty that you decide to either give up or get into endless depression that you're not capable of assimilating higher truths! All this is mind-boggling stuff that well qualifies as madness in your routine.

Now, consider Bhakti yoga thats supposedly the best for the Kali yuga. It starts off very simple and you're quite happy about it that you're doing your bit of sAdhana. All is going well. Suddenly, or gradually over a period of time, you are at some other plane. You'd just started talking in terms of "By the grace of God (or whoever is the IshTa devatA for you)..." and such, but now you see things happening so! You're beginning to see God, not only in dreams, but as soon as you close your eyes, they appear. Maybe just idols, but you're able to see not one, not two, but lots and lots of them; one by one they appear and you lose sleep. This, later, you may end up carrying in your waking state too. You start crying at the mention of the name of the Lord. You're losing sleep, health gives way... where are you headed? You're basically on your way to madness, in regular worldly perspective. You considered you'd be safe by the grace of God. You're *factually* safe, but you start believing that you're going bonkers.

Well then, the safest is Karma yoga. Ah! You'd almost have me believe that too. You just say I'll do my regular stuff, living my regular day-to-day life and I'll consider myself not to be the doer and expect none of the results while keeping my patience still. Wonderful! No doubt amazing, can be made practical. You start living it, by simple offerings of food, etc. Some day, you've reached a barrier and unknowingly crossed it! Gone are the days you were practical; you end up doing bad things and attribute that to God. You say I'm not the doer. You claim no authorship. Fairly, you don't claim ownership of the good things too, but at times you've enjoyed the results. Inasmuch, the anger and greed has unknowingly got you at times and taken a decision that you attribute not belonging to you. Here lies the problem. If you'd any interest whatsoever and you did it in your subconscious, then it does belong to you, because you've thought of it earlier! This thinking is equivalent to your acting and thats how it has happened, no matter how much you renounce the results or partake none of the happiness, it has happened due to your willing and all that. Hah! you're trapped again :)

Worldly people would like to tell you that there's no way out; forget all that and live your life, blah blah blah. But just to be sure, the best way is *your* path that you've picked from above. Just watch your step if you've not submitted whole-heartedly and fully. The madness that comes along has to be rejoiced, but that too is a trap. Know it so, it won't harm you. Don't desire for that madness too, since that too will give pleasure. Don't run away from it in desiring not to have the madness. Be yourself. Let not modern worldly thoughts guide you. And most of all, whatever dharma you follow... no matter what, unless your guru tells you otherwise, do *not* give it up. The teaching *dharmo rakshati rakshitah* must not be undermined.

All of the above happened to me in the past five days of sickness and I do not know what is a result of what! :)

om tat sat


Tripuraa... beyond the three

  • states of waking, dreaming & deep sleep
  • times of past, present & future
  • divisions of morning, evening & night
  • loka-s of earth, heaven(s) & hell(s)
  • guna-s of sattva, rajas & tamas
  • veda-s of rig, yajur & saam
  • deva-s of brahma, vishNu & maheshvara
  • ahankaara of I, me & myself
  • relationships of mother, father & child
  • colorings of black, white & grey
  • persons of I, you & s/he
  • linga-s of masculine, feminine & neuter
  • seasons of summer, monsoon & winter
  • stages of birth, life & death
  • yoga-s of karma, bhakti & jnaana
  • arrangement of generation, organization & dissolution
  • eyes of Shiva

The call of Rishikesh

Its a shame that I can't plan out a gangaa-snaan and a longing to visit to Rishikesh! Since the past few weeks, if I remember right, every day I've been thinking of Rishikesh. There is something that calls me. I can't say for sure what, but yes, there is a call that I'm, perhaps, unwilling to hear at this stage!

Now I can only hope that the visit is prolonged because its going to bring out the dreams seen! Only time will tell... or not!

om tat sat

Why is Krishna's color blue?

I reckon the last few posts of mine have depicted quite a serious tone. To make up for lost humor, here's some answers for the above question in a lighter tone by various personalities as I understand:

Nisargadatta Maharaj:
You see it as blue in the world that you've created, while you've no idea of what I see!

Ramana Maharshi:
Ask who is seeing it.

Adi Shankara:
We say no! It may seem to be blue in the very same way that the sky looks blue, but is not.

Ramakrishna paramhamsa:
(pats the questioner and walks away)

Srila Prabhupada:
Perhaps, he drank the poison of all humanity and left the nectar of devotion for his bhaktas.

Swami Vivekananda:
Don't stop thinking why its blue. Tell your mind to see red and it will see red. Go on, you can do it!

Swami Sivananda:
Its the mind's mystery that makes it look blue; follow discipline of brahmacharya, etc, and the truth will automatically unfold itself.

Swami Venkatesananda:
Why is your color so & so? Do you ask such questions? (laughs) No! Thats ridiculous!

Our own Shri Krishna:
Its the maya, my power, that makes you see so! Without me, you wouldn't be able to even see, let alone asking such a question!

Finally, if you come back and ask me:
Why not? :)

Still, if you want to find out yourself, read my blog at:

Making of a bhaktaa

This morning, the clock's alarm left me sleepy as usual, but a thought woke me up. Here's what it said:

Ours is not to ask why!
but to surely let the ego die
'Cause deaths come & lives go
while the ego always remains so

Ours is not to ask why!
but to surely stop the mind's fly
Sorrows come & pleasures go
for the mind remains attached so

So I'll try not to ask why!
but submit myself...
... and let Him laugh & cry!

om tat sat
Shri kriShNArpaNamastu

Desireless in desire

Inspired by Ramana Maharshi's biography title Timeless in time, I'm trying to think out loud on being desireless in desire. What I was also trying to understand is inaction in action; action in inaction from Bhagavad Gita. While the former gelled in easily, the latter took a long time reading Shankaracharya's and Abhinavagupta's commentaries on it.

Even the mention of being desireless in modern terms is shocking to everyone! This is something that I personally experienced while discussing many of my recent feelings during my satsanga with some elders. Most of what was discussed was to do with age as well. Its easier to say "at such an young age"! I personally don't believe I'll live long enough to postpone trying & doing whatever I want to try & do, endlessly. While there are others who claim "a man is as young as his heart feels", why can I not get people to agree to my claim of "a man is as old as his heart feels"? I do feel old enough to devote the rest of my life to adhyAtma studies. I don't even say that it will result in something. For me, trying to follow the path with blessings itself would suffice. I've a conviction that such a step forward would be the starting point for everything that a person could ever desire for. This is what I call as being desireless in desire, or desireless desire. Of course, one may well see my desire in desireless desire too!

Till such blessings gain me fruit, jE jE karIsI karma, tE tE karI majha arpaNa!

om tat sat, kriShNArpaNamastu

Endless wait

I've been planning and postponing some trips, while others have not even been planned yet. Here's a snapshot of what I'm seeing:

Sometime soon:
--Rishikesh and another holy dip in the Ganges.

Sometime later:
--Three holy baths/dips: Sridhara tirtha (Vardhahalli), Urvadi & Kanyakumari.
--Char dham yatra: Kedarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri & Yamnotri.

Not sure, if and when:
--Kailas-Manasarovar yatra.

Something tells me these are endless desires, each coming along with its own endless wait!

Om tat sat

Purpose of life

Yesterday, a friend suggested to throw in my two cents on the aim of human life; so here they are...

First of all, eating, sleeping, mating and defending are things that all animals do, so human life's goal can't be any of those. There are people that strive for money to just get one or more of above, or some other materials, that are short-living; so earning money can't be it either. What I mean by short-living is that human life span can be small or large depending on perspective changes, but if one looks at other things from the perspective of life's length, then life outlives them. So, in toto, they're short-lived).

Modern science discovers (as against invents!) various things that are considered to give comfort and progress in lots of areas of living. But any peek at scientific history would show that even earlier theories discovered are refuted and replaced by new findings! So although it may be called as progress, it is impermanent and hence not the aim. Some parts of science may well be roads that lead to the aim gradually, but not the purpose.

Some people consider their love to be the whole and sole purpose for themselves, be it towards anyone. Consider this love of theirs fails for reasons like anger, jealousy, etc, even for fractions of time. During that period of failure, it gives a miserable feeling and that shows the transient nature of love too! Ofcourse, things like selfless love are pure and don't have any dependency on failures, but that is only a means, not the end goal. Similarly, bhakti, all sorts of yogas, etc, are just mechanisms to purify and ready one towards the goal but as they're means, they can't be held on for ever.

Consider another case as given in tripuraa rahasya: A man enjoys the union with his wife, but the latter doesn't. For him, it seems like making love to a piece of wood! On enquiring, she tells him that whatever gives him pleasure can't give her pleasure, since she knows it to vary from person to person and that it is impermanent. Even what the husband is considering as the greatest pleasure, he is not so happy about it due to his wife's indifferent behaviour during the union. She then narrates to him a set of stories due to which he gets a feeling of disgust and realizes that all pleasure in worldly things is derived temporarily!

Wondering why I'm saying that such-and-such is not a goal as against such-and-such is the goal? Well, its because the end is something that cannot be defined in terms of its qualities, characteristics, or what it is. It can only be defined by saying what it is not. To quote Sherlock Holmes, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth". That is quite true in life, while searching for an answer. Anything that is impermanent can't be true, so it has to be discarded. Cling onto something thats true. Thats the neti-neti principle of advaita. Everything in life needs to be analyzed from the objective of investigation and then discarded based on the substratum behind the thing analyzed, which is truth for that analysis. Then take the next case and go on to find the substratum behind that result, and so on, till the Ultimate Truth is *realized*. That would be the purpose of life, the sole aim, the goal, the permanent, the existence-consciousness-bliss, the brahmaN.

om tat sat

Kundalini and celibacy

I've been inclined towards Kundalini since over seven years now. It has always been a step more to understand some of the books on the subject. Finally, I spent some time and made mental notes. I doubt if I can say I agree completely with any one person's views from the many I've read. Various people have opined all sorts of things just to get onto the Kundalini bandwagon!

The most famous among the experimenter lots was Shri Gopi Krishna. He was not in agreement that complete celibacy is important for a Kundalini seeker! What he maintained was that it is against nature to be a celibate. With such an expression, I wonder if he knew that everything that there is, is against nature then! Why would he feel different about his own Kundalini research institutions that quite didn't agree with nature? What is Prakriti/nature that is different from Purusha? While discriminating between things such as celibacy against nature, one has to say that prakriti itself goes against purusha, so to say. In one's search for purusha from the Sankhya philosophy, it is important to distinguish and give up longings towards prakriti. This would essentially mean giving up *natural* instincts too and being a celibate.

Coming back to what Gopi Krishna said... he also insisted though, that celibacy needs to be maintained (only) during the first phases of awakening the Kundalini. There, he seems to be in unison with the view that the Kundalini practice needs such a *discipline* and to quote him, "during this period, even one emission can be fatal. This has also been mentioned by Arthur Avalon in The Serpent Power".

Swami Sivananda Radha says, about the sect of Kundalini practitioners that believe in "anything goes" path, that most of the ancient views that suggest such things have been from the perspective of the male, while the female has to "bear the brunt" if there is a resulting offspring. Then she goes on to express that it seems contradictory to the aim for the female and it is difficult to believe that it would lead to a higher goal when the mother and child are ignored!

There is another interesting point that I would like to bring in here and that is of Osho! Osho started his research on death in his childhood. He had convinced himself that a person reaches an orgasm while dying! His findings are (supposedly) based on numerous visits that he lovingly made to deathbeds of many a people. Now, considering that semen gives life to an offspring, is it so difficult to agree that the loss of semen is exactly opposite, that is... death? I would prefer to say it is! Even Gopi Krishna said that during such time that Kundalini is awakened, what rises up the spine is sexual energy! How could losing of energy in acts of sex, then, be a means to raise the Kundalini?

This is precisely the reason why Kundalini, the one that raises the *consciousness* of a person, needs celibacy.

om tat sat

Hermit's viewpoint

This may seem like my arrogance is up for mouthing words! In my limited understanding of bits of readings from Brahma sutra bhashya, Upadesha sahasri, yoga sutras and other works advaitic, its sheer foolishness to claim to have understood even an iota of Adi Shankara and still continue to yearn for money/matter.

There isn't any better qualification to be a student than to have renounced the lower in search for the higher. The search, in itself, doesn't exist per se, but as long as it is not *known* that there is nothing to know but *being*-- till such knowledge dawns-- it is a search and will remain so. Even a brahmajnaani like Shankara said that karma and jnaana cannot go hand-in-hand. It was Ramana Maharshi who asserted "Be as you are", but there have been very few, rather hardly any, like Ramana who have merged with the absolute in a matter of spontaneity! There is no saying whether or not they've spent many prior lives as seekers to be blessed so (in order to bless others)!

For us mortals, thirsty of nectar droplets of eternal bliss, there is a long list of things lined up to be done. The shortest path is to renounce the ownership of anything, physically and mentally. Blessed are those who can do so mentally while not amounting to any additions to physical attachment. For others, physically being in association with things that bind, will never lead to mental renunciation. It is said that one must have purity of thought, words and deeds. Factually, words being subtler than deeds, and thoughts being subtler than words, it is a graduation from purifying actions through purifying words to purifying thoughts. Truly fortunate are those who have pure thoughts, thereby burning the words and actions in such pureness!

athaato brahma jijnaasaa...

om tat sat


I was listening to the recorded discourse of Swami Venkatesananda(SV) on Patanjali's Yogasutras and there was this amazing thing he said that I could relate to my experiences. Sometime during my pujas since childhood, I used to get lost in thinking while chanting. Later, I used to think that my chanting has continued but I'd been thinking of something else! Being sure that to be wrong, I used to tell myself to focus on chanting. Then it used to occur to me that telling myself to focus on chanting itself is a thought, apart from chanting. Also, that I'm thinking all of this in order to stop thinking anything else, while chanting, and so on, is an endless loop of thoughts. That used to give me a feeling of madness, and I gave up the effort in following years.

A year or so back, I tried to pursue this understanding again and got some clarity with Ramana's and Nisargadatta's readings. The above example got a little further exploration. I not only have these endless loop of thoughts but *while* thinking so, I feel I *know* this! I'm not saying that its witnessing, it may not be so... it may well be a thought... but it is like witnessing.

SV had a similar example to give. He said that while chanting: you are saying the name, listening to it and watching this happen too! So, the most beautiful explanation for tadA draShTuh svarUpe avasthAnam (YS1.3) he thought to be is draShTA dRRiShi mAtrah (YS2.20) and thats why a seer is called so!

Its the same in advaitic terms wherein "The knower of knowledge can't be known!"
Om tat sat