The end is near
Reach It without fear
Dropping all enmity and pity
Cross the ocean of duality
None other than the Self
Can be of any help
In the within and without
Have not even an iota of doubt
Else the truth is near, yet so far
Its farther than the farthest star!

Conglomeration of thought

I was pondering over a thought, nothing specific of course. Then it occurred to me that a thought is not an individual thought, but a conglomeration of thoughts even in that single instance of a thought! Its like the effect being within the cause.

When a thought leads into another, and yet another, endlessly... its because the resulting thought is held within the source thought itself! In short, I being the source thought of all, it includes every thought that can occur ever! So if one looks up any thought and starts analyzing it, one shall see that such an aggregation can be loosened into many a bit as leading unto other thoughts. When all such loosening happens without following any resultant thought, it leads to the stilling of mind. That is effective meditation.

Killing the mind

They say when the Lord kills someone himself, he has no rebirth. Such is the teaching depicted in the Mahabharata too. If one sees the Lord as the consciousness (thats the Self in all) and the mind (that makes up the creation) as that someone, the learning still holds good. The entire path of spirituality is to end in manonAsha, with the consciousness killing the mind, thereby liberating one into that infinite brahmaN.

Celibacy and spirituality

Earlier, I've thought and written much on the topic-- mostly on brahmacharya, thats means a lot more than celibacy-- but one of the lectures of Sw. Atmaswarupananda on Religious Consciousness gave me some more food for thought on why non-celibacy could lead one away from spirituality.

When a person even considers a physical relation with another person, s/he is objectifying the other person. Mark the word *objectifying*. Considering a person apart from oneself and desiring towards such an object creates duality. (This duality spreads further into multiplicity). The object identified so, creates a subject, ties up the subject to the body and then on its just tying up more knots. It also is one of the deepest knots to untie... a deeper impression is created thats too difficult to remove.

... And in spirituality, its not more the merrier, but travelling with a lighter baggage is the key!

Karma Yoga

We have a Karma Yoga (KY) class here thats in the evening for around 45m. I was a little unsettled during it since my understanding of KY doesn't go well with what they have here. I was doing the job for the sake of the class and given an option, I would lovingly have skipped it. There were multiple reasons for it. The first one that I mentioned was my understanding: any job done without expectation of any result as Gita says makes up KY; any association to the work done has to be given up; it has to be done wholeheartedly too; with a bhakti-bhaava... and so on. I did not have any of this, since I was thinking of my purpose of jnaana-yoga while doing KY and then bhakti didn't arise every evening. Also my health gave way after a hectic day during KY.

Thus I felt that I was being unjust to the course and talked about quitting it. After some discussions with the respective authorities, they gave exempted me from this so-called KY. However, I shifted to doing other things out here like serving in the canteen, data entry jobs or library work instead. (I also got exemption from the bodily-focussed yogAsanA class and took to long walks instead that gives me time to continue my manana on vedAntic learnings). So much for KY here at YVFA. Now for some stories about what KY is:

The first story goes about Swami Sivananda who used to serve people endlessly with his catchy tagline: Be Good, Do Good. Swami Chidananda went on to say this later on: Do as much good to as many people in as many ways as is possible. Sw. Sivananda was Dr. Kuppuswami in his purvAshrama and so he used to give medication to many a people who used to walk to Kedarnath-Badrinath. Once, one of the persons on such yatra left his medication behind and Sw. Sivananda followed to trace him in order to give the same. At each chatti, having missed the person, he caught up pace, eventually running, in order to catch up and finally handing over the medication advicing prescription and walking back from 7kms upwards of Rishikesh!

The second story, interestingly, was narrated to us by Sw. Radhakrishnanandaji during his special class on dharma. A sannyAsi starts walking from an ashram, after having collected food. Towards the afternoon having come 10 miles into the forest, he decides to have lunch. His lunch is, however, covered up with ants! The sannyAsi ponders so: "If I leave the ants here in the forest with my lunch, they'll have the food now, but they'll starve for want of more later". So, he goes back 10 miles and leaves the ants at the ashram so that they get their share of food!

How many of us would have left the food and the ants to themselves in the forest, let alone walk back?!!! So, sevA in itself seems like a big word to me; we can hardly do any service to anyone with such comparison!

Thoughts 35

35. Meditation is a process of churning the mind to filter out surfacing impressions till the mind goes empty.

The story of five Es

Today, during our Gita lecture, Swami Yogaswarupanandaji said that Swami Krishnanandaji had four Es for the four purushArthAs. By the way, the latter was one of the best intellectuals and scholars of his time. The Es go as follows:
--dharma: ethics
--artha: economy
--kAma: emotions
--moksha: emancipation

Then he went on to say that all the above goes well if a fifth E is given up: ego!

Thoughts 34

34. Bhakti cannot be taught.

Gita insight

(camp Rishikesh) Swami Yogaswarupananda gave some insight into the Bhagavad Gita from a different angle:

Significance of 18:
  • 18 chapters
  • 18 parvAs of mahAbhArat
  • 18 days of war
  • 18 divisions of army
  • 18 aspects of the human being (5 karmendriyA-s, 5 jnAnendriyA-s, 3-guNA- s, 4 mind-divisions of manas, buddhi, ahankAra & chitta, and lastly jIvA)


(camp Rishikesh) Finally, last Sunday, we went and met Shri Garibdasji over here in Rishikesh. One Swamiji at the ashram insisted that we should take his darshan since he and many others consider him as a realized person. (Garibdasji himself doesn't claim so and didn't include his name in the list of people he mentioned were realized). Whether or not so, we're no one to judge, but all we know is how the meeting went and it went really well.

We reached there at 0715 and only one person was with him in his room. He left some 10m later, but we stuck on till 1015. In those 3 hrs, Garibdasji gave us a good discourse in his ever modest composure. His language was sweet, to say the least, and pure Hindi. He also narrated two of his poems, one of them being the entire crux of the spiritual journey. Garibdasji also answered as many questions as we could ask him.

I'll only mention two things that he talked of:

--Out of the many people that claim to be walking the so-called path since decades, only a small percentage has actually made it. He cited the reason for this to be clearly a show of ochre and not a wee bit of seriousness within. From his experience he dared a quote so: If a person seeks God, then not finding Him is just not possible! In fact, He's guaranteed!

--On someone's asking the best path, he threw a simile: if a person does not have a disease, there's no use asking for (the right) medicine. He added later that he'd be accessible if any true seeker needs guidance at the right time.


(camp Rishikesh) I've written some about this amazing concept called infinity earlier, but recently, I'd another angle of thought for this. Prof. Chowdhari's (our Indian philosophy professor at YVFA) lecture made me wonder on this aspect. He questioned the difference between insentients or animals and human beings. While the discussion furthered into intellect and awareness, there's an interesting point that Chowdhariji made: animals have intelligence and so do we, but they just know things, while we know that we know! Mind the play of words here. So beautifully put!

That is, when you think you know something, you also know that you know it. To put in other words, when one starts analyzing the understanding, he becomes aware that he is understanding. This other entity that watches over the understanding is the Self. When you target your attention to the watching-over-entity aka drashTa aka seer aka subject aka knower aka Self, another such takes over and watches you as the intellect or the object! Hah! This goes on endlessly, driving even the meditative beings over the cliff into ad infinitum.

In another lecture of Religious Consciousness, said Swami Atmaswarupananda to my satisfaction, the Self is declared as unknowable in the scriptures. Still, the humans think as to say "I'll know the unknowable and I'll know it now". Finally, they've to arrive at the here-and-now after having gone a full circle. Shastras declare That/Self to be unknowable, as purNa. How else can It be declared if Shankara himself said its to be (un)known in the neti neti. If you know it, it'll not only remain unknowable, it'll also become an object; then a question would arise as "to whom was it an object?" Any answer to this question will have the answer become the knower and then Itself becoming unknowable!

The knower of knowledge cannot be known!!!

Hypocritic world!

(camp Rishikesh) When it comes to spirituality, the world is full of loud hypocrites! On one hand, we see ourselves bowing down to the respected saints of yore, with associated praises, stories, rituals and all that there is to do. But on the other, we do not allow our near and dear ones to walk the path! Its one thing to talk about things and quite another to actually subscribe to such a view. Here at YVFA, we've a subject of Western Philosophy and a brilliant professor teaching us, Prof. Asopa. As Asopaji said, there's a view of life and a way of life; these may be two different things.

I myself feel that its okay if a person has a way different from his view of life, if he is *unable* to do so, while *wanting* to do so. But to just talk about it and say that "I do not want to walk the path" or "you should not walk the path" is not quite the right thing to do. Why preach it at all then?

As Swami Sivananda said "an ounce of practice is worth more than tons of theories".

Back in the blog life again!

(camp Rishikesh)

After a long time, I'm back to blogging.

There were two reasons for a long break from the blog world. Not so much as a break, but shifting new blog entries to wordpress was one reason. Bomb blasts at Mumbai led to shutting down some blog servers by some ISPs. This was factually a mistake from the ISPs, since Indian govt had asked some specific blog URLs to be blocked, while some ISPs messed up by blocking the domain instead! Blogspot remained one such for a while and unblocked from some access points quite later than expected! Meanwhile I'd shifted to wordpress.com to return today for my love of blogspot.

Secondly, but more importantly, I was held up in the exit process back at work. I'd blogged earlier (yes, I know more than once :) that I'd be quitting my work for a kind of a sabbatical. My last blog on this indicated the date as July 31st, 2006. However, it finally got done on Aug 10th, 2006. Then on, I've shifted my households to Honnavara and hurried somehow to Rishikesh at Shivananda ashram for a YVFA course. Here, things have gotten a little too hectic for an average human being, more so for a lazy person like me! I do take strolls outside the ashram-- almost daily-- but this blogging thing took a while to get back to.

Thoughts 31

(Published elsewhere on August 8th, 2006)

31. A good relation stays in memories for ever.

The Himalayan trek - 2.1

(Published elsewhere on August 3rd, 2006)
(If you’re wondering what 2.1 stands for, let me clear it off at the start itself. 2’s for the 2nd trek up there in Himalayas and 1 for the first part. I do not know how far it will go, if any further) 

And thus we started along the path of Ganges upwards of Rishikesh: Sriram, his uncle Mr. Devaru and me. We had stayed in a hotel bang opposite to where we were to take a taxi from. We were told on our vikram auto journey from Haridwar to Rishikesh that this place called Triveni Ghat is where the press/newspaper vehicles start off from anytime after 0300 hrs. This was to be a very comfortable time to leave Rishikesh in order to make it in good time to Uttarkashi for our agency to be contacted for guide, porters, tent, etc. We wanted to rest a little on reaching Uttarkashi before meeting our agency contact Mr. Pitambar and keep the rest of the day free to buy provisions for the trip. The verbal list of things was discussed over and over again for a final cut at Bangalore itself.

So we took a drop at Triveni ghat and on Sriram’s enquiring, we got ourselves a room at a newly built hotel called Ganga Guest House just opposite the (newspaper-)taxi stand. We’d our dinner at Rimpy’s just 4-5 blocks away on recommendation from Amit, the kid at the hotel reception. The food at Rimpy’s was fantastic and the menu had a huge range to pick from. The quantity of food deserves a special mention: the soup bowl was large and almost overflowing while the regular economy north Indian meal had *4* tandoori rotis, a vegetable, dal, some rice & raita. We ate to our heartful, not to mention the stomach and slept off for a few hours in our room.

The fun began the next day at 0330 hrs when we hit the taxi stand enquiring about taxis only getting confused with inputs that varied from “no one’s driving off before 0500 hrs” to “a taxi will come over anytime now and leave as soon as it is full of 10 passengers”. So we waited and got ourselves hopping taxis with our backpacks just to fill 10 passengers in one vehicle that were otherwise spread out in multiple cabs. Before 0500 hrs, we were driven to barricades that block the ghats during the night for safety reasons. On dropping a newspaper, the road was thrown open for our sleepy driver by the police!

The drive was scary, not as much for the curves and the hills but for the sleepy driver who stood up on the brakes whenever he saw a vehicle approaching us. After a while, I learnt that the driver was actually sleeping in bits at the wheel!!! This came as so much as a shock to me that Sriram and I started analyzing whether he was sleepy or the looks were sleepy. Not wanting to risk and on my insisting that the driver was asleep for good fractions of a second on a regular basis, Sriram and I started talking to SUD (sleeping ugly driver). We were not sure what to ask and went on with all sorts of nonsensical questions about the weather, road, blah blah… god-knows-what. At first, SUD was annoyed and nodded at each inquiry. Later, his sleep took a walk and he started talking some. Although assuring enough, we ran out of petty talk soon and SUD continued his sleep again. We tried much in vain, but success was reached only when a person in the backmost seat fell sick and vomited! SUD had to stop and that made him wake up much. Later, we found that he was as bad a driver, or even worse when awake! I wanted to pen this experience in greater detail just to say that although the journey began on a bad risky note, it taught us a valuable lesson of being careful ahead!

Thoughts 30

(Published elsewhere on July 29th, 2006)

30. (originally 23 dtd: ?) Here is everywhere.

Trek in the Himalayas

(Published elsewhere on July 27th, 2006)

After having done Yamnotri last August, our second trek in the Himalayas was between 15th to 26th July 2006 and to the source of the Ganges and Bhagirathi. I’m not posting details yet, but here’s briefly what it was:
15th: Bangalore-(flight)-Delhi-(train)-Haridwar-(vikram auto)-Rishikesh (Ganga hotel)
16th: Rishikesh-(shared taxi)-Uttarkashi (GMVN guest house)
17th: Uttarkashi-(taxi)-Gangotri-Chirbasa
18th: Chirbasa-Bhojbasa-Gaumukh

19th: Gaumukh-Tapovan
20th: Tapovan
21st: Tapovan
22nd: Tapovan-Bhojbasa (GMVN guest house)
23rd: Bhojbasa-Chirbasa-Gangotri (Mandakini hotel)
24th: Gangotri-(shared taxi)-Rishikesh (Ganga hotel)
25th: Rishikesh
26th: Rishikesh-(vikram auto)-Haridwar-(train)-Delhi-(flight)-Bangalore

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