Who am I? is a question that technically gives rise to a lot of other questions which are important to be analyzed. They also hold a potential gift in their hands to lead to a better self-inquiry. However, one must be careful not to get into a loop of these questions that lead wayward to a different goal, in that they take one away from the Self than closer.

Having noted this, lets move on to see what these questions are:

i) Whence am I?
The initial question of Who am I? has no direct answer for us mortals. That, therefore, leads to a parallel question of Whence am I? Anybody who has done any troubleshooting knows that to know what (an insentient equivalent of the sentient who) is it, has an interrelated question of where did it come from? (Either may be answered first, of course). To a newbie, one may be as hard as other; while for some seekers, one might be an easier problem to inquire into, if not solve, than the other. Having solved one, even so to an extent, the other becomes an easier one to delve into.

The idea I'm trying to bring out is that whichever the question we choose, we need to follow the instinct into more questions that make the bigger problem smaller-and-simpler to analyze. If we are not doing that, we are clearly getting lost towards the worldly, if not directly into it!

Anyone who's tried a little bit of this going around the *consciousness-hunt* would know that the I doesn't answer on its own. Only a deluded fool would make-believe oneself (or worse still, others) that I know from where I arise or who am I! From

yasyAmataM tasyAmataM mataM yasya na veda saH |
avijnAtaM vijAnatAM vijnAtaM avijAnataM || Kena 2.3 ||

we can get a gist that *one who thinks he knows, knows not*. So there are simpler Vedantik truths hidden in other questions that arise from Whence am I? This is common to the second issue dealt with below, so it will be listed later in a set of self-answering questions.

ii) Whence is avidyA?
To even pose this is a big achievement on one hand and a big stumbling stupidity on the other; the former because one knows what avidyA is, while the latter since one is stuck with a question of the order of solvable magnitude of Who am I? or Whence am I?

Lets try to see what avidyA is and then the whence about it. avidyA in plain vanilla English means ignorance, which in plain vanilla dictionary terms means lack of knowledge. So, in our journey, its to ask lack of knowledge of what? Thats the initial question that we began with. So avidyA is lack of knowledge of who I am or whence am I! A common question, even so invalid, pops up for a lot of us: why am I ignorant, (or properly put, ) unaware of myself? which in eventuality, could be read as: since when am I ignorant?

For both of these, there's supporting questioning that we need to do: do we ever ask ourselves, why am I ignorant about, say, German (language)? Or since when am I ignorant of German? The only valid answer to this question would be: since ever, beginningless. So too with ignorance, its beginningless avidyA.

Now, moving back to our original problem of whence is this avidyA, we lead to the self-answering questioning that was arrived at even in (i) above. These are:

Whence is the sweetness of the sugar candy?
Whence is the saltness of sea water?

The impossibility of finding a locus of the entity sweetness or saltness is quite clear, isn't it? The only answers we can arrive at are: its within, all over, pervading the whole. So too with consciousness and so too with avidyA, the former being covered with latter, the former being self-expressing, but the latter stopping the self-expression, and therefore, the only way the former can be expressed is by removal of the latter!



I was thinking of writing something, thinking loudly, on my current state of affairs. But just when I logged into the blog dashboard, I saw in the list of drafts, an old entry somehow moved back from the published state! Its quite on similar lines of what I want to express, except that its practically much deeper an affair now! I'm in no mood to extend or detail it further... so I leave it to some other time, if at all.

More on US patents...

This time around, there's a joke on the technical front of US patents (unlike the yoga-asana patents thats a complete joke in itself)

I was reading an article about MS alleging that Linux violates some 283 patents, seemingly based on some 2004 survey conducted for an insurance-like co that sells legal protection against Linux copyright-infringement claims! Whether Linux actually violates (if so, OSDL is willing to *remedy* matters) any patent is immaterial to me, since the crux of the matter is as quoted below: (hehehe, emphasis mine)

#An artifact of current patent law in the United States is that companies and individuals are discouraged from seeing if their products infringe, Ravicher (FSF representative) said.

"If you have knowledge and are found to infringe, a court can punish you," tripling financial penalties, Ravicher said. "If you say you didn't know and didn't see it, a court can't punish you. It's a screwed-up rule."

Patenting the mind!

With the US issuing patents for yogasanas or yoga postures, they're a step away from patenting the body and two steps behind patenting the mind! Yes, what I say sounds ridiculous, but patenting the body postures seems equally ridiculous to me.

Yoga is not something thats meant to be sold. It'd be like selling the air you breathe. As the teachers at Shivananda ashram, Rishikesh, say about their YVFA course being free: all thats *necessary* is available free# in this world. But US seems to be saying "what I make is mine, what you make is not yours. You pay me for what I make and you pay me for what you make too (whether or not you want to sell it)". Leaving aside the $3B yoga-generated monies at stake in America, think what else it could mean.

Yoga asanas were and are actually meant to keep the body healthy to remain in a position for long enough to meditate single-minded. Getting healthier by the day is a good side effect while getting attached to the body is a bad side effect. Throwing all that, including yoga itself, a newer side to all of this is the money game!

Yoga is defined as chitta vritti nirodha meaning: cessation of modifications of the mind. So, aren't we really moving towards patenting the mind in coming times?

#Of course, you may say that food, water and shelter aren't free anymore. But by food, its not your pizza, noodle, dosa... we make that want a necessity. Nature takes care of everyone naturally, but the unnatural advances have made us pay for needs too! The way yoga is being made money out of, way back in the past, some wise guys must have decided to make money out of the basic needs too! Anyway, just a thought.

Thoughts 69

69: Focus on the changeless and the change takes care of itself.

Where's the Guru?

So then, where's the Guru... and in the same breath... His grace?

It seems contradictory to consider that the Guru is omnipresent and still stay in close proximity to his mortal body or samadhi, doesn't it? To me, it does. But, if the Guru's everywhere, he's also in his body and in his samadhi too; this is a point that many miss! So why not stay there? There are reasons why sadhakas prefer to stay near the Guru's worldly presence, while some call it seva, some others do so to keep the Guru's principles alive, while others do it to express their bhakti, gratitude and following.

Why did I decide (earlier) that I'd like to reside as close to my Guru's samadhi and accessible to another (both, being One, of course) Guru's peetha/ ashram(s)? My thinking was that sometimes the laukik interaction with the ashramites would help me deepen my sadhana or bring me back to the path if and when I slip. Its also a good opportunity to recharge myself with the vibrations in the vicinity of satvik surrounding or satsanga.

I say that all that was past. Now its anywhere-is-Guru's-home. For a *true* sadhaka, it doesn't matter if the Guru's samadhi is far, since the Guru is hridaya-nivaasi for him. For other than true sadhakas, it doesn't matter if he's in the vicinity of the samadhi. Anyway, its not helping him. I don't know which category I fall in, but in any case, my Guru has announced it in fair terms to not get attached to his proximity and to take what comes as grace and move on. This is also to mean that I-will-stay-near-Him attitude had to go. It also meant that the effort, money, land, etc, that has come as grace can also go as grace, if I become attached to one or more of those! So it doesn't feel a thing anymore. The fear that I'll lose it is not a question. whats lost somewhere is gained elsewhere and whats gained elsewhere is lost too, continuously. Its that holding onto the change and trying to make it permanent that brings in the *attached-pain*. Let it go, hold on to the changeless, don't try to convert whats changing to permanent... it will never happen. Focus on the changeless and the change takes care of itself!

This is not to say that I'll not try to make money; its also not that I'll try to make money. Its just that if I'm to make money, I'll make it and on the same terms, if I'm to lose it I'll lose it. I'm just not to hold on to the money I make and/ or lose!


Neither get surprised nor shocked on the title. Picking up the topic from a fellow-blogger's posting, this is about my answers to marriage inquiries:

--Why can't ya see me happy?
--Why marry only one?
--Marriage is for losers!
--(To people who said they've the *right* to get me married...) Of course, you have... I haven't given the right to my parents, so think *how much* right you have!
--(Touching my ears...) Brahmachari's apmaan!
--(When the above reply follows with "One must get married after brahmacharya as per dharma"...) Hah, how many of us follow it and take to the forests and/ or Sannyasa after married life? Anyways, Brahmachari can take Sannyasa.
--In our tradition, Sannyasis don't get married; I don't know whats your custom!
--I've a verbal contract with my parents: they don't ask me to marry and I don't take to Sannyasa.
--What if I leave my wife and run away post-marriage? You'd be responsible for ruining an innocent girl's life then!
--I'm not refusing marriage; well, I'm not accepting it either! I'm neutral to it.

Yeah, all that in fun and harshness; I choose whatever works for the purvapakshi, er, opponent! :)

These are as far as I remember my replies. I don't think more are necessary. Most of those who ask such Qs are satisfied or put off with one or more of above.

The great void... part II

In the past 2-3 months, surprising and shocking events have taken place in such rapid succession that I've lost sync with life; the whole existence is a dream right here, right now! Any doing seems meaningless... the talk, the act, eating, sleeping, breathing, everything. Even the reading or meditating or rituals or whatever, seem as too much of involvement. Its as if the body is dead weight, living is a tiresome effort, all the belongings are a wasteful accumulation. Every moment is thankfully discarded. The fights, the love, all of those opposite emotions are a bunch of meaningless things. The righteous and the evil are equally unimportant. The why remains unanswered and the why is no longer an interesting question since no answer will ever be convincing.

Living is a habit and no matter what the conditions, be it the crowded markets or lonesome whole, till the end, its not the end, however hard you try or give up.

Life has finally become the dark night of the soul. The movie has become a trailer and I'm no longer interested to even watch the movie, leave alone acting in it! What happens tomorrow or what went in the past is not a concern at all, even the now is a null that acts on its own, drags me with it, whether or not I want or need it... helplessly witnessing it in happiness and sadness, in anger or fear, all but just emotions. I have nothing to say, nothing to do, no matter what I seem to say or do. I want nothing, I need nothing, I have nothing, no matter what people say or think. My usual answer "I'm alive" to the question "How are you?" is no longer valid! Even the *I am* while being true, is looped into its own Self. I know I am, but even why am I?

The supreme silence
where the tears flow
without caring of
the high or the low

Merging in that
which is behind all facts
The bliss of which
nullifies all acts

The thoughts
driven meaningless
leave neither a talk
nor a path to walk

The act acts on its own
Self witnesses passively
not thinking why
or even stopping the try