Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Nothing falls outside the 'What Is'

Truly, nothing falls outside the ambit of the 'What Is'.

True acceptance of 'What Is' includes easy acceptance of the arising of


What the awareness brought about by this true acceptance may do is take the 'sting' out of whatever arises.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

You never know

Last night I was in my washroom, on the throne, reading Fight Club. A foolhardy mosquito buzzed in my left ear. Irritated, I swatted at it reflexively with my right hand. Surprise! It dropped to the floor. A couple of minutes later, guilt arose. I moved the book to a side to see if it was still there. Two teeny weenie ants were carrying the mosquito away on the dry floor, millimetre at a time. Compassion arose. I wanted to tell the toiling ants, “I am going to have a shower in a minute.”

Friday, August 08, 2008

Meditation through Relaxed Focus

Once an earnest seeker came, prostrated in all humility to Bhagavan (Ramana Maharshi) and asked him:

“Bhagavan has said that the real nature of the Self can be attained only by constant dhyana. But how is t possible for one like me saddled with official responsibilities and the management of household affairs? If a major part of one’s life is spent managing these, where is there time for atma vichara, much less uninterrupted dhyana? What is the way out? I beseech Bhagavan to enlighten me on this.”

Looking at him compassionately, Bhagavan said:

“Suppose you leave your house with the intention of coming to the Ashram and on the way you meet a friend. You greet him, exchange pleasantries and then take leave of him, proceeding to Ashram while your friend goes his way. Now you don’t go away with your friend but rather continue toward the Ashram, do you not? The thought of coming to Ashram is so fixed in your mind that whomsoever you happen to meet on the way is spoken to in the proper way and parted with in order that you may fulfil your original intention. Likewise, if the mind is deeply engaged in meditation, after doing whatever has to be done, the mind will return to meditation. By engaging the mind before starting work and after finishing it, even while working, it will automatically acquire the ability to do the necessary while inhering in its natural state. In the course of time this becomes in-built, habitual and natural, and one no longer feels the lack of being engaged in constant meditation.”

- From the Mountain Path, Advent 2006 issue

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Your problem!

Whoever brought me here
will have to take me Home.

- Rumi

The Knowledgeable Translator

“…In 1981, already living in Tiruvannamalai I decided to go to Bombay to see [Nisargadatta] Maharaj a last time as he was suffering from terminal cancer. He looked a bit shrunken but, though having lost his exuberant gestures explaining matters, was nevertheless spirited enough. After talking a bit he pointed to a man sitting next to me who was not one of the regular translators when I lived in Bombay [in 1974]. This man, handsome, around sixty, looking distinguished in his three-piece black suit, closed his eyes, bent a bit backward and forward and then opened his eyes and mouth to translate. What came out was the most beautiful and precise English, leaving me in no doubt that he understood Maharaj completely. The feeling arose in me suddenly that this man was enlightened. Later I learned he was Ramesh Balsekar. Much later, reading his books and marvelling at his clear language, only confirmed my earlier intuition of his being enlightened. I have never met him in person again. Maharaj died five months later, in September 1981.”

- Marleen Boers in ‘What Has To Happen Will Happen’ in Sri Ramanasramam magazine Mountain Path, Advent issue, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pilgrim's progress

Offered at the feet of my Guru (spiritual Master) on this Guru Pournima:

This blade of grass
Sways in the breeze
Inching slowly
Ever so slowly
Towards the Sun


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Faced with death

Since I tend to chant a lot, I had always reckoned that when the end finally came, God’s name would spring naturally to my lips.

Then one day, a few years ago, I was returning by cab from South Bombay, accompanied by my business partner. It was raining in sheets, the afternoon sky was brooding dark and the roads were glistening wet. Our cab was right out there in the front at the traffic signal at Mahim Church junction. The minute the signal changed, our cab lunged forward and made for the Mahim causeway in a streak.

And then it happened. The cab skidded hopelessly, twirling like a tipsy top right in the middle of the road. The brakes weren’t working and in a slow blur I saw the road divider rushing towards us, then the cab rotated counter-clockwise and I saw a white Esteem rushing at us, then the cab rotated again and the dividers rushed at us even faster and then the cab rotated another arc and I saw a red double-decker bus bounding down at us, just a few feet away. Through the slow motion blur I could see there was now a rush of all the cars that had raced behind us from the traffic signal, and they were so close that I could see the front row of drivers watching the death twitch of our cab mesmerized. The cab driver’s face was chalk-white and there was sweat pouring down his oily forehead. One hand on the wheel, he was trying to do things to the handbrake. Mind you, all this happened within seconds but seemed stretched out in time. And as the cab made a fourth inebriated pirouette, both my partner and I were certain our time had come. This was it. The curtains.

And, with Death just seconds away, this is what I heard myself say: F**k! F**k! F**k!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Jnana from Ramakrishna Paramhamsa

So long as the child remains engrossed with its toys, the mother looks after her cooking and other household duties.

But when the child no longer relishes the toys, it throws them aside and yells for its mother. Then the mother takes the rice-pot down from the hearth, runs in haste, and takes the child in her arms.

Can you weep for Him with intense longing of heart?

Men shed a jugful of tears for the sake of their children, for their wives, or for money. But who weeps for God?

When the head of a goat is severed from its body, the trunk struggles for some time, still showing signs of life. Similarly, though ahamkara (egotism) is slain in the perfect man, yet enough of its vitality is left to make him carry on the functions of physical life; but it is not sufficient to bind him again into the world.

As a piece of rope, when burnt, retains its form, but cannot serve to bind, so is the ego which is burnt by the fire of Supreme Knowledge.

You may try thousands of times, but nothing can be achieved without God's grace.

One cannot see God without His grace. Is it an easy thing to receive grace?

One must altogether renounce egotism; one cannot see God as long as one feels, 'I am the doer.'

Is it possible to understand God's action and His motive? He creates, He preserves, and He destroys.

Can we ever understand why He destroys? I say to the Divine Mother:

"O Mother, I do not need to understand. Please give me love for Thy Lotus Feet."

The aim of human life is to attain bhakti. As for other things, the Mother knows best. I have come to the garden to eat mangoes. What is the use of my calculating the number of trees, branches, and leaves? I only eat the mangoes; I don't need to know the number of trees and leaves.

What are you to do when you are placed in the world?

Give up everything to Him, resign yourself to Him, and there will be no more trouble for you. Then you will come to know that everything is done by His will.