Showing posts from 2010

Gandhiji to Maurice Frydman: Better charkha, fewer jobs!

Maurice Frydman, the yogi who wrote the "spiritual bestseller" I Am That, based on conversations with the renowned sage Nisargadatta Maharaj, was an excellent engineer. So when he met Gandhiji he set about making innovations in the Mahatma's charkhas (spinning wheels). In fact he designed the most effective of Gandhiji's charkhas, danush-takli. It was so efficient that Gandhiji was heard to joke: “I’m trying to make more jobs for people, Maurice, not less!”

Meditation is this!

Sogyal Rinpoche recounts this episode in The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying:

Apa Pant told me this story. One day our master Jamyang Khyentse was watching a ‘Lama Dance’ in front of the Palace Temple in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, and he was chuckling at the antics of the atsara, the clown who provides light relief between dances. Apa Pant kept pestering him, asking him again and again how to meditate, so this time when my master replied, it was in such a way as to let him know that he was telling him once and for all:

“Look, it’s like this: When the past thought has ceased, and the future thought has not yet risen, isn't there a gap?”

“Yes,” said Apa Pant.

“Well, prolong it: That is meditation.”

Pain and Suffering

Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

- Unknown

Ramana Maharshi on Bhakti and Total Surrender

While Bhagawan hailed Self-enquiry (jnana marga) as the sure, direct path, he would often say that the goal of Self-realization can also be reached through surrendering oneself to God: "Jnana Marga and Bhakti Marga (prapatti) are one and the same. Self-surrender leads to realization just as enquiry does."

"What the bhakta calls surrender, the man who does vichara (enquiry) calls jnana. Both are trying to take the ego back to the Source from which it sprang and make it merge there."

Lest we be lulled into thinking that surrender was the easier of the two, he asserted that, "A devotee concentrates on God; a seeker, follower of the jnana-marga, seeks the Self. The practice is equally difficult for both."

Why is that so? "Surrender appears easy because people imagine that, once they say with their lips 'I surrender' and put their burdens on their Lord, they can be free and do what they like. But the fact is that you can have no likes or dislikes …

True Meditation

True meditation is when, by the grace of God and the destiny of the individual, gradually the meditator disappears into meditation so that at the end of the meditation there is no remnant of any ego doing meditation with expectation.

- Ramesh Balsekar

Vipassana and You

The beauty of Vipassana meditation is that it first integrates you and then, once that's done, it disintegrates the very concept of 'you'.

Each of us is a scattered, divided entity. Heart separated from mind. Male half uneasy with female half. And a plethora of competing, floating identities or, as P.D. Ouspensky would probably have described it, a cluster of scattered I's - of which we subconsciously pick and use a specific one in a specific situation.

Vipassana gently coalesces all these apparent contradictions and disparate identities until gradually, very gradually, a stage arrives when the Vipassana meditator feels wholesome and complete.

And then, as awareness deepens, a point comes when there is an experience of bhang, a disintegration. At that time the entity gets a glimpse of its true nature and comprehends, in direct personal experience, that it is neither the body nor the name and form it had erroneously taken itself to be.