Freedom, Death And Immortality : The Vedic Yoga Perspective — I

There is a world that inludes us, in which our being is apparently born, and there is this world we each have, as we grow up, in particular to ourself. The two are not the same, not just in their expanse but also as entities.

Truth Value

of  World–Body–Prana–Mind–I

The first — the world which includes us all — is like a word, a sound without a listener; the second is what it means to us. We are optional, dispensable to the first, the One. The second — the world we hold within, as meanings — is diverse and impossible without us. We do not know the One in truth and always have this urgent need to know. The second already forms to ourself, among many such worlds we are not even aware of, particular to other individual beings who we do even know. We have an equally constant, lifelong need to question this world, particular to ourself, for its truth value. This questioning remains a passive one in all of us except with a few in whom it shapes up as an urgent quest.

One of the first reduction we observe of ourself starts with physical, mentally proximate objects, places, things or people that are included in the world particular to ourself, their respective meanings for ourself, and happenings or events in our experience involving them that we must live or deal with, hate or desire. They are our world in particular to which our senses are drawn and our mind preoccupies with.

That spatial extension of ourself, anchored in things we possess and people who possess ourself, starts from our body, with which our self identifies. Its surface demarcates the spatial domains we regard as within, internal to ourself, and without, external to us.

As an existential individual being, we are the World-Body-I or simply the Body-I. It manifests the desires and hates, wants and apathy we each carry for things and people in our world.

A look further within reveals the prana, the vitality coursing through the body, functioning in and taking inputs from the senses, powering our drives, and moving our organs and limbs to their respective functional freedoms. It packs energy into emotions and becomes available to our will or resolve.

The emotional flares are largely involuntary and the power available to our will mostly dissipates or is overtaken by the next one that seizes our willfulness.

As this sensing and empowered existential being, the aware individual with capacity to choose and act, we are the World-Body-Prana-I or simply the Prana-I. It holds the power of One but, in the absence of a higher calling or focus on a larger purpose, is spent largely on basic survival needs, food and sex, unexamined wants and fears, selfish desires and personal hates.

That is, it is restated, until we acquire the ability to subject our emotion to scrutiny by our mind, which is the still more immediate or proximate inner domain to our self than the body. The mind is both a tool to doubt, analyse and investigate, and a repository of known consequences we have suffered or enjoyed in past, on account of actions flowing from our will-backed emotions or mind-mediated choices, most of which “knowledge” changes and modifies in time. Our memory includes mutating ideas and knowledge of few settled truths learnt by consistent results in experience over time.

Finally, the mind also weaves this cloak of ideated qualifications we have of ourself, of the person we believe we are to our self from moment to moment, depending on the prevailing emotion, thought, concern or purpose preoccupying us.

In the light of presentation so far, we are the World-Body-Prana-Mind-I or simply the Mind-I, as which we present ourself and interact with others, if we have not deliberately modified the true-to-ourself persona for role-playing purposes.

*

… to be continued …

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A Fine Memoriam …

A friend I greatly admire surprised me even more with the few words he penned in rememberance of his father, through the event and the wake which followed. The entire rustic prose is exquisitely poised at that threshold, I felt, between the grief that overtakes us upon our parent’s demise, prepared as much we might be, and the alternating surreal snapshots of procedure and interaction snippets that pass into our view. Here are his own words, first published on Facebook.

… QUOTE …

My father decided to call it a day last month.

Yes it was a moment of grief but very soon subdued by the great needs of the worldly and the other worldly arrangements of our faith. The mega 13 day event was a major logistical and protocol issue. It was a gathering of uncles last seen few decades back, and of cousins and their children, some of whom we saw for the first time. Yes they did sympathize with the old man and us but very soon it was overtaken by catch-up talk and exchange of tit-bits. My father decided to call it a day last month.
Yes it was a moment of grief but very soon subdued by the great needs of the worldly and the other worldly arrangements of our faith. The mega 13 day event was a major logistical and protocol issue. It was a gathering of uncles last seen few decades back, and of cousins, and their children some of whom we saw for the first time. Yes they did sympathize with the old man and us but very soon it was overtaken by catch-up talk and exchange of tit-bits. 
Everyday had a significance of its own, with rituals followed by scripture reading and prayers and so on. Even there was a major tiff within our extended relations regarding who were the rightful forefathers (or rather their souls) to be invited for the ceremonies considering that my Grandfather was an adopted son and was equally adored by the donor and the recipient families. 
Life after death is not an end, in fact it is a long journey requiring all the comforts and needs that sometimes we may have missed in our earthly innings. This realization came after the long drawn haggling with the priest regarding the quantum of grains that would be needed for Dad’s journey beyond and the many other necessities which we forgot to provide for and was promptly converted into the equivalent amount in Rupees and handed over to the priest for arranging the transfer.
The last part was to find out his possible carnation in the afterlife and believe it or not we did get his footprints or markups on the sand bed left covered overnight at the altar. However there is still a dispute whether he is going to be a Flower, a snake or a bird or all of them in some order. 
At the end it was all a good doze of socializing and quite a celebration and your SMILE made us all smile.
Dad you missed all that but that would not have been possible with you there. Have a happy and safe journey & RIP when you reach its end.

Everyday had a significance of its own, with rituals followed by scripture reading and prayers and so on. Even there was a major tiff within our extended relations regarding who were the rightful forefathers (or rather their souls) to be invited for the ceremonies, considering that my Grandfather was an adopted son and was equally adored by the donor and the recipient families.

Life after death is not an end, in fact it is a long journey requiring all the comforts and needs that sometimes we may have missed in our earthly innings. This realization came after the long drawn haggling with the priest regarding the quantum of grains that would be needed for Dad’s journey beyond, many of the other necessities which we forgot to provide for, which was promptly converted into the equivalent amount in Rupees and handed over to the priest for arranging the transfer.

The last part was to find out his possible carnation in the afterlife and believe it or not we did get his footprints or markups on the sand bed left covered overnight at the altar. However there is still a dispute whether he is going to be a flower, a snake or a bird, or all of them in some order.

At the end it was all a good doze of socializing and quite a celebration, and your SMILE made us all smile.

Dad you missed all this but that would not have been possible with you here.

Have a happy and safe journey & RIP when you reach its end.

… UNQUOTE …

A Poet In Afghanistan

A Young Poet Exiled From Her Village

By: Fahim Khairy, KHAAMA PRESS

Source : http://www.khaama.com/a-young-poet-exiled-from-her-village-9887

 

Persian poetry has a long history of fighting injustice and discrimination, dating back centuries. From Jalaluddin Rumi Balkhi and Rabia Balkhi to modern poets such as Foroogh Farokhzad, many have raised their voices through poetry to attack injustice. These poets often touched on taboos that no one dared speak of, fearing punishment from kings and other rulers.

Karima Shabrang is a new sword in the battle for justice and equal rights for women in Afghanistan. Shabrang soon came up against people who do not believe women should be equals. Shabrang was born in Baharak in the Badakhshan province. She studied Farsi/Dari literature and poetry at Kabul University. After graduating, she moved back to her village and started to work as a school teacher.

Shabrang was not yet known as an Afghan poet. She never showed her creative work to anyone until her first book hit the market and shocked everyone who read just a few pages. In Baharak village, Shabrang had enjoyed a peaceful life. She had the chance to publish her first poetry book titled Beyond Infamy.

Her work breaks taboos and carries a depth and darkness. As leading Afghan poet and professor Partaw Nadery said, Shabrang writes in pain and blood. In much of her work, Shabrang shows what it is like to be a victim of sexism. She was working as a teacher when her book was first published. She did not realize how people would react to her poetry.

My hair was saved for you

But destiny left it in the hands of a stranger

Who uses it to fuel his own desire’

* * *

Leave the buttons of your shirt open

Allow me to look at your eyes

And a little lower, let me feel the heat

and understand the warmth of the sun in your chest

In Afghan society, women cannot speak of their love desire, not even in poetry. It’s considered criminal, shameful, and dishonorable to do so, but Shabrang courageously broke this taboo. When asked about the message of these lines, she said that “being in the arms of the opposite gender is a need for everyone, including women. This was an empty spot in our society, and I wanted to fill it in and show the feelings and sensations of a woman.”

Soon rumors reached her entire village, and Shabrang became famous. Finally the religious Mullahs got their hands on her book. Day by day, the peaceful and green village that had inspired Shabrang became like a prison for her. She was harassed on the way to school every day and her entire family felt the effects. The Mullahs called her an ”infidel” who wanted to put Afghan women on the wrong path, teaching them to be immoral and shameless.

The harassment escalated until the Mullahs were sending Shabrang death threats. She had no choice but to leave her village and come back to Kabul which she says is a little more modern and safe compared to the remote provinces.

Karima Shabrang is now homesick and homeless. She stays at nights in her brother’s house. During the day, she wanders around Kabul, searching for her future.

Sometimes, I miss myself

My house and the birds that sing in my village

And the stories I used to hear

Now suffering, misery, and I are friends

Mom, oh my dearest mother

Who told you to give birth to such a sad traveler?’

Karima Shabrang is a poetic star that is falling from the sky.  Breaking such taboos is not an easy thing to do in Afghanistan. Shabrang risked her life by publishing her poetry, and now she is on the run trying to escape the wrath of the Mullahs.

Those who are interested in getting in touch with Karima Shabrang can reach me at fahim.khairy(at)yahoo.com

English: Rabia Balkhi High School (Afghanistan)

The Death Phenomenon

Source : http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.adidaupclose.org/extraordinary_evidence/tour.html

A Cosmic Journey

Connie Mantas


Connie Mantas has been a devotee of Adi Da since the early 1970’s. She is a registered nurse who at the time worked with the dying. Connie was taken through a remarkable experience by Avatar Adi Da . . . Avatar Adi Da walked over to her during a gathering at His House at The Mountain Of Attention, and asked her to lie down on the floor next to Him. He lay flat on His back next to her and closed His eyes, saying “Now do exactly as I do.” Then, through silent Instruction, He guided her through the patterns of conditional existence that are experienced in the death transition.

This story was taken from Chapter 8 of The Promised God-Man Is Here, by Carolyn Lee.

Connie MantasFirst there was an explosion of inner sounds. Then I felt the layers of the body-mind release and fall away. “I” was separating out from the physical body and seemed to fly upwards, whirling through dark space at an incredible speed. I was moving toward an overwhelming, brilliant light. At one point, I recall slipping through a kind of “grid” as a speck of consciousness.

For an instant, I did seem to lose all self-awareness, but throughout the rest of the experience I was aware of the most remarkable clarity. I found that I felt more familiar and at ease traveling without the body than when I was dragging it along, anchored to it by my usual physical-body identification. I felt myself to be alive as Consciousness, at ease as the witness of mind and attention.

At different moments in this Cosmic journey, I felt the deep urges of the body-mind drawing me back towards embodiment, and I sensed the frustration of having no physical body through which to enact or fulfill desires. This made a stunning impression on me, and I remember feeling how foolish it would be to waste the opportunity of a human lifetime to do the [spiritual practice] that could help free me of the binding attachments I had now seen so clearly.

Then I became aware of a loud buzzing or humming sound as I slowly came back into [identification with] the body-mind, taking on each layer [or sheath], starting with the most subtle. The inner sounds quieted until once again I was aware of lying on the floor.

When I opened my eyes, the face of Beloved Adi Da was right next to mine, and He was grinning at me with a gigantic smile. He opened His mouth and started to laugh. It was more than a laugh — it was a victorious and triumphant Shout, glorious to hear. Instead of being awestruck by this remarkable journey I had just taken with Him, I felt sheer marvel at Who He Is. I felt, “Yes! There is this great scheme of conditional existence, of which human embodiment is a part. But first, and most importantly, HE IS THE MASTER OF IT ALL! And I have a relationship with That One!”

Without exchanging a word with me, Beloved Adi Da got up, walked to His Chair and began a discourse on death and the “grid” through which we pass at death. This was one of the first occasions at which Beloved Adi Da spoke of the total pattern of phenomena, or the Cosmic Mandala, as He would later describe it. As always, He had one primary message — no experience, high or low, is the answer to our suffering. No “one” survives in the Great Plastic of forms. Only Consciousness Itself persists, the Eternal “I”, the Self-Existing and Self-Radiant Condition of all, Beyond the grid of appearances.

The Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary in Lake Co...
The Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary in Lake County, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Journal : June 20, 2013

It’s a depressing morning.

The colossal calamity due Nature’s fury in Uttarakhand is heart wrenching and the global despair I read in outpourings of minds aware dumps me in darkness. In the celestial underground, Sisyphus eyes the rock before starting to heave against it, in order to roll it back up to the top of the hill.

*  *  *

Bank of America- Funding Coal, killing Communities

‘We Were Told To Lie,’

Say Bank Of America Employees

http://fe.gd/yuH

“The government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP),

which gave banks cash incentives to modify loans under certain standards,

was supposed to streamline the process and help up to 4 million struggling homeowners

(to date, active permanent modifications number about 870,000). In reality, Bank of America used it as a tool, say these former employees, to squeeze as much money as possible out of struggling borrowers before eventually foreclosing on them. Borrowers were supposed to make three trial payments before the loan modification became permanent; in actuality, many borrowers would make payments for a year or more, only to find themselves rejected for a permanent modification, and then owing the difference between the trial modification and their original payment.”

Six former employees and one contractor say Bank of America’s mortgage servicing unit consistently lied to homeowners, fraudulently denied loan modifications and offered bonuses to staff for intentionally pushing people into foreclosure.

The allegations were made in sworn statements added to a civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Massachusetts.

Have we evolved as yet
to having severely punishing laws
against Corporate lies and fraudulent behaviour ?

*  *  *

Call 1098, if you have after-party food that is likely to be wasted !

It’s the Child Helpline in India. They will come and collect the food. It’ll nourish the starved and the half-hungry; and, perhaps, inform him of how the more advantaged in society, in his very own country, live it off.

*  *  *

How Money Makes You Lie and Cheat

http://fe.gd/yuM

The Rich Are Different :

More Money, Less Empathy

http://fe.gd/yuN

Capitalism channelises bothe the strengths and failures of humanity. Unfortunately, the strengths are few; failures more severe and far too many.

But humanity’s misfortune does not end there. It quadruples with capitalist success; for then, they have concentrated the resources and the means of Surround Propaganda, to beat the dead horse to wonderful tunes of intoxicating music !

*  *  *

In my country …

English: Kedarnath Temple, Uttarakhand
Kedarnath Temple (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several Thousands have been killed.

Hundreds of Thousands are stranded for days …

in Uttarakhand.

 ‘I watched my wife being swept away by the torrent’ …

Scores of entire villages have been washed away.

The venerated Kedarnath Temple site is back to how it was 500 years ago !

The catastrophe renders our political process so peurile.

The populist democracy has nothing in it to take up long-term interests of humanity.

Do we need an autocratic leadership then ? Yes, but in this very democratic and institutional set up.

English: Narendra Modi in Press Conference
Narendra Modi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We need a leader who strong and wise.

Which is why I regard Sudheendra Kulkarni’s eulogy for BJP‘s LK Advani,

his former boss and mentor, as trash;

his diatribe against Narendra Modi, the one leader I have come to trust for now,

is pure dickscum.

The fellow is making career out political brokering.

Then, there are these small minds who’ve begun their ‘aerial’ visits

and announcing a few ‘millions’ in assistance.

Typically Congressmen, who neither have the balls nor the intelligence

— a perfect mix for moral torpidity, corruption and debauchery.

It has taken the spine out of watchdog institutions,

the bureaucracy and a good part of judiciary.

The Congress leaders compare so vulgarly with the champions who’ve waded the ground with their personal presence, their hand and

RSS Flag
RSS Flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

provisions, medicines and relief. They are the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

the RSS, who are the first and completely engaged with any national calamity anywhere.

Am I ‘Sanghi’ ? They don’t even know that I exist.

Or a ‘BJP’wala ? The answer is the same. I’ve never been anywhere close to them anytime in my life.

All that I observe and assess draws my empathy and affiliation. It political, not politics.

Hell, I would not even exactly agree with the slogan : India First …

If it also does not mean : People First ! That’s where my entire concern is anchored.

the-log-hut-blog-header-009.jpg

The Mammoth Story – To History

 

“In a polar region there is a continual deposition of ice, which is not symmetrically distributed about the pole. The earth’s rotation acts on these asymmetrically deposited masses [of ice], and produces centrifugal momentum that is transmitted to the rigid crust of the earth. The constantly increasing centrifugal momentum produced in this way will, when it has reached a certain point, produce a movement of the earth’s crust over the rest of the earth’s body, and this will displace the polar regions toward the equator.”

Albert Einstein – From The Path of the Pole by Charles Hapgood

 

This mammoth is dead for thousands of years when our story begins. Back then, when it happened, its body was instantly deep-frozen. Millennia later, when found in the Siberian permafrost region, its body tissue was so well preserved that the sledge dogs eagerly fed on it. Autopsy reports said the mammoth had plants in its stomach undigested and very well preserved by the subzero temperatures, and some was still in its mouth. These plants were of subtropical kind and did not exist in Siberia as we have it today. It remained a ridle, unsolved for long : Surely, the mammoth was in a subtropical region, the kind that presently prevails in Northern India, South-east China and Central Asia, which have cool winters with little or no frost and perceptibly warm summers. And, if the mammoth lived in a subtropical climate, how come it was deep-frozen so quickly as to not decompose even a little ?

Those in Siberia, who grappled with puzzle, wondered where this huge animal found food enough to live on in the region where the carcass was found, in so cold a climate that permitted little vegetation and was mostly barren. The only plausible explanantion was that the mammoth indeed roamed in subtropical clime but was subjected to rapid change in ambience that froze it to death. Unbelievably rapid, we have to admit, for signs of start of decomposition would be evident even upon a day’s exposure to temperatures above 8 degree centigrade, as would be common in regions abovee the tropic in northern hemisphere.

The convergence of likely happenings was still dumbfounding. What or how did it actually happen ? How was it that the mammoth was in south-east China, say, and was transported to Siberia within a matter of hours ? Or, that the region had a subtropical climate and transformed into an arctic one within a day ? The absence of least decomposition was just incompitible with the subtropical vegetation stuck in its mouth. It made any expansion of the mammoth’s story an utterly controversial.

That is when cataclysmic evolutionists stepped up and made this mammoth a part of their main argument. Which was of course overlooked and denied for long. The suggestion was considered too dramatic to accept : the drastic change of climate pointed to something unthinkable, cataclysmic, that had shifted shifted the climatic zones over a quarter of the globe. It implied that the location of the poles too had shifted by equal measure. And it must have happened in an instant, so to speak. Nothing in our orthodox scientific understanding could suggest an alternate explanation to the mammoth phenomenon, came to be dated about 12,000 years BP, coinciding with the last Ice Age.

Further studies have established that indeed there were many ice ages, almost with periodic certainty, in the course of our planet’s history. What remained to be discovered were the scientific facts behind the regular event.

Pole Reversal

One explanation was linked to pervasive electromagnetism. The universe is a gigantic electromagnetic structure and all matter within and without the earth is arranged and located under the action of electromagnetic field. It’s been known that the planet acts as a gigantic dynamo with a dense inner core within liquid magma, on which the hard crust floats. The atomic magnetic dipoles in the core get aligned under the action of the cosmic electromagnetic field and set up a magnetic field. The rotating crust, with much higher surface speed, cuts the magnetic field and are electrically charged. That sets up an appreciable electromagnetic field, both within and around the earth.

The entire arrangement however is highly unstable. Electromagnetic systems are known to reverse their polarity. Study of lava along ridges on the ocean floor, solidified upon every major cataclysmic event, shows the direction of the field then acting on the embedded dipoles and, by inference, the location of the poles on earth’s surface. Measurements of the orientation of magnetic particles in different ridges by the research vessel Glomar Challenger revealed that the direction of the field changed diametrically at least 170 times in the last 70 million years. There were evidence of many more reversals that were less complete or extended.

Geodynamo

The other allied phenomenon is change in the earth’s orbit around the sun on account of increase or decrease in the charge accumulated on the body, much like the rise or fall of the electron around the nucleus when it absorbs or radiates a photon. Planets receive energy from collisions with cosmic bodies and they release energy in volcanic eruptions. If the change in a planet’s electromagnetic charge is significant, a jump to higher or lower orbit jump can take place. Ancient Mayan and Chinese claim after major natural disasters that the sun appeared smaller and the moon appeared bigger, indicating that distances between the Earth and Sun and the Earth and Moon had perhaps changed.

The suggested orbital change happens in a split second. The impact of pole reversal would also be instantaneous and devastating. Water in sea and lakes would rise a mile high and run over hundreds of miles into the continents, destroying everything in their paths. Hurricanes and tornadoes pale in comparison to the force of winds unleashed that would reach speeds of hundreds of miles per hour. Continental shelves may slam into ocean floors. New mountain ranges might form and existing formations would forced higher up. The Andes in South America have evidence of sandy beaches and sea shells thousands of feet above the sea level. In the Himalayas, and the Alps too, seashells and fossilised sea creatures were discovered. Volcanic eruptions would spew huge amounts of dust and other hot sediments and pollutants high into the atmosphere.

True Polar Wander

A third phenomenon that comes into play is on account of redistribution of earth’s mass, such as to change its moment of inertia. The increase or decrease of permafrost asymmetrically distributed about the poles is an instance when this could happen. The other causes could be changes in the orientation of the Moon or of other planets.

The Earth is not a true sphere, and therefore has three orthogonal axes of inertia. The axis around which the moment of inertia is greatest is closely aligned with the rotation axis (the axis going through the North and South Poles). The other two axes lie in the equatorial plane.

If the moment of inertia around one of the two axes close to the equator becomes nearly equal to that around the polar axis, then the constraint on Earth to compulsorily spin about the axis passing through the poles is relaxed. Small perturbations can move the sphere so that it spins around another axis in equatorial plane. In the same way, when the conditions are right, the Earth (both the crust and the mantle) can slowly reorient so that a new geographic point moves to the North Pole, while keeping the axis of low moment of inertia quite near the equator. Such a reorientation changes the latitudes of most points on the Earth, by amounts that depend on how far they are from the axis near the equator that does not move.

Geographical (or true) polar wander occurs with a shift of the entire earth or some part of it (lithosphere, lithosphere + mantle) relative to the spin axis, resulting in a change in the position of the geographic poles on the earth’s surface. Lines of longitude join at the geographic poles. Its a case of the entire continent moving, sliding over the mantle, to orient the axis of maximum moment of inertia along the spin axis of the earth. Theis displaces the place at the poles of spin axis and brings in another with the shift of earth’s crust.

In Sum …

Traces of glaciation are found everywhere on the earth’s crust. There is ample evidence of polar jumps all over the planet. The impact of these events on biological organisms is devastating, for not only does the climate of specific places change suddenly but there is a shift of the temperature range over the entire planet. Species not suited to live in the new temperature range either adapt or mutate, or are wiped out. This might explain why in the course of the Earth’s history up to 90 percent of the species were wiped out. Perm, Trias and the Jurassic extinctions are well-documented examples.

But extinctions did not happen only in remote geological times. The last one wiped out the mammoths, the mastodons, saber tooth tigers and other so-called ice age animals only several thousand years ago. Fossil remains and geological evidence prove beyond doubt that the cycles of creation, evolution, and destruction are part of this planet’s history. Life as such has survived all these cataclysms but there is no way telling which life forms will survive the brutal change.

More scientific data and information @ http://www.divulgence.net/

Journal : Musings

Elections 2014 

My senior friend, Basudeb Sen, brilliantly observes :

“2014 is going to be much tougher than it was in 2009 for the Congress. The corruption stigma may still haunt its poll prospects. Its only hope lies is a miraculous economy bounceback and direct food subsidy flowing in a large measure in 2013. Still Congress may need a stronger UPA3 coalition partner support. And, the left parties, especially CPM is waiting for an opportunity to give outside support to Congress so that they can regain a status of some importance in national politics, and will keep trying to keep BJP at bay.

“However much one may dislike Cong and consider support to BJP, BJP does not show much unity and any alternative, internally consistent election manifesto attractive enough to people. If N Modi repeats his performance with at least 110 seats on 21.12.12 and the BJP accepts him as the next PM candidate without the slightest of reluctance, and keep Sangh Parivar absolutely quiet, BJP can still hope to get to power, provided a new NDA is strong enough.

“If CPM is ready to offer outside support to Cong., Mamata’s TMC may provide outside support to NDA just to keep CPM away from links with the Central Govt. Either of BSP or SP can deny support to Congress if they find the deal could be better with BJP. The Tamil lady may join the side that gives more cabinet post allocation to her party nominees.

“BJP is yet to show any triumph strategy.”

There’s nothing I could add to Mr Sen’s analysis, except of that chance build up to an elusive “wave” … which seems least likely to be in favour of either the Congress or its allies. On the other hand, the political polarisation along 2 – alliance columns is nebulous in favour of NDA and, as Mr Sen observes, fraught with opportunism in the UPA camp.

Only a big enough margin between the individual counts of the two behemoths – BJP and the Congress – will clarify the day.

Killing Culture

Gunmen shot dead 30 children and injured several others in a school in Connecticut, USA. It is such a collosal loss of life, love, opportunity and future. My friend, Francis Hunt, says :

” My heartbroken sympathy goes out to all the families whose children were murdered in Newtown. To the families of the dead teachers as well. Looking from Europe, where the possession of firearms just isn’t an issue for the overwhelming majority of people – and where we honestly don’t feel threatened in our unarmed state – I find US gun-culture very hard to understand.”

But Obama felt that this wasn’t the time to talk of such issues ! There has been a spate in the series though that lends an urgency to the matter, including the fundamental one :

What value abides with us in a world without order, but for the pervasive niche of porn and media ? What do we make of the leadership – religious, political and economic – that leaves us to this existential chaos before us ? These questions preoccupied Albert Camus through every one of his works over half a century ago !

Because, indeed, it isn’t just the society in the United States. Europe’s quiet still seems tenuous : Athens, Spain, Italy, Portugal … saw riots and expressions of people’s angst. How will the British take it as the NHS gets dismantled ? Sweden’s killings have not vacated in our minds. The Muslim world seethes the same …

The latest from China reports of a knife-wielding man injuring 22 children and one adult outside a primary school, as students were arriving for classes yesterday. It again is one more in a series of periodic rampage attacks at Chinese schools and kindergartens.

A Beautiful Soul

Let me wind up with the thoughts of an exceedingly beautiful soul and musical genius extraordinary, whom the world has not heard … Annapurna Devi !

She is one whose success about the middle of the last century troubled the much eulogised Pandit Ravi Shankar and inspired the Hrishikesh Mukherjee classic, Abhimaan !

The Western world might not even be aware of the instrument but Annapurna Devi’s is “The story of the greatest surbahar player you never heard.”

For more : http://t.co/plwYF5zG

Journal : The Movie to Watch

‎#LifeOfPi : The movie does not not prompt criticism or review, unless the bread on your table depends on churning out one !

It’s a once in a lifetime movie and will last that long in its impact.

If you do not want wish to watch a lifetime movie, go and view something else… maybe the absurdity that the khans offer ! I sleep thru them if dragged.

A majority of our human population is either too deprived or too involved at arriving somewhere to appreciate the mystique of existence. Some evolve to recognise it. Life Of Pi is a about one who experiences, imbibes and lives it.

Life Of Pi is one movie I suggested to the family after decades and never blinked an eye till the end. It’s an Ang Lee work, so there’s little risk if you are going to watch it. And, it’s my recommendation … if you have not visited the theatres in ages !

Lead a Good Life, Everyone: Trey Malone’s Suicide Note — The Good Men Project

Lead a Good Life, Everyone: Trey Malone’s Suicide Note — The Good Men Project.

“…(Society) that pays some object form of lip service to the idea of sexual crimes

while working its hardest to marginalize its victims.

One where the first question a college president can pose to me,

regarding my own assault is, “Have you handled your drinking problem?”

 

“My story is far from exceptional in this regard…”

Yes, Trey, the story may not be … but you are.

My tribute … and God bless !

Hopefully, we’d do better, because you were.

Read more at http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/lead-a-good-life-everyone-trey-malones-suicide-note/#v6PoCgGFAoqS0AgQ.99 

 

 

Journal : Atharva Veda – Part V

A SMALL SELECTION OF FREELY PARAPHRASED HYMNS … concluded

Source : Hymns of the Atharva Veda [ 1895 ] by Ralph T.H. Griffith

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/av/av01034.htm

Part I @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/journal-atharva-veda-part-i-29-2/

Part II @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/journal-atharva-veda-part-ii/

Part III @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-part-iii/

Part IV @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/journal-atharva-veda-part-iv/

 

Vedas, Vedic Age and Vedic People : A Brief … concluded

LIFE, DEATH & TRUTH – ( 3 )

Is there life after death ?

What will happen to me after death ? ”

Liberation : The First Primordial Delusion

Through Part ( 1 ) https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-part-iii/ and Part ( 2 ) https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/13/journal-atharva-veda-part-iv/ we laid out the “ Model Of Being “ extrapolated from what the Vedic seers discovered in their own self, which every human being at any time can. We posited three Great Spaces instead of just the gross one with material forms. The three Spaces – Material, Mental and Causal – are co-existent and co-incident but have entirely different nature and laws. The Mental was more fundamental than the Material, and Causal more than the Mental.

Every man can observe the living body is preserved by something other than itself – Vitality, which inert and “dead” bodies lack. It is the non-material Vitality that keeps the material body organs operating, diverse health and vigour imparting processes going, and cognitive functions of the nervous system and the brain powered. In human beings, the nervous sytem and developed brain opens across a node into the Mental Space, to which all cognition and feelings are carried by the Vitality. These inputs or stimuli are perceived by the “agent,” the individual self conscious being, the “person” to whom the presentation comes to mean and affect. In reaction, emotions arise, the intensity of which depends upon the how much the input feeling or information means to the individual. Concurrent with the emotion, coursing on vitality in the very body, arises the desire and consequent will that may either prompt animal action, human restraint or rise into the deliberating zone of the mind.

This is what life is – in the mind; how its signs are – of vitality. It is an absolutely different universe from the material one about us in nature, purpose and laws. It is non-material, in Mental Space. Here, the individual living being has its own assigned domain, called the mind. The mind has three parts : Vital, Deliberative and Intellectual. The first is the grossest and most proximate to the brain – nerves node through which the Vitality courses. It is the part that first manifests with the creation of nerves. The Deliberative part is subtler, more free of the gross, that surfaces in the domain with the formation of the brain and becomes available to the individual. The third, the Intellectual part, opens in the presence of the fully developed brain.

Though life is not of the body, senses being outgoing and organs of action being of such value to survival, procreation and sensual gratification, and form being the localised identity to the rest of the universe we find ourselves in, human beings identify themselves with the body, concern themselves with the phenomena in material space, and readily, compulsorily, allow themselves to claimed by it. But, even so, we reserve our deepest bonding, closest and most fulfilling relationships with beings that have access to the mind and its capacities … because we are similarly endowed and it is that which makes us of one species. That we are the body is the first primordial delusion upon human beings.

Liberation : True Knowledge ( I )

This knowledge we perceive and validate within ourselves, of the Three Great Spaces in and of which the entire universe is held, is our own. The beholder of this truth is as differently empowered from how the materialist is as one looking at the entire panorama is from another viewing through a pinhole ! There is impermanence in the material world; objects are endlessly preserved its the mental space.

In continuity with our discovery, we observe that mortality or death is of the nature of loss of material form alone. The cessation of life functions in the body, of directed vitality on which our power to sense and act rests, is “separation” of the tripartite Mind from the body, which its Vital part had preserved and kept alive until then. The “subtle” combination including the individual-ego-self departs with its deepest urges, alongwith the desire flared up at the time when the last breath is expelled. The unit includes its mental impressions, sans name-place-form identities proper to the material space. The lost, immobilised but conscious being separates from the body and is carried on vitality, along with its vital organs and functions, then potential.

Instead of coming to an end, as it happens with the material form, the entire subtle unit remains in mental space, tethered to its source in causal space – the Soul. The attenuated individual self hovers for the duration it takes for it to live through heavenly and hellish emotional consequences of its moral and immoral actions in life as it was, quite as mortals live through their own subconscious impressions in dream. After the “ Karma “ expose is over, the subtle self reincarnates with its morally laden conscience as another body in the material space.

This then is the nature of the Mental space : knowledge. All forms in it are non-material, whether of the individual being, which is but an ideated sense of separately existing self, or of impressed knowledge and empowerment. Its purpose is to preserve the individual self’s journey in truth, both in life and afterlife. It is the indelible realm where the laws of karma are operative and come to fruition, where the acquired learning, impressions and desires of the individual self are safeguarded, for it to take it forward from one opportune lifetime to another. The Mental Space is also the incorruptible school and authentic source of morals, the codes for mental and behavioural conduct essential to spiritual evolution and abiding happiness that humans are eternally advised to uphold in life.

In truth, the Mental universe of the individual self is more real, infinitely more real, than its material one. But the individual self forgets, on account of the mesmerising effects of its physical birth, its several identities in life, multiple opportunities to diverse experiences, and its attachments to objects and beings that please. Though no religion is the original source of codes to moral life, the few which originated in the East have institutionalised them in their belief and practice, and serve to remind men of their essence. Once in a while, a practitioner rises to that origin in the Mental Space and comes back shining in its truth to re-proclaim them in contemporary terms. I know of several in the land of my birth.

The individual self and the tripartite mind never dies of age. Its journey is without a beginning and continues endlessly through the transmigration from one body to another until, in one of its lifetime, it acquires enough memory and truth in its own regard to outgrow the subtle body. Its life then becomes his last; the mind form, its domain in the mental space, detaches from the self for all purposes except as necessary for the physical-spiritual momentum to come to its end upon death of the form. The individual self unifies with the Soul and transmigrates no more !

Liberation : True Knowledge ( 2 )

The Soul is the ever awake witness – consciousness that looks over the individual self in life and oversees its karmic consequences and its transmigration in afterlife. Under its gaze the vitality, alongwith potentials scripted into it, attaches itself with the cosmic knowledge coagulates programmed in another material form. Soon, the individual being is vitalised, identifies with its new body, new parents, family members, places and names, and is launched on its journey in material space through childhood, adult life, old age, to another death !

The Soul is One, not many, as is claimed in common parlance in such terms as : my soul, his very soul, the soul of the man, etc. It is the I-witness-consciousness, free and pure, without the least karmic impression, pervading the Causal Space from which the manifestation of the material and mental universe proceeds, and to which all detached knowledge impressions aggregate. The same Soul reflects in each ideate impression of the individual self in the Mental Space and vests it with its own separate – I – consciousness.

The Soul witnesses the sense of separation in the individual selves with an immense wonder at its untruth, for it is forever filled with its own undifferentiated awareness of being infinite. Some call it God, a nomenclature I might agree with provided it excludes the “ Person ” superimposed on it. Except for the degree of Truth respective to each, the Soul is as much a phenomena of the Causal Space as the individual self is of Mental Space. There is no sense of agency or doership in the Soul. Witnessed in absolute wakefulness, the universe is its dream that instantly comes true.Bliss infinite is its only attribute.

It is not impossible for anybody to validate the truth of these matters of fact, but well nigh. For, it is impossible to be awake during deep sleep ! There are prescribed paths to travel the inner way consciously, laid out in Raja-Yoga. There is not much that can be said in this regard, hence.

Liberation : True Knowledge ( 3 )

One is lodged in the true nature of the Self, sans I or universe, when identity with even the Soul-I-consciousness is cut asunder… The Self is absorbed in itself. It is consciousness pure – unthinkable, indescribable. Or, not even that. There is no word for That.

* * *

 

( 31 ) A Song Of Harvest

BOOK III : HYMN XXIV

The plants of the earth are rich in milk

And rich in milk is this, my word,

So from that which is rich in milk

I fetch hither a thousandfold more.

 
I know Him who is rich in milk.

He has made our corn abundant.

The God whose name is Gatherer

Him we invoke

Who dwelleth in his house

And, who sacrifices not.

 
Let all the five races of mankind

All the five regions of heavens

Bring abundance hither

As the stream brings drift after it rains.

 
Open the well with a hundred streams

With a thousand streams that exhaust not.

So too, cause this corn of ours to be abundant

With a thousand streams.

 
Gather up, O Thou with a hundred hands !

Pour forth, O Thou with a thousand hands !

Bring hither abundance

To the corn that is ripe

And to those yet not prepared.

 
The Gandharvas claim three sheaves.

The lady of the house has four.

We touch thee with the sheaf

That is the most abundant of them all.

 
O Praj
āpati ! Adding and Gathering

Are thy two attendants.

May they bring abundance hither

Abundant wealth that does not exhaust.

( 32 ) On The Means To Obtain Immunity

From Taxation In The Next World

BOOK III : HYMN XXIX

I bring to you freedom from hate

Concord and unanimity.

Love one another

As the cow loves the calf

That she has borne.

 
One-minded with his mother

Let the son be loyal to his sire.

Let the wife, calm and gentle

Speak words sweet as honey

To her man.

 
No brother hate his brother

No sister be unkind to sister.

Unanimous, with one intent

Speak ye the words in friendliness.


That spell through which gods bade

That you sever not

Nor ever bear hatred for each other

That spell we lay upon your home

A bond of union

For unanimity among the men.

 
Intelligent, submissive, rest united

Be friendly and kind

Bearing the yoke together.

Come, speaking sweetly

Each one to the other.

I make you of one intent

And of one mind.

 
Let what you drink be common

Share your food together

With one common bond

I bid you.


Serve Agni. Gather around him

Like the spokes about the chariot nave.

 
With binding charm, I unite you all.

Obeying one sole leader

Be of one mind.

Even as the Gods, who watch

And guard the ambrosia

May ye be of kind heart

At morn and eve.

( 33 ) A charm to restore virile power

BOOK IV : HYMN IV

Thee, O Plant, which the Gandharva dug up for Varuna

When his virility had decayed …

Thee we dig up, that causest strength.


Ushas (Aurora), Sûrya, (Sun), and this charm of mine;

The bull, Prajâpati (the Lord of creatures)

Shall arouse him with his lusty fire !


This herb shall make thee

So very full of lusty strength

That thou shalt, when thou art excited

Exhale heat, as a thing on fire does !


The fire of the plant

And the essence of the bull

Shall arouse him !

Do thou, O Indra, controller of all bodies

Place the lusty force of men

Into this person !


Thou, O Herb, art the first-born sap of the waters

And of the plants.

Thou, moreover, art the brother of Soma

And the lusty force of the antelope buck !


Now, O Agni, now…

O Savitr, now…

O Goddess Sarasvatî, now…

O Brahmanaspatî, do thou stiffen the penis

And render it as a bow !


I stiffen thy penis, as a bowstring upon the bow.

Embrace thou the women

As the antelope buck mounts the gazelle

With ever unfailing strength !


Bestow upon him, O Indra

The strength of the horse

Of the mule, the goat and the ram…

And the strength of the bull on top.

( 34 ) A Lover’s Sleep-Charm

Book IV : HYMN V

The Bull who hath a thousand horns

Who rises from the sea,

By him, the strong and mighty one

We lull the folk to rest and sleep.

 
Over the surface of the earth

There breathes no wind

There looks no eye.

Lull all the women

Lull the dogs to sleep…

With Indra as thy friend !

 
The woman sleeping in the court

Lying without, or stretched on beds

The matrons with their odorous sweets—

These, one and all, we lull to sleep.

 
Each moving thing have I secured

Have held the eye and held the breath.

Each limb and member have I seized

In the deep darkness of the night.

 
The man who sits, the man who walks

Whoever stands and clearly sees…

Of these, we close the eyes shut

Even as we close the house shut.

 
Sleep, Mother.

Let the father sleep.

Sleep, o dog.

Let the master of the house sleep.

Let all her kinsmen sleep.

Let all people who are around and about sleep.

 
With soporific charm, O Sleep

Lull thou all folks to slumber.

Let the rest sleep till break of day

I will remain awake till dawn

Like Indra, free from scathe and harm.

( 35 ) A Parting Traveller’s Address To The Houses Of His Village

BOOK VII : HYMN LX

I, prudent, bring power and a win a treasure for you

With amicable eye that strikes no terror.

I come to these houses with praise and kind thoughts :

Be not afraid of me.

Be glad and joyful.

 
Let these delightful houses that are rich in power

And are stores of milk

Replete with wealth and standing firm

Become aware of our approach.

 
These houses we invoke

Whereon the distant exile sets his thought

Wherein dwell many a friendly heart :

Let them be aware of our approach.

 
Thus I greet ye, of ample wealth

My friends, who enjoy delightful sweets

Be ever free from hunger, free from thirst !

O ye Houses, fear us not !

 
Kind greetings to the cattle here

Kind greeting to the goats and sheep !

Then, of the food within our homes

Kind greetings to the pleasant drink !


Full of refreshment, full of charms

Full of laughter and felicity

Be ever free from hunger, free from thirst !

O ye Houses, fear us not !

Stay here, and come not after me :

Prosper in every form and shape.

With happy fortune will I come

Grow more abundant still

Through me !

( 36 ) Sacrificial Incantation

BOOK VII : HYMN XCVII

As we have elected thee, skilled Hotr

As our sacrifice proceeds today

Come to the firm seat, o most mighty !

Yea, come in firmness

And, knowing the sacrifice

Approach the Soma.


O Indra, the Lord of Bay !

Connect us with kine, with spirits

With steeds, princes and with favour

With the portion of Brāhmans

That is destined for God

And with the goodwill of gods

Who merit worship.

 
O Agni ! O God !

Thou hast brought hither the willing gods

Whom thou now must send

To their own dwelling-place.

O ye, Vasus !

When ye have eaten

And have drunk the sweet juices

Endow this man with precious wealth.

 
O Gods, who, pleased with me

Have come to my libation !

We have made your seats of easy access.

Bear thou and bring hither your treasures

And, partaking of the rich warm beverage

Mount thou to the heaven.

 
Go to the sacrifice, O Lord of Sacrifice !

Go to its master !

Go thou to thy birthplace !

Go now, with Svāhā !

 
O Lord of the Rite !

This is the sacrifice for thee…

Libations charged with vigour

 In the hymnal pit. Svāhā!

Vashat ! To paid and yet unpaid oblations.

Ye Gods, who know the way

Find and pursue it !

 
O Lord of the Mind !

Lay this sacrifice of ours in heaven

Among the Gods.

Svāhā in heaven !

Svāhā on earth !

Svāhā in the space in between !

All Hail ! I have paid offerings to the wind.

( 37 ) An Initiation …

BOOK VII : HYMN CV

Leaving humanity behind

Making the heavenly word thy choice

Address thyself to furthering and guiding the men  

With all thy friends.

( 38 ) Benediction On A Warrior

BOOK VII : HYMN CXVIII

Thy vital parts I cover with thine armour :

May Lord Soma clothe thee with immortality !

May Varuna give thee what is more than ample !

And may the gods rejoice

In thy triumph !

* * * Concluded * * *

Journal : Atharva Veda – Part III

Is there life after death ? “ What will happen to me after death ?”These questions seem irrelevant while one is alive and doing well for oneself, in a position to power our way through life and the world before us. But then, who is to restrain us from being whimsical or cruel, unjust and uncaring ? It must be ourselves, for the law allows much in ethics and rarely concerns itself with the moral. And, scouring through history or looking about us for how resourceful people behave, it is easy to conclude that men are poor, almost disabled, at doing the job of keeping themselves under their own leash.On the other hand, if it were established that there is life after death, that we shall be put to account for our actions in life, the knowledge would have a profound bearing on how we conduct ourselves here and now.

The discussion starts here … Journal : Atharva Veda – Part III.

Journal : Atharva Veda – Part IV

A SMALL SELECTION OF FREELY PARAPHRASED HYMNS … contd

Source : Hymns of the Atharva Veda [ 1895 ] by Ralph T.H. Griffith

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/av/av01034.htm

Part I @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/journal-atharva-veda-part-i-29-2/

Part II @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/journal-atharva-veda-part-ii/

Part III @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-part-iii/

Vedas, Vedic Age and Vedic People : A Brief … contd

LIFE, DEATH & TRUTH – ( 2 )

Is there life after death ?

What will happen to me after death ? ”

Through Part ( 1 ) @ https://vamadevananda.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/journal-atharva-veda-part-iii/ we are laying out a consistent basis for reincarnation and life after death, as a matter of fact and not of speculation or mere belief and faith that the Death – Burial – ‘ Day Of Judgement ‘ process proposed in monotheistic religions demand, which billions of their followers are taught of and abide by, even though the thesis beggars belief, calling on huge imagination and immense leap of faith.

The reasoned “ Model Of Being “ extrapolated from what the Vedic seers discovered in their own self, which every human being at any time can, involved positing three Great Spaces instead of just the gross one with material forms. The Spaces – Material, Mental and Causal – are co-existent and co-incident but have entirely different nature and laws. Every man can observe the living body is preserved by vitality that inert bodies lack. In human beings, with a developed nervous sytem and brain, the body is pervaded and acted upon by the mind, which is absolutely non-material and has a nature entirely other than that of the inert body.

It is so far established that the human being is not just the body with which one is identified during waking hours. That, the brain is not the mind, though certain phenomenal happenings in the mind and brain might be concurrent ; that, we derive all our experiences through and of the body but all experiential phenomena actually takes place and is perceived in the mind.

Humans are mental beings that have a vitality powered physical body to sense and act, experience and learn, think out and know. Even the Vitality behind all manner of cyclic effects is a programmed form of energy, essentially non-material, which enables life forms to digest, respire, recharge, purify and excrete. An effect of the divergent ways, nature and laws particular to matter and mind is evident in transaction analysis The three ego states – child, adult and parent – are nothing more than subconsciously qualified ego-individual-being pervading the mind-body complex while it is awake. The body follows the “thermodynamic direction” of time, from past to present, child to adult to parent… but the respective impressions in the mental space do not age or die, unless consciously dealt with, adequately and in certain completeness ending upon our self.

Mortality, death, loss of form and ultimate disappearance is natural to all bodies in material space, as their normal course. The regular phenomenal effect is inevitable and does not require the slightest human intervention, if we are willing to wait. But what is “Death ?” It is the cessation of life functions in the body… the loss of directed vitality on which our power to sense and act rests, that carries our cognition faculty and our ability to think, know and recall. But is it “cessation” of “directed vitality” or its mere “separation” from the body that it had preserved and kept alive until then ?

We know material forms destruct in time. The forms in mental space however are not subject to the same norm, as can be observed in our direct experience : the knowledge we acquire consciously and clearly when we are younger keeps fresh forever if our brain, the doorway to mental space, is not damaged or atorphied; the subconscious impressions from past arise with the same effect in our present, whether auto-qualifying the unaware ego with urges and compulsions or raising those surreal dreams during which our subconsciously impressed memories are revealed.

We are now in a position to answer the questions :

Is there life after death ?

What will happen to me after death ?

The clear conclusion is that the material body will die and there would no “life” for it as it was before. It will degrade and breakdown into atoms and molecules that will find their use in forming other life or inert forms. But the “subtle” combination including the individual form departs with its deepest urges, alongwith the desire flared up at the time when the last breath is expelled. The subtle being includes its mental impressions, sans name-place-form identities proper to the material space. The immobilised and lost but conscious being separates from the body and is carried on vitality, inclusive of its potential organs and functions. Instead of coming to an end, as it happens with the material body, the entire subtle unit remains in mental space, tethered to its source in causal space – the Soul – and is reincarnated in another body in the material space in due course of time.

The Soul is the ever awake witness – consciousness that oversees the transmigration. Under its gaze the vitality, alongwith potentials scripted into it, attaches itself with the cosmic knowledge coagulates programmed in another material form. Soon, the individual being is vitalised, identifies with its new body, new parents, family members, places and names, and is launched on its journey in material space through childhood, adult life, old age and another death !

* * *

Next Part… a discussion on Moksha – liberation from the transmigration cycle.

To be continued …

* * *

( 23 ) A Benediction At The Election Of A King   –    BOOK III : HYMN IV

 O King ! Shine as the lord

The sole ruler of the people.

For, to thee has come the splendour of kingship

Let all regions of the heavens invite thee.

Here, invite the waiting men

And acknowledge each, as they bow before thee.

 
O King ! The clansmen have elected thee.

These five celestial regions have elected thee.
Rest thou on high, on top of this power supreme.

Thence, as a mightiest amongst us
Award us all with the treasure of your great deeds.

 
O King ! The kinsmen shall now invite thee

And thou shall go to meet them.

But with thee shall go Agni, as an active herald.
Let women have your good in their heart

And their sons be friendly, disposed well towards you.

Thou, O Mighty One, shalt receive tributes in abundance.

 
First the Asvins, Varuna and Mitra…

Then, the Universal Gods and Maruts shall call thee.
Thence, O Mighty One, direct thy thought

To spreading the wealth …

To giving the gifts of your treasure to us all.

 
Speed to us hither from the farthest distance.

Propitious unto thee be the Earth and Heaven.
Even so hath Varuna, the Lord, asserted…

He himself has called thee : Come thou hither.

 
Welcome to the tribes of men, O Indra !

O Indra, Varuna deems thou accordant.
To his own place has he called thee

Saying, “Let him adore the Gods.

Let him guide the clansmen.”

 
The bounteous paths, O King, all in concert

Have given thee room and comfort

In sundry places and forms.

Let all of these call thee hither

In unison and harmony.

Live thy tenth decade here, O King.

Be a strong and kind ruler.

( 24 ) A Prayer For The New Year  –  BOOK III : HYMN X

The First Day has dawned.

May Yama be with the cow

With blessings for her to pour forth her milk.
May she be rich in milk

And provide for us through many a coming year.


May the Night who approaches as a cow

she, whom the gods accept with joy

she, who is the Consort of the Year

Bring abundant happiness to us.


Thou, O Night, whom we revere

And look upon as representating the Year,
Vouchsafe us children to a long life

And bless us as to enhance our wealth.


This Night is the same

Whose light first dawned upon us.

She moves, established in the midst of others.
Great powers and glories are contained within her.

A first-born bride, she conquers all

And bears us children, being her own.


Loud was the wooden pass-gear’s ring and rattle

As it made the annual oblation ready.
First Ashtak
ā ! may we be lords of riches

With able and cultured children
And good men about us.


The shrine of Il
ā flows with oil

And is lined with fat :

Accept our oblations, O Jātavedas !
Tame animals of varied form and colour —

May all the seven abide with me contented.


Come thou, O Night !

To nourish me and make me prosper.

May the favour of the Gods attend us.
Filled full, O Ladle, fly thou forth.

Completely filled fly back again.
Serving at every sacrifice

Bring food and energy to us.


This Year hath come to us, O Ek
āshtakā!

Thou art its lord and consort.
Vouchsafe long lives for us children.

Bless us to enhance our wealth.


I worship the Seasons

And Lords of the seasons.

Over the year, its parts and groups
Years, Half Years and Months…

I offer to the Lord of all existence

Beings and things.


I offer to the Seasons

To their several groups

To Months and Years.
To Dh
ātar, Vidhātar, Fortune

And to the Lord of all things existing.


With clarified butter and libation

We sacrifice and adore the Gods.
Wealthy in kine, may we retire

To rest in our modest homes.


Ek
āshtakā, burning with zealous fervour

Brought forth her offspring…

The great and glorious Indra.
With him, the Gods subdued their adversaries :

The Lord of Might became the Dasyus’ slayer.


O Mother of Indra and Soma !

Thou art the daughter of Prajāpati.
Satisfy thou our hearts’ desires.

Accept our sacrifice gladly.

( 25 ) A Blessing On Barley Crops  –  BOOK IV : HYMN CXLI

Spring high, O Barley

And become much

Through thine own magnificence.
Overflow all storage vessels.

Let the bolt from heaven forbear

From striking thee down.


As we invite thee, O Barley

We call upon the God who heareth us.
Raise thyself up, like heaven on high

And become immeasurable

As the sea.


Let thine out-turns be beyond measure.

Beyong measure be thy gathered heaps.
Exhaustless be the givers of thee

And exhaustless be those

Who eat of thee.

( 26 ) A Blessing On Cattle  –  BOOK IV : HYMN CXLI

O’ My Good Man !

Vayu collected these cattle for us.

Go thou, find their sustenance

And keep them in Tvashtar’s care :
May Indra bless and comfort them

And Rudra look after them

So that they would surely increase.


Take thou the iron axe

And make a pair by marks upon their ears.
This sign the Asvins have impressed :

Let these increase and multiply.


Even as Gods and Asuras

Even as mortal men have done
Do ye, that these may multiply in thousands.

O Asvins ! Now, pray, make the mark.

( 27 ) A Benediction On A Newly Built House  –  BOOK III : HYMN XII

Here, I fix my firm-set dwelling.

May it overflow with clarified butter.
May it stand in safety.
May we approach thee, O House

With all our people

Good men, free of charms
And dwell within thee.


Even here, O House

Stand thou on firm foundation

Wealthy in horses

Rich in kine and gladness
Wealthy in nourishment

Milk and fat that rise up (in sacrifice)

For great felicity and good fortune.


Thou, O House, art a spacious store

With lofty roofs and full of clean corn.
Let the young calf and the little boy approach thee

And milch-kine stream homeward in the evening.


May Savitr and V
āyu establish this House.

May Brihaspati, who knows, show the way

And may Indra protect it.
May the moist Maruts sprinkle it with clarified butter

And may King Bhaga make our corn farms laden with grain.


O Queen of the home ! In the beginning

Thou sheltering, kindly Goddess was established by the Gods.
Clad in thy robe of grass, be thou friendly, kindly disposed

And give us wealth, with good men about us.


Thou, O Pole, mount the pillar in due order.

Strong and shining forth afar, keep off our foes.
O House ! Let not those who dwell within thee suffer.

Let us dwell within thee through a hundred autumns

With all our men and folks in the family.


To this House, the tender boy has come.

The calves have come with all the beasts
To drink from this crock hither

Foaming with jars of curdled milk upturned in it.


Bring hither, O Dame, the pitcher full

And pour out the molten butter blent with nectar

Bedewing these thirsty beings with a draught of ambrosia.
May abundance itself guard this dwelling

And fulfill all our hopes and expectations.


H
ere, I bring Water that is free from all impurities

That kills all cause of illness and disease
With Agni, the immortal one

Here I enter and make the house my own.

( 28 ) A Merchant’s Prayer For Success In His Business  –  BOOK III : HYMN XV

I stir and animate, Indra the merchant .

May he approach us and be our guide and leader.
Chasing ill will, wild beast and highway robber

May He who has the power

Give to me the riches I seek.


The many paths that Gods are wont to travel

The paths that go between heaven and earth
May they all rejoice with me

Through these oblations I offer

Of milk and clarified butter

That I may be rich

And make profit by my purchase.


With fuel for thou. O Agni !

I offer butter and my longing

For strength and conquest.

And, with prayer for strength

I adore this holy hymn
To gain a hundred treasures.


O Agni, pardon our repeat submission.

We have trod this distant road.
Favour us in our effort to sell and barter.

Make our merchandise exchange deals profitable.
Accept the twin offerings in our libations

And grant that they be propitious.

Make our ventures prosperous and enhance our income.
.
Ye gods ! The wealth I carry for my transactions

Seeking to add more to it…
This very wealth I offer to thee.
May this wealth grow for me, not less.

O Agni, upon this sacrifice
Chase away those that hinder our profit !


Ye gods ! The wealth I carry for my transactions

Seeking to add more to it…
This very wealth I offer to thee.

Herein, with this libation

May Indra, Savitr and Soma

Prajāpati and Agni give me splendour.


We sing thy praise, O Hotr-priest Vaisv
ānara, with reverence !
Keep thou watch over our children

Over our bodies, kine and lives.


Still to thee, O J
ātavedas, ever will we bring oblation

As to a stabled horse.
Joying in food, O Agni

And in the growth of our riches

May we, thy servants, never suffer.

( 29 ) A Farmer’s Song And Prayer To Speed The Plough  –  BOOK III : HYMN XVII

Wise and devoted to the Gods

Skilful men fast bind the ropes to the plough
And lay the yokes on either side.


Lay on the yokes and fasten well the traces :

Sow the seeds in the furrow formed.
Vir
āj, vouchsafe us while we sense plenty with restraint !
Let the ripe grain come home with drawing of the sickle.


The sharp share of the plough bringeth bliss

Traces on the oxen

Stilts on the ground hold it right and steady.

Shear out for me a cow, a sheep

Get a rapid driver the cart

And a blooming woman, plump and strong !


May Indra press the furrow down

May Pūshan guard and cherish her.
May she, well stored with love

Yield lovingly for us

Through each succeeding year.


Happily let the share turn up the soil

The men happily follow the oxen.
Suna and Sira ! Pleased with our sacrifice

Make the plants bring abundant produce to this man.


Happily may our steers and men work.

May the plough furrow happily.
Happily be the traces bound.

Happily may the driving – goad ply.


Suna and Sira ! Welcome ye to this laud.

Bedew ye both this earth of ours

With the milk that ye have made in heaven.

Auspicious Sitā, come thou near :

We venerate and worship thee
That thou mayst bless us and bestow prosperity

And bring to us abundant fruits for our efforts.


Loved by the Visvedevas and the Maruts

Let Sitā be bedewed with oil and honey.
Turn thou to us, O Sit
ā, with the wealth of milk

In vigour and strength

And pouring streams of clarified butter.

( 30 ) A Jealous Wife’s Incantation Against A Rival  –  BOOK III : HYMN XVIII

From out the earth I dig this Plant and Herb

Of most effectual power
Wherewith one quells the rival wife

And gains the husband for oneself.


O Victorious Plant ! Sent by the Gods !

Auspicious thou, with expanded leaves !

Drive thou the rival wife away

And make my husband only mine.


Indeed, he hath not named her

But dalliest not thou with this husband of mine.
Far into the most remote distance

We drive the rival wife away.


Stronger am I with you for support, O Stronger One !

Aye, mightier than the mighty, indeed.
Let my rival be beneath me

Lower than the lowest dame !


I am the conqueror with thou

And it is thou who art truly victorious.
And, as victory attends us both

We will subdue the emulating bed-mate.


I have girt thee, my Man !

With the conquering Plant

And laid the Mightiest One beneath thee.
As a cow hastens to her calf

And water on its way

So too will thy spirit speed to me,

Journal : Atharva Veda – Part III

A SMALL SELECTION OF FREELY PARAPHRASED HYMNS … contd

Source : Hymns of the Atharva Veda [ 1895 ] by Ralph T.H. Griffith

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/av/av01034.htm

Vedas, Vedic Age and Vedic People : A Brief … contd

LIFE, DEATH & TRUTH – ( 1 )

Is there life after death ? “ What will happen to me after death ?”

These questions seem irrelevant while one is alive and doing well for oneself, in a position to power our way through life and the world before us. But then, who is to restrain us from being whimsical or cruel, unjust and uncaring ? It must be ourselves, for the law allows much in ethics and rarely concerns itself with the moral. And, scouring through history or looking about us for how resourceful people behave, it is easy to conclude that men are poor, almost disabled, at doing the job of keeping themselves under their own leash.

On the other hand, if it were established that there is life after death, that we shall be put to account for our actions in life, the knowledge would have a profound bearing on how we conduct ourselves here and now. The non-Vedic religions preach that this is the only life after which we shall have to wait in our grave for the day of judgement, when we shall be either sent to hell or heaven, where we shall be forever. There is no second chance for sinners. And, of course, it is the deemed “elders” of the respective religions who declare which of the two we are ! We might never know if the prophesied Day was a fact but the judgement of the clergy on terra firma s real and final.

However such a practice, and the belief behind it, raises serious questions :

What happens to those who perish in a fire, their bodies reduced to ashes ?

Would they escape the Day, the hell if they were sinners or heaven if they’ve been good ?

What happens to those who are cremated, in accord with rites in their belief system ?

There are other cries of the heart to consider, should we care to hear. For instance, if this is the only life we have, why should one be unjustly born in poverty, in extremely cold or hot climes, to parents who are cruel or careless, with one or more disability, and so on ? Some are born rich, some poor, some are healthy, others afflicted, some die at an early age than others; some suffer more than others; and some are naturally more moral and ethical in disposition. Why ? And, why should we love our neighbour or give a damn to compassion or kindness, ethics or morality, so long we do not trespass the law ?

Since, there are no causal explanations from facts we know or from the belief system we subscribe to, we declare that there are no reasons behind such iniquity. What it actually suggests is that there is no rational “field” we can grasp, which we can define and reduce it to mathematical propositions and deductions, that can then present to our view the iniquitous phenomena with all its cause and effect links.

A word about FACTS …


Things might be in books, papers, media, or other people’s minds. 
Yet, it is YOU who is central to everything, including facts you are aware of. 
Facts are truths of the moment, as it is in your insight and conviction.


Even whether a ‘story’ is complete, or not, is a matter of your perception.
Of course, it depends upon how much details you’ve gone on to acquire and place in your awareness, analysed it and obtained a consistent insight with a critical eye.


The elephant in the room can be known for what it is.

But it takes focus, the opposite of dissipation, and hell of a lot of going through.


We’ve generally lost the motivation for going after facts and the art of going through !

The belief system of the Vedic people does not have the limitations of the material reason of the thinking man. Instead of turning away from the wall it faces, the Vedic mind soars high above it, allowing the concrete obstruction to recede and disappear. It asks : What is that, knowing which all this is known ?

What the Vedic seers observed, proposed and concluded, are as follows :

01 There is a material world out there and this material body we each consider our own. More, the material minded and the materials scientists amongst us believe that the body is all we are; that, the material composition and constituents of the body not only explain everything we are but also define and determine everything we are.

02 But, nothing explains what constitutes the human mind as it is and the mental phenomena it occurs. What is “matter” that forms it ? What is its warp and woof ? We have never had the mind on a platter and experimented with it. Even in captivity, under extreme torture, the mind is able to retain its own non–material world of ideas, images and beliefs. The mind can be free of the body, can assess the body prompts – of hunger, sex, tiredness, etc. – and can overrule them. And, the exclusively material model does not explain our own being, the “person” we are. What is the “ I “ formed of and what constitutes the variety, extent and strength of “ideas, knowledge, values and convictions” we each are vested and vest ourselves with, when the body and its constituents are largely similar ?

03 Hence, the Vedic model conceives of different spaces, one subtler than the previous, somewhat similar to the arrangement we have in the material universe as well : solid, liquid, gas. They regard the material space as gross and derived from the subtle mental space, which pervades the material one, in the manner water pervades sand. The mental space in turn is more gross and derived from the more subtle causal space, which pervades both the mental and material spaces.

The three “Great Spaces” – material, mental and causal – are concomitant, co-existent and co-incident. one into the other, having entirely different natures and laws, and characterised with transformation of consciousness from its completely awake, witness nature in the causal space to fully asleep or dead forms in the material expanse.

During manifestation from “vanilla” space, which is commonly referred to as pure consciousness, the first projection is of causal space, followed by the mental, and that by the material. During dissolution, the order is reversed : first material, then mental and, lastly, causal.

04 Question : Since the three spaces co-exist, why are the causal and mental spaces not visible to us or not available for scientific observation and study ?

Answer : That is what their relative subtlety of nature and law dictates. An animal being identified with a material body, is an entity of the grossest space, having a nature in common with the material phenomena. It is hence claimed and bound by its laws, which forecloses access to the mental or causal universe. Its witnessing faculty are directed outwards, to observe and study matters respective to the material space alone. All its knowledge is in its instincts that naturally issue as its two principal drives – survival and perpetuation of its species.

Human beings have the same animal nature. But, over and above that, they can sense their experience and think about it. They can even sense and think about their own “ self.”

So, how do we validate the Vedic model ? Answer : by sheer observation, experience, understanding and insight.

  • Rocks do not sense, have no experience.

       They also do not have a nourishing system.

  • Trees have a nourishing system. They can sense…

       the need for chlorophyl, the presence and direction of sunrays, even music.

  • Snails have a nourishing system and the simplest of nerves.

       They can sense and direct themselves along the motor drive.

  • Vertebrates have both : a developed nourishing system and a developed nervous system. But what marks them out is the brain. Higher vertebrates have developed brains and, among them, humans have the most developed brain than any species on the planet.

Validation of Vedic truths in our experience and direct perception starts with an appreciation of the fallacy behind the materialist assertion that ‘ the Brain is the Mind.’ The reason given is that if the brain is not working, damaged or dead, there is no mind. Besides, it is suggested that the presence of hormones in the body-mind complex determines the nature of the mind, because a strong correlation between the two has been observed. Let’s take up the second assertion first :

  • Suppose, the hormones in the body are found to co-exist with say, anger, a state of mind. How do we conclude that, therefore, mind is part of the body phenomena ? The individual mind is a form in the mental space in which anger is experienced. That experience is accompanied with presence of certain hormones in the brain. It is still possible for the mind to launch an anger management process and successfully quell it.

  • The ground for concluding that the brain is the mind, because the mind is damaged when the brain is or the mind is absent when the brain is cut-off or dead, is ludicrous. By that logic, the world is the eye because the damaged eye damages the world in our view and an absent eye makes the world disappear !

The fact is that every sense and all experiences take place in the mind, in the mental space. Inert matter, without life sustaining structure and processes, are not an individual being privy to happenings in the mental space, and are hence without the sense and experience we associate with individual consciousness.

Which is not to say that matter are anything apart from consciousness or are not pervaded by the causal and mental spaces. All the physical facts and laws which science has discovered, of energy and forces, potential and processes, of which matter from Higgs-Boson to heavenly bodies and terrestrial forms have come to be… all of these facts, laws and processes are nothing but knowledge, formed of consciousness.

There is no need to admit a Creator, posit a God outside of the Creation, in order to accept the nature of things as it is. All material bodies are formed of physical facts, and life forms of biological facts, which are nothing but knowledge coagulates formed in cosmic mind, in mental space, that are in turn derived from more fundamental knowledge forms arising as the universal cause, in the causal space.

But it took a human being to notice the truth he discovered of himself, and extrapolate the understanding that an individual life form is a node at which the mental space form – the mind – connects with the material body, of the gross space. As noted in our bulleted brief above, the higher vertebrates actually have “experience” proper and a sense of themselves and their environment, which are forms exclusively of the mental space. It is as if a developed nervous system opens an entrance for the “conscious” mind to flow into the body and pervade it. And, when headed by a fully evolved brain, the “conscious” individual self can actually climb up the nerves-brain ladder to enter its mind, the domain allotted to it in the mental space, to observe its experience, its body and the environment, and reflect upon them.

We think in the mind when we are awake and have the sense of the body and the environment. We dream in the mental space when we are no longer fettered by the limitations of the body or by fixations in the environment. The body is kept alive by vitality that conjoins the mind to the body. Our vitality is affected by the actions of the body, by what it eats and drinks, and by the actions in the mind as well, in how it thinks and what it knows. But its survival processes are automated and it is programmed to power the sexual drive for perpetuation of the species, in accord with cosmic knowledge coagulates in the living cells and largely independent of interventions by either the body or the mind.

One instance of Vedic truth, in apparent contrast to the scientific view, is in its detailing of the process of perception and cognition, essentially a mental phenomenon. It suggests that an object is not perceived merely because light rays reflected off it strike our retina and the image conjured travels to the brain, where it is interpreted. This is the material part of the process that is essential but not sufficient, as it proves in our experience. The mental part involves an “issuing out” of the mind through the eye organ to envelope the object in view and comparing the gathered features and attributes with the knowledge impressed in the mind from before, to finally determine the certain understanding of the object. It explains why, when absorbed in the mind, we do not perceive the object even though it is in full view; and, why a baby that has never known a cow will not perceive it as such.

It has been emphasised that every experience from without is fetched through the sense organs by vitality, which conjoins the material and the mental space, and is felt in the part of the mind most proximate to the overlap zone where vitality reigns. The feeling causes a sub-conscious reaction at first, in the form of an emotion happy or unhappy, depending upon whether the feeling is welcome or not. Concurrently, the vitalised mind throws up a will to act, to possess and indulge or to avoid and eliminate, as it serves our desire. Since action brings its consequence, an intelligent being subjects the “will to act” to some thinking and analysis in the light of awareness of the present environment and knowledge impressed from hearsay or its own experience in the past.

Most human beings are materialists, no matter how wholly subscribed we are to our religion or how high a degree we acquire in secular sciences or arts. We are the same thinking, reactive entities, propelled on impressions from our past even when we seem to be leading matters about our present. Every one these forming and self-qualifying impressions, inadequately dealt with in the gray haze of semi-consciousness when they occured, are very neatly stored in the mind-stuff, deep within the overlap zone between the mind and the body, well covered with the unceasing flow of vitality and far away from the view of mind-body being we are during our wakeful hours. What preoccupies us are a whole range of quest driven by our desires for survival, security, sensual and sexual experience, our sense of incompletion and inadequacy, our relationship with other objects, beings, persons and our self.

To Be Continued … alongwith the next installment of selections from Atharva Veda.

Journal : Three Poems

Festivities

Gaiety all about

Good company, fine drizzle

Chow spreads great

Hearts free, loud people

We saunter lucid

Lost in perceptions wet

Breeze blows cool

By our glasses raised

To toasts joyous

With joined laughters

Then unmarked

Recalled now much after

Colours !  Colours !  Everywhere
Merry greets, embracing brothers
Expansive whirls to gods’ ardour
Without craft or thought
Or heart’s dark shadows …

Colours !  Colours !  Everywhere …
We meet, I lead her away
To read again
The book long open
With my confession
On page one …

Deep, without sobriety

Merged… lit complete

When, from within the drapes
Of her tresses, she laughs
And says :
“ I caught myself speaking
Of you all the time
For no reason or rhyme.”

Spaced full, I moon
In the glow wrapped
With the blessed one.

Spaced full, I moon
In the glow wrapped
With the blessed one.

BEAUTY BEHOLDEN

After months of unconcern
I yearn to see her again
Rouged in blush …

That glow simple
The sparkling gush.

Nothing interrupts
As I find my way
Through the noise
That people make

Past the motion
Commotion
And events…

At the door open
I halt to watch her
Raise the eye
And shoot her query
Expectant, without a word.

Instead, I soar on the scent
Of a surprised rose
And a silence
Lit in warmth.

We speak, but that
Isn’t high with me

Sitting just…
Facing the care
In smiles deep
And deeper still.

I flirt seriously
To its silliness.

Up for bye, the wave lingers…
Through dust and heat I walk into

While I get a hold on me
Resume with skill to raise
My world opaque
Lost on significance.

The game tires… it’s a race
Without real value or grace
So I go back for a moment
To the parting I feel
Lodged perfect
Spreading
Thanks
To all I meet

For, beauty
Is the first virtue
I found in my vitality.

DEATH OF A CROW

Below, on the ground
Under the mango tree

One flailing, turning crow
Looks bewildered
Gasping for breath.

All local crows
Crowd about
Congregate
Circle about
Flurry blind
Witnessing death.

The creature aground
Flips to its back
Wide eyed
And back to its side
As others poke
Bite and strike
For good old response
And goad him
To revive.

But he’s lost, losing sharply
Gaining more
But sheer incapacity
Bewildered, bearing high
The drama last, of life
In anguish and pain
But ‘thout craft
Or cruelty.

Just concerns loud
On flapping wings.

Journal : The Poet … living history

Part – VI  :   Vedanta Desika   [ 1268 – 1369 AD ]

In Islamic Times …   of barbaric bloodshed,

mindless destruction,     forced conversion

and extreme oppression …                through

the reigns of Alauddin Khilji and the Tuglaqs.

Swami Desikan lived for proverbial 100 plus years. He witnessed many historical events and contributed enormously to the sustenance and growth of Sri Ramanuja’s belief system of Vishishta Advaita, which is monism qualified with the conviction that this universe is the body of the Supreme Being.

He was honoured with the title of  “Sarvatantra Swatantrar” by Sri Ranganayaki post Muslim invasion of Srirangam, upon Vedanta Desika’s creation of Abheethi Stavam.

Muslim Invasions  :

The first of the invasions took place in the year 1311, when the Swami was 43 years old. It was headed by Malik Kafur, who was a general in Allaudin Khilji’s court. He was a converted Hindu from Gujarat and had fierce ambitions to please his master. He was feared widely. He hit hard, plundered and went back with his loot. The fear created by him lasted for decades.

The second Muslim invasion was by Ulugh Khan in 1323 AD, when our Acharya was 12 years older. He was by that time one of the most revered Vaishnava Acharyas. He had composed many treatises at the command of Sri Ramanuja, who appeared in his dream. He was deeply absorbed advancing the glorious tenets of Ramanuja when news spread of the marauding army of Ulug Khan, torching his way south towards Srirangam. The residents of Srirangam including Swami Desikan and Sudarsana Bhattar worried about the calamities that could ensue.Sudarsana Bhattar was the author of Srutha Prakasika, the commentary on Sri Bhashyam of Ramanuja. He had two young sons. He was also the chief priest at Srirangam temple. Both the Bhattar and key people involved with the temple wanted to move the Archa Murthys –  worshipped idols –  of Srirangam away and sit out the invasion at a safe distance.

They raised a stone wall to hide the Moolavar and transported Sri Ranganatha and Sri Ranganayaki – the revered idols – in special boxes and left at the middle of night. With difficulty , they travelled to Thirumalai and conducted the daily worship there, without attracting much attention.

Swami Desika joined Sudarsana Bhattar in Thiruppatthi hills. Sudarsana Bhattar pleaded with Swami Desikan to protect Srutha Prakasikai and his two sons and stay somewhere deep beyond reach of the Muslim invaders, who might track down those, who removed Sri Ranganatha from Srirangam.

Out of his great affection for Sri Bhashyam, Swami agreed and left for the peace and quiet of Satyamangalam. He gave pravachanams on Srutha Prakasika raised the two sons of the Bhattar as his own. He left from Satyamangalam for Thirunarayanapuram to offer prayers to Sri Ramanuja and Selva Pillai. There, he composed Yatiraja Sapthathi.

Sufferring of separation from Sri Ranganatha, he composed Abheethi Stavam.

Abheethi Stavam – Prayer For Freedom From Fear

We meditate on the Supreme Effulgence of Sri Ranganatha, in the company of His consort Sri Ranganayaki, with their abode at Srirangam. This Supreme Effulgence raises all in this world, who seek, into freedom from fear. Those beings who cause to or remove fear of the people are servants of the Lord of Srirangam and obey His will. May we meditate on the Lord with glorious fullness along with the Goddess, His consort !

His blessings can be realized through mere meditation on the beauty of His divine body. He will never abandon any who seek His protection even once. This is the prayer of Swamy Desikan from his distant post at Sathyagalam in Karnataka, longing to be in service of Lord Ranganatha and for restoration of the daily worship at Srirangam, and for the quelling of fears of the devotees of Sri RanganAtha brought upon by the ruthless Muslim invaders.

Oh Lord of Thiruvarangam ! I am of limited intellect, lacking discrimination, and nescience clouds my vision and comprehension. Pulled hither and tither by forces in my own nature, I commit undesirable acts and a few that are desirable. One such electable act of mine is in these salutations to you thru this eulogy. Yet I do not commence this prayer to you with any clarity of mind. Still, even with these deficiencies, O Ranga Lord, please direct your natural compassion upon me and kindly accept even this defective offering of mine.

Oh unblemished, taintless Sri Ranganatha ! All beings of this and the other world go about their duties assigned by your command. You grant liberation from all fear to the diligent and devoted.

Oh Lord of Srirangam, the infinitely auspicious ! This universe filled with conscious and inert beings is bound together by your will and follows your commands. Any one who praises your infinite majesty and grace, prostrates before you or meditates on you, chants your thousand names or circumambulates around your temple, or merges himself in one of the auspicious qualities in your nature, is blessed indeed ! For, such a person does not experience fear (bheethi) from anywhere at any time.

O Lord of Srirangam ! You create the last remembrance about yourself in the mind of the person who has attained a glimpse of you in life, when his life is at its end and his mind is like a log or stone, unable to think of you. You, verily, lead this being to your Supreme abode of liberation absolute.

O Lord of Srirangam ! Your abode alone is absolutely free of fear and worthy of refuge. In comparison, even the highest heaven is hell, what to speak of the the loftiest seats of power on earth that are surrounded with fear of all kind.

O Ranganatha ! Buddhists and Charvaaks (materialists) today spread their fault ridden beliefs and are set to destroy your sanatan Vedic way. Muslims and Greeks (Yavanas), who appear like special agents of Kali Pursushan (lord of this sinful age), are causing immense injury to all who follow your supremely electable truths. The land is experiencing colossal fear due to the activities of all these four invasive groups. That fear increases with each passing day. Your five weapons are immensely powerful in destroying the enemies of your devotees. They protect the assembly of men of knowledge and followers of truth. Please use these weapons of yours immediately with maximum force and chase away the fear that is enveloping this land !

O Lord with celebrated lofty nature! The invading army consists of fierce and heartless people, whose cruelty is worse than that of demons. Being primitive marauders, intent only on plundering the riches of your temple, they have no respect for your seat (in Srirangam) worshipped by great sages and kings. We are full of fear about the desecration they would cause to your abode and other parts of your temple. We are distraught. Knowing what we are going through, we are sure that Mahalakshmi (Mother Goddess) and Bhumi Devi (Goddess of Earth) will be appealing to your infinite compassion and for your intervention with your invincible power, to remove our fears and restore our lives back to normalcy, to how it was before.

O Lord! I beseech all the mighty protectors you have appointed to safeguard your abode in Srirangam, so that they are alert in securing the temple and confer auspicious bounty upon the whole world !

O Lord Ranga ! If one misled expresses hate for you and stands before you as your enemy, no one, not all the combined forces in the universe can save him from your wrath. If you decide to protect someone, no harm to that fortunate one can happen from anyone, at any time and place. Such is your Glory ! You must therefore chase away these enemies of ours, who are harming us at Srirangam by interrupting our worship of you.

O Lord of Srirangam! I have spent my youth enjoying the nectarine juice of Sri Bhashyam (Sri Ramanuja’s commentary on Brahma Sutras). Now this sinner has entered old age and my hair has turned gray. Now, I has only one request of you for the rest of my life here. Please bless me to live amidst your devotees at Srirangam or at other divine abode of yours, where there are no enemies, who interfere with this devotee’s enjoyment of your company.

O best among devotees ! I has been blessed with the cool, nectarine glances of my teachers. I am respected in this world because of the kindness of these learned seers. I, with the name of Venkatesan, has composed this Sri Sookthi of Abheethi Sthavam about the Lord of Thiruvarangam. Please recite the prayers of this Sthavam. The Paarayanam of this Sthavam will remove all of your fears.

The most merciful Lord of Srirangam will look at you and bless you with the words that He used, when the gods were afraid about the troubles that the demons were causing them.

Sri RanganAthan will comfort you and say: “Please abandon your fears. May auspiciousness shower on you!”.

This is exactly what He said to the gods in their time of distress; He destroyed their fears and showered them with all auspiciousness.

Lord RanganAthan will protect you in every way out of His compassion and parental love !

*    *    *

The above is a paraphrased and abridged version of Abheet Stavam.

For complete work, visit  http://www.sundarasimham.org/ebooks/Abheetistavam.pdf

*    *    *

This post would not be complete without a reference to Swami Vidyaranya, who was born in the same year as Vedanta Desika, was the disciple of the same Guru, Vidyateertha, the chief of Kanchi Kamkoti Peetha, and had witnessed the same barbarity and destruction by Islamic forces.

Determined to counter the invasive developments inimical to the Vedic way, he underwent a long period of penance and prayer… until the arrival of Harihara and Bukka to his ashrama. He reconverted the brothers into Hindu fold and inspired them to establish the Hindu kingdom of Vijaynagar. He guided three generation of kings of the empire and was their patron saint till the last.

Vidyaranya wrote voluminously and was the chief of the Sringeri Sharada Peetha from 1380 to 1386 AD. Among several treatises he wrote, the more well known are  Sarvadarśanasaṅ̇graha (सर्वदर्शनसङ्रह), a compendium of different philosophical schools of Hindu thought,  and Pañcadaśī, an important text in the Advaita Vedanta tradition.

For more in the fascinating biography, visit   http://www.freeindia.org/biographies/sages/vidyaranya/

*    *    *          *    *    *

MOTHER AND I

MOTHER AND I … … A Tribute

 

 

He, I hear, is terminally ill…

I rush from a city far

To be with the living god

Odor of life churned

In truth and hard earned.

He, indeed, is terminally ill…

I bear his blast of torpid times

Failing body’s morbid mimes

By his bed but I know the best

I’ll be sometime in a future test

 

As he is in my each recall…

Limpid, fearless, standing tall

Loved, friendly, compassionate

Spirit deep, sharp immense.

He now lies terminally ill…

The seer he was is witnessing

In quiet eerie, looks fixed

Through nights stretched

And lost sleep

Resonating of scriptures I read

And It then happened

In quick succession

His withdrawal calm

The last breath

Our wait…

The howling silence

Death…

And cremation.

 

*   *   *

The news drew the shallow heirs

Commiserating, posing, red weird

Stooping low, seeming lower

With eyes stuck on assets meager

Broaching sly their soft claims

Illiberal, covet strange

Set on matters odd

In those hours of pain

 

They trigger brawls

The woman faints of the free-for-all

At the men she’d nurtured

On her love, with care

Were clawing now at her remains

As enemies sworn, pitched against

Heartlessly, in sub human ways.

Their game’s foiled with some wit

Calibrated drama, deliberately knit

It saddened us

Still at the crease

In space secured

Convalesce in peace

Mother and I –  in rally

Devoted, thankful…

Succour each, happily.

 

*   *   *      *   *   *

Meena Kumari – A Soul Worth Knowing Twice

 ( This rendering of Meena Kumari’s poem is a paraphrase, not a literal translation. )

 

 

The moon is solitary, the sky by itself

My heart is lonely in all places I met

Hope is dashed, even the stars have set

Just the reek shimmers… all by itself.

 

Is this we call life ? Being alive all about ?

The body lonely, spirit dumped in itself ?

Even with partners who joined on the way

We walked all alone, each unto oneself.

Beyond these lights… now on and off

The house is alone, shrivelled n forlorn

Looking over the path, at wait for ages

After I depart lonely… all in myself.

 

What will you do, why hear me narrate

My story is bland and the tales joyless.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

These words come from a soul whose life’s story is neither bland nor without joy ! She is Meena Kumari, an actor immortalised in some of the most scintillating performances that ever lit up the screens of Hindi cinema.

The first Filmfare Award for Best Actress was conferred on her, in 1953, for her role in Baiju Bawra.

She received her fourth one for the iconic film Kaajal.

And Pakeezah, which released two months before she passed away, is a stellar all – time classic today.


 

Early Years

 

The words, more revealingly, come from Mahjabeen Bano, youngest of the three daughters of Ali Baksh and Iqbal Begum. The family was poor at the time of her birth on August 1, 1932 but Ali Baksh looked forward to having a son. They could just about manage enough influencial references to gain admittance in Dr Gadre’s clinic, in which Iqbal Begum delivered the baby. An absolutely downcast Ali Baksh took away the newborn and left it in a Muslim orphanage ! Hours later, the despairing but repenting father went back to pick up and brought the baby girl home.

 

Meena’s mother was actually a Hindu girl, Prabhavatidevi Tagore, derived from Hindu – Christian parentage, who converted to Islam after marriage. She then came to be known as Iqbal Begum, with the screen name of Kamini – a dancer, actress and Kathak teacher. 

Ali Baksh was a Shia Muslim Pathan with a large heart. He had been cared for by a Brahmin for 12 years and was an adept Hindu-style astrologer. He had interest and skills in music and poetry. He used to play the harmonium and essay parts in the Parsi theatre. He composed music for peripheral films, which paid some for his efforts but never enough to secure the needs for staying in business. The family lived next to Rooptara studios in Dadar, Bombay, and Ali Baksh was forever hopeful of getting a major break in the film industry. But that never happened…

*    *    *

There is lot more to Meena Kumari’s life, not just as an accomplished actress or as one of the biggest stars of Bombay Cinema in the ‘50s and ’60s, but as the human being she was. She rose from dust to reach the heights and was back to how she began when she breathed her last. It’s a life richer in experience than most of us will ever live through.

 

Premium Releases are not a pageful of matter written over a sitting but are comprehensive treatments running into scores of pages, penned on days spread  over weeks… because the subject deserves that space and attention and the effort is worth the reviewer’s while, as it obtains through the exercise.

Premium Review presentations are inclusive, well researched, and an entire range of aspects are straddled over to sketch out what the work or creation, band or person under review could mean to the discerning audience. 
Premium Reviews etch in the reasons for the reader of the review to visit, watch or read, and know for himself more about the subject reviewed. 


Journal : May 03, 2012 : Guru Teg Bahadur

There is much work in queue to occupy. But the one least happy and most needed is to reach the elusive reader of a work as wayward as Kalinjar Fort. It keeps you stuck to something that’s past. It’s no longer in my heart. But the absorbing human interest story needs to be read, not only for its novelty value or the mystery surrounding it but for the perspective it offers to human nature and its evolution over the long term.

 @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007WYGNNA

A huge and immensely joyous task is to begin on the first installment of Vedanta, the secret knowledge that gives to us the eye for the transcendent, even as it roves over the ephemeral and wrestles with the phenomenal. Without it, no amount of intellectual waxing or rhetorical exhortation is of much avail at effecting the much needed shift in our paradigms. Our fears return, and the primordial one is not even unhinged !

The second matter that I am charged up with is to discover the voices of sensitive minds and rebellious hearts living in barbaric times under the Islamic and Christian occupiers of our land… to hear the “poet” through those oppressive times in the Indian sub-continent in 18th Century and later. I would have the greatest empathy with those tormented souls who would found their lexis and the courage to express them.

*   *   *

GURU TEG BAHADUR

One of the grandest stories ever anywhere, from the annals of Indian history… a real tale of transcendent courage in the cause of universal human values and rights, of unflinching compassion for the oppressed and the downtrodden, and of one man’s infinite commitment to his conviction of truth. My salutations… again and again…

… Guru Teg Bahadur lapsed into deep thought after listening to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, some 500 hundred of whom led by Kripa Ram met the great warrior saint with woes of great suffering at loss of their freedom to keep faith and their religious beliefs. They pleaded for the Guru’s intervention with Emperor Aurangzeb to put a halt to this tyranny. The Guru knew that this was not a problem of Kashmiri pundits alone. Their cries of pain were screams of humanity all over the subcontinent under the hidebound and crude Islamist regime. Nor was it a mere political matter. Their calamitous misfortune was reflective of the senseless adversity which the entire Hindu society was groaning under. Nor was it a case of social repression or economic oppression. It signified a collective indignity that drew the lion in the Sikh Guru to the fore. It was a moment of truth, an issue that concerned the very future of humanity, in the way people of the land would live and believe, look upon themselves and their fellowmen, through centuries to come !

When the Guru emerged from his reverie, his face shone bright as the sun. The call of duty was upon him, and the ringing of truth was clear in his heart. The entire might of the bigoted savagery of the Mughal Emperor had to be opposed, here and now. The Guru’s son, Gobind Rai, barely nine year old, was seated close to him. He asked the Guru about the cause that had sent him into such deep contemplation. The Guru cheerfully told his inquisitive son that there was need of sacrifice from a great man, someone exceptionally holy, for protecting the Hindu society from its misfortune. Gobind Rai, who was brought up in the same spirit of universal love and spiritual regeneration, instantly suggested, “Father, who else is greater than you ?” It sealed the Guru’s steel resolve.

The Background

Guru Teg Bahadur, the son of the sixth Sikh Guru, was anointed the ninth in line in the year 1665 AD. As was the custom since Guru Har Gobind, the Guru kept a splendid lifestyle. He had his royal attire, armed attendants and a seat to suit when holding court. He himself led an austere life and there is no historical mention of any conflict or clash with powers ruling during his lifetime. He travelled a lot to different parts of the country, including Dacca and Assam, to preach the teachings of Guru Nanak and resolve conflicts between neighbouring states when invited. It was during one of these tours, in 1666, that Gobind Rai was born.

These were one of the worst of times in Indian history, when people were driven to the very pits of despair. Four years through his “padshahi”, Guru Teg Bahadur was informed of Emperor Auragzeb’s general decree, authorising and charging every State official of note with the ‘pious’ duty of demolishing all native places of worship and education, converting as many of them into mosques, and prosecuting the persistent non – believers as if they were “persona non grata.” After Aurangzeb’s 1669 order to demolish non-Muslim temples and schools, a Sikh temple at Buriya was converted into a mosque, which the Sikhs then demolished. The Emperor visited Punjab in 1674, and his officials forced many people to convert to Islam. The Guru gave a call to Sikhs everywhere to withstand these persecutions.

Aurangzeb was a terror even to his co-religionists and members of his own family. He had imprisoned his sister and his father, Shah Jahan, and had all his brothers murdered to become an unrivalled authority unto himself. Perhaps to wash his sins in his own eye, he presented himself to the people as being a good Muslim, offering prayers five times a day, leading a simple and frugal life, and defering to the advice and ruling of the Islamic clergy, who thence endeavoured to bestow on him his very elusive ‘peace of mind.’ He sent gifts to rulers of Mecca and Medina in 1659. That year he appointed a muhtasib as a censor to enforce Islamic laws. His main advisors became the chief judge (qazi) and supervisor of ‘pious’ charity. In 1672, he took back all grants that had been given to Hindus. In his zeal to reinforce the ‘pious Muslim’ face in public, he sought to please the fanatic Islamists by converting the native non-believers, especially Hindus, through making their keeping of faith impossible, prohibitive and fatal. His method of measuring the success of his ‘conversion program’ was to weigh the sacred thread worn by Hindus ! A “maund” would imply that about 7000 of them had been either converted or killed

With major centers of learning then, Kashmir was governed by a liberal Subedar, Mir Ahmed Khan, who restricted his administrative machinery to maintaining law and order and implementing the taxation policy of the State. The smooth functioning however was soon disrupted by an overzealous Islamist, Muhata Khan, who was a powerful Islamic scholar of repute. The latter had been sidelined by the coterie whom the brutal Emperor courted, and was hence in dire need of establishing his ‘holier than thou’ upmanship over others in order to tide over his discontentment and regain the Emperor’s favour.

Muhata Khan submitted to the Subedar of Kashmir a list of measures the State must take to penalise, indignify and pauperise the Kashmiri pundits. He was bitterly critical about the liberal policies of Subedar Mir Ahmed Khan and his treatment of the Hindus. He had made it clear that any avenue or opportunity available to the Hindus to advance and progress was intolerable.

Muhata Khan’s charter of demands included the following :

  1. Hindus should not be allowed to ride a horse.
  2. They should not permitted to wear the “jama” (a type of Mughal dress).
  3. They should not keep, carry or handle any kind of weapon.
  4. They should not visit the public gardens.
  5. They should be barred from wearing vermillion (Tilak) on their forehead.
  6. Their wards should not be receive education of any kind.

The Subedar Mir Ahmed Khan refused to entertain any of the proposals submitted by Muhata Khan. He instructed Muhata Khan to keep his distance from affairs of the State in Kashmir.

Attack on Hindu function

But Muhata Khan decided to have his way, by taking the law in his own hands. He set up a centre in a mosque for carrying out his plan. He incited people, who used to come for Namaz, and exhorted them to remain steadfast on tenets and proclamations of Islam, and to bring the Hindu idol worshippers within the ambit of declared Islamic policies of the Emperor. He roused a following of Muslim youth with his discourses,  and raised a group of young men who were ready to to do his bidding. Muhata Khan issued instructions for implementing the resolutions he had submitted to the Subedar. As a result, any Hindu found with Tilak on his forehead was mauled badly, even killed, his home vandalised and women folk abducted, molested and raped. The Hindu could no longer ride horses, a speedy means of transport in those days. And he could hardly carry on with his trade or profession, or official duties of the State, without being presentable enough in a decent dress !

An attack on a well-known trader, Majlis Rai Chopra, took a historical turn. Majlis Rai had arranged for community luncheon in connection with a religious function, to which thousands came. While they were having their lunch in a garden, Muhata Khan, with a band of bigots, attacked them with weapons. Majlis Rai managed to escape and took shelter in the house of Mir Ahmed Shah. But that house too was srounded and picketed by the blood-thirsty rowdies. Mir Ahmed Khan made good his escape by a secret door and took refuge in the nearby cantonment. He waged a battle against Muhata Khan with the help of a company of troops, but was defeated. Muhata Khan arrested and jailed the Subedar, denouncing him as a Hindu supporter, and took over the powers of the State.

Majlis Rai was mercilessly killed and all his property was confiscated. It was followed by many more instances of shameless atrocities on the Hindu community in Kashmir. The new Subedar of Kashmir, Iftikhar Khan, took to the task of forcibly converting the Hindu population to Islam by the sword. The Hindu Brahmin Pandits of Kashmir were among the most learned and orthodox of Hindus and Aurangzeb felt that if they could be brought to accept Islam the rest of the country would easily follow. He decided to strike at their exalted identity by barring the practice of wearing tilak (holy mark on the forehead) or janaeu (sacred thread). There was turmoil among Kashmiri pundits and their families lived in fear of their lives. They bore an ultimatum upon their head : convert or die.

In that conspired atmosphere of terror, many Hindus gave in and were converted to Islam. Among the rest was Pundit Kripa Ram, who had met the Guru several times. He led the pundits to the assuring sanctuary of the Sikh Guru, Teg Bahadur, whose very name meant, “Brave of the Sword.”  Pandit Kirpa Ram Datt would later become the Sanskrit teacher of Guru Gobind Singh and eventually a Khalsa, and would die fighting in the battle of Chamkaur against Mughal forces led by Wazir Khan.

 

The Guru Stands Tall

And Proves To Be Heavier Than A Mountain…

The Guru soon appointed his son, Gobind Rai, as the tenth Guru of Sikhs and thus addressed the Pandits, “Go, my esteemed friends, and tell the Emperor that if he can cause Guru Tegh Bahadar to change his faith and accept Islam, you will all follow suit in his footsteps. If not, he should leave you alone.”

The Pandits rejoiced at the resolution and duly informed Emperor Aurangzeb of the decision. Aurangzeb was delighted with the reduced task of having to convert just one person in order to obtain the cooperation of thousands of Hindus and Sikhs, and the way to bring millions of willing infidels into the folds of Islam. He summoned his officers to arrest Guru Tegh Bahadar and present him in the royal court.

Meanwhile, the Guru left Anandpur Sahib with Bhai Mati Das, Bhai Dyala and Bhai Sati Das, to seek an audience in Mughal court. He was arrested soon after on the way and brought to Delhi in chains. In the royal court, reminiscent of Jesus’ interrogation by the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate, Aurangzeb asked him why he was hailed as the Guru or the Prophet, addressed as the ‘Saccha Padshah’ or the True King. The argument between Guru Teg Bahadur and the Emperor went on for days. Finally, the Emperor posed to the Guru the plain course, and his Islamist sycophants echoed in unison : “ If you really are the One, as addressed, perform a miracle for us to believe the truth.”

Guru Tegh Bahadur was unmoved and in fact reprimanded the Emperor for his blind orthodoxy and his persecution of people of other faiths. He said, “Hinduism may not be my faith, and I may not believe in the supremacy of Vedas or the Brahmins, nor in idol worship or caste, in pilgrimage or other rituals, but I would stand for the right of all Hindus to live with honour and dignity, and freedom to practice their faith according to their own beliefs.” The Guru further suggested : ” Every ruler of the world must pass away, but not the Word of God will not, nor would the Saint who holds it in heart. This is how people call me a “ True King “ and that is why they have done so through two preceding centuries, in respect of my “ House “ and also in respect of all those others who came before and identified themselves not with the temporal and the contingent, but with the eternal and the immortal.”

The Guru refused to perform any miracle, saying, “this is the work of charlatans and mountebanks to hoodwink the people. Men of God submit ever to the Will of God.” Guru Tegh Bahadur refused to embrace Islam, saying “For me, there is only one religion – of God – and whosoever belongs to it, be he a Hindu or a Muslim, him I own and he owns me. I neither convert others by force, nor submit to force. I will not change my faith.”

Aurangzeb was enraged and ordered Guru Tegh Bahadur to be forced to accept Islam as his faith through torture, or be killed. It led to a period of great cruelty on Guru Teg Bahadur’s body, and of his colleagues. The Guru and his companions were tied to hot pillars and heated sand was poured over their bodies, which were scalded and covered with wounds. The torment, in some form or other, became a routine. Guru Tegh Bahadur was kept in an iron cage and starved for many days. When even the intolerable pain and physical afflictions heaped on them proved ineffective, orders were issued to kill each, one after the other for appropriate effect.

The Fatwa or decree of the Royal Qazi specified the precise manner in which the life of each one was to be taken, with maximum brutality : Bhai Dayal was to be thrown in a boiling pot; Bhai Sati Das, to be packed in a bale of cotton and set ablaze; and, Bhai Mati Das to be sawed into two. The Guru was made to watch as Bhai Mati Das, the devoted Sikh, was tied between two pillars and his body sawed into two, as Bhai Dayal was boiled alive in a cauldron of heated water until he died, and, as Bhai Sati Das was wrapped in cotton wool and set on fire.

The Guru bore these cruelties without flinching or showing any anger or distress. Finally, having put these orders into effect, Guru Teg Bahadur was publicly beheaded on November 11, 1675. Before his head was severed from the body, the Guru had enough to recite the first five lines of the sacred book, Japuji.

The Gurus body was left to lie in dust, in Chandni Chowk, the area right in front of the Red Fort, where no one dared to approach for fear of the Emperor’s reprisal. But a severe storm swept through the city and, while it raged, a Sikh named Bhai Jaita managed to collect the Guru’s sacred head under the cover of darkness. He brought the Guru’s precious remain to Anandpur Sahib, where Guru Gobind waited for the latest to happen. Another Sikh, Bhai Lakhi Shah, smuggled the Guru’s headless body in a cart and brought it to his house nearby, where the Gurudwara Rakabganj today stands. Since a public funeral would have been impossible, Bhai Lakhi Shah cremated the body by setting the entire house on fire !

At Anandpur Sahib, on November 16, 1675, the young Guru Gobind Singh and the grief stricken widow, Mata Gujari, placed the late Guru’s “head” on a pyre of sandalwood, covered it with roses.  Guru Gobind lit the pyre to complete the cremation rites of the departed saint

Never before in the annals of history, or after, has a religious head of one faith stood so tall and heavily steadfast, as to sacrificed his own life, for the sake of another religion, for their rights and freedoms.

Thus ended the mortal saga of the ninth Nanak, Guru Tegh Bahadur.

What Happened After …

The Guru’s sacrifice had symbolically but completely smashed the arrogance of the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb. It proved to be a great event that galvanized the nationalist forces politically. It led to a surge of pride and self-belief that swept over the entire length and breadth of India. Apart from firming directions for Guru Gobind Singh’s opposition in Punjab, it engendered the rise of several formidable forces against the Mughals, under whose patronage the native people suffered religious oppression and administrative tyranny : Rana Raj Singh in Rajasthan, Shivaji in Deccan, and Chhatrasal in central India.

In sum, inspired insurrections and collected mobilisations broke the back of Mughal forces in the subcontinent and finally, barely five decades after Guru Teg Bahadur’s martyrdom, drove the myth of Muslim supremacy and Islamic grandeur into the ground.

The Emperor’s Lament … in last hours

During his last days Aurangzeb came to realize that the days of the Mughal dynasty were numbered and that he himself was largely responsible for sowing the seeds of destruction.

Azma fasad baq !” were his words, which means, “After me, the chaos !”

The last words of Aurangzeb, addressed to his sons from death-bed, echo mournfully :

“I came a stranger to this world and a stranger I depart.

 I know nothing of myself – what I am and what I was destined for.

 

“My back is bent with weakness and my feet have lost the power of motion.

 The breath which rose is gone and has not left behind even a ray of hope.

 

“The agonies of death come upon me fast.

 My vessel is launched upon the waves !

 

“Farewell, Farewell !”

Guru Gobind Singh’s Letters To The Emperor …

The contents of this letter, written in 1704 in Persian, reads as follows :

NAMEH GURU GOBIND SINGH BA AURANGZEB

(Letter from Guru Gobind Singh to Aurangzeb)

This letter clearly shows that it was written from Machhiwara, after the battle of Chamkaur, after the Guru had seen the brave sacrifice of his two elder sons in the battle field. It also reveals that though Guru Gobind had suffered heavy losses in men and material, he was in no way overcome or feeling vanquished but, instead, was full of confidence, faith and courage.

Observe how the Guru chastises, shames and reprimands the Emperor for is deceit and unbecoming conduct…

1          In the name of the Lord of Sword and Axe.
In the name of the Lord of Arrow and Shield.

2          In the name of the Lord of Men of Heroic Deeds.
In the name of the Lord of Speeding Steeds.

3          He, who has given you kingship, has entrusted to me

the task of defending Dharam and Righteousness.

4          Your frantic activities are confined to deceit and diplomacy,

whereas my efforts are based on faith and truth.

5          The name of Aurangzeb hardly behoves you,

for kings should not indulge in deceiving others.

6          Your rosary is nothing more then a collection of beads and thread…
the beads to ensnare and the thread as a net to enslave others.

7          You kneaded the earthly remains of your father with evil deeds

and with the blood of your brothers.

8          And with that mud you built your house to live in.

9          I will now storm you like rain water

and deal with you with the sharp edges of my steel arms.

10        You have met with failure in the Deccan

and are coming back thirsty from Mewar.

11        If you now turn you eyes to the north

then you will find your thirst quenched and parched throat set right.

12        I will place fire under your feet

and will not allow you to drink water of the Punjab.

13        What if the sly fox has killed the two cubs of a lion with deception.

14        The lion itself is alive and will wreak vengeance.

15        I do not now ask you for anything

in the name of your Allah and your scripture.

16        I have no faith in your word.

Only the sword will now serve its purpose.

17        Even if you claim to be a clever leopard,

I will ensure the lion remains outside your net.

18        Even when you talk to me, if you will,

I will always speak of the path which is pious and straight.

19        Let the armies on both sides draw up opposite to each other.

20        And let there be a distance of three miles between them.

21        There, then, I will come alone

and you may come along with your horsemen.

22        You have had easy fruits and enjoyed the unusual gifts

but have never met the warriors, in person.

23        Come forward yourself, armed with a sword and axe, for a duel

and kill no more the innocent people in God’s creation.

Bhai Dhaya Singh had taken this letter to Aurangzeb on December 26, 1704. By the time he arrived Aurangzeb and been briefed about the Guru having suffered being uprooted from Anandpur Sahib. He felt the injustice done on his part, especially since he had been promised on solemn oath to Quran a safe passage to the Guru from Anandpur.

The Emperor assured Bhai Dhaya Singh that he would make ample amends and extended an invitation to the Guru to meet him in the Deccan. Bhai Dhaya Singh shrewdly suggested that a written letter would be more appropriate. The Emperor agreed and sent two messengers with Bhai Dhaya with his letter to the Guru. The return journey of 900 miles lasted three months.

The Guru heard Bhai Dhaya Singh’s report, of how sympathetic and remorseful the Emperor was while penning the reply. There was a mixed light of magnanimity and sombreness on the Guru’s. He decided to send another, even more detailed, letter to the Emperor, in which he neither accepted nor refused the invitation.

The ‘Zafarnama’ by Guru Gobind Singh :

Salutations to God…

O Master of miracles, O Eternal and Beneficent One,
O Provider of sustenance, O Deliverer, Bestower of Grace and Mercy ! (1)

O Giver of Bliss, O Great Pardoner, Who holds me by the hand,
O Remitter of sins, O Bestower of daily bread, O Charmer of our hearts ! (2)

O King of kings, O Giver of Good, O Guide of the Way.
O One without colour, without form, without equal ! (3)

He who has no material possessions, no army, no ground to stand upon,
Him too, Thou blessest with Heavenly Bliss. (4)

Separate from the world yet most powerful, Thou O Presence,

Who givest Thy gifts as if Thou wert here before us. (5)

O Thou Pure One, our Cherisher, our only Giver.
O Thou Merciful One, who givest to every land ! (6)

O Greatest of the great, Thou art the God of every land :
Of Perfect Beauty, Merciful and Giver of sustenance ! (7)

O Master of intellect, O Embellisher of the meek,
O Refuge of the poor, O Destroyer of the tyrant ! (8)

O Protector of the faith, Fountain of eloquence,
O Knower of the Real, O Author of revelation ! (9)

O Master of intelligence, O Appreciator of Wisdom,
O Diviner of secrets, O Omnipresent God ! (10)

Thou knowest all that happens in the world,
And Thou resolvest all its problems and doubts. (11)

O Thou all-knowing God, O Great One,
Thou alone art the organiser of our lives. (12)

The Guru’s Memorandum to Aurangzeb :

I have no faith in thy oaths,
Even if thou bringest in God as thy witness. (13)

I haven’t even an iota of trust in thee,
For all thy ministers and thy courtiers are liars. (14)

He who puts faith in thy oath on Quran,
He comes to ruin in the end. (15)

But beware; the insolent crow can lay not its hands

Upon one whom Huma, the Bird of Heaven, protects. (16)

He who seeks the refuge of the tiger
Can he be harmed by a goat, a deer or a buffalo ? (17)

Had I vowed on the book of my faith, even in secret,
I would have withdrawn the infantry and cavalry from the field. (18)

And, what could my forty men do (at Chamkaur),
When a hundred thousand men, unawares, pounced upon them ? (19)

The oath breakers attacked them,

Of a sudden, with swords, arrows and guns. (20)

I had perforce to join battle with thy hosts,
And fought with muskets and arrows as best as I could. (21)

When an affair is past every other remedy,
It is righteous, indeed, to unsheathe the sword. (22)

Hadn’t I taken thee to thy word upon the Quran,
I wouldn’t have chosen the path I did. (23)

I knew not that thy men were crafty and deceitful, like a fox.
Else I wouldn’t have driven myself to this state. (24)

He who swears to me on the Quran
Ought not to have killed or imprisoned my men. (25)

Thy army dressed like blue bottles,
Charged us, of a sudden, with a loud bang. (26)

But they who aggressed not against us
Were left unhurt, unmolested by us. (28)

But, he who advanced from thy ranks beyond his defenses,
Was hit with such deadly aim of my single arrow that he was deluged in blood. (27)

When I witnessed thy general, Nahar Khan, advancing to war,
I gave him the taste of a single deadly arrow. (29)

And many of his men who boasted of their valour,
Fled the battlefield, in utter shame. (30)

Then advanced another one of Afghan blood,
Rushing forth like flood, like a gun-ball, or a deadly arrow. (31)

He made many assaults with great courage,
Some time with conscious skill, and at others like a mad man. (32)

The more he attacked, the more he was mauled,
And then while killing two of my ranks,
He, too, fell dead in the cold dust. (33)

But the cowardly and contemptible Khwaja came forth not like a man,
And hid himself behind a wall. (34)

Had I but seen his face,
I could have helped him too with an arrow of mine. (35)

At last, many on their side fell on the ground
Hit by arrows and our death dealing bullets. (36)

There was, indeed, an overpowering rain of these,
And the earth turned red like the lalla flower. (37)

Torn heads and legs lay in heaps,
As if the earth was covered with balls and sticks. (38)

The arrows whizzed, the bows twanged,
And it brought forth from earth only cries and yells. (39)

There were other dreadful, vengeful noises too, of weapons and men,
When men, the bravest of brave, battled like mad. (40)

But, what kind of chivalry is this in war,
That countless hosts should pounce upon a mere forty of us ? (41)

When the lamp of the world veiled itself,
And the queen of night came forth with all her splendour.(42)

He who trusts, however, in an oath on God,
His Protection too is on Him; in need, He shows the Path. (43)

So, not even a hair of mine was touched, nor my body suffered,
For God, the Destroyer of my enemies, Himself pulled me out to safety. (44)

I knew not that you, o man, was a perjurer,
A worshipper of self and a breaker of faith. (45)

Nay, you keep no faith, nor mind religion,
Nor know God, nor believe in Mohammed. (46)

He who observes the tenet’s of his faith,
He never to breaks a promise, after he makes one. (47)

You have no idea of what an oath on the Quran is :
Nay, you have no faith in the one God. (48)

Now, even if you were to swear a hundred times on the Quran,
I’d regard not thy word, not an iota of it. (49)

Had you ever a mind to keep thy faith,
You would have taken courage and come to me. (50)

From when you gave your word, swearing in the name of God’s Word,

It was incumbent on you to keep your faith. (51)

If your majesty were to be present here before me,
I would have with all my heart posted you with your treachery. (52)

Do now what is enjoined upon you,
And stick to your written and plighted word. (53)

Both the written word and the verbal promise of your envoy,
Should have been fulfilled by you. (54)

He alone is a man who keeps his word :
Not have one thing in heart and another on his tongue. (55)

Your promise was to honour the Qazi’s word,
If that be true, then come thou to me. (56)

If you want to seal thy promise on the Quran,
I would for sure send the document to thee. (57)

If only you were gracious enough to come to the village of Kangar,
We could see each other face to face. (58)

On the way, there will be no danger to your life,
For, the whole tribe of Brars accepts my command. (59)

Come to me that we may converse with each other,
And I may utter some kind words to thee. (60)

I’d send thee a horseman like one in a thousand,
Who will conduct thee safe to my home. (61)

I’m a slave of the King of kings,
And ready to obey His Call with all my heart. (62)

If He were to order me thus,
I’d with utmost pleasure present myself to thee. (63)

And if you are a believer in one God,
Tarry not in what I ask you to do. (64)

It is incumbent upon you to recognise the God,
For He told you not to create strife in the world. (65)

You occupy the throne in the name of God, the one Sovereign of all creation,
But strange is thy justice, stranger thy attributes ! (66)

What sense of discrimination is this? What regard for religion?
O fie on such a sovereignty ! Fie, a hundred times !! (67)

Stranger than strange are thy decrees, o king,
But beware : broken pledges boomerang on those who make them. (68)

Shed not recklessly the blood of another with thy sword,
Lest the Sword on High falls upon thy neck. (69)

O man, beware, and fear thy God,
For, with flattery or cajolery He can be deceived not. (70)

He, the King of kings, fears no one,
And is the True Sovereign of heaven and earth. (71)

God is the Master of earth and the sky :
He is the Creator of all men and all places. (72)

He it is who creates all – from the feeble ant to the powerful elephant,
And is the Embellisher of the meek and Destroyer of the reckless. (73)

His name is : “Protector of the meek.”
And He is dependent upon no one’s support or obligation. (74)

He has no twist in Him, nor doubt.
And, He shows man the Way to Redemption and Release. (75)

You are indeed bound by your word on the Quran,
Let, therefore, the matter come to a good end, as is your promise. (76)

It is but in abiding that you act wisely,
And be discreet in all that you do. (77)

What, if you have killed my four tender sons,
When I remain, like a snake coiled. (78)

It is not brave to put out a few sparks,
And stir up a fire to rage all the more ! (79)

What a beautiful thought has Firdausi, the sweet-tongued poet, expressed :
“He who acts in haste, plays the devil.” (80)

When both you and I will repair to the Court of God,
You will bear witness to what you did unto me. (81)

But, if you forget even this,
The God on High will also cast you off from His Mind. (82)

God will reward you amply for your misdeed,
Which you launched with all your recklessness ! (83)

This is the keeping of faith, the act of goodness :
To put God above love of one’s life. (84)

I believe not that you know God,
Since, from you, have come only acts of tyranny. (85)

The Beneficent God also will know thee not,
And will welcome not thee with all thy riches. (86)

If now you swear a hundred times on the Quran,
I will not trust you, even for a moment. (87)

I will enter not your presence, nor travel on the same road,
Even if you so ordain, I would oblige you not. (88)

O Aurangzeb, king of kings, fortunate are you,
An expert swordsman and a horseman too : (89)

Handsome is your person and your intellect high,
Master of lands, the ruler and the emperor. (90)

A skilled wielder of the sword and clever in administration,
A master-warrior and a man of charitable disposition. (91)

You grant riches and lands in charity,
O one of handsome body and brilliant mind. (92)

Great is your munificence, in war you are like a mountain,
Of angelic disposition, your splendour is like that of Pleiades. (93)

You are the king of kings, ornament of the throne of the world:
Master of the world, but far from religion ! (94)

I warred with the idol-worshipping hill chiefs,
For, I am the breaker of idols and they their worshippers. (95)

Beware, the world keeps not faith with any:
He who rises also falls and comes to grief. (96)

And look also at the miracle that is God,
That He may destroy a whole host through a single man ! (97)

What can an enemy do to him whose has God as friend ?
For the function of the Great Bestower is : To Bestow. (98)

He grants Deliverance and shows too the Way.
And He teaches the tongue to utter His praise, in love. (99)

In times of need, He blinds the enemy,
And protects the helpless from injury and harm. (100)

And he who acts in good faith,
On him, the Merciful One, rains His Mercy. (101)

He who serves Him with all his heart,
God blesses him with the Peace of Soul. (102)

What harm can an enemy do to him,
With whom God, our Supreme Guide, is pleased. (103)

The Creator-Lord is ever his refuge,
Even if tens of thousands of hosts were to proceed against him. (104)

If you have the pride of your army and riches,
I bank upon Praise of God, the Almighty. (105)

You are proud of your empire and material possessions,
While I am proud of the Refuge of God, the Immortal. (106)

Be not heedless : for the world lasts but a few days,
And man will depart, one knows not when. (107)

Look at the ever changing faithless world :
And see what happens to every house, every denizen. (108)

If you are strong, torture not the weak,
And thus lay not the axe to thy empire. (109)

If the one God is one’s Friend, what harm can the enemy do,
Even if he multiplies himself a hundred times ? (110)

A thousand times let an enemy assault him,
And yet touch he would not even a hair of his head. (111)

This letter is called “Zafarnama” –  the  Epistle of Victory.

Written in Persian verse it was sent from Dina in 1705 through two Sikhs, Bhai Dhaya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh. It was not entrusted to the Emperor’s messengers because of the nature of its content and because the Guru wanted to know from his Sikhs the instant reactions of the Emperor upon reading it.

Although Bhai Dhaya Singh and Bhai Dharam Singh travelled with great speed they could not get an early audience with the emperor. They stayed at the house of Bhai Jetha. It was some months before the Sikhs met the Emperor. The Guru had instructed Bhai Dhaya Singh to speak boldly and fearlessly to Aurangzeb when handing over the Guru’s letter.

The Emperor read the letter and felt that the Guru was highly intelligent, truthful, and a fearless warrior. He was nearly 91 years of age and his body started to tremble from feelings of remorse and regret of what he had done in his life time. Again, he put pen to paper and wrote a letter to the Guru, stating his inability to come to the north and requesting the Guru to meet him in Ahmadnagar at his earliest convenience. The letter was sent through royal messengers.

The Emperor’s peace of mind was lost. He wrote another letter to his sons in which he states : ” I do not know who I am, where i am, where i am to go and what will happen to a sinful person like me. Many like me have passed away, wasting their lives. Allah was in my heart but my blind eyes failed to see him. I do not know how I will be received in Allah’s court. I do not have any hope for my future : I have committed many sins and do not know what punishments will be awarded to me in return.”

The Zafarnama had a demoralising effect on Emperor Aurangzeb, who saw his end looming over the horizon. The future seemed so very bleak. He saw Guru Gobind Singh as his only hope… the only one who could show him the right path in truth, as was hinted by the Guru in his epistle. Although he had greatly wronged the Guru, he now knew the latter to be a man of God and wanted to meet the Guru in person, to seek his own redemption. He issued instructions to his Governors to withdraw all orders against the Guru. He instructed his minister, Munim Khan, to make arrangements for the safe passage of the Guru when he came to meet.

The Guru was not willing to go to Delhi yet and, instead, stopped outside the town of Sabo Ki Talwandi. According to Sikh chronologists, it was at Sabo Ki Talwandi that Guru Gobind Singh untied his waist band after a period of nearly eighteen months, and breathed a sigh of relief. This is why Sabo Ki Talwandi is known as Damdama Sahib (place of rest). It was at Damdama Sahib that Mata Sundri, the Guru’s mother, learned of the fate of four Sahibzaday – sons of the Guru and Mata Gujri. And, it was here that Guru Gobind Singh re-wrote the Adi Guru Granth Sahib from memory and added the Gurbani of his father, the martyred Guru Teg Bahadur.

Upon receiving the Emperor’s letter, Guru Gobind let th matter rest for a period before deciding to meet the Emperor in Deccan. He felt that Aurangzeb’s invitation was extended with due humility and concluded the time was right to accept it in view of the Emperor’s old age, without compromising on his oath to mete out justice to anyone who resorted to acts of barbarity.

Unfortunately, by the time the Guru entered Rajasthan, news came of the Emperor’s death at Aurangabad. Historical records, kept by Bhai Santokh Singh, show that the Emperor had lost all appetite, capacity to digest, and could not expel waste. Whatever he consumed acted as poison in his body. He remained in great pain and torment for several days, terrified, as it were, by ‘angels of death.’

Born in 1616, Aurangzeb had lived for about 91 years, his last Will (appended below) confirms the degenerate state of his physical and mental health.

What The Emperor’s Last Will Reveals …

The Emperor’s last will was recorded by Maulvi Hamid-ud Din in chapter 8 of his hand-written Persian book on the life of Aurangzeb.

1       There is no doubt that I have been the emperor of India and I have ruled over this country. But I am sorry to say that I have not been able to do a good deed in my lifetime. My inner soul is cursing me as a sinner. But I know it is of no avail. It is my wish that my last rites be performed by my dear son Azam. No one else should touch my body.

2       My servant, Aya Beg, has my purse in which I have carefully kept my earnings of Rupees 4 and 2 Annas. In my spare time, I have been writing the Quran and stitching caps. It was by selling the caps that I made an honest earning. My coffin should be purchased with this amount. No other money should be spent for covering the body of a sinner. This is my dying wish.
By selling the copies of Quran I collected Rupees 305, which is also with Aya Beg. It is my will that poor Mohammedans should be fed with sweet rice procured with this money.

3       All my articles – clothes, ink stand, pens and books should be given to my son Azam. The labour charges for digging my grave will be paid by Prince Azam.

4       My grave should be dug in a dense forest. When I am buried, my face should remain uncovered. Do not bury my face in the earth. I want to present myself to Allah with a naked face. I am told, whoever goes to the supreme court on high with a naked face will have his sins forgiven.

5       My coffin should be made of thick Khaddar. Do not place a costly shawl on the corpse. The route of my funeral should not be showered with flowers. No one should be permitted to place any flowers on my body. No music should be played or sung, I hate music.

6       No tomb should be built for me. Only a chabootra or a platform may be erected.

7       I have not been able to pay the salaries of my soldiers and my personal servants for several months. I bequeath that after my death at least my personal servants be paid in full, even as the treasury is empty. Niamat Ali has served me very faithfully : he has cleaned my body and has never let my bed remain dirty.

8       No mausoleum should be raised in my memory. No stone with my name should be placed at my grave. There should be no trees planted near the grave. A sinner like me does not deserve the protection of a shady tree !

9       My son, Azam, has the authority to rule from the throne of Delhi. Kam Baksh should be entrusted with governance of Bijapur and Golconda states.

10     Allah should not make anyone an emperor. The most unfortunate person is he who becomes one. My sins should not be mentioned in any social gathering. The story of my life should not be told to anyone.

Translated from a history article published by Sh Ajmer Singh, MA,

in the Fateh weekly Nov. 7th, 1976.

(According to wishes of the emperor, his grave made of ‘kuccha’ bricks can still be seen in Aurangabad).

And thus ended Emperor’s Aurangzeb’s reign of fifty years.

He was over 90 when he died.

His death marked the beginning of the decline and fall of the Mughal dynasty.

Journal : Apr 07, 2012 : A Happy Death

 ‘In a minute, in a second,’ he thought.

The ascent stopped.  And stone among the stones,

he returned to the joy of his heart,

to the truth of the motionless worlds.

It’s seems impossible to broach the topic of Death without causing an avalanche of reactions springing from distaste for the subject, especially if it is one’s own and, naturally, shared with people who are close to us. The horror or sense of loss is palpable in the way we go somber, discourage with disinterest or wish to shut the matter there and then.

But matters of death, and life, do not disappear by wishing away. They are there, as sure and stark as the afternoon sun blasting its heat through gaps in the drapes over our window. And, while I look on the creamy glow with the cheer it raises in my heart, I find myself contemplating

*   *   *

On closer look, I can understand why Camus decided to withhold the publication of “Happy Death” and, finally, to never publish the work.

To speak of happiness, a space-time-event phenomenon of quite, quite another kind than the one we have —  pegged  to time and space that are anchored in money, material environment, physiology and psychology —   would immediately seem unsatisfactory compared to the experience we have in our intent, of happiness as it was.

Later, talking of his subscription to the “Absurd” nature of life and the world we live in, Camus clearly indicates that he has “moved on.”

The personal disclosures of mature Camus give ample clues to realisations of a wholeness  from where the ephemeral is better, if intuitively, illuminated.

Camus said, “I don’t know whether this world has a meaning that transcends it. But I know that I do not know that meaning and that it is impossible for me to know.”

The spiritual wealth he found in the waves breaking in the distance and the star-strewn sky sweeping over his head is transcendent to a time scale rooted to mere money or space dotted with qualities derived of wealth. Since the experience of happiness is direct and could not be disputed, the transcendence implies the disconnect it has with events in ephemeral space and time.

Hence would the work “Happy Death” prove inadequate to the theme of happiness in general, especially to the man who could conceive of being “absolutely free” so that one’s very existence is an “act of rebellion.” That is how I understand and appreciate Camus’ decision not to publish his first novel.

More particularly, death as a first-person theme can flow only of something in our imagination. We have never experienced it and, however close we may have come, it ever means nothing to us, without a reference to personal experience, except as a romanticised sense of ceasing to be, of the yet unknown reality of rupture of life chord that takes our being away from ourself.

In all the works that followed, Camus grapples with the task of expressing the “mystery” but strictly through material events in world and life, and always with a reference to personal experience. “There is beauty; and there are the humiliated.” He wishes to be faithful to both. This compassion for ugliness that the sight of human indignity and humiliation evokes in us is not commonplace. It is the mark of a very evolved person, having access to consciousness that is relatively liberated to a high degree.

*    *    *

If I would have my way, my death should not call for elaborate medical attention to postpone it, least of all in the environs of a medical institution. It should leave me free of all concerns, care or thought, for matters of this world and beings in this life.

 

It would be presumptuous on my part to predict or specify what or how my close ones should deal with my demise, with the body as it lies without life. Yet, if I had my way, it should be disposed off without any ado, ritual, and social flurry.

Least expense would be possibly a very good measure of how I would like it to be.

*   *   *
I quote herebelow an NDE description that Anita Moorjani submitted to The Near Death Research Foundation in August 2006. It is something that I find plausible and very likely in truth. And I have no cause whatsoever to doubt the veracity of the direct experience merely because it is “personal.”

Anita had end stage cancer (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma), and was being cared for at home. On this morning of  2nd February 2006, she did not wake up. She fell into a coma and was rushed to hospital. The senior oncologist declared it was the end, and that her organs were now shutting down.  It would be over within the next 36 hours.  They started her on a cocktail of medication on a drip and poked her with tubes and pipes for nourishment, drugs and oxygen.

She thought that she was drifting in and out of consciousness during this time, because she was aware of everything that was going on around her…

” I thought that I was drifting in and out of consciousness during this time, because I was aware of everything that was going on around me. But it was confirmed to me later by my family and the doctors that I was in a coma the whole time. I saw and heard the conversations between my husband and the doctors taking place outside my room, about 40 feet away down a hallway. I was later able to verify this conversation to my shocked husband.

” Then I actually “crossed over” to another dimension, where I was engulfed in a total feeling of love.  I also experienced extreme clarity of why I had the cancer, why I had come into this life in the first place, what role everyone in my family played in my life in the grand scheme of things, and generally how life works.

” The clarity and understanding I obtained in this state is almost indescribable.  Words seem to limit the experience – I was at a place where I understood how much more there is than what we are able to conceive in our 3 – dimensional world.

” The amount of love I felt was overwhelming… I then started to understand how illnesses start on an energetic level before they become physical…”

http://anitamoorjani.com/?page_id=159

*   *   *

Vedanta Brief :

Look at the pic… lovers alive. Actually, exquisite carving from solid rock.

Is it the rock ? Well… it is, was and will be… nothing apart from it. Isn’t it ?

Is it a man and woman ? A couple ? It sure appears, as forms with names we have for them.

The rock is the lasting truth… the Truth that would outlast the form, even after time and weather has eroded their being.

The form, and the forms it includes, are true… truths as of now, untill time negates them in a century or a few millenia.

So… what is for you ? Rock or forms ? Brahman or Maya ? If it is the rock, there is no form. It is rock. If it is the form, where is the rock ?

In the compromised world of words, we’d say it is both. Or, that they are the same.

But the puritan would insist… it’s got to be one.

And the pagan would see it everywhere, in every bit of the form in his sight !

*   *   *      *   *   *