MATTER TO CONSCIOUSNESS

Adapted from 

Sarva Darshana Sangraha

by Madhava Vidyaranya,

Chief Of Sringeri Math and Author Of Panchadasi

14th Century AD.

 

A compendium of all thought and belief – systems that men have lived with over extended period,

that they chose over others for obtaining a life and values perspective to guide themselves through …

Image 

 Chapter I : The Charvaka School

Historically, the Charvaka or Lokayata belief system is of a later age than the Vedic period, which coincided with the Sindhu – Sarasvati civilisation. Their earliest references are contemporaneous with the great Buddha, who the Puranas place about 18th Century BC. It was a time of great chaos and uprootedness, just after the River Sarasvati had dried up and life was displaced from its settled origins in the River valley in present day Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana. People moved North into Punjab and towards East along the the course of rivers Ganga and Jamuna. 

These eastern regions in Kosala and Magadha were already populated and the massive migrations from the West led to much social conflict and churn through survival pressures, power quests and aspirations to affluence. It was a melting pot of gigantic proportions, which threw up several alternate life-views while people picked up their lives with severe ethical and moral questions on the social and personal perspectives they all had largely subscribed to before, through the millennium after the Kurukshetra War that had laid to waste millions of lives and ushered in a new world order. The drying up of the River Sarasvati was no less catastrophic, concomitant as it was with a number of frequent famine cycles. 

In those interesting times, the Buddha’s way was a great call for moderation. It was universally heard, appreciated and adopted. But life could be trusted to throw up the extreme alternates as well. Charvaka’s was one among them. 

In introducing the Charvaka way, the venerable author points to his own salutations to Gods for grant of supreme felicity, and wonders : “ … but how can we attribute to the Divine Being the giving of supreme felicity, when such a notion has been utterly abolished by Charvaka, the crest-gem of the atheist school, the follower of the doctrine of Brihaspati ?” 

Indeed, the life-view of Charvaka school was hard to ignore, for the majority have actually held it in all eras, and most at least once during their lifetime. The Charvaka philosophy was a wrecking ball of utter disbelief with non-acceptance of anything that was not in our perception, much like the effect David Hume had on the prevailing values system of 18th Century Europe and the materialists have in current times. Notice however that our author, Madhava Vidyaranya, still accords the esteem due to the popular Charwaka life-view and addresses it as “the crest-gem of atheist school.” 

The Charwakas did not believe in God or gods, soul, karma or afterlife. They famously exhorted, “Go ahead, enjoy the good life, even if you have to beg, borrow or steal…” And “While alive, live joyously; none will escape death. Once this body of ours is cremated, how shall it ever return ?” 

The masses anyway regard wealth and pleasure as the only worthwhile ends and, denying afterlife and rebirth, they in fact follow the doctrine of Charvaka whether they know it or not. Hence its other name : Lokayata, that is, a thing of or for the world. 

This school acknowledges the elements as the only original principles; from these alone, when formed into human body, intelligence is produced, just as the power to inebriate or intoxicate is obtained from a mix of elemental ingredients, in the absence or with the destruction of which the power (intelligence) also perishes or disappears. They quote the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad ( ii. 4, 12 ) for support : “Sprung forth from these elements, the mind or intellect is destroyed when they are destroyed and after death no intelligence remains.” 

Therefore the soul is only the body distinguished by the attribute of intelligence, since there is no evidence for any soul distinct from the body. And no, nothing would convince them otherwise since they hold that perception is the only valid means of knowledge, not inference, etc. 

Human nature instinctively recognises pleasure as congenial; hence the Charvaka recommends enjoyment produced by sensual pleasures. That such pleasures are invariably mixed with pain during, before or after, is not a reason for men to deny themselves of pleasure, such as a Buddhist or yoga renunciate would. If any one were so timid as to forsake a visible pleasure, he would indeed be foolish like a beast, as has been said by the poet : 

The pleasure which arises in men from contact with sensible objects is to be relinquished as it is accompanied by pain, such is the reasoning of fools. What man, seeking his true interest, would fling away the laden stalks of paddy, rich with the finest white grains, because they are covered with husk and dust.” 

If one desires fish, we mush accept it with scales and bones; and we shall take as many or as much as we want before desisting. It is not for us to reject the pleasure through fear of pain since men do not refrain from sowing rice forsooth there are wild animals to devour it, nor do they refuse to set the cooking-pots on the fire because there are needy others to pester us for a share of the contents. 

That there is no afterlife might be objected to from the fact that wise men performed agnihotra and other sacrifices, which require much expense and effort; but the objection is not accompanied with any proof of afterlife and is hence inadmissible. All such Vedic practices are only a means of livelihood. And the Vedas are tainted by the three faults of untruth, self-contradiction, and tautology. Then again, the impostors who call themselves Vedic pundits are mutually destructive, as the authority of the jaimin-kanda is overthrown by those who maintain that of the karma-kanda, while those who maintain the authority of the jnana-kanda reject that of the karma-kanda ; and lastly, the three Vedas themselves are only incoherent rhapsodies of knaves, and to this effect runs the popular saying : 

The Agnihotra, the three Vedas, the ascetic s three staves, and smearing oneself with ashes,

Brihaspati says, these are but means of livelihood for those who have no manliness nor sense. 

Hence it follows that there is no other hell than mundane pain produced by purely mundane causes, as thorns, etc; the only Supreme is the earthly monarch whose existence is there for all to see; and the only Liberation is the dissolution of the body. By holding the doctrine that the soul is identical with the body, such phrases as ” I am thin,” ” I am black,” etc are at once intelligible, as the attributes of thinness, etc and self-consciousness reside in the same subject – the body. 

” Be it so,” says the opponent ; ” your wish would be gained if inference, etc had no force of proof ; but then they have this force ; else, if they had not, then how, on perceiving smoke, should the thoughts of the intelligent immediately proceed to fire ; or why, on hearing another say, “There are fruits on the bank of the river,” do those who desire fruit proceed at once to the shore ? “ 

All this however is only the inflation of the world of fancy, says the Charvaka. Man does not possess any means for substantiating any universal proposition. Even perception can produce the knowledge of the particular object brought in contact with the senses, yet as there can never be such contact in the case of the past or the future. Hence knowledge of the universal proposition, which was to embrace the continuity in every case, becomes impossible. Nor is internal perception the means, for the mind is dependent on the senses for knowledge of external objects. Nor can inference be the means of the knowledge of the universal proposition, since we should also require another inference to establish it, and so on, and hence would arise the fallacy of an ad infinitum retrogression. 

The testimony of others can also not be relied upon. The case is no different than that encountered with inference. Moreover, there is no more reason for our believing on another’s word that smoke and fire are invariably connected, than for our receiving the ipse dixit of Manu, etc, which of course we Charvakas reject. Equally comparison, etc must be utterly rejected as the means of the knowledge of the universal proposition, since it is impossible that they can produce the knowledge of the unconditioned connection [i.e. the universal proposition] because their end is to produce the knowledge of quite another connection, viz. the relation of a name to something so named. 

From this, it follows that fate, etc. do not exist, since these can only be proved by inference. But an opponent will say, if you thus do not allow adrishta, the various phenomena of the world become destitute of any cause. But we cannot accept this objection as valid, since these phenomena can all be produced spontaneously from the inherent nature of things. Thus it has been said : 

The fire is hot, the water cold, refreshing cool the breeze of morn;

By whom came this variety ? Of their own nature are they formed. 

And all this has been also said by Brihaspati : 

There is no heaven, no final liberation, nor any soul in another world,

Nor do the actions of the four castes, orders, etc. produce any real effect.  

The Agnihotra, the three Yedas, the ascetic’s three staves, and smearing oneself with ashes,

Were made by Nature as the livelihood of those destitute of knowledge and manliness. 

If a beast slain in the Jyotishtoma rite will itself go to heaven,

Why then does not the sacrificer forthwith offer his own father ? l 

If the Sraddha produces gratification to beings who are dead,

Then here, too, in the case of travellers when they start,

it is needless to give provisions for the journey. 

If beings in heaven are gratified by our offering the Sraddha here,

Then why not give the food down below to those who are standing on the housetop ? 

While life remains let a man live happily, let him feed on ghee even though he runs in debt ;

When once the body becomes ashes, how can it ever return again ? 

If he who departs from the body goes to another world,

How is it that he comes not back again, restless for love of his kindred ? 

Hence it is only as a means of livelihood that Brahmans have established here.

All these ceremonies for the dead, there is no other fruit anywhere. 

The three authors of the Vedas were buffoons, knaves, and demons.

All the well-known formulae of the pandits, jarphari, turphari, etc. 

And all the obscene rites for the queen during the Ashwamedha,

These were invented by buffoons, and so all the various kinds of presents to the priests. 

While the eating of flesh was similarly commanded by night-prowling demons.

Hence in kindness to the mass of living beings must we fly for refuge to the doctrine of Charvaka.

Such is the pleasant consummation.  

Though we do not hear of practising Charvakas after the 12th Century, it remarkable how the world has embraced it progressively, more completely, en masse in modern times ! Materialism is only effective philosophy that honestly corresponds with the current ways in our world, characterised with profiteering and consumerism. 

Image

Advertisements

Journal : My Odyssey

Light
Light – Courtesy @Doug88888)

This publication is my tribute  

to  the wayward amongst us;

and especially to ones who outgrew it.

……   ……

This spiritual saga over years score

Shimmers alive at a temple door…

Today, I hold myself erect

Halt at the temple entrance

But skip the practice ancient

I demand my own light

Submission I refuse

And all forms I deny

Here and now, O’ Deity

At your hallowed shrine.

Great you are, same

Being in all

The Master Grand

Cause primordial

But screened in

By our ceremonials.

Thy ritual dos and donts

No more compel, thy priests

With faith without love

Seem just a cartel

In their cloister of sad smiles

Flags, façades and piety.

*  *  *

Now this burden of life

I take upon myself

To costs I agree

Its choices I embrace

I know It’s me…

Small and weak

But the sole thing too

That’s known to me.

It’s where I’ll stay

Whom I’ll discover

Shrink all space

Let Time arch over.

I will break in, O’ Deity

To the depths of peace

And its light revealing.

*  *  *

Sure, it daunts

The vastness barred

In me haunts

Unknown and spread dark.

But the alternates just distract

And I reject yet the game false

Upon all souls hangs its pall –

Our fear masked in playful calls.

I trundle long in black tunnels

Fail to grasp a speck of heaven

Fling off hard and bounce sharp

But crash back in with vengeance

It shocks and tries, draws to test

The mind taut : deny or consent ?

In my eye rise each term and form

As a vagina wet stands in witness

Alluring still, accusing harsh

The dripping penis caught offguard.

And so goes the series march

Boxing me to voluting prompts

Libidinous – the despised rot

Bonds of yore, cravings taunt

Teeming abrim but worth nought

Transitioning nights, vague dawns

On empty core, bombed raw

Vigil in pits … awake now –

Cannot yet embrace myself

With choices diseased

I no longer defend

In that dungeon dark

Though depressed

Transfixed, yes

I refuse to crank

And I frozen face

Edgy sandstorms

Moral marshlands

Whirling sqall

In my mind’s mirror

In which I’m had

My universe

In cloudy bands

Where the soul bleeds

Pinned stiff

Lacerated within

By revelations demonic …

There’s more

Stubbed senses for sure

Of imposing forms

Unblessed, forlorn

The far sound of running tap

Unnerves the neural nap

Dead, dumped odd

Hung estranged, out cast

On just a thought nebulous

Of a hurl sudden, victorious.

I yet honour the memory

Of many a false start

Of fired highs

And puffed starch

So I sit over the furled self

Unharmed by head

Its mingled thoughts

Into feelings on the lurch

Bear unmoved

The throbbing pulse

Alassed recount

Of acts corrupt :

This licentious prisoner hovers

On wracked breath

And draining cough

But is in fact choked

On a past present

Of ambitions frayed.

*  *  *

‘Twas a journey long, my dear

To witness all and keep safe

On the path blank but unclear

For a spark just my trust’d pave

For those late mornings clear

Unencumbered winter delights

With a sun warm and mellow

On lazy cats half asleep alive

Contrary to that unsure bed

To discordant shades my will would take

Spent on view

On the first cue

At body feast, gazing vivid

With overrun sensuality

Chasing the shapely hind

Tinge in fancy nets sweet

” Possess not, O Youth !” I knew

But the sage call seemed so far

Too wrongheaded for my regard !

But then I began to see

With just half a good eye

Wherein it reflected strange

The world, its masks

Its ugly mirage

Stranger ways

Roles – give and take

Swings mighty fake

Without root or heart

Faith or permanence.

‘Twas a blind alley, O’ Deity

But that half eye was yours

Which saw the farce

Lent weight to pause

For the burst of shine

On a cold summit

Impelled glad dance

And bells resonating repeat.

I wait … instead

With familiar anti-self

Same paths of lure

“Not mine,” I sense

Then hold dilemmas clear

In my spirit –

Where light still flickers

In snag heaps

And weaning disunion.

*  *  *

Barely upright, on what I know

I doubt each moment in the flow

Witness, accept and now embrace

The rocky views, their barrenness

Slip, collide, slide into wreckage

Stare close at the mind, incessant

Holding myself with love

Wipe off the damned tears

Pat the fears to sleep

And dress up my own sears

For day next in odyssey

Wade into pains

Burn the same

To be free …

Untill that day, in radiance

Enveloped with transcending sense

I stood high

On the walling fence

Still hauling up

The rest of myself

Eyeing all

The being in morn

Before the rising peer

Basking healed

In its glowing balm

With nothing

Not a trace in between.

Unburdened complete I found myself

Stripped neat

Free of subtexts

Layers mental

And body zones

Sans celebrations then

Just smiles about

Beaming from the sun

And lit I everywhere

No hope or fear

No gain or loss

No being made

… Homogeneous.

I met myself much later

The buddy from start

Then witness dear

Of all that I thought.

There was no being–for–itself ever

The one who lived was a prayer

By whom I know not, O’ Deity

To whom or why is the mystery.

*  *  *       *  *  *

This is an intimate poem, started in late 1980s,

reviewed umpteen times and finished minutes before.

Body-Mind-Spirit s

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

Truth & I

This is a spin off from a discussion on the web … on God !

“Is this not an important part of the dynamic multidimensional mind …

Can you find nothing of value with meeting this view, at least as a challenge ?”

My response to the plea is that starting any discussion with God is a bad idea.

Perhaps, ending up at that would make for more sensible exchange.

Consider, what God can we really speak of while we know so little about ourselves ? Sharing personal experiences is fine because that would be on an informal and subjective matter. But to write something on stone would be premature without a clear perception in our truth, with which others can relate and which one can stand up and defend using commonly understood terms.

I do speak of bliss and the Self because they are in our experience and notion; it isn’t the same as speaking of God. Is God relevant to the dog sucking on the bone ? I am not sure if he is even aware of God, but it is plain that nobody in the entire universe is more pleased, fed and satisfied than a dog with a bone. And, like it, our senses need their respective objects to home in, not God as a hard, formal entity. Experience is a matter between the world and us, or us and ourself, subject to rules and laws, norm and order. And the Self is indisputably evident to each one of us.

When I broach bliss infinite, I also speak of zero identity, silence and love, and of the process to take ourself from being between the world and ourself, from sense and vanity, to love without object, to silence without thought. What remains is peace that I term as bliss infinite. So when people with vanity speak of God, I instantly choose to be counted with atheists.

It’s impossible to find someone without vanity ordinarily, much less hear him speak… of God. I am fortunate to have met one such and have heard him speak, when it was plain that he was referring to the all-inclusive truth supreme. The common skepticism at any mention of the over-individualised notion of “inner reality” is understandable. I mean, only an overly vain person would com-municate notions of the “inner” to the dog perched on his senses !

The dog is equally an individual and he ‘knows’ that all other individuals are no different. He would be right in wondering what the whole babble and brouhaha was all about. Almost all voluntary attempts by us at introspection are short-lived and prove to be more of fad or diversion, which make no difference to the individual’s spiritual content or moral perspective. Forced attempts, imposed by others, are worse. 

There is something fateful or innate at work when the introspection abides for long, deepens with increasing withdrawal from material values, without loss of honesty. There is a surge of courage and quiet determination to live by one’s own accepted truths.

* * *

Dawkins was in Jaipur and I found his view a lot more balanced, less bigoted and militant. All knowledge or realisation must deal with morality. As an aside, that is my compelling argument against intellectual property rights. What damned “rights” on knowledge of any kind ? Or, why must we have to give references, when all of what we wish to say is ours, with us ? If it’s not, we shouldn’t be saying it anyway.

The formal aspect of Truth or truths is onerous. There are libraries out there where it goes dry. It is the informal one that I wish to put across : it is mine… and for that reason could be shared with everyone. That Truth is… my HOME, that which is truly me and mine, which I am, with which I can rest without fear, be absolutely free and fulfilled, which nothing in the whole universe can remove or distort. There is no other Truth than the one which is our Home. 

This is no parable I’ve begun. People are spent on a ” home ” for themselves. They build, buy, rent one for their body… a house or apartment, car or craft. But then the worst amongst us, who constitute the 99%, come to believe that the home they have so invested in is also the ”home” to their emotion, to their thought, their identity, and their happiness !

What is concurrent within us, the ego-person, is a build up and an intensification of vanity… which says : I possess; I win; I acquire; I am successful. It is all a matter of process that is normal to our drive and inevitable in our quest.

But, as surely as sure can be, it is vanity too that blocks our outgrowing, our evolution and progression into the true Home …

for our emotion – which is Love,

for our thought – which is Silence,

for our identity – which is Void, and

for our spirit – which is Bliss Infinite. 

The vain phenomenon limits us to what we have, even as it automatically makes us pore over all that we do not have. Without liberating ourself from that acquisitive pitch, we can never give up our right to pride … and can hence never view people with Love or see things with Silence.

To my mind, these are the real aspects and issues to spirituality : Home of the Self and being Void of Vanity. I find these ideals more pertinent to my quest than God. It is these that will address the monstrous twists with which we reduce ourselves to the gutter.  

I myself have experience with belief in God … the Hindu way, which posits that God is all there is in eveidence. It served to connect me better with others, the environment around, and with the wider universe. It topped up my capacity to accept life and its experiences, both happy and sad. It also shored up my ability to remain focused on whatever I had set for myself and fortified my moral strength through clarifying my values perspective.

But I’d fully appreciate if one did not believe in God and could still avail the stated capacity, ability and strength for himself.

* * *  

Our monstrous idiot, Digvijay Singh of the Congress Party, says :  

Can an individual be allowed to hurt the sentiments of the ”people ?” 

My answer is a clear ” Yes,” provided the individual is true to himself in intent and the mode and manner is completely non–violent. I can visualise the Charvaka, the Jain, the Advaiti and the Buddhist … standing in the courtyard of a temple, before a Vaishnava shrine or any place of worship or congregation, professing their contrary beliefs without any physical obstruction or violent opposition. 

That is the culture of this land from ancient times.

That is what we must all affirm today. 

Freedom is above all the freedom of speech and expression… which must allow every person to say what the people do not want to hear, what they disagree with, and what they might find hurtful to their belief.

Of course, I repeat, with the caveat that the expression be accompanied with peace in mode and manner. 

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

MIND, KARMA AND GUNA – I

What is the mind ? Where is it located ? What is it made of; its warp and woof, so to say ?

Of what does it take on its distinct, individual character ? What is it that determines it ?

I’ve asked a couple of these questions at a time on all social media forums I frequent. Predictably, but surprising nonetheless, there wasn’t a single response, not even a tentative one. The reason however is not difficul;t to fathom : none had spent time exploring it and, therefore, had no idea to contrbute. The most the “gurus” online dish out are generic advisories, dos and dont’s, promises and dreams.

A clear, self-verified knowledge, cutting through the mind’s inscrutability and myths alike, would be more enlightening and useful to every interested individual on the planet. For everybody has a mind in which all one’s experience is sensed, in which all reactive emotions arise with will and thoughts respective to each, and where the wilful ego takes on the colours of the moment. It’s the animal loop within us, largely characterised by auto-inputs from the subconscious.

Of course, we all have the human loop in the mind as well, starting with the triggered or imagined thought but brought over to intellect and conscious memory. It leads us to analyse, comprehend, corelate with facts in memory, conduct further research, form defining ideas, understand, contemplate, and arrive at the truth or fulness that abides. It takes effort, at times much, to direct oneself along this loop, keeping calm all the while and pushing oneself on to that peace where our understanding is complete.

This line of investigation of the mind, which can virtually contain the whole of the universe within it, brooks no presence of God, faith, religion or cleric. It is about the individual and his mind : what is it, how does it work, etc. But before one can take the inquiry any further, the reality of the mind must be acknowledged, as distinct from our material appendages such as limbs and organs. The mind seems virtual in comparison and hence comes to preoccupy few amongst us. Those who are taken up however would vouch that the mind is more real, more fundamental to being human, than the body or its parts !

The inscrutability of the mind is both a cause and a consequence of the complexity involved in our understanding of it, of perception perceiving itself : it is already defined by the very mind we seek to understand. We will need a place apart to stand on before, to paraphrase Archimedes’ famous quote, we can observe the happenings in the mind objectively. It takes a while, usually a long while, before our individual-self becomes free enough to witness the mind-field phenomena.

Once the individual-self graduates to the witness mode, he begins to observe the nature of the mind, its propensities and their root, which Vivekananda best summarises, “As pleasure and pain pass before the soul, they leave upon it different pictures, and the result of these combined impressions is what is called a person’s “character.” If you take the character of any person, it is really but the aggregate of tendencies, the sum total of the bent of the person’s mind. You will find that misery and happiness are equal factors in the formation of that character. Good and evil have an equal share in molding character, and in some instances misery is a greater teacher than happiness.”

Unlike the physical body that grows old and weak and lies forsaken, inanimate, upon its death, the mind has no such limitation of lifetime or ageing. It temporarily ceases to be during our deep sleep state; but it comes back to being with the same structure and architecture, specific tendencies and identities that it held before. It is subject to laws that are of entirely different nature than the ones that prevail in the Material Space. The space in which the individual mind exists is infinitely more subtle, such as to be invisible to the physical eye. The individual self however, being more subtle than the mind, can perceive the latter if it is lead to shed its engagement or preoccupation with gross objects, by cutting asunder the attraction they hold for our respective sense organs – smell taste, sight, hearing and touch.

The Mental Space is the transit buffer between the manifest and unmanifest universe, along both directions : projection and absorption. This domain is available to our awareness, to all beings that have a developed brain and nervous system. The unit mind is trifurcate : Chitta – Feeling and Emotion, powered into action by vitality, in which our animal will arises and most instantly overpowers the individual self; Manas – Thought and Ideas, where doubt and rationality works itself out to the contemplating self; and, Buddhi – Knowledge and Wisdom, where true witness conscious self resides and avails of long-term integration of learning impressed from past experiences in current lifetime.

Mind - Sructure


Hereon, it becomes difficult to chart the inner processes and describe nature of change they each bring about in the very nature of our mind and its consequence upon ourself.

To be continued …

English: Photo of Swami Vivekananda at Jaipur ...
Swami Vivekananda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Awakening … Into Truth

THE CORE ASPECT

Hypothetically, to a stone, the truth is manifest in its existence but is not perceived; to a tree, it is sensed and even responded to but not thought of; with animals, it is sensed and thought of but not questioned and understood; and, in humans, truth is pondered over, inquired about and progressively understood.

There has never been and will never be when men, some of us, will stop enquiring and examining for this elusive certainty in respect of uncertain existence. Nothing else offers to us a sure ground that stays even when calamity falls, when all is lost or death is at hand, as all else falls short, deserts, changes, moves past or alienates.

Men are happy when their desire is met : whether upon material affluence, when relationship blossoms, our creation comes to shape, a drink is before us, a panorama engulfs us in its beauty, or when unpleasantness departs. Just then, when our “self” is free from prevailing want, without the craving in thought for us to coil about, without the emotion whirling with need to which we get anchored … just then, our self finds itself “released,” detached and un-anchored; our being expands. That freedom, accompanied with expansion of being, with nothing to hold us down, spells happiness. Un-tethered to the pegs of want, unburdened by the weight of need and unagitated by our own dissatisfaction, our being expands of its own, in itself, as we are by ourself.

But our happiness deserts us of the same causes in the reverse : the want resurfaces, a need arises, a desire pre-occupies … the pegs again come to tether us, we again contract to coil about the iterating thought and are again attached to the urge in our emotion. We then become unhappy, over a far more stretched period of time because desires are not met everyday, needs are not fulfilled pronto and our wants remain for long, perhaps forever. 

This is a, nay, the core aspect of our life between long stretches of dissatisfaction and fleeting spikes of happiness, over a stagnant bed of frustration from ever. 

Truth is our home, so to say, knowing which we find ourselves connected with our being, with all being and space itself, to our own situation, all situation and time itself. The object may be without – physical or material – but the want, disatisfaction and joyous phenomenon is our own, within our being, in our vitality, mind and ego-self. No, it does not occur in absolute isolation, without a peer … there is a witness-consciousness peering through the intellect which, if and when we are ready to methodically recall, enlightens us with moment-by-moment facts, the knowledge if which empowers us with the overriding mandate to breaking through the process as it occurs and halt the cyclic phenomenon at our will…  to be continued

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

VEDANTA : II

The ontological perspective of the Supreme Truth is important, nay, crucial as the rudder is to the boat we are taking across the waters. Though a truncated and adhoc aggregate, even the animalistic version in the belief of indigenous people, who are not introduced to an intellectually cultured religion, serves to raise a backdrop to comprehension of objects in our sight, of beings included in our action, of phenomenal events in our experience, apprehensions in our vitality and thought, and extrapolatory impressions that embed in our intellect.

The context for hunter-gathers and forest dwellers would have been limited to immediate issues or short-term concerns of survival, security or perpetuation… But even they would have had to bear themselves through the continuity of time, the before and after times to emotionally draining experiences or happenings requiring physically absorbing engagements. It is the background of beliefs that provide us with much needed meaning to unify ourselves with our mornings, surroundings, natural goings on, human and animal companions, contemporaries friendly and inimical, and with our selves.

If Vedas is the entire deck of cards, Vedanta is the “joker” that consorts harmoniously with every bit of creation. It stands by every perspective : impersonal, personal, dual, non-dual, form, formless, theist, atheist, action, devotion, knowledge, experience, spirit, mind, body, temple, synagogue, wilderness, ritual, prayer, reason, irrational … All individuals of diverse persuasion and proclivity would find something or other in Vedanta that agrees with him, from where he could set himself up for the rest. Nothing contradicts Vedanta, except dogma and bigotry that also violates reason and experience. Vedanta will accept moral failures umpteen times without condoning it. It will not cease to demand ethical conduct and exhort one to go beyond the instant reference in belief and thought. And it will never offer a lie to appease us; it will instead wait with us untill we are ready, even suggesting ways we could prepare ourselves for the rendezvous.

The apparent irreconciliable dualism or reiterating cyclicity between experienced extremes is the least of the problem in Vedanta … mere symptoms it would say ! In its expanse and focus, it is capable of including any and all inconsistencies that reveal points of singularity in our knowledge of where, in and with what, do we exist, and in our understanding of who or what we are in the universal and particular frames of being, what our moments mean alongwith all that they include … and what, why and how are we to act. Vedanta is the ocean in which we can come to rest, be and perfect ourselves in truth, far beyond and without any framework even remotely akin to what we understand as ” religion.”

It is necessary to underscore that Vedanta is not thought or belief, as it occurs with us, though it is presented as one out of sheer necessity imposed by our limited means to articulate and express. English language, and every one of which that has evolved in the West, takes its spiritual scope from the man and his Bible. The next best communication alternative we have is that expressed as science – mathematics, physics and biology, which however keep the man and his book completely out from its discourse and, instead, restricts itself within the realms of physical space, matter and time.

But that is not what truth is limited to : it is, above all, to include the man – the doer, experiencer and observer. It must include his values, relationships, actions, his mind and his conscious being. And, in speaking of it, the book dilates on spiritual dimensions of our being, at the origin of which our individuated being is sprung, the call of which we maintain in our conscience and the nature of which we rediscover in our universal moral values, and our unity with which we announce through our ethical conduct. Truth must reconcile us with the consequences of our actions we experience and live through, and reflect in the conclusions we arrive at of this whole business of life, living and death, this being in world and in our mind within.

That is what Vedanta covers, without the language commensurate with its inclusive domain. The body of the being in truth is brought alive in the Vedas – Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva. The mantra or hymns of Samhitas invite us to relate one-to-one with existence, the being in it before, about and within us. The Brahmanas explain, define and specify the details of that occasion we are called upon to initiate, build up and complete in action, speech and thought. The Aranyakas or Upanishads – Vedanta, in short – zero down on the conscious self at our origin, in the witness within us, and the revelations it scribbles in our intellect. What is uttered, what we read and hear and contemplate upon is still about the being in truth before, about and within us, as it is.

That is what is Vedanta about : the universe, ourself and the universe within us, in the very way of life. Comparatively, religion as it means in the West is easy, a mere affiliation to a book of tenets, loyalty to a deified historical prophet, a place of worship to recall our faith, and human intermediaries who demand belief on their interpretations of the whole business, who insist upon obedience, almost always unquestioning. The affiliates are then covered with an identity in common with others, distinct from other religions.

This undertaking intends to expose in contemporary terms a few glimpses of key discoveries from the immense unraveling edifice of Vedas and Vedanta, which require a lifetime to master.

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

IV             Whom The Way Calls

In common with every other perception, experience and knowledge, the way to truth surfaces within ourself. The witness in object–subject relatedness is forever between the fact in our eye, the meaning in our perception and the knowledge with ourself, including of our own self at the foundation of our subjectivity. 

In setting ourselves up on the way to truth, we shall have to exclude much, nearly everything, and all ultimately. This work therefore does away with jargons common in religious texts, and most certainly their fervour and calls on faith, though not the values or knowledge they signify in a philosophical or spiritual discourse. This work is about us, our being as we are and as it resonates with us. If we are a creation, and only the vain or absolutely knowledgeable amongst us will aver that we are not, there is an urgent need to discover its universal matters of fact.

Each one of us is in a material environment, with a body that is wondrously formed – a marvelously organised physiological system. It works excellently without our intervention, very predictably if watered and fuelled timely, adequately and appropriately. It signals for its needs from time to time, for particular cares necessary on account of environmental factors, and warns us of its misuse, activating alarms when stretched too far and even scaring us into mending our abusive ways. And if we let it be, not deny it of rest and sleep, it diagnoses its problems to correct, undo, regrow and recover by itself.

But however dire, immediate and wholly intimate it feels, our body is only as it serves us to mutually survive and a mere means for adults to use it as they choose. Sure, we deliberately dress it up to impress or time its presence to surprise others, who look upon it as we are in their perception, what we mean and how they deem. All men and, as I hear, some women too, know how beautiful the fairer gender can seem. We all have a story or two to tell about the powerful impact of their inviting curves, mesmerising countenance or awesome proportion. But mostly it soon clarifies and we begin to look beyond the body before us, at the person behind or within it… at the one who is thinking and opining, emoting or touching, setting the deal or laying the trap for us ! 

Not everyone is a human soul; not yet, though every person has a line to one. Most of us are animals without their nakedness, which is both an advance and the first lie we tell ourselves, and project to others. The religion we subscribe to is for afterwards – to confess and feel awashed for a new day of lust and greed, apathy and lies. In Islam, the communal faith confers celestial merit and heavenly rewards for what, in the eyes of you and I, is inhuman behaviour and subhuman conduct. We are informed that it is growing the fastest ! Clearly, being with a normal human body, most of us are not wanting in intelligence; but it is through developing the intellect, equipping it with universal human values, that we characterise ourselves with humanity. Fostered in an environment of entrenched feudal power structures, equally common in rigorously instituted religious societies and in those with extreme Gini index, it is our intellectual blindness that arrests our spiritual evolution to universal values, individual liberty and creative freedom.

I really am not sure how far the truths laid out in these pages would resonate with the beast within us. But there are many who are prone to be content and happy, even if disadvantaged or less fortunate than those around. They might be hounded into moral fatigue or failure on occasions but, by nature, are courageous enough to follow their calls of conscience in utter honesty and truth. Their ethics is their life and covetousness has no place in it, though they might not be entirely free of envy. It is these individuals, I trust, who would have the patience, love and the pure drive for the quest of truth. Likely, I believe, they would have the richness of experience that living against our animal propensities invariably fetch us, and the internal instrument to intuit the facts of spirit, as opposed to those of matter. They would sense the sinister in propaganda, however socially acceptable, and self – promotion would be beyond the pale of their own instinctual priority. Though not ashamed, they would be aware of unhappy consequences of unchecked lustful impulses, and of those easy inner processes which lead us to greed. They would value facts, liberty and truth, and constantly initiate to add, examine, change or modify their own views and perspective. They would be happiest leading clean, honest lives, being monogamous in their affection, nurturing moral and ethical values in their progeny, extending their love to beings and having a ready regard for life everywhere.

It is for them that I have the pleasure of writing these essays. But that is only to give me a start. There is no one who cannot arise, raise himself here and now, and step up to gain from these truths I have availed from my glimpses of Vedanta.

Journal : Awakening … Into The Truth

III             The Fact In The Way

There is no way to any absolute truth for those of us who are not taken up exclusively by the drive to know; untill then, facts would be the truth of our moments and action our refuge for what is in our desire and want or in our hatred and revulsion.

The desire to know the ” other ” drives us into subjective relationships and to objective studies along diverse disciplines : science, commerce, economics, politics, medicine, sociology, management, and the arts. Sure, we sharpen our intelligence during the course of our study in these fields. But that does not necessarily develop our intellect, our perspective and values system. The depths we illuminate in our intellect with our effort have a calming effect upon us. The process equips us with several skills to focus, study, observe and remember, analyse, concentrate, clarify and integrate… all of which come handy when we embark on an a-religious, matter-of-fact study of our self.

As the subjective being, our self is never without an object, whether in ourself or about the other. Our being is complicatedly diffused among others-in-self and self-in-others projections in the mind, revealed in dream state, but the differentiated subject – object paradigm obviously persists. In deep sleep, the being is apparently in a state of undifferentiated “absence,” and there is no subject-object divide in awareness. There is a consciousness though that arises when we wake up with the memory of being “blissfully asleep”. 

The entire cyclic sway from differentiated to undifferentiated consciousness, and back, from all to nothing and back, is moot. It isn’t just diurnal but very exactly sums up our lifetime as well, through birth to death and back, at all kinds of entry to exit and back, and every psycho-vital experience with their respective extremities : love and hate, thirst and quench, want and meet, desire and fulfill, eat and expel, breathe and asphyxate, etc. And, I am told, the same circumscribed motion qualifies the cosmos and universal being through manifesting big bang to extinguishing big crunch and back, creation to destruction and back, magnetic pole shifts through great terrestrial flood to ice age and back, shift of solar phenomenon from our present sun to the nest one that is getting prepared, and galactic shift from Milky Way to another in its place. 

Every cyclic sway that we become aware of reveals the same flooding … growth, abundance, extinction and freeze, whereafter the cycle repeats. The sages oft declare : as within, so without; know thyself and the cosmos will be revealed. The journey however is full of unknown details, the process punctuated with inscrutable operating and decision nodes. We start with being the ” I ” in this differentiated awareness, in an indescribably extensive game of alternating between the “other” and the self, outwaiting the crowded focus till it simplifies to one object, which stays and begins to reveal itself. It shows up the attachments and anchors upon ourself as the object is brought back again and again and retained in the metal frame, untill all psycho-vital bonds of relatedness disssolve and the finitude in our knowledge of the object extends to include its being entire over all space and time. 

That about outlines the classic Raja-Yoga method to union with pure being. What remains in our perception is knowledge of the object as it is, without any taint or flaw contributed by the mind – the perceiving organ – and without any subjectivity on part of the perceiver himself. The method suggests we next take up progressively subtle objects such as a thought, concept or idea, followed by concentrating on the subject being itself. The object specific knowledge are important only for the challenges they offer : of scale over space and time and of penetration into layers of being. The capacities we broadly acquire along the way are towards attaining knowledge that is immutable and without doubt, breaking through our own limitations, our immensely arresting happiness born of the sense of fulfillment, and the singularity of doing away with the individuated sense of being we have of ourself.

The method rips us away from our dream-like everyday existence in family – work – food – sex – ablutions – relationships – thought – action routine. Withdrawn from all but a frame in the mind, it gets killingly intense at times, when however we end up learning the most. The journey we cover within us is real, with a presence that throws us off at first, perhaps for long, but intensifies and deepens with time, raising a whole gamut of rich impressions latent in our mental being, filling the psychological universe with images and drives that inexorably draws us in. No matter what the scientists say and the dialectical materialists inform, this question of how we have come to this start is shrouded in mystery and does not resolve untill the will and wilfulness gives way to thought and contemplation, to meditation, and to the vigorous urge to join in the drama in our lives ! 

Life begins to cumulatively clarify in the layered impressions of our memory of world, body, relationships, our own being qualified by its ignorance, our knowledge, want and will. The forever situation becomes here and now; the self in the experience is closely watched in the measure of its want; the hidden link of experienced quality with subconscious infiltrations is mapped in vitality; the action is truly anchored in awareness and performed with our whole heart…

But all that only enables us to expand and intensify the awareness … the results may continue to be as unsatisfactory as they’ve always been. However, the difference hereon is that nothing escapes our attention. We fail at every outlined step; but now we know : a very big deal, for we now would get up and on to doing and improve every time ! Every twig, leaf and motion is in our watch : the others and ourself are known real time and included in our thought and behaviour. There is a constant feedback loop, at times surprisingly in advance, with the body we own and owe to, the breath flowing in out, through ablutionary exercise, the things we have now also have us … We are happy with our feelings, comfortable with our relationships, watchful of subconcious interpretations, mindful of our emotions, desires, will, thought, values, actions and their consequences … These are our facts of the way. Our sight is clear on our self, afloat on a sea of subconscious impressions with an unceasing stream of desire, want, will and thought passing through it, claiming it. We compulsively make happy choices, preferring one or other, and are at ease between life and our witnessing reference. And we know every trace of that which we are bringing over from the previous moment and are not bothered : because we are happy with it.

The constant cycle of want and pleasure, joy and misery, ordeal and achievement, hope and anguish … engenders a whole range of attitude. Most people battle through life to fulfill their need and meet their want. Many forever strive to profit, deeming it all as an euphemism of life itself. Some who succeed also grow dissatisfied, tired of the status quo. They search for a way out of it. Of the last, some buy time for their leisure and self-actualisation; some despair and live in depression; others summon the will to work for the welfare of others or for causes that would herald a change. Only a scant few have the clear sight, vigour and the mental preparedness to take a turn away from it all for a time and direct their search into hitherto uncharted terrain, to the self abiding with transcending paradigms.

*  *  *

I loved these accounts from a whacky lady … http://clotildajamcracker.wordpress.com/

Journal : An Approach To Truth

There is only one self – evident Truth :  our Self.

Every other truth follows, to us, in its evidence.

It then appears, seems, modifies, mutates… and is only in the moment.

That’s what and how things mean to us, in that moment.

It may be, if your memory is deep, sharp and focused enough… that you discover one such truth that modifies no more, mutates no further. It appears again and again, seems the same, unaffected by Time, Ourself or the Environment. You then become aware of something with longer scale validity.

Such an unchanging truth, in respect of one object, being or attribute, is of value. It becomes a core around which other truths of the moment, pertaining to the same or like things, may be link – cluster – arranged, a foundation on which the others may be laid on.

The link – cluster meaning of one thing is arranged and laid on till it connects with another such meaning cluster, of another thing. And with one more… and so on, in time, to an aggregate that presents a more accurate and complete perspective of life and living, beings and things, world and our experiences.

Life perspectives, arising from longer validity truths, yield valuable guides to effective living, decisive morals one does not have to belabour at when the need is already too hot upon us nor does there remain the need to commit the knowledge to memory from what may have been gained in hindsight.

This is the way to living meaningfully, truthfully, and more completely.

*   *   *

While we at it, there is a need for exactness in our speech :

Truth is not “many” things… It is EVERYTHING. 
Even a lie is a truth for a time, for someone… it might get superceded by another truth, but until then… Some lies remain as truth for decades, even centuries !
Fact vs Truth
A fact is a truth for the moment, usually for a limited constituency.
It would change, with more info…
A truth is a fact for life… more universal, even universe wide…
And it remains valid for generations, even all time.
Nature Of Truth
Truth is of the nature of knowledge of oneself – – –
Facts are truths about other things of being.
Knowledge of Gravity remains a fact about material bodies until we conclusively know what it means to ourself… to our body, its processes, its routine, our thoughts, our sights and views, our walk, etc.
Use of Truth
Indeed, one “could”… not would… profit by knowledge of any kind.
But that is absolutely secondary and peripheral to the knowledge itself.
There is knowledge in itself, for its own sake. It is not essential that one profits by it.
Profit has nothing to do with the knowledge itself;
it has something to do with our ignorance, the very opposite of knowledge !
*   *   *      *   *   *

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 : 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 !

*   *   *      *   *   *