Do I Always Tell The/My Truth?

We had the privilege of hosting family and friends over the past couple of weeks. And there had been some interesting conversations.  One such went something like this……

When you walk into the house you will hardly miss the book collection. It is strategically placed 😉

“Aah! I see you have a good collection here”
“Thank You”
“Whats with all these spiritual texts? Did not know that you are into all this?!” …….Silence
“Hahaha, I haven’t read them all.” silence again…
“Hmmmm…So, do you practice what you read?”
“Try to”
“Ohh so you never lie? All holy texts urge man to speak the truth, don’t they?”
(Smiled and asked her if I can get her another cup of coffee)
“You didn’t answer my question?”
“I do lie. I try to remain quiet at those times but if I have to then mostly I speak the situation”
“Oh Okay.” “What are your thoughts on the beef ban?”
Another dangerous question 😶

Oh, she’s quite a person and she did keep the gathering alive.

Okay, coming back to the topic of discussion.  I do not think any religion would ask you to always speak your blind truth. Your truth is your understanding of the situation which may not be completely true. Where do we go in search of facts?

What is Truth? Is it “Your Truth” or “The Truth”. We don’t always have to fill the silence.

However, the problem arises when we want to be a part of every conversation. So, we participate in the gossip when we know it isn’t right. It takes enormous strength to stay away and at the same time to be kind and to speak your truth.

But, before we start, we could ask ourselves, if it is even important to speak or to entertain the negativity that drains our energy. I am not hundred percent there yet. I still agree to things to keep the close-knit happy. I restrain from gossiping and carefully choose the people I interact with but I still haven’t learnt the art of being assertive and yet kind.

At times, when people mistake the silence for the disability then that is when you are tested. It is okay to commit mistakes if you know they are blunders to be avoided. After all, we are Human learning to stay humane.

Bhagavad Gita on Speech…

Anudvegakaram vākyam satyam priyahitam ca yat |
svādhyāyābhyasanam caiva vāṅmayam tapa ucyate || BG 17.15 || 

Non-irritating, truthful and pleasing speech, reading of Scriptures and performing spiritual practices.

So Why Grieve?

Life gets tough at times and we all learn complex lessons through our life experiences. Sometimes it is difficult to cope but in the process, we grow stronger.

Just like everybody else, I have my own challenges to overcome but I don’t want to stress more than what I should. I don’t want to follow the crowd that thinks to stress over things helps.

Like it or not, none of us is going to be here forever. So why stress on stressors? It is easy to say but just turn around and see if stressing had helped.

Let me quote the Bhagavad Gita,  death is the only truth you know for sure and is certain. Moreover, you think you are this body and you get too attached to its activities but ultimately you have to even drop this body here before you make your journey to the next. And you wouldn’t remember a thing of this life in your next. So why worry about anything? (chapter 2, verses 25-30).

My fav among the above verses is the one below. Everybody knows this but yet only a few understand it. Beautifully said…

Aśhcharya-vat paśhyati kaśhchid enan
Aśhcharya-vad vadati tathaiva chānyaḥ
Aśhcharya-vach chainam anyaḥ śhṛiṇoti
Shrutvāpyenaṁ veda na chaiva kaśhchit //

Some view the soul as amazing, some describe it as amazing, and some hear of the soul as amazing, while others, even on hearing, cannot understand it at all.

Something to remember …

Image: the Internet

 

Moved Into New Rented Home

Moved into new rented home just like the same way I moved into this body with absolutely nothing.

As soon as our parents got to know about our movement, they shared many things to help us make a smooth transition into this new chapter of ours. Just the same way, I got a name and other things along with a family as soon as I moved into this body that I call mine.

I try not to entertain any thoughts about adding anything more to the rented apartment than what is required. Because I know although I live here, it is not mine then I wonder why does it not come easily to me when I look at my body. That I had also signed a rental agreement before moving into this body and one day I have to vacate even this that I call mine.

Something to remember…or the only thing worth remembering…

Srimad Bhagavad Gita

Adhyatmajnana nityatvam tattva jnanartha darsanam
etaj jnanam iti proktam ajnanam yad ato ‘nyatha

Settled conviction in the nature of the SELF and understanding that the knowledge of the Self as the ultimate in Knowledge – this is declared to be wisdom; whatever is
other than this is ignorance.

Destiny- Never Blame God

Nobody is lucky here, God says.

Everything we gain here is nothing but the fruits of our actions( Karma phala) of this life or the previous lives, i.e. Karma through our Thoughts, Speech and Actions.

Although we have no control over the karmic fruits, we are given the choice to choose our actions. Every moment in life is a choice and we are allowed to make a decision. Then, how can anybody be responsible for the consequences? Most of us make the decision based on our past alone. When each of us at every moment is given an opportunity to exercise free will then why should we repeat the same pattern over and over again.

Know that they are your actions and God is not to be blamed. He is not directing your life but has given you the freedom to both write and direct your own life. Gita strongly denies his involvement clearly in Chapter 5, shlok 14 and 15. He states while the Tri-Gunas are doing their job according to their nature, you out of ignorance choose to identify with their work and thus get stuck with the sense of doership. He asserts firmly that both virtuous deeds or otherwise do not involve him.

Na kartṛitvaṁ na karmāṇi lokasya sṛijati prabhuḥ
Na karma phala saṅyogaṁ svabhāvas tu pravartate

Nādatte kasyachit pāpaṁ na chaiva sukṛitaṁ vibhuḥ
Ajñānenāvṛitaṁ jñānaṁ tena muhyanti jantavaḥ

This, of course, does not mean that we keep indulging in all activities without bringing any change in our behaviours and then debate that they are nothing but the Gunas in action. Spirituality is about purifying and transcending one’s mind and we should not fool ourselves in the process

And, Self-realization is hard to attain and definitely not a mockery. Now THE MIND has a biased stance towards the body. Until the MIND understands, acknowledges and identifies with the truth after conducting sufficient inquiry into the laws governing the human life, will ‘IT’ attain stability.

Image: On the way to Baba Mandir

The Beauty Of Contradiction

Sarvendriyagunabhasam sarvendriyavivarjitam
Asaktam sarvebhrccaiva nirgunam gunabhoktr ca//
                                                                           Bhagavad Gita 13,15

The Ultimate Truth shining by the functions of all the senses, yet without the senses; unattached, yet supporting all; devoid of all qualities, yet their maintainer.

Look at the beauty of this Shloka. Guru Veda Vyasa defines the Indefinable in a language of contradiction.

We could use an analogy to illustrate this striking contradiction.

The power of the electricity is recognised when the plugged-in devices perform its task though it needs no devices to be known- it itself is so pronounced. The nature of electricity doesn’t change depending upon the devices plugged in. It doesn’t acquire the qualities of the appliances, does it? For example, the electricity is not the cold in the fridge nor the heat in the geyser. Electricity when functioning through the appliances conditioned by them gives an impression of being something else other than itself

The appliances can run faulty and can break down yet when replaced the electricity powers them the same way as it did it with the previous one. So it stays detached yet supports any appliances that come in contact with.

It is just not electricity, everything in nature seems to stand as an example of detached support. Sun and Moon, Ocean and Waves, Mud and Pot, Gold and Jewellery, Waker and Dreamer, Body and Shadow, SELF and Mind etcetera.

Similarly, the SELF functioning through the mind, sense organs and the Intellect might look as though conditioned by them but in reality, it remains unchanged yet supporting all.

The mind with the prevalent Guna(subtle nature/mood at that time) when in contact with the pure Consciousness becomes the ‘Ego’ and is the doer and experiencer. And we say-I did it.

Also, we somehow keep promoting and developing that false Ego. Will we promote the mirage in a desert to a vacation spot? Or worse still waste our whole life in keeping the mirage intact?

The above Shloka clearly states that the Self, however seeming to possess, sustain and maintain the faculties yet it is beyond them and is as detached as the Waker is to the dreamer.

Image: A mirage by Angela A Stanton

Discovering Through Reflection

During our conversation last night, my husband said “what if we could remember all our previous births? How would our lives be then?”

Ahh, that thought was interesting. Yeah, so what if everyone could decode those vasanas/impressions stored in their subconscious part of the mind? And as an ordinary being, what if we couldn’t peruse it the right way? Can you anticipate the horror and emotional distress that invariably accompanies those memories?  If we are unable to deal with our past in this life. Imagine having to live with numerous such memories.

Sri-Bhagavan uvaca
Bahuni me vyatitani, janmani tava carjuna
Tany aham veda sarvani, na tvam vettha parantapa
                                                                                Bhagavad Gita:4,5

In the Gita,  Krishna says to Arjuna ‘Many a birth have I passed through, O Arjuna, and so have you. I know them all, but you know them not, O scorcher of foes.’

But what if we could remember, would we let go of things?
Maybe not. Upon coming back, we would try hard to regain our worldly possessions gained in our previous births. But, how many would we run after?
or
The guilt-ridden mind would obsess over the past and the higher spiritual planes or growth for that matter would then just remain a dream.

Well, then, we are blessed that we are unable to access those deep-seated memories and are given another chance to start afresh.

Now that I don’t remember and cognize well that if born again, this very life would be nothing more than a dream. So I ask myself:

Is it still important to make myself heard?

Do I still work under pressure when I know even here stress can’t deliver my best?

Can I simply enjoy the efforts?

Who am I trying to perfect(my Self or Sumi)?

Do I keep trading peace for ignorance?

Questions such as these always help me to keep coming back to my practice. The ultimate purpose of reflections is to keep reminding that we are a part of a whole and to bring us close to our being.

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfread/5884714699

On and Off Relationship(Cont’d…)

This post is a continuation of the previous one.

Often when the mind blabbers, it is lost in thoughts about the past or the future. Whereas when the mind is calm, we would be more “aware” of the current experience, isn’t it? The awareness I am referring to- is not the awareness of the physical body or the train of thoughts but the inner being.

In meditation, we try to investigate and be intently aware of that silent and formless inner being. If you meditate, you might have come to experience a thoughtless state. Even for a second, when the mind empties, you witness the space/gap, pure awareness. You cannot explain that state in words but you were very much witnessing that thoughtless state. That awareness is the real you.

Even when the Mind thought it was distanced from the Self, the substratum supporting these thoughts were none other than the Self. Though the conditioned mind loves to believe that it is a different entity in itself, it is part of a unified whole. Whatever we see, feel, hear, smell or think are nothing but the interactions of the elements of the whole. Just as the words and the blank background simultaneously and interdependently make this blog post. Likewise, the tragic story is nothing but the thoughts transpiring in the self and hence it was never detached.

Then, why do we miss it? When we look at a thing, our attention goes to its name and the form, then although the substratum is supporting, it goes unnoticed. For example, while you are reading this post, you read the content but do not pay attention to the blank background which made this post a reality. These words are intertwined in this space so intimately and inseparably that it gets difficult to discern with our senses. It is everywhere, we are practically living in it.

“Why do I need to be aware of this awareness?” You may ask.
Well, as the saying goes, ‘you can exist here just as a piece of creation or you can exist here as the very Creator himself’- you make the choice. But again, this is just self-knowledge, knowledge in itself cannot guarantee a life free of dualism. However, it will motivate you to stay present in the moment and investigate more in knowing and experiencing that Immutable ‘I’.

Avyaktādīni bhūtāni vyakta-madhyāni bhārata
Avyakta-nidhanānyeva tatra kā paridevanā//
Bhagavad Gita:2,28

O scion of Bharat, all created beings are unmanifest before birth, manifest in life, and again unmanifest on death.

Image: the web