Love?? Hate??

Love and Hatred had kept me awake at many a night. I had felt them strongly or should I say that they followed me like my own shadow. I failed to understand the hold they had on me but nonetheless, they were with me all the time.

You know when something calls your life shots, however young you may be, that you need to probe further to understand the dynamics of what you feeling. Well, that’s exactly what I did – I tried to make sense of why they kept me company. First, I blamed myself and that wasn’t helping and then I blamed my sun sign and that was stupid and at last, I thought I made peace with it- I thought maybe I am allowed to feel them with such intensity.

Meanwhile, I reasoned with my mom, friends or just anybody that I could talk to, to see if they felt as strongly as I did towards these dualities(L/H). All the advice I got was to ignore these emotions- how are you to ignore them when you are under its spell? I think that is the worst advice that you could give a kid.

It is like this, I either fell for a thing or it never existed for me. I never really knew the middle ground. For me, all the other emotions were by-products of these two.

But you would all agree with me on the idea of being in love. There is a reason why they say “Love is God”. When you are in love, even the cold winters seem like spring, everything and everyone around you is beautiful.

But when the same love begins to turn sour then it gives way to hatred(the other side of the same coin). Growing up, I never understood this, in fact, neither my parents knew this- that the Love/Hatred that you feel is not because of a THING/PERSON/SITUATION. Yeah, they might trigger the feeling but it is not coming from them.

It is exactly like how Oxytocin makes you feel good, trustworthy just by getting a hug or a kiss. Now, would you say, the kiss alone is responsible for you feeling good or maybe that the person(who gave the kiss) triggered it but it is the hormone that’s making you bond better?

I only could really make peace with these emotions after I knew that there might require a trigger to discover these but in entirety, they always existed in me, as a part of me. And that puts me in power over what to choose and more importantly how to be when I am in their company.

Knowing that you have power over your emotions makes it easier to be with them. And Gita(7,27)seconds what we had discussed here- we are all born into delusion overcome by the conflicting pair of opposites(dvandvah) and the only way out of it is to understand it.

And this is what I was reading. Interesting thought, isn’t it? I wish I read something like this when I had these questions on my mind. It would have made things lot easier 🙂

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Sentimentalism & Spiritualism

  • Are you a sentimentalist?
  • Do you cry when you see your favorite star in tears?
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  • Do the attractive young people in cheeseburger commercials lure you to the closest burger joint?
  • Don’t you fall for the idea that eating junk and staying healthy is very much possible?
  • Don’t you believe that doing well here will fetch you a place in the heaven?
  • Do you indulge in adult bullying with your sentiments gone haywire?

Sentimental Dhritarashtra

Sentimental Dhritarashtra

If your answer to the above questions is ‘yes’ then you can be called a sentimentalist. However, from the researchers’ point of view, we all are naturally sentimental.

According to them, our feelings and emotions rule over our logic.

If you are curious about how they arrived at this conclusion?
Their answer is pretty direct-that all our decisions are driven by self-interest. Hence most of our decisions are sentimental in nature.

Well, that is to do with being sentimental and decision making. Sentimentality sure does have a place in literature but do you think it stands any chance in spirituality?

There is a lot on this subject by Advaitans both in Gita and Mahabharatam(Shanti parvam). And the text’s advice is to pull the sentimental veil away and to see the world as it truly is.

If you say you would love to do that but just can’t figure out how to do it. Then their response to that is also fairly simple-that every problem has its roots in our identifications and so does this.

Even in the vyavaharika world, we say that we have a body, a mind, and an intellect.  We do not state that we are the body or the mind or the intellect. Yet, we end up identifying with all of them and inevitably their imagined problems add up as our own. But what if we identify ourselves to that Invincible Atman and believe that everything is but an explicit expression of the Atman, including the intellect, mind and the body.

Imagined Boundaries

With that knowledge, if we could discern that neither the body nor the mind or the intellect has an individual existence. They all are nothing but the self-just like how the clay pots and plates are nothing but clay.

If we could realize this then the same knowledge could be extended to other beings around us.

love-your-neighbor-sign-god

I know this whole thing sounds simple in theory but in practice, it demands all our patience and perseverance. Yet entirely doable 🙂

Srimad Bhagavad Gita:

Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante jñānavān māṁ prapadyate
vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā su-durlabhaḥ// 7,19

A man who has attained this true knowledge(knowledge of the Self/Atman) worships me as Atman. He understands that everything is Atman and there exists nothing except Atman. Such a man is extremely rare.

Pictures: Internet

 

Web Of Illusion

There was this story from a book by Sudha Murthy that I was reading which was thought-provoking. While reading this, it also reminded me of a shloka from the Gita which addressed the same problem wherein  Krishna acknowledges that it is indeed difficult to overcome his web of illusion(Maya) unless we surrender our mind unto him/Truth.

When this comes from the God himself, it just goes to reinforce the gravity required when dealing with his illusion which is spun by none other than God himself. This should break the shackles of ignorance of knowing it all. The idea of ‘knowing it all’ is itself rutted in avidya, isn’t it?

Daivī hyeṣhā guṇa-mayī mama māyā duratyayā
Mām eva ye prapadyante māyām etāṁ taranti te// 7.14

Anyways, let’s get to the story. Will try to make it as short as possible.

So, it begins with Sage Narada being reprimanded by Brahma for poking his nose in common man’s business and advising them to become a sage like him.

Brahma thought this wasn’t right as Narada had no understanding of mortal life. However, this didn’t go quite well with Narada and therefore he approached his mentor Vishnu for some advice.

As always Vishnu had that mischievous smile on him which Narada couldn’t understand. While Narada went about explaining his stance, he was interrupted by Vishnu for a glass of water. Now he didn’t have any water left in his kamandalam so Vishnu advised him to fetch some from the nearest lake.

While Narada dipped the pot into the lake, he saw a series of white steps below the surface of the water and he couldn’t resist going down the stairs. He went deep under the water and came across a beautiful maiden.

Their eyes met and they got talking. They had a lot in common and what swept him off was her deep devotion towards Vishnu. By the end of it, he had fallen in love with her and they got married.

Decades went by, and Narada became the father of sixty children. Life was utterly blissful. But one day, a terrible storm destroyed all that he cherished. One by one, he saw all his children die before him. He and his wife wept bitterly at their helplessness.

Suddenly, a big wave emerged and his wife was swept away by it too. Still holding on to a tree he cried and remembered Vishnu and chanted with all that he had.

And then he felt someone tapping on his shoulder. He opened his eyes and found Vishnu with the same mischievous smile. Narada couldn’t understand where the storm disappeared and still sobbing he told Vishnu what went by.

Vishnu chuckled. Then he finally admitted that he was the one who created that Maya for Narada. For Narada had never tasted attachment-he absolutely had no understanding of the illness(attachment) and yet he advised medication(detachment) to the common man.

So, Vishnu said to Narada that if an accomplished sage like him can get caught in this web of illusion, then how hard it is for the men to stay detached.

Web of Illusion

So, that is the story and poor Narada had to go through all that to understand what it means to lose whatever he gained here living. The only way out for Narada or for anybody is total surrender. The moral of the story is to remind us of the impermanence and to seek refuge in him who is busy spinning 🙂

As much as we think we understand Maya- it further fools us into believing that we are in full control. Just like the storm, it comes from nowhere and hijacks our mind into illusions of fantasy. Without any difficulty, it can keep us occupied with it for decades together.

We all have an experience of how our thoughtless state can be swept into a never-ending wreck of drama with a simple idea of either raga(love) or dvesha(hatred). I am sure no one is devoid of this experience. I believe from this experience should arise the knowledge that Vidya and avidya are two faces of the same coin. If we understand one, we will eventually understand the other.