She is a will!

‘Tis the simple joys

That warmed her heart

For no reason

A wave

Of air or water or hand

Are caresses she cared.

She jewelled with the smiles,

From all the known, unknown.

She wore an eternal spring on her.

Her shoes of fluid clear waters

Making her gait swift, definite,

Also delicate.

Bright, effervescent, yet sensitive

The rose of her demeanour.

Untouched by the swift moods

When in clouds,

She rarely became pale

her inner sight transparent.

They say, she is a dream!

I say, she is a will!

©️Deepti Vishwanath

Mind

Bounces like a ping pong;

Needs to be pushed up,

And more low than high.

Swings like a pendulum,

From a past left to a future right

Oscillating relentlessly

Soaks like a sponge,

All that it is sens-ational,

Imagining more than real.

Clings like a creeper,

To the tree of the known.

Hooked to hope of a sweet fruit.

Fickle, impulsive, insecure, attached.

What do I say,

About you, O Mind!

You tie a ‘me’ within you!

©️Deepti Vishwanath

Pic – courtesy web space.

Awake

Wild is her nature,

Not willing to be tamed.

She travels everywhere,

Without any aim.

Restless is she,

To live it all.

No care for future,

Nor a clinging past.

Carries no remorse,

Nor ambition in her.

Bright she wears always,

an ever smiling face.

Her ensemble, her virtues.

A Generosity bag in her hand.

Spring in her gait,

on her way

She befriends all.

No malice, no ego.

She stands very tall.

She lives a dream,

With a light.

Awakening within herself!

©️Deepti Vishwanath. January 2019

Fly Past

Birds I see in the sky,

a rainy afternoon.

Wet and chirpy,

flying freely by.

Circling, but high above!

Looking down

ever now and then.

With a glee in their manner,

Telling me to join them.

To Abandon the secure – dry, lands.

And warn me,

“No, No. don’t take a plunge!”

Instead “fly high!” They say,

Towards the limitless sky.

And view behind also

Like them,

Ever now and then;

To lure another one.

To escape the ‘grounds’

For the skies!

Join the birds.

Flying high and past

Leaving the ephemeral Grounds.

For the Real skies.

©️Deepti Vishwanath. January 2019.

Destiny

You choose your destiny

With the choice you make today

I chose my destiny

By letting you choose for me!

You be responsible for your choice

I be, for my fate.

My friend!

What is there to grieve now?

For life,

Flows only forwards

Leaving us with the reap

Of our own cultivation!

©️Deepti Vishwanath. January 2019

Beyond a name

Beyond a name

Is a face.

Beyond a face

Is an identity. I know.

But,

I say,

I hope. I fear. I love. I wish. I do. I seek.

I hear. I laugh. I cry. I sigh! I want. I like.

List endless and keeps me alive.

You say. You too,

Hope. Fear. Love. Wish. Do. Seek. Hear. Laugh. Cry. Sigh!

“I want”. “I like”.

For you also! List seems endless.

Keeps you alive and kicking!

But, We say we have different identities!

Because the objects we wish to unite with are different?!

But,

My eyes see. Your eyes see.

Our eyes see colour and form. Period.

Is this enough a difference,

that you like blue and I like green?

But we both don’t like to see violence!

My ears hear. Your ears hears.

Our ears hear. Period.

Is it enough a difference, I like classical and you like fusion!

But we both don’t like to hear being abused.

My tongue tastes. Your tongue tastes.

Is it enough a difference,

I like spicy, you, sweet.

But we both don’t like food

served with humiliation.

I want happiness. You want happiness.

I don’t want pain. You also don’t want pain!

I suspect now.

We all, are cloned.

Fooled to believe

To be The individual!

©️ Deepti Vishwanath. January 2019

Travel

Ridges in the mind

We take a walk in

Bridges of the objects

With the subject

Through the rough roads

Unpaved, bumpy etches

Of memories.

Some smooth pavements,

But far and few.

The pleasant experiences,

We run among them,

Finding a way out.

And all the roads

Seem so twined.

With fruits seen hanging

Here and there,

Always in reach

But, an inch away.

The maze woven. More intricate

With the carriage ride

Reaching nowhere.

Ending with the starting point.

Travelling in the ridges

Tired now, then refreshed again

Hope adding the fuel.

To reach a dead end again!

Traversed for eons now.

Hither. Where is the exit?

©️Deepti Vishwanath (Jan 2019)

Gamble

Aha! So. Many roads you see?

From this point onwards,

And each with many lanes

and by-lanes,

Not knowing which goes where,

What turn to take.

No sign boards ahead or

From above.

How do you know

Where to go?

Midway the highway

Stop you cannot.

Not rest by the side.

For how long after all!

Oh! The push and speed from behind.

The honk and the crank.

The noise from all!

They know where they go?

Follow who then I?

Is life then, only a gamble?

Mind. Such are your lanes.

©️Deepti Vishwanath

वापिस – Return

Describing in minimum words, the rarity of the culmination of a spiritual pursuit. Home referring to one’s starting point. Destination is reaching Home again. Pointing to the search of happiness which begins with a journey of searching outward of oneself and culminating it in discovery within one’s self as one’s very nature .

क्या है यह इत्तिफ़ाक़

कि मन्ज़िल आ पहुँचे

वरना घर से तो सब निकले थे !

A difficult translation this is!

What chance is this

That destination is reached

Else,

Everyone left a home!

©️Deepti Vishwanath

Some Why’s?

Body lit on pyre

What truth it tells?

The end is certain

And known.

Why then? Does living seem eternal?

That to accommodate, to forgive, to forget

To laugh, to hug, to be light

Seems so difficult!

Why does human not remember that end is certain,

and

Why does he not live with this memory?

Why does human pride his ignorance?

Why does human divide as me-mine, you-yours?

Why can compassion not be cultivated as a universal value?

Why can kindness not be compulsory?

Why can injury caused to lesser expressions of life be allowed?

Why are values not a priority universally,

Irrespective of nationality colour creed gender!

Why are there so many religions?

When prayers are same! For happiness.

Some of the why’s my teacher said never to ask!

©️ Deepti Vishwanath

Views and Counter views

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Saw an acrobatic parrot! Was literally dancing on the wire. What a sight it was! The playfulness and enjoyment was so clearly seen. Glad i got a capture!

It recalled a conversation I once had! A never ending (it seemed) looped conversation. Which became the inspiration for the quote! Helps me remain open minded.

For hours we talked and every point was equally countered and we finally agreed to disagree!

The topic generally was around, “Objectivity in relationships or involvement in relationships – which works better!” Though this cannot be conclusively deducted, for lack of methods to determine subjective measures; still we had a great discussion.

One take – Objective person alone can have great relationships. They remain fresh for a long time and the quality is different, because involvement invariably narrows the perspective to individual basis. And individual basis means seeing the other person only from one’s stand point. This can be suffocating and eventually can get putrified. Making mess of both concerned people. Allowing and appreciating the other person to remain as they are and still be able to accommodate the differences is only possible if there is objectivity. It reduces expectations, which itself is a great health for a relationship. Since expectations burden a person.

The other take – involvement makes better relations. Because involvement is natural and in fact determinant to who we can be close to or not. It is anyways unavoidable, since no person can really remain objective all the time. Involvement helps know the other person better, which allows better concern for the other. Like in case of a mother and child. Or married partners. Also, objectivity can slip into appearing cold and indifferent to the other which in fact can brew tremendous trouble.

And so back and forth we went and also our ways! But this parrot reminded me of this incident.

The incident and the photograph are more than a couple of years old. Deliberately made the picture grainy for effect. Since it is not going to be in print.

– Deepti Vishwanath.

Empty slate

An empty slate,

To write each one

Their own fate.

Crayons of hands and feet,

Scribbling as they please.

Figuring out the sheet;

Maximise they squeeze.

To evoke that probable;

To avoid the disdain.

To try every possible,

To achieve the gain.

Empty slate the universe gave.

Gave the tools, to efforts save.

To feel, to plan, to change, to create.

Nature grant one to sate.

But, hid it subtle,

To allow us play.

Now each is trying;

To write something,

That unveils the pleasures.

To discover the treasures.

Success is the only measure;

Before the final D- day!

Alas! Then.

Empty thou comes and thy returns!

©️Deepti Vishwanath. 2019

Embracing Me

Embracing what is a better me

Why then?

O Dear Mind!, resist thee?

Forgiving, gentle, open and warm

Why then?

O Mind! You see them as harm

Trust the nature divine

It cannot but be fine

To love to heal to let the other be

It is for you, do not flea

The kindness, the care , the service

Is essential breath to life truss

Remember the base ever

However did the Moon shine?

It took and it gave and it glowed all the way!!

Thus alone is the way, O Mind!

Let me bloom to be a better Me!

©️Deepti Vishwanath. 2019

Time and Mind

Time only moves forward

Why then dear mind

Do You go backwards

Getting stuck in by lanes gone

Getting off, ever so often

To visit events forlorn

To reminisce, what charm you find

In plodding dead troughs behind

Hacking your way over and over

To dig chambers which are now blur

Time only moves forward

Liberating every done undone

Unfolding a new in every Sun

Why then O Mind!

Do you move backwards?

©️Deepti Vishwanath

Inspirational Quote

©️Deepti Vishwanath

Homecoming

Let me find a home

With no bricks and walls

Not even faces or calls

There find no gnome.

To pick the light

Reflecting inward halls

Let me sit there

Which fills it here.

Leaving the city gates

Be where fullness awaits.

Let me find that home!

©️Deepti Vishwanath

Write a soft experience

What life experience is there,

But a write on sand where

Which nature will not help erase?

Is joy and grief really that afar?

they seem inseparably not apart?

Why then? Let nature do its part.

Write soft, gentle, free.

It forever will flee!

©Deepti Vishwanath

मैं कौन हूँ या फिर क्या हूँ मैं?

मैं कौन हूँ या फिर क्या हूँ मैं?

कौन सा प्रश्न है इन्में सही?

कहूँ मैं अगर…

निराकार आयाना हूँ मैं ।

क्या अब आप पहचानोगे मुझे?

आप अपना ही चेहरा

बदल बदल के देखोगे मुझमें!

तब तक … जब तक

अपने को निराकार नहीं देखोगे!

तब तक

बदल बदल के मुझे

अपने को ही देखोगे मुझमें ।

©️दीप्ति विश्वनाथ

Life

Life, as I mystify on your existence
You rule over me.
Chain me, anchor me.
Deep down in the soil under the water.
As much I want to float – like a lotus.
You encage me in a body,
as much I want to set free and fly past.
©️Deepti Vishwanath.
A poem scribbled on 10.5.1985.

From the balcony

Overlooking. From the balcony.

One sees

The hustle, the bustle,

The juggle, the struggles,

For a meaningful existence!

And I sit there,

Wondering!

If this is all it was!

Unsatisfied

By the gains and loss.

The whole vast universe

Is this it – all?

©️Deepti Vishwanath

Empty thyself.

How much has been collected?

And the end so near!

To empty it all,

Is there time enough!?

At the thin brink

Between life and Death;

I will be checked,

For what all did I bring back.

All that is collected so far,

Belongs to heather world!

Surely, it is going to be rejected;

While I enter through the thin door.

On this side

it all seems mandatory.

On returning home,

It is all but nugatory!

Wait!

Let me carry what I can carry home.

For all I see

Only myself is allowed to be.

But alas!

the frivolities are too heavy a baggage!

Accumulating I did not see!

Empty where now will it be?

©️Deepti Vishwanath

Beginning and End

In a beginning,

end comes along as a shadow.

In an end,

A beginning hides within.

Playing thus with each other only

Giving the impression

For us they are!

Companions seeking no another

We remain catching one or the other

In a sport the two play

A cycle of life….

Completing itself.

At every beginning and end,

With us feeling elated and dejected,

Their game culminates,

The tournament continues.

And we – falsely attribute

it as our beginning and end!

©️Deepti Vishwanath

Between no more.

Between life and death

Time is ours

No more no less.

To discover,

The undiscovered yet.

What objects and enjoyments are worth!

Now No more.

The Me is yet to be known!

 

Between two breaths,

Time is ours.

No more no less.

To turn over the chance,

To wilful choice.

Choosing the Ephemeral

Now no more!

 

Between sleep and sleep

The waking is ours.

No more no less.

To claim the eternal freedom.

A ‘Between’, when

NOW no more.

 

©️Deepti Vishwanath.

Sky Art

#Photograph #picture

Man made and Nature Art.

Taken a year ago. By a smart camera!

Fire in the sky

#Photograph #picture

Man made and Nature crafted design!

Taken a year ago. By a smart camera!

Photograph

Man made and Nature crafted designs

©️ Deepti Vishwanath

Masked

Every face is masked.

Oh! How many to each!

Yet, behind each, the many masks

Why is it the same in all?

The same insecurity, fear, anxiousness,

Attachment, aversions,

Greed, avarice, anger et all!

Amusing it is not. To hide

what is common to all,

We put on the mask.

Only hoping

To meet the one

who would see us

as we are!

Why must I put on the mask

When I am who you are!?

©Deepti Vishwanath

Memories

As in twilight

Images blurred.

Recognised but faintly

Outlines merged.

Colours monochrome.

No smell or taste or touch.

What is this?

Memories!

Evoking feelings

Ranging wide and wild

Bringing smiles and tears.

In a dazed present.

Are they real?

O! The inner eye,

Look closely!!

Do you see an image only?

A rainbow life

Desiring a rainbow life,

With sunshine their companion

Dispelling clouds of doubts,

Darkness of ignorance, insecurity

Removing one from obscurity.

What one seeks is a rainbow life!

Temporary though it may seem

Vivid it ought to beam

With birds carrying the imaginations high

On to the clear skies

A rainbow life

Is all we seek..

We all seek

But,

And,

that is all we seek.

A rainbow life,

Is it not an illusion?

Is it not a delusion?

– Deepti Vishwanath

Photo credits – web

Inner Strength

The bloom, the gloom;

The whine, the dine;

Matters it not,

To the sublime.

The pomp, the show;

The shorn, the worn;

Worries it not,

To the refined.

The snout, the pout;

The hop and the shout;

Interests it not.

To those, wisely defined.

To fame, to shame;

To glory. to sorry;

Ignores its call.

The one,

Who shine with the light

Within it all.

– Deepti Vishwanath

Silence

The clock ticks

Reminding of the movement

Set in motion

Under whose plan or will?

The rising Sun

Seen day after day

Eternal as though

A stark witness

To the movements herein

The rising waves,

Who impels them?

For whom do they rise and fall

Tirelessly

Sometimes graceful,

Other times not!

The hills, the lakes, the snow,

The meadows, the forests

Oh! So much … All in motion

How can life be finite?

When every aspect of it is infinite!

And Now, I hear the silence!

Between the two tick ….. tick!

Ah! The joy of Silence!

 

– Deepti Vishwanath

 

Spectator

For one day at a time

In time

A day passed another

Like soldiers marching ahead

I stand as a spectator

Hearing the drums

The monotony, yet firm

The uniformity

Taking the orders

Restricting them…

Obedient.. Choiceless… Voiceless

Do I see hopeless as well?

Time… The great humbler

If one is marching along

As a spectator,

Free.

– Deepti Vishwanath

The spotless mirror

I stood in front of a mirror.

The mirror was spotless!

But why was my image so hazy? I gasped!

Seeing myself through the many eyes;

Where are mine?

Stopped have I?

Seeing through my eyes!

My own being!

The mother, sister, wife, grand..whoever!

The Doctor, Artist, Writer, philosopher…. however!

The gender, age, caste, race.. whatever!

Seeing myself in a mirror,

The glass is spotless.

But not the image!

Who am I??

Through my eyes?

Mirror is spotless, but why is the image not clear?

Removing the colors

I started to remove the colours
from my vision,

And all the colours flooded in!

I then, held on to a colour,

The colour darkened so much,

It was no more The colour.

Also, all other colours disappeared!

I learnt a lesson.

Delight is not exclusive.

 

I saw birds flying

Freely in the skies

Chirping, quirking,

I held one!

It lost its joyful garbling voice,

Spoke only when prompted

And as trained,

I learnt a lesson!

Delight cannot be held.

 

I saw the waters,

Clear, gurgling, dancing, when they hit the rocks,

Hitting their highs sportively

I held some in a jar,

To carry with me its pristine clarity and quality.

It went quiet.

I learnt a lesson!

Delight cannot be bound.

 

I went to the mountains,

Trying to be one with them,

Danced around them,

Spread my arms to embrace them..

Oh! How majestic and strong!

Talked loud to them,

They echoed myself back

I learnt a lesson!

Delight is everywhere. Anywhere. Whenever I call it!

 

Sitting in my room, saw two flies

Playing with each other,

Oh! The joy!

And I said,

Why am I delighted?

It is they, who are playing!

And I learnt the most important lesson.

Delight is in Me! is Me!

It cannot be held!

It is not exclusive!

It cannot be bound!

It is everywhere, anywhere because of Me!

It is indeed, Me alone! 

 

 

© Deepti Vishwanath, Photo – Vishwanath Tekur

When a leaf fell

A yellow leaf on a branch

Saw the few yet green

Somehow did not see

The many that were yellow.

Knowing intuitively

and fearing,

It’s time has come –

For the Great Fall.

Wondered,

Am I ready for the call?

It looked only at the green leaves

envying their vibrancy

Why did I turn yellow at all?

The fall, is now inevitable,

It recognised.

The branch was thrusting it out.

The leaf so wanted to hold on,

But, alas!

The force was only from one side -the branch.

The yellow leaf pondered quickly,

Can I trust the air?

Will it take me to a place

Where I rest and be embraced

With warmth and no fear?

And it shuddered, when it wondered,

Should I surrender to the wind?

Or, Should I resist the wind?

A question it had no answer for.

Those already fallen could not reach the branch anymore,

and relate their tale of how it felt when they fell

And those on the tree, did not even suspect the fall.

And then,

It started falling…

And the yellow leaf suddenly realized,

The only resistance it could offer is the weight of its own self that it carried..

The wind was kind,

as the leaf dried up, weight gone..

It knew instantly..

it will survive, without the tree!

Merged with the soil, it will nourish the tree..

 

© Deepti Vishwanath.  Photo courtesy- Vishwanath Tekur

Himalayan peaks and Sunrise enroute Nainital – Mukteshwar 

#Photograph

Enroute …. I love to shoot without any special preparation… Just capture the essence without stopping.. Most of my photographs have this is them..

The same drive.. Dawn.. Around 5.15 a.m..First rays of seeing the sunrise in the Himalayan Range of Nainital district. These are famously called Panchauli peaks.. The 5 peaks..  More later..

Same road… Another turn.. From the car..

Weaving

A couple of years ago! Suddenly saw this.. Was still getting my hand at an amateur semi-auto canon camera.. But,  nevertheless, the weave has always remained one of my favorite captures.. Unedited #nofilter



All © Deepti Vishwanath

Archived Photograph

@Pangong Lake, Leh-Ladhak. Situated at the height of about 14,270 ft.  It is an endorheic lake along the Indo China border.  A part of the lake falls in India and a part in China. Despite being salt water lake, it completely freezes during winters.. The lake is about 5kms wide at its broades and 134 kms long.

A local returning home from a day’s work with her sheep.  @ Nubra Valley.

World Photography Day

#Photograph #picture #nofilter

My recent favorites on the occasion of the World Photography Day.  #WPD

Dawn at River Ganges in the ancient, beautiful city of Benaras, also called Varanasi.


Fishermen’s boats docked at sunrise.. #Benaras


The capture of the flag bordering the Sun and the faint distant star @Benaras Ghat

Samsāra – The vortex

I have a few days, to do nothing. So I decided to take a dip into my ocean of thoughts, and see if I emerge surfing or scathed!

I prefer to view life impersonally. For one simple reason, I see nothing happening to anyone which has not happened to someone else before, ever! Thus, personalising experiences, I have been a bit wary off. It certainly does not mean I do not recognise them. It just implies, I would rather see myself as one amongst the many out there having a similar experience. Just as my name is not my unique identity, so too, neither are my experiences. Yet, i too, as everyone else, would want to know what makes me unhappy? What do I truly want? What makes me insecure? Or have anxiety, of what? Why would I feel lonely? Or Depressed? And instead of wanting answers or a way out for myself, I choose a different route!

I want to know, yes but I want to know, Why do we as mankind experience more strife than joy, more hurts than cheer, more depressions, anxieties, fears, than more fun, happiness, peace, calm, love, caring, empathy. Are we individualised, or individually targeted to receive these? Or are these mere perceptions? Or are we somewhere missing out on something which can eliminate – the vortex?

These are two different ways. In the personal method, I quickly submerge myself, I drown faster. Feel lonely, helpless. Seeking and waiting mercy, since I feel individually targeted. I find reasons. Why am I going through the lows? What have I done to deserve it? Etc. This approach itself is the problem. Since it strengthens my vision of separation from the universe. The felt alienation is the source of a lot of human ills.

Whereas, when I see that firstly, I am not individually targeted to receive some unhappiness, on the contrary, there are always people who have gone through or are going through worse, I instantly prevent slipping into the vortex. Where is that one human who has never experienced unhappiness, dejection, fear, anxiety, loneliness etc. Would then the answer to freedom from these lie in an individual outlook?

These ‘real’ experiences which a human is susceptible to and experiences them as demons in and of his life, are all encompassed under one umbrella, called SAMSĀRA.    The term envelopes all the feelings which amount to saying, “My life sucks!” “I see no end to my struggles” etc. It is the vortex, which simply destroys the individual.

A factual understanding of human life as seen around, keeps one objective.

It is the very not knowing oneself, the human worth, the human potential, the ignorance of self worth and self potential begins the force, which ultimately becomes the vortex.

I dive into my ocean of thoughts and sail, if I remain objective. But, am instantly scathed, if I make my any expereince as exclusive to me!

May the dark force of samsāra be destroyed by the light of the One.

 

Deepti Vishwanath

Dissolve away

To be born like a wave in ocean, 

A momentary distinction

And all the joys and sorrows to hold on to then

How real is that?

All relations and achievements,

All gains, possessions and giving aways!
When, the wave will dissolve away

Back to being ocean

Would the limited experience be so valuable then?
I thought this,

And then,

My heart flooded 

With uninterrupted joys 

Of the manifold, 

Of vastness,

Of no fear of separation or loss.

Ah! The ride as the wave became precious

For, it made me recognise the water! 

Enquiring ‘Creation’

To the thinkers of Vedanta, it is too obviously, blatantly fallacious to conclude that creation ‘began’ with a big-bang or any other theory! There is no eruption seen without its underlying cause. When the seed sprouts from the soil, we don’t say, a sapling is created. We say a sapling has emerged. So too, the creation is not created, it emerges. Instead of wasting human enquiry on discovering ‘WHEN’ the creation started? It would perhaps be fruitful to enquire, where did it emerge! ‘WHERE’ has the creation emerged?

DV thinks first, this is a maddening enquiry! Where? How can creation emerge in another creation? Then that creation in another and so on. This is the loop of ‘ad infinitum’. No wonder, Man is recycling his invention within creation. He cannot get out of the ‘created’.

And then DV saw! Creation is an emergence. Creation Exists even as its ‘unseen’ state. But where, WHAT is that soil which holds the seed and the sprout? And more importantly, Which is, by itself not a creation and certainly not its product.

Ah Brahman! The ever existent! For some tangibility, is called by a name “AUM” 🕉

Significance of a religious life.

In Vedās, a religious life is prescribed for all those who have :

a. Absence of Ātma Brahman Aikya jñanam.
b. Who have rāga-dveśa.

Absence of knowledge that the real nature of oneself- Ātma, is in fact, Brahman – the vast. Popularly referred to as Self-knowledge. The Self here is Ātma as oneself, and not the notion that I am an individual. This absence is referred to as Self-ignorance or simply ignorance. Ignorance is not referring to absence of any objective knowledge, like that of Physics, Economics etc. But it is stating the ignorance regarding Self-knowledge.

In the absence of Self -knowledge, the obvious outcome is “I am an individual”. And in such a notion of individuality, obvious is the presence of rāga-dveśa, likes and dislikes.

Man is afflicted by his Self ignorance primarily. It is the root cause of “ALL” the sorrows. Sprouting from it, man then gets afflicted by the likes-dislikes. In essence, the Vedās point out that a human being, irrespective of his gender, race, colour etc. spends away his life being constantly disturbed. Sorrow is encompassing all the felt disturbances.

But, an human being, again irrespective of his gender, race, colour etc. also has the equipped faculties, to gain this Self-knowledge. In the presence of which the root of Self -ignorance gets uprooted, there is then no locus for the individuality, and thus, no likes and dislikes get formed. The person of Self-knowledge, Such a human is referred to as “liberated”. Having fulfilled his human birth potential.

To uproot Self-ignorance, a lot of internal preparation is required. Just as to sow a seed, the soil is tilled; so too, for Self-knowledge, the human mind needs tilling.

This tilling is the job of a religious life.

Does every religion then take one to Self-knowledge?

No. Though ALL religions, when followed, cultivate the soil.

Vedic vision held the performance of the Vedic Karmas as religious. This was the karma-kanda, portion of Vedās detailing the knowledge regarding Karmas to be performed as per your notions of individuality. Abiding in the performance of the prescribed Karmās was being religious.

What was the advantage of this vision? The uniqueness of the vision of the Vedas? To the extent a person abided in his ordained karma, to that an extent indirectly his internal preparation took place. The source of sorrow coming from likes-dislikes got managed. And as one got prepared, the Vedās effortlessly revealed Ātma-jñana, through the Vedānta part, also called the Upanishads. Knowing which the final source of sorrow was destroyed. The one with Self-knowledge, now is the One. Where there is no sorrow. For sorrow to be, there has to be duality. But, for the Ātma-jñani, where is the other?

Thus, Vedic Karmās relevance as a religious life. And as with any knowledge, the chances of it being understood is relative, so too with Vedic knowledge. And the non-understanding leading to misunderstanding gets compounded when the knowledge is regarding the very Subject, the person, who has to re-know himself. This leads to layers and layers of deep-rooted superstitions, fanaticism, blind beliefs, rigid adherences, which more often destroy the very purpose of knowledge. And moreover, destroy the very potential of a human existence.

I will

I will let the world go by, like waters in a river..

Why will I hold on to it?

what for ever flows ..

i will step side to see the flow

where does it all go,

to which ocean does this life merge?

if all this was only nothing

then

anyways, why will I hold to it?

i will let it go

yes. I will let it go,

to return back

to my wakefulness

when I let the world go,

i live,

eternally..

let it go.

To live.

 

 

 

 

 

Dance

Let us dance

with the movement of the winds

the songs of the rivers

the earth our theatre

the skies our audience

and all

the birds, caterpillars, butterflies

o come be my companion!

let us dance

feeling our breaths

for Life

certainly

is worthy of a great performance!

© Deepti Vishwanath

Pic courtesy-web

 

The Flag

Hoisting the flag 

Of freedom

I broke through

The slavery

Created by myself.

Through pleasures, 

And achievements, 

And relationships, of course!

When I saw,

To die is effortless 

When you know

What is it you have to kill.

To regain…

Freedom.

By the Ghats

By the ghat, standing I,

saw the river flow by.

Telling me tales of many a times

forlorn by us,

She remembers it all.

I turn to look at the people behind me,

busy, hustling, bustling…

in need to get somewhere,

go somewhere,

get something,

achieve something,

a rush!

Then, I took the plunge!

One last thing I did;

took the boat

to the other shore.

I stand here,

where I hear the tales from the river,

been eternally there,

of the same ceaseless hustles,

been eternally there,

I see on the other shore!

only, from the other end!

© Deepti Vishwanath

Dreams

Dreams, are you meant that I chase you,

or, are you chimeras meant to mislead?

Are you the guiding light

or, are you the blockages?

Dreams, are you separate from me

or, are you me?

If you are separate,

I can leave you or chase you.

But, if you are me, or even a part;

then what is your significance?

I see you clearly;

so, you cannot be me!

You can neither be a part!

You have no physiological role.

Arms, heart, head and all

have a part they play.

If I dream to live on moon,

amongst all the celestial living beings.

Where there is no hatred, no competition,

no jealousy, no malice,

where only compassion exists!

Love for all.

Where God is not used,

For every God damn excuse.

Where coolness of the moon is

in everyones’ nature.

Where the waters are pure,

refreshing the skin.

Where a gentle breeze,

teases it constantly.

And there is no fear.

Where giving is more important than taking;

where love is essential for survival;

where sorrow is not known;

and the galaxies echo back the laughter!

Dream!

The respite.

From this predominantly

disturbed world.

Here,

what I dream as real

is only a rare exhibit.

How do I chase you, O Dream?

Your premises are all false!

You are only a figment of imagination!

Ahhhhh!

The milk just spilled over the boiler!!

 

© Deepti Vishwanath

Photo credits : web space.

 

 

 

 

 

What is Sannyasa? (Renunciation)

What is Saṁnyāsa ?

Desire to give up is as natural as desire to procure. They are both necessary aspects in determining the path of life experiences. Both are healthy desires. Both can prove beneficial or detrimental to survival as well as to the quality of living. The desire to procure can become detrimental when it exceeds a limit. Among the many ills, few are, it makes a person greedy, arrogant and insecure. Whereas the desire to give up, when it exceeds limits can prove dangerous as giving up one’s responsibilities and sometimes, even one’s life. On the other end of extreme, the desire to give up can also pave the path of absolute freedom. Mokṣa. This, the desire to procure can never bring. Mokṣa.

Saṁnyāsa is the healthy desire to give up which paves the path of Mokṣa.

Saṁnyāsa, its essential meaning is त्याग Tyāga. And Tyāga, the essential meaning is ‘To give up’. ‘To abandon’. ‘To leave’. But while Saṁnyāsa involves giving up, mere giving up is not Saṁnyāsa.

What is it that needs to be given up? To know this, we first recognise what is it to procure? What propels the desire to procure?

All procuring is prompted by an inner sense of unfulfillment. An inner sense of security, wanting to be loved, cared for. A felt incompleteness which drives one to seek a projected fulfilment. Upaniṣads call them एषणा eṣaṇa. All our material assets upto, all our relationships, are driven by the same sense of incompleteness. Brihadāranyaka Upaniṣad divides all our fundamental desires into three eṣaṇas. वित्तैषणा Vittaiṣaṇa, पुत्रैषणा Putraiṣaṇa & लोकैषणा Lokaiṣaṇa. They are representing Desire for wealth, Desire for a Son and Desire for a Heavenly life respectively. One desires some material possessions since they are necessary to expand a family. And son is expected to further the family and also grow it further, so son is desired. He is also expected to release his father from his debts, which ensure a heavenly life for the father. In these three fundamental desires, all the complex desires get included, for their ends would fall into one of these three. These remain the fundamental propellers for all forms of procurement. And the Upaniṣads further bring these down to अहंकार – ममकार संबन्ध ahaṃkara – mamakara. Relationships born of the notion “My Body” “I am an individual” one begins to own objects and also exert an authority of ownership on people. This brings relations like, “My family” “My husband” “My children” My house” “My car” “My table” My pen” “My bat” “My doll” Etc. Etc. As long as these remain in limits of universal laws, or even, and also legal laws, they give some happiness and fulfilment, limited and short-lived as they are.

But, when any of these procurements begins to be strenuous, riddled with pain and suffering, man wants to abandon the same. By such a giving up, the physical effort is given up. Even the mental chase of that particular may be given up. But the inner sense of unfulfillment, cannot be given up. It remains nudging inside. Due to this, man resumes to procure something else with a fresh hope, may be now, he gets the fulfilment, which will result in peace, mental relaxation and innermost happiness that will last his lifetime! Such a giving up in the first place, is called Rajasic Tyāga.

Sometimes one just gives up something or someone, without truly having understood the value of the object or the person. It is out of haughtiness or sheer lack of wisdom, or information. Many a times man gives up, only to regret later, when the value gets known. Such a giving up is called Tamasic Tyāga.

Both Rajasic and Tamasic Tyāga are not qualifying for Saṁnyāsa.

In the ahaṃkara-mamakara relationships and their strenuous nature to sustain them, possibly, some see, the futility and falseness of the assumed association, “that the method of procurement of objects and people, gives fulfilment.” It dawns upon them that it is a chase of 99. A spiral leading nowhere. It is simply wrong to assume that outward possessions or relations born due to “me being a body” can ever, can in fact NEVER bring inner fulfilment. They want to now instantly give up this life leading to procurements. They give up. All actions. All relations. All procuring habits. Such a giving up, is Sātvika Tyāga. An essential requirement for Saṁnyāsa. But, it still does not remove the inner felt unfulfillment.

Saṁnyāsa is of two essential kinds.

1.Ceasing activities that promote self procuring. And directing them towards means which help in discovering inner fulfilment. For facilitating this, one may take to the Saṁnyāsa Āśrama. The characteristic of Saṁnyāsa Āśrama is taking on certain vows, along with and including which are; काषायवस्त्र dressing one’s body in ochre coloured clothes, दण्ड carrying a stick, कमण्डलुआदि, a vessel for receiving food Anna Prasadam and मुण्ड shaving off the hair on the head. Without possessing anything, they choose to dwell modestly. This shift of āśrama without inner completeness yet, and for the sake of pursuing, discovering the inner completeness is called Vividiṣa Saṁnyāsa. Many kinds of saṁnyāsi fall in this category. It may be safe to presume the majority are such saṁnyāsi. They may pursue inner completeness through service, devotion or even austerities. But, they put little or no emphasis on ātma jñana as the primary and sole means of inner completeness.

Inner incompleteness is not a truth. It is a false belief. Man is inherently complete. He has to just discover it. And as with any belief, this too gets corrected with knowledge only. In this case, with self knowledge, ātma jñana, regarding one’s completeness.

Few take to vividiṣa saṁnyāsa for pursuing ātma jñana solely. To them, everything else is only incidentally relevant. All service, devotion, austerities will never occupy their life completely. They will spend their life seeking a Brahma Jñani ācharya, who would only be interested in dispersing the ātma jñana for the sake of the seeker. They will do the śāstra adhyayanam (indepth study of śāstra), will reflect, question, exert to understand the Mahāvākya, TAT TVAM ASI. All this, for liberation only. For in their minds they have well observed the endlessness of all other pursuits and the struggles and limitations. They are ready to give up everything for discovering the inner completeness.

Among all such, the One who rises enough in his inner pursuits to discover the Truth which ends all struggles and he is able to claim AHAM BRAHMĀSMI. He gains the Brahmānandam. The absolute, unbroken happiness.
2. There is another route to claiming Brahmāndam. Without taking vividiṣa saṁnyāsa. He remains with his life activities that he generated so far and begins the Tyāga of ahaṃkara-mamakara along with pursuing ātma jñana. This is Mānasa saṁnyāsa. Once his pursuit for the same culminates in discovering the Brahmānandam, he may then choose to give up all his possessions and relations. He has culminated his life journey. He may choose then to remain the rest of his life in his atmajñana. For this sole reason he may take to saṁnyāsa āśrama. It is then called Vidvat Saṁnyāsa. Or he may not take Saṁnyāsa at all and continue living among his life activities as a liberated one!

The following are also possible

3. When one takes to Saṁnyāsa Āśrama born from Rajasic Tyāga, it is referred to as Marakat Saṁnyāsa. Marakat means monkey. Such a person will keep wavering on his decision to have taken Saṁnyāsa.

4. There is a provision of an exception. Under a specific condition as an debilitating or a fatal disease, some wish to take Saṁnyāsa. It is taken almost at the dying moments. Such a Saṁnyāsa is called Ātura Saṁnyāsa.

For Mokṣa, ātma jñana is mandatory, and for ātma jñana, saṁnyāsa is essential. Whether vividiṣa or mānasa. But giving up the ahaṃkara-mamakara is what determines one is a saṁnyāsi or not.

In the world, many take to vividiṣa saṁnyāsa for the sake of filling their bellies and desires. A seeker should know, learn to differentiate and recognise the real from the fake!

In the Bhaja Govindam, verses attributed to Ādi Śaṅkarācharya, his student Padmapāda points out the foolishness of those who fake saṁnyāsa.

जटिलो मुण्डी लुञ्छितकेशः
काषायाम्बरबहुकृतवेषः ।
पश्यन्नपि च न पश्यति मूढो
ह्युदरनिमित्तं बहुकृतवेषः ॥ १४॥

There are many who go with matted locks, many who have clean
shaven heads, many whose hairs have been plucked out; some are
clothed in orange, yet others in various colours — all just for
a livelihood. Seeing truth revealed before them, still the foolish
ones see it not.

Whereas in the Bhagavad Gītā, Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna in the

अनाश्रित: कर्मफलं कार्यं कर्म करोति य: ।
स सन्न्यासी च योगी च न निरग्निर्न चाक्रिय: ॥६.१॥

Anāśritaḥ karmaphalaṃ karyaṃ karma karoti yaḥ
Sa sannyāsī cha yogi cha na niragnirna chākriyaḥ |6.1|

श्रीभगवान् बोले-

जो पुरुष कर्म फल का आश्रय न लेकर, करने योग्य कर्म करता है,
वह सन्न्यासी तथा योगी है;
न केवल अग्नि का त्याग करने वाला और न क्रियाओं का त्याग करने वाला ।।1।।

Śri Bhagavān says –
The one who does what ought to be done, without depending on the results
Such a One is called a saṁnyāsī and He alone is the Yogī
Not the one who merely gives up physical worship, nor the one who gives up actions.

Arjuna wanted to take to Rajasic Tyāga, and Marakata saṁnyāsa, when he saw his close ones standing across him in war, ready to fight him. Overwhelmed, Arjuna collapsed in anxiety at the thought of loosing them all. And suddenly he began to talk all philosophical. “What is the use of war?” “Why should we be greedy?” “Better is a life of Bhikśa (another discipline of saṁnyāsa, where they request to be fed from the householders) than to kill one’s own for the sake of a piece of land?” Etc. Etc. He came up with many such seeming intelligent arguments. But Kṛṣṇa knew him well and also his inner maturity. He was not ready for giving up the ahaṃkara-mamakara. On the contrary he was suffering the attachments born of them. Thus, Kṛṣṇa gives Arjuna the above advice. That it was better for him to act as ought to be done and first begin by giving up his attachments to the outcomes of his actions. That itself will qualify him gradually into a full fledged saṁnyāsi, ready then for Mokṣa. This was the advice to begin Mānasa saṁnyāsa. He tells Arjuna to be a saṁnyāsī, to be a yogī. And by telling Arjuna, Kṛṣṇa is telling us all. To stop leading a deluded life and live a more deliberate and conscious life which raises one’s own being.

© Deepti Vishwanath
24.2.17
Mahā Shivarātrī

Praying for the ‘third eye’ to open. Wishing everyone a blessed  Mahā Shivarātrī. 🕉

Love

Love is an enigma to mankind. As much as God is. Whereas God is still easy to dismiss as non-existent, when some want to; the inherent need for love is difficult to dismiss by the same people. The ‘love-need’ is as perceptible, and equally impossible to dismiss voluntarily, as breathing is to life.

The love-need is universally seen. Spanning all life forms. It is the same urge running through the zillions. The bird, the fish, the goat, the donkey, the pig, the dog. Even the plants, science now says, respond to love. An artist, poet, musician, sculptor, writer, all try to depict it. The thinker, the philosopher, even the scientist, the mathematician! Or the deeply religious, or the atheist…. who has not dabbled with love? The mathematician says, “I Love the figures.” The artist tries to capture it in his figures!  The religious say, “Love God”, the atheist say, “Love Mankind first!”

What is this deepest, consistent need in all life forms? Why is it always felt lacking, wanting? And for the human, who is blessed with free-will, it is always a seeking. Seeking outside of him. In some person, relation, or even a pet. A career graph or some material acquisitions. But, the ‘seeking love outside’ is a thrust to all our passions, engagements. In fact, it is the direction we take, continuously. Where ‘love’is expected, anticipated, we turn towards it, where it is not, we turn away, naturally!

Love is a pointer, that shows the direction, on the path of self development. Love is not something you meet outside, but you find it within.

Enclosed and identified with her / his body alone, a  person, is aware of only her / his wants, needs, desires, hopes, aspirations, expectations etc. She / He  is individual-centric. With this default notion, she looks at other life forms, who can fulfill her. If someone does feed some aspect of her, she reciprocates, but, only as much as she is is being met with or has capacity. And, it is largely left unmet, or compromised, in the entire of one’s life. Such a view and approach, is missing the opportunity that Love unfolds.

The felt – want of love, is a way of telling, to be that person. To be the love you expect. Love, pushes one to encompass the other. The other gets folded, as if, within the individual-centric field. Looking from other stand point, the individual -centric circle has expanded. Is this then, the purpose of Love? To show the direction of self growth. From individual -centric default mode of living, to the universal-encompassing conscious living.

Love has many names. It has many forms. It has many expressions depending on the roles and relations. It is called by respect, regard, devotion. It shapes as fondness, like, adoration, pride. It has expressions as care, share, give, receive. But, all in all, it points to the direction we need to grow towards. Love is only a North Pole star! Walking towards it is developing the love. When it gets developed enough, it shapes as  compassion. Compassion, the highest point of inner development and the greatest expression of love, culminates in knowing oneself as the non-dual! Where all beings are embraced within, who is now the centre of expansion, so vast, that everything falls in it. The individual -centric notions now have fallen off, like petals for the fruit.

Few embark on this beautiful journey, for it means to give up on the individual, which, for most, is fraught with fear. A ‘loving person’ is ‘the happy, peaceful person’. A ‘wanting to be loved person’ is ‘the ever distrubed person’. If man seeks  peace, he needs to develop himself, to love.

Turn the Valentine day as a reminder, do I grow towards the Pole star called Love, or do I wait for the star light to shine upon me!

© Deepti Vishwanath

14th February, 2017

Ultimate Love

The more I want to know,

the more I know;

it is not going to be easy to know you.

Your depths….

Your layers….

You’r a maze…

Truly amazes!

How will I unravel thy mystery?

You are the closest;

Seem the farthest.

You are ever there,

But, I never see you!

How will I know you?

You make everything known;

tell me, how will I know you?

Tell me, O ONE! THE ONE!

I want to know!

 

When I wake up,

You are here.

Before I woke up,

also,

while I sleep,

I know you are there.

Never have you left me!

But, how are you there?

before I am awake?

What stuff are you made up of?

How are we related?

You don’t need me!

And I am not, without you!

Oh! how will I know you?

 

You, O Consciousness!

you are also known as ‘Awareness’

Reveal to me,

What are you and who am I?

Who are you and what is ‘I am’?

 

-Deepti Vishwanath

The primitive Man.

On my tablet,

screen flashing data.

And  pictures,

music and all.

Everything in this one!

Movies, calendar and maps,

documents and sheets,

contacts and mails,

all in one!

man has advanced & how?!

 

The hunger of

the old man down the street,

Unable to move much!

The child running in the barest,

what improves his future?

The lady hugging her child close

to keep her baby warm…

The merciless butchering of pigs

and cows and chicks and all…..

The forests seen parse.

The rivers shallow.

The winters short and less severe,

the frequent droughts and floods

Ah! But yes, the MARS mission !

 

Man in space!

Planning to inhabit another planet!

When this is destroyed!

this I read on my tablet…

and the nuclear power generators!!

 

I wonder,

When this. Great Man!

Inhabits another planet,

will they, not experience the inequality?

No Humger, or Cold, or fear?

nor insecurity?

 

Nah!

Then it seems;

the rule of power.

Destroy, to rule, and yet again.

As seen in animals too!

 

Man has advanced the use of matter,

But Man has not advanced Man!

Or even attempted yet!

AS primitive…. he remains…. in fact!

 

© Deepti Vishwanath

Pic – Web

 

When?

When? When will I do what I want to do?

When? When will i get what i want to get?

When? When will things change for the better?

When? When will the time be right?

When? When will my heart listen to it’s own Self?

When? When will I be who i want to be?

Oh! When? When will I live in the now?

When?

When did when become so important? To the one who is a witness to all, of all;

when did I loose myself?

To now worry, when will i regain it?
© Deepti Vishwanath

When God becomes a delusion.

God takes a pedestal in most lives. Yet is the most misunderstood. All misunderstandings are nothing but non understandings. So, is God understood, ununderstood or is God misunderstood, or does he remain alive in Faith alone?

Visiting any place of worship, Churches, Mosques, Temples, seeing the throngs of people, leaves a question in some minds. Is God there at all? Or is he a product of human frailties? An outcome of his delusion. And to worsen it, the imagined God now stregthens the delusions!

Was God meant to solve man delusion or was God created due to the man delusion? Why do so many people pray?

God, sadly has been the greatest crutch of the deluded.  By deluded one means, the one’s not ready to face life and its challenges. In an everyday life, they choose to close an eye to the real condition, and face the helplessness. Man has this desperate need of short term resolutions, and his easiest lean on, is God! It gives him an illusory assurance of a relief sometime.

The difference between real faith and an escapists lean on God, is huge! Faith is a result of inner maturity, of personal command and yet there is a connect with the greatest force -God. It brings peace, dynamism, independence, cheer, detachment, a consolation that even if things are not right, they do get right in the end, it brings inner strength. Whereas, an escapists use of God, is avoidance of responsibilities, of blind rituals, superstitions, of rigidity, of fear, helplessness, inability in taking important decisions, in the name of leaving it to God’s will, deep laziness, inertia, taking easy solutions, avoiding any strenuous disciplines. An easy dependence on anything in the name of God.

God is the most exploited, and in the name of God, most get exploited. For ‘real’ faith is rare. Most don’t have it.

-Deepti Vishwanath

Social media and Karma

Social interaction media has entered everyone’s life like televisions did in the 1970’s. The impact of it is huge. In terms of how it is affecting human behaviour. The leisure to get and remain’bored’ occassionally, is getting extinct. That leisurely boredom; which brought spires of creativity.

Imagine the time, when sitting under the stars, gazing into them till sleep took over! Or sitting by the shore, absorbing the environment with all the senses, till the sun rose or set! Or walking in the rain, or the summer thirst! Who was the constant companion then? Who was with us when we were alone?  Our own aware self. In the form of our being aware of the surroundings, people, senses, more aware of our feelings, our own thinking ways. Conscious of our own self, our responses, ready on a guard, for we knew we were being judged by other ‘bored’ people as well. Overall outcome was, there were impressions of physical sensations we carried to sleep. Our minds had a storehouse of impressions gathered from the physical reality! And now, recently I heard from someone a few months ago, “when I go to sleep, which is very difficult for me, in my mind are popping images of the colours of the candy crushes”

It is not unknown that a human takes the longest time to grow. Physically as well as emotionally, few even reach the stage of intellectual growth and very few aspire for a spiritual growth. And for all this she needs a lot of time with herself to know her own person. As a person who are we? What do we like /dislike? Why do we like /dislike what we do? What do we truly desire? What do we want? Who /what makes us uncomfortable? Whose company gives us happiness? Is that happiness my true seeking? Or is this a camouflage; the real person behind, is entirely different from their projected self? How will I know, where I want to be in 10 years from now, if I am unclear what I want? And a thousand such questions are there for a young person whose life has just begun to shape up… leading to experiences she will live in the coming years.

The point is this. Humans have to choose constantly. What to choose requires some fundamental knowledge of the kinds of choices and their outcomes. And all this requires time.

The social platforms is now ever a companion. It has successfully replaced the connection with the elements for most people. Not just the introverts.  And This. Is dangerous! For all. For the human life and its development, even of, the development of survival skills! Social platforms are robbing man of his ‘real time’ with a ‘virtual time’.

Man has a limited life but unlimited potential to live it. His greatest tool as a human being is his choice. This makes him ‘do’or ‘not do’ all the time, throughout the life. This brings experiences back to him as an outcome of his actions. The capacity of this and implications are momentous and also spiralling. Upwards or downwards, depending upon the choice and course taken.

But, when the social media engagements increase, man spends away this great choice without significant outcomes, except, may be entertainment! His connections with people, are reduced to formal responses. An adapted social behaviour. Not necessarily obliged to follow his character.

Entertainment and connection with other humans was always a human need. Perhaps, television was also an outcome of the same! Once it took centre stage of his life, there was no stopping man’s dependency for entertainment. It was becoming available at a button.

But, with entertainment also come a varied other emotions. Amongst all, dislikes also grow propotionately. We become ‘choosey’. Not based on knowing what we want, or Is good for us, but based on what entertains us!  Infact, we now believe it is our right to get entertained! Many ills in the society are known to have been generated from this.

What televisions triggered; an uncontrollable upsurge of want, to get entertained, the social interaction platforms has aggravated the situation! It is alarming, how much time averagely a person spends with their social media… television still a part of life along with all other forms of entertainment.

The issue is this.

It takes away man’s focus from the real situations! The real reality. At the slightest opportunity he plunges into the virtual reality and an imagined entertainment. It is great to connect with people. But, does the independence, in seeking independent modes of entertainment improve the social skills? Is it improving the communication between people? Is it helping her to discern the projected person from the real person? Is it teaching her to adapt to physical responses. Is it in anyway, helping the human to mature! It would be interesting if there were studies taken up, to show how man’s incessant urge for entertainment is affecting his life, physical, emotional, intellectual, social. And most, spiritual, if that is even understood to be a criterion of importance! But, any such study (of course may be there) will ever be taken up – seriously. The virtual world has reduced us to ‘a moment of pleasure seekers’.

Human being has a very short span of life and thus available opportunities to make any changes within himself. Human goal is liberation. This is the final goal. Very few, or maybe even none in a generation can ‘practically’ visualise this goal for herself. But that does not reduce the potential of a human birth. The potential of every human being is finding his limitless nature, the changeless, the birthless, the object free state of unconditional joys, the source of all knowledge and many more such expressions as a human capacity to enjoy life here on the planet (which alone is called liberation)! But, alas! Not paying heed to this, we, ignorant of our potential, barter it away for perpetual sorrows in the name of imagined possibility of a moment of pleasure seeking! That is a pity.

To come close to having Liberation as goal, even a possibility to be entertained, one has to live more in the earthly world which is to do with his connect with the physical elements. His opportunities to make a difference to his life does not come with social networking, but with elemental networking! The hand which operates the gravity or the movement of the Moon around the Earth, while the Earth rotates and revolves round the Sun, call whatever name to that Hand, it is the same, which governs the Law of Karma! For which you have to be in touch with your earthly actions, emotions and thoughts and touching the virtual keys and creating images, is not touching the full utilisation of the Hand! It has no seed capable of creating ‘adrusta phalam’, the capacity to generate an invisible result! Generating a positive adrusta phala (commonly called punyam) is essential in the beginning stages of one’s spiritual growth.

Virtual world based karmās fall in the category of only a loukika karma (worldly activity) which produces only some visible result -‘drusta phalam’. Usually,  it ends with getting entertained, being subject to misery, when not getting entertained! The problem with such an approach to life? It is not adequate, is grossly insufficient for inner maturity! And far undermining the human potential of life. Yet, as Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gītā, “यथा इच्छसि, तथा कुरु ।” “(After knowing), Do as you wish to choose!”

– ©️Deepti Vishwanath

शब्द

शब्दों को क्यों हम कुछ कहें,

जब वह तो ख़ुद कुछ कहते ही नहीं ।

जो कहा है;

उसे फिर क्यों हम कहें,

जब पहले भी वह कुछ न कह सके ।

शब्दों मे तो कुछ बात कहॉं;

जब यह जाना ही है,

अब क्यों कुछ हम कहें ।

-दीप्ति विश्वनाथ

The Bud

The bud seeing the flowers around

said to herself,

“I am also blooming!

Like all, I will also grow!

I may even be really beautiful.

For I know I belong to the “lovely flowers”

But, when I look at others’

I do wonder,

If this was all I was meant to be?

Can I not be ….”

 

And just then,

the flower looks at the bud and thinks,

“Ah! Those were the days!

Now I wait, only to wither,

My petals away.

But as a bud, I was so happy.

All I have now is wait.. and some fear!”

 

And the plant said,

“have i not survived many a buds and roses,

and thorns?

Each being a part of me!

And they never recognised,

all that I go through

for them to grow!

Ah! I also get noticed because of them!

But, they are that part of me

which blooms and withers.

And there is that part of me, which is to protect them while they grow.

I hold them both equally, for them to bloom!”

 

And the soil said,

“in me all exists.

what you see on the surface is,

because I exist.

All the many plants, the trees…

are all me!

Yet this plant does not recognise me?

But, I protect it while it grows

by holding strong its roots.”

 

And the water said,

“Oh soil!

you do not recognise me.

Where I soak you, there you let the plant thrive.”

 

And the fire said,

“Oh water!

If I do not

collect you from the oceans,

you would not soak the soil?”

 

And the space said,

“Oh fire! I accommodate you.

So you are able to collect water high up in the skies.

 

And the water said,

“wait, I let you collect me,

I surrender,

when you come to collect me.”

 

And the soils said to the water,

“wait water! I surrender when you come to soak me, drench me.”

 

And the plant said,

“wait soil,

I surrender my seed and exert to grow upwards;

propelled by the rays, perhaps of the Sun, I am told.”

 

And the bud said,

“I can only surrender to what fate has for me!

I wait to grow like the flower next to me, I see.”

And the flower said,

“but I wait only to wither…

or wait in fear!”

 

And they all sat and thought and discussed openly,

and wondered, “for whom does all this happen?

whose will is it, that we express?”

 

And as the discussion was escalating,

A child came and plucked the flower which

was then talking.

And all went silent!

Wondering now, what this child will do with the flower?

Was this the end of the journey for all?

 

© Deepti Vishwanath

(Photo from web)

Free

Bound are we by our thoughts,

Or else,

Who else binds us?

 

The vast that I am,

without a beginning and an end,

birthless, deathless, even changeless;

I reduce it to a chamber,

the body with its ever changingness,

I identify!

Who else will come and

release me?

 

The infinite love that I am,

I reduce it to smitten-ness;

Who else will caress me?

 

O Thought!

The pure that I am,

Is felt sullied, by

the negatives in your ways that I loop in!

Who else will purify me?

 

The All that I am,

is felt like, “I am nothing!”

Who else will illumine me?

 

O Thought!

I leave your miserable ways,

to keep me bound.

Here. Take your place, where it belongs.

and let me reign my kingdom.

 

© Deepti Vishwanath

 

Festival of India -Sankranti

Makar Sankranti – 14 January, 2017
Time of Uttarayana.

Vedic customs and tradition is greatly based on the lunar movement. Because Sun is an important aspect to a Vaidika (now commonly referred to as a Hindu) as Sun is considered the first ‘visible’ source on whom, life in all forms is dependent. It’s recognition as thus, is expressed as gratitude in various forms of prayers, worships. And many occasions are celebrated keeping this fact in view.

The movements of various planets, the Moon and the Sun have been deeply and accurately studied by the Vaidika thinkers. This has been integrated in life in the form of celebrations as various festivals throughout the year. Keeping the Vaidika goal of Moksha as primary, the festivals were all occasions to celebrate one’s life as a human while not forgetting the main purpose of human existence.

Makar Sankranti is one such festival. The day is considered as an important celestial transition of Sun entering Makar (Capricorn). The transition is called Sankranti. Thus there are 12 Sankrantis in a year. But two are considered important. The Makar Sankranti and the Mesh Sankranti (Sun entering Aries) also called Baisākhi, falling in April. Amongst these two also, Makar Sankranti is more widely celebrated with different names in almost all the States throughout India.

Makar Sankranti marks the time of the year with longer days, smaller nights. This phase is called the Uttarayana – the time when the Sun is appearing to move Northward, towards Uttara. Longer days represents more day time for performing the essential deeds for one’s upliftment towards the higher direction (symbolically Uttara means upwards). Thus, the festival marks the time when the seasons will allow more conduciveness to Man to get out of his lethargy and indolence (which the preceding seasons may have predisposed) and engage in activities which will hasten him towards his goal of Moksha. It is also symbolically significant as the Harvest time which means material benefits as well. How you have utilised your time last year, you Harvest it now and begin sowing new seeds for another Harvest, or the Harvest you desire (amongst Artha, kāma and Dharma purusharthas).

Celebrated variously throughout, a serious student of Vedanta, will use this time to reinvoke his efforts for knowing Brahman. Which Sun symbolises as ever effulgent light, the dispeller of darkness (ignorance). Through Śravana -Manana-Nidhidhyasana. And the festival brings the opportunity to engage in such karmās as Dana (of various kinds) to the deserving people, Japa, Tapas And the Sun worship in the form of Chanting the Gayatri Mantra to resolve within to live a more ‘conscious and brilliant a life’ as the ‘Sun’ does. It then also offsets any misdoings or wrong -doings that may have been done unconsciously during the time just gone. And so Lohri precedes Sankranti. Burn away, physically and mentally all your past non essential collections, to begin afresh the next day.

Wishing everyone beforehand so that we can start the day fresh with knowledge.

Harihi Om Tat Sat! 🙏

When the Mind dies.

“When I die inside who lives then?”

My mind asked me.

I said, “I do! I live inside.”

Mind said, “without me?

How do you?”

I said, “when you die,

What dies is only, what was dead already.

You were not letting the corpses’ go,

When you die, O Mind!

With you all what you accumulated

The pains, griefs, sorrows, disappointments, dejections,

Frustrations, anxiety, fears, anger, resentment…

O God! You keep a huge collection!

They all go when you die.

And then,

You let me live.”

Mind asked, “How do you get the joy then? When I am dead.”

“That is the thing, dear mind!

You will never know!

For I am joy and I begin to live,

Only, after you are dead, O Mind!”

© Deepti Vishwanath

Nothing or Everything

The frailties of life; I see,

When relations; I see.

How fragile!

Momentary happiness,

Even as it is being felt,

It all goes

into the Nothing land.

Is that where the ‘all’ dwells?

Nothing…

Or,

Since the ‘all’ dwells there;

It IS

Everything!

Words

Words.

You have life.

The joys, the sorrows,

the grumblings, the rumblings

the highs, the low.

I feel all;

because,

I feel you.

 

But.

Feel I the most

when you are not there!

 

Words,

you are wonderful!

You make it possible

to share what is held;

The joys, the sorrows …..

 

But.

The experience

when you are not there!

Is there!

Is alive.

This you cannot share, O Words!

It gave you life!

You are dear to me;

Through you,

I saw the One behind you!

Which binds you like beads in a necklace.

The invisible thread which holds you!

Because of you,

I saw.

And, It is that which I feel!

 

© Deepti Vishwanath

 

 

 

 

सोच – Worry.

सोचते वह है, जो सोचना नहीं है;

सोचते वह नहीं जो सोचना है ।

सोच यह!

अगर सोचना है।

वैसे सोचने को कुछ है ही कहॉं

यह सोच!

जो है, जहॉं सोच कहॉं !

Worrying that; which is not to be worried

Worrying not; what may be to worry!

Worry this!

If you must worry.

Though there is really nothing to worry!

Worry that, if you must worry.

For, what there is, there, there is no worry!

© Deepti Vishwanath

Drowned

Drowned in their senses.

The pleasures;

O so intoxicating!

The food and drink for the tongue!

the forms, the colours,

O what a delight!

Sweet music! Melodies which reach the heart!

and the smell….hmmmm!

in them all, we drown…

 

O the pleasures!

“what can be there more than this?” they say.

“make this more and more,

somehow, someway, doesn’t  matter”

“Deeper we go, more pleasure” they think!

 

how deep?

where ‘they’ become sense-less.

 

© Deepti Vishwanath

The Barking Dogs.

A Dog was barking fiercely

insecurity, fear and all.

Interwoven.

And an urgent need for self defence.

Soon there were barks

from far and near.

The same,

insecurity, fear….

They seemed uncontrolled.

I looked over; from my balcony.

Saw a seeming stranger to our place!

Dressed in garbs, old, stick in hand and a turban on head.

Walking ever so slowly,

unfazed by the dogs;

who had by now assembled in numbers.

All stray ofcourse!

He sat amidst them and looked at one of them.

Ever so gently,

his trembling hands,

began to stroke the one he could reach.

At first the barking increased frantically.

and then,

in an instant – silence!

he was still a stranger to them

but now…..

I saw the power of love!

O the barking dogs in the mind!

Ssshhhhhhh!

there is no stranger here

in ONE

and, THE ONE!

 

Deepti Vishwanath

River

River said, “I am a River only when the banks contain me.

Or else I am just  water. Unbound, formless.

I flow away,

wherever the slope is.

Free in my movement, resisting nothing,

I keep making my way. I love it.

But then, I get lost.

In the soil, in the woods, in the air;

also, I never really become one with them.

The soil, the woods, the air remain; while I disappear.

I also keep loosing my force, strength, my own clan as I keep slipping.

But I truly love it, when I flow unmindfully.

The thrill, O the thrill!

 

And within the banks,

I loose my free movement

but,

I remain.

Growing force, strength in myself.

And then, I reach the infinite expanse! I am told. I don’t know.

Here also, I loose myself.

But to be One.

I am not separate here, from the One, I lost myself in.

 

What should I do?

Follow the free movement now,

or else,

Now loose the movement,

to gain the infinite which I cannot see. Now!

What should I do? Now??”

A choice which a river mulled on

as it flowed.

Wanting to break the banks, but pondering the outcomes.

 

Deepti Vishwanath

 

Dear Ms.2016

Dear Ms.2016,

We just changed your name to 2017.

We now expect you to be young, fresh, vibrant

And full of possibilities.

We live with hope,

that as you pass through your childhood

January to March

we look forward to how you will grow up.

and as you move into your youth

Aprl to June

we begin to expect the good times we will have together.

our holidays, lazing, chilling out.

and then in the middle of your life,

July to September

we begin to recognise, you are now not youthful

you are aging

and October to December,

we do see the old age catching up.

we begin to recall all that

should have been -could have been,

should not have been -could not be!

the new associations, the partings

the joys accumulated and the pains

the mixture of everything that we did think you held

in your potential!

Dear Ms.2016, you showed it all.

And then what do we do, you know?

As your end nears,

we begin to celebrate, that your old age is going to go.

you are going.

And then at a click,

We just change your name!

You are now 2017.

And we once again expect you to be young, fresh, vibrant

And full of possibilities.

We live with hope….

 

While what all you did, O dear Earth!

rotating and revolving ceaselessly,

from much before the 2017 times that we have changed the name!

We don’t even know since when are you at your task, O Earth!

Not a moment of rest! That we may celebrate the life!

The time that is your gift to us, we wait for it to give us somethings’ also!

Your own achievements, O earth

we do not celebrate!

the few decades, that we are here

what did we do?

Robbed you of your green?

polluted your whites?

greyed your blue?

barred you?

parched you?

Often even cursed you.

Every-time I was unhappy

I cursed you, O earth! I complained about my life!

My life here is your gift.

Dear Earth, your embellishment Time, I do not value.

To live my life,

I destroy the ‘present’ and the giver!

 

Deepti Vishwanath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A laugh and a tear -again

Laugh and a tear again sat across the table

sipping from their cups of experiences

Laugh asked the tear,

what happened?

Tear could not speak a word and when it tried, it sobbed even more!

but felt better after a while

and now asked the laugh,

what happened?

Laugh went on and on and on,

and the room laughed,

and the tear?

also chuckled.

O Mind!

O Mind! Senseless are your excitements,

foolish are your engagements.

heedless is your outlook

when you seek the sensory joys!

Remaining not

in the here and now,

you dwell in the past and future

unmindfully.

Return back,

O Mind! to what is yours, to whom you belong.

the eternal joy,

your own being.

Leave the hold on what is not you or will never be yours!

Differentiate, grow up, be wise Dear Mind!

For before the body perishes, you have the time.

To make a difference!

 

Deepti Vishwanath

 

Law called Karma – what does it mean?

Since karma has found itself in the mainstream English dictionary, here, I will continue to use it as an English word instead of, and alongwith, interchangeably with action.

No karma is done without a reason, purpose, intent, motive. It is not possible to generate the will to act without them. While the physical action obviously brings a physical manifestation-as the result, the reason for your body to be propelled to act,  it is the intent also, which affects the outcome.

How much does the intent affect the result?

For very apple seed sown you get an apple tree, is the physical aspect of the law. A दृष्ट फल Drusta phala. An observable, seen result. Then there is the delayed result, which is subtle. And also not immediately experienced. It is called the अदृष्ट फल adrusta phala. The immediately unobservable, unseen, but will surely be seen at a proper time, some time. It is a delayed result. How many apples will the tree yield? What would be the taste? This cannot be known when the seed gets sown. This remains unseen. But get known when the tree matures and yields fruit.

Karta  —> karma  —> drusta phalam + some adrusta phalam.

Karta -the doer, the decider of the action, engages in the karma, action. And that action will bring back to him results in two pronged way. The immediately observable, which will be seen shortly after the completion of the action and the immediately not observable result, which will be seen much later. And so remains unrecognised, ambiguous when it fructifies. Best known only as Luck. Good / Bad are decided by the experiencer of it.

The Drusta phala gets destroyed once it is expereinced, consumed. The adrusta phala gets destroyed when it becomes Drusta phala. Take it as in the analogy of an apple seed sown. It takes time to yield the fruit. While the fruit has not matured yet, it lays latent in the tree. But, once it has, it is now ready to be consummed. That fruit gets destroyed but its seed is still there. Lives long enough. But is perishable.  Before it does, it can possibly restart the cycle of seed-fruit-seed, or perish from its ‘seed-ness’ loosing its seediness.

No karma can be disconnected with the karta-the doer. And no karta can be disconnected with his motive for the karma. Thus, common sense says, the result of karma must be enjoyed by the karta and also that each one’s differing intentions must be a major reason for the differing results for each. Since it is a common observation, that even when the same physical action is done by different people, the same result is not experienced by them.

Law of causation explains only the Drusta phala -seen aspect. For every cause there is an effect. This is a linear equation which covers only the immediately seen. Where Law of karma explains both the immediately seen and the also immediately unseen, but will-become-seen-later aspect. Understanding the Law of Karma means understanding that karma has adrusta phala, which is far greater in implications than the drushta phala.

 

Deepti Vishwanath

If

‘If’ was in a reflective mood.

I asked what’s going on?

‘If’ said, “I am thinking, what if I disappear from your lives?”

I stood aghast! What If? ‘If’disappeared from my life?

‘If’ not being there at all!

A lot my conversations would end. My interactions would change.

I would live more in the now, in the here. More in love with my life.

More I would embrace life.

I would ……

I would be more at peace. I said.

Precisely. Said If. Stop using me so much. I am not in every breath!

‘If’ turned, saying a final bye. Herefater, be at peace dear one, it said.

‘If’ was receding fast from my sight.

 

“Stop. One last thought” I said.

‘If’turned just bit to give me a side glance.

The look said, don’t stop me now!

And I said, “Wait. Can you please take the ‘why’ also along with you?”

 

Peace unto us now!

 

-Deepti Vishwanath

That time when Time spoke…

Time chose to speak. And I sat down.

“Who am I?” Time asked me.

I am called by all the names, all the time!

Some call me ‘Good’time. Some say,’Bad’ times!

Am I one or many?

‘Terrible’ time; ‘Lovely’time.

Am I double-faced? Or, am I partial?

some even say,

I am slow; then, they only say, “Time runs fast”. Some say, I stand still!

???? What! Am I stationary or do I flow?

‘Day’ time, ‘Night’ time. Am I so restless? Do I change so much?

I think I belong to all, yet they say, “I have no time.”

“Am I empty?” For everyone tries to fill me!

Fill the time-fill the time! “What are you doing to fill your time?”

I hear it ever so often.

Who am I?

That I am, is certain.

Everyone seems sure, I will always be there.

Time looked my way, now waiting for an answer.

I don’t know.  To avoid saying that, I pretend to be asleep.

and exactly a moment later, I heard Time exclaim,

I am not there!

I am not there! Time screamed, pointing at me.

And Time shouted! Joyous this time,  I am – not there!!

 

-Deepti Vishwanath

Faith and Śraddha

What is required to know the śastra? Faith or śraddha? Are they the same?

No. Faith and Śraddha are different as lemon tea and milk tea. Both are teas but their essential ingredient is different. Similarly Faith and Śraddha both have a difference which is very significant in knowing the śastram.

Faith in English dictionary – “Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.” “belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion.” “a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.” “belief that is not based on proof.” “confidence or trust in a person or thing.”

For the study of the śastram, śastra itself gives the qualifications of the aspiring student. The one who is endowed with the sādhana chatustayam-the group of 4 qualities will gain śastra vidya.

1. Viveka – a discerning capacity to think rationally.

2. Vairagya – Dispassion towards all engagements which bring an ephemeral pleasure.

3.  Shama-Dama-Ādi Shataka sampatti. The wealth of the subset of six qualities, sense control, mind control, endurance, an ability to withdraw the mind wilfully from its preoccupied state, equanimity and  ŚRADDHA.

4. Mumukshatvam – yearning for, a longing for absolute freedom.

There is an oft quote from the Bhagavad Gītā (Ch4, Vs39), “श्रद्धावान् लभते ज्ञानम् ।” “The one who has śraddha gains the knowledge.” श्रद्धावान् śraddhavān – the one who has śraddha; लभते labhate- gains; ज्ञानम् jñanam- knowledge.

Śraddha in Sanskrit-Hindi dictionary – “आस्था, निष्ठा, विश्वास, भरोसा ।” “देवी सन्देशों में विश्वास, धार्मिक निष्ठा ।” “आदर, समान ।” “शान्ति, मन की स्वस्थता ।”

What is that ‘little’ difference between faith and śraddha? By the dictionary meanings they seem alike.

Faith expects you to accept without understanding or questioning. Because it is the truth. Believe in it. Śraddha expects you to understand first and for which question when necessary, but with faith, that the answer must be right, only you cannot see it so. Having that trust in the śastra and the śastra ācharya (teacher), who will painstakingly keep explaining, answering every doubt, till they are removed.

Bhagavad Gītā, in the 4th chapter,verse 34, gives the characteristic of such a śraddhavān student.

तद्विद्धि प्रणिपातेन परिप्रश्नेन सेवया । उपदेक्ष्यन्ति ते ज्ञानं ज्ञानिनस्तत्त्वदर्शिनः ॥३४॥

Tadviddhi pranipaatena pariprashnena sevayaa;

Upadekshyanti te jnaanam jnaaninas tattwadarshinah.34.

“Know that by long prostration, by question and by service, the wise who have realised the Truth will instruct thee in (that) knowledge.”

Know the method of gaining the knowledge. Having approached an ācharya, offering your namaskāra (salutation), through questioning and service to the ācharya, the knower of the truth, will instruct you, for your knowledge.

Namaskāra determines your śraddha. A willingness to be taught. And to learn; what you don’t understand, address it as a question to the teacher. Who will then explain with the help of tarka-logic, and anubhava -your valid experiences, till your doubts have vanished and you also begin to see what the śastram says. It is an engaging method of learning. A conversation with an objective on both ends. The ācharya wants to convey the śastra and the shishya wants to learn the śastra. As the student  continues to dispel his ignorance, this shishya, as an expression of gratitude offers service in place of the generosity in efforts put by the teacher while explaining. Once learnt, the shishya now has a choice to be an ācharya or not. This is a live tradition and very different from ‘sermons’.

Thus, śraddha encapsulates faith. And expands beyond it. Śraddhavān alone gains the śastra vidya. Śraddha is required to know the śastra and to prevent it from becoming dogmatic.

Religions are faith based. And faith can become blind. Such religions defeat the very purpose of a religious life! Yes. Religions are meant that people can live a religious life.

But while religions preach, śastra teaches. And that is no small a difference! And that is also true for faith and śraddha.

 

Deepti Vishwanath

Eyes and O Mind!

Eyes. What all they see! Which is there.

Choicelessly.

Mind. What all it sees! Which is not there!

Choicefully.

Then why, O Mind!

Do you not see, what is there??

Choiceless you are not!

 

-Deepti Vishwanath

A Laugh and A tear

laugh and a tear

sat across the table

sipping from their cups

the experiences  each had.

the tear did not recognise what was there to laugh about

and the laugh tried hard. what was there to cry about!

each felt the other did not understand,

They exchanged their cups.

and guess what?

laugh still had his cup

and the tear his!

 

 

Laugh and a tear -3 (finally and final)

Now this time, it was My laugh and My tear;

went for a walk together.

Laugh asked My tear

what happened?

Tear tried hard to explain;

seeing the laugh’s response, said,

never mind, you won’t understand.

after some time, tear asked My Laugh,

what happened?

Laugh said, never mind, you won’t appreciate

and they continued to walk together.

non companion to the other

for immersed they were in their experiences.

Unmindful that they both belonged to the same person.

and me, the person kept looking at both separately,

Unknowing, they were my own!

if I was one, how could they be two?

 

Deepti.vishwanath

Faith

Faith. A double edged sword.

Hurts to have and also not to have.

In the mire of delusion, seeking the permanent;

saves and also drowns.

To prevent being a robot, faith is essential.

But faith which opposes reason, numbs you!

To feel the joy, faith is an ingredient; but the same saddens you.

The same liberates you when faith saw.

Who then has faith which is joy and liberating?

What to have faith on? Which will not hurt?

Is God then, not a necessary inclusion in the ire of delusion?

 

Deepti Vishwanath

Iśvara is Bhagavān

Iśvara comes from the root Isha- ‘to rule’ ‘ईश्-शासने’। The one who governs. Bhagavān is a word which is a गुण वाचक । Guṇa vāchaka means, those words which indicate the inherent qualities of the one it is used for. It is derived as भग + वान ।  All Sanskrit words have a root base from which derivations are formed as per the intention of the usage. In the word ‘Bhagavān‘ the root is ‘bhaga‘ and it has the meanings of six qualities. Bhaga भग – ऐश्वर्य  aiśvarya, वीर्य vīrya, यश yaśa, श्री śrī, वैराग्य vairāgya एवं and मोक्ष mokṣa freedom. ऐश्वर्य aiśvarya means majesty, Lordliness. वीर्य vīrya means strength,  यश yaśa means fame, श्री śrī means wealth, prosperity, वैराग्य vairāgya means detachment and मोक्ष mokṣa means absolute freedom. These are mentioned in various Purāṇas, with a slight change in the list of the six. This specific list mentioned above comes in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa and has been quoted by Śri Ādi Śaṅkarācharya, in the Bhagavad Gītā, Ch4, Vs 37 as –

“ऐश्वर्यस्य समग्रस्य वीर्यस्य यशसः श्रीयः । वैराग्यस्याथ मोक्षस्य षण्णां भग इतीरणा ।।(विष्णुपु. ६।५।७४)

Aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya yaśsaḥ śrīyaḥ . Vairagyasyātha mokṣasya ṣaṇṇām bhaga itīraṇā . (Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.74) 

The -वान्, vān suffix is used to denote the ‘possessor of’; so Bhagavān means the one who possesses the above mentioned qualities inherently, in wholeness. Like in the example of धनवान dhanavān means the one who possesses wealth in abundance. Buddhimān means one full of Buddhi – discerning thinking.

Idea being, all the qualities which we perceive as wonderful, extraordinary, or even  ultimate ends, the one who has them in full measure, developed fully, and the qualities are there constantly, steadily and not sporadically, such a one is called a Bhagavān.

Iśvara means Bhagavān – with such a definition. Iśvara who is Bhagavān.

If there are two words, Iśvara and Bhagavān can they not mean the two are different?

The difference is this only. Iśvara is used as a noun. And Bhagavān is used as an adjective. Thus when Iśvara has been given a name like Brahmā -the originator; Viṣṇu – the sustainer, or Śiva the destroyer, he is qualified as Bhagavān Viṣṇu etc. which in understanding becomes the Iśvara with all the complete qualties himself is now The Viṣṇu etc.

Difference of usage between Bhagavān and Devatā? None. Since Bhagavān is an adjective, even Devatās are called Bhagavān. In fact, due to the meaning of Bhagavān, it gets used even for someone whom we look upon as great. We do address them in Hindi as ‘Hey Bhagavan!’ हे भगवन्!

Thus, we do see that in the translations of the Vedic thought in English, Bhagavān is also God, Iśvara is also God, Devatā is also God. But in the Vedic thought they are all distinct. This has been one of the major sources of confusion among the seekers of mokṣa born and brought up in the era – “independent India.”

Vedās talk about kārmā – the realms of Vedic actions, upāsanā -the realms of worship and meditations, and jñana – the realm of knowledge of oneself, ātmajñana. This is for the sake of man alone. And not for Iśvara or God. But Iśvara and Devatās are important for those ends to be achieved respectively for which Karma, Upāsana and Jñana are the means, sādhanās.

Deepti Vishwanath

God is an incomplete translation of Iśvara.

God is not a translation of Iśvara. It is time to separate the two from their false presumptive associations. God is a matter of mere belief. Cannot be defined either. Is subjective entirely. Belief in God is to be religious. Atheism is not having that belief.

Iśvara on the other hand is not a matter of belief. It is an understanding. A recognition which is available for an universal enquiry. Iśvara is a deliberation done by the Vedās to conclude the equation and understand the relation between man and creation. As in Math. For an equation to be resolved it begins with an assumption, suppose x=y. And then finally after all the logical, verifiable steps it is arrived at, therefore, x=y.

Iśvara has a definition. The srishti- sthithi-laya kāraṇa is Iśvara. He is also the karma-phala dātā.

You begin to solve the riddle of man and creation by assuming first, suppose an ‘x factor’ call it Iśvara, is the origin of both, man and creation. Iśvara also is the maintainer of both. Since we never see the absolute non-existence of creation ever, there is also regeneration which maintains the creation and life species. And when both disappear, the disappearance also happens in Iśvara, governed by Iśvara.

But what is the plurality and the differences of experiences in different lives? The Vedic view is, each one is a generator of his own destiny which Iśvara only enables to fructify impartially. Iśvara remains the uninvolved witness, enabling the results of karmās.

In the model of Iśvara, God is not recognised as an absolute entity on whose mercy we all live. Man has all the empowerment!

There are three different words and thus ideas, Brahman, Iśvara, Devatās, that the Vedās convey. But, the translation as God, gets substituted for all the three!  Vedās does not treat them the same and moreover they are not interchangeable either!

From the formless, eternal existence of the nature of consciousness and ānanda emerges the first shades of creation, the very first manifestation, a distinction which is in full knowledge of itself as Brahman. This first outline which can be distinguished but remains inseparable from Brahman, is Iśvara. The commander who now begins the creation, the differentiation. And the world with its plurality and the inherent laws to maintain order is created. Space, Air, fire, water, earth the basic elements and the various proportions of each become the compound and complex life forms. Indwelling all remains the same Brahman, untouched by the apparent creation. Remaining the formless, of the nature of cònsciousness and ānanda, it is now available only for recognition of its distinct nature separate from the nature of the created world.

Iśvara on the other hand has been seen in every aspect of life. What enables the eyes to see? Light. That source which one sees in creation, the highest expression of light in the macrocosm, which becomes the source of all the lights is the Sun. Thus, Sun is looked as the Devatā, since there is no other expression of light, equal to or superior to it. Another example. What is the most essential factor for the tongue to taste different flavours? Without which it looses it capacity to taste? Water. Thus the water in the macrocosm is represented as the Devatā, Varuna. But these Devatās are powerless without Iśvara. They are only following the order and conducting their portfolios! Put it in another way, Iśvara himself is in all these expresssions now, recognised as the Devatās.

With the help of such an deliberate imposition, the equation gets established. That the source of the power, the illumination of the world and living being is the same, Brahman. For Iśvara cannot exist without Brahman, Devatās cannot exist without Iśvara, Man cannot exist without the elements! They are all rooted in the ONE. And that ONE is not an externally placed GOD in heaven, but the one which shines as the consciousness, unconditioned awareness.

Iśvara is also the karma phala dātā. How? Who is an atheist according to the Vedic system? And finally, this creation is an appearance, creation is, as an appearance.

Deepti Vishwanath

Śāstram is an educational text book. Don’t term it religious.

img_0553The worst occurrence in the abolishing of a cultural identity is to disconnect the present generations from their ancestoral roots, and the easiest way is to change the language. The way the ancestors spoke should no longer be understood to the new generation! How important it is to recognise that language controls the generation! It modifies with time, but to make the child in a family begin to think in an acquired language which his parents or grandparents did not know of! This is sure staple for a gap in thought.

All Vedic śāstram is in Sanskrit language. Actually, there is a Sanskrit specifically devoted to the Vedās, it is referred to as the Vedic Sanskrit or also termed the classical Sanskrit. Almost all the spoken languages in India, and neighbouring countries are rooted in it. (Some say, even far of foreign languages also, like German, but I am not qualified to comment on that). This classical Vedic Sanskrit graduated to the modern spoken Sanskrit whose grammar rule were codified by the great Pānini. Most of the now available śastrās are written in this and thus are still capable of being understood!

But, in the history of India, we find there have been centuries of infiltrations, and in their attempts to know the culture, have eroded it gradually. And in the very recent times, what has completely usurped us from our roots in thought, is the fact that I am writing in it and not in my mother tongue or Sanskrit. Infact I am made to believe it is my primary language. I have an aunt who does not know it! How can this then, be my primary language?  That besides, when our principal texts, our śastrās got translated, here is where the seed for a ‘confused generation hereforth’, in terms of knowing their śāstrās, got sown. Many a word in the Sanskrit language have no parallel word in English, how can they then be translated??

This where Bhagavad Gītā, got or was, falsely or deliberately, covered in a religious robe! Every word in language is nothing but a representation of an idea in thought. Take the example of the word Dharma. Vedās talk of Dharmas. Dharma is a whole concept which has a certain flexibility to its meaning. It adapts its meaning to the context in which it is used! The context automatically gives away the meaning to the one who knows the language completely. But imagine 350 years ago, some Englishman, who saw on the banks of river Gangā, some people performing their early morning sun worship! He is alien to such an action! Worshipping the Sun! And in his attempts to know genuinely, he believes they are praying. And praying is religious to him. And when he asks the person, what are you doing?” That person must have answered “I am only doing my Dharma.” Our Englishman got confirmed that Dharma means religion! And thereafter, till today, in all the translations, whereever word Dharma comes, it is translated as religion! It has got so accepted, that we have forgotten what Dharma means! We can’t pray to the Sun now without being religious! Utter confusion!! How would the dear English soul know, Dharma is a Karma. And Karma is not action. Even praying is a Karma. 🙏  Namaste! …… is also a greeting, not a prayer.

Deepti Vishwanath

Bhagavad Gītā is a śāstram. Not a religious doctrine.

Bhagavad Gītā is a śāstram. Śāstram is defined as, “instruction, advice, good counsel; rule, theory; compendium, institutes (of any branch of learning), code, scientific or canonical work, scripture; learning (rare):” -Macdonell Sanskrit dict.

Vedās are śāstrās. They talk of four human goals. Called purushārthas पुरुषार्थ । All humanity will have one of them as a predominant goal of life. It may change order within a life, but at any stage, one of them will be more dominant. These are-

1. Artha अर्थ – The objective world, characterised by acquisition of money or means which contribute to the sense of security.

2. Kāma काम – Fulfillment of pleasures, desires.

The above two are by default and everyone has them.

3. Dharma धर्म – Earning merit, पुण्यम् । This can be utilised in two ways. One, as earning the invisible merit which can later be utilised for one’s Artha and kāma. As one does with bank deposits. Save now, for a later use! Two, it can also be used as, earning a conducive, struggle free environment so that one can pursue the 4th goal, purushārtha.

4. Moksha मोक्ष – Absolute freedom from embodiment and allied notions!

3rd and 4th goals one has to choose and deliberate them. They are not a default mode! The urge for them is there, but they have to be activated!

However, all the 4 goals are equally recognised as valid for man. For each and every one of the goals we have the respective śastra, the instructions on how to pursue them in such a way that we are successful in the pursuit.

For Artha we have Artha śāstra. The famous Chānakya Neeti is well known as a part of Artha śāstra, which Chānakya had authored to revive it. For Kāma we have kāma śāstra, the famous kāma sutrās are indeed kāma śastra; for Dharma, the dharma śāstra. Manu Dharma smriti being most known, but there are a few others a sense well. And for Moksha the Moksha śāstra. Upanishads are the principal texts for moksha, dealing only with this purushartha.

Bhagavad Gītā is a Moksha śāstra. Instructing man how to rise above his sense of limitations and everyday struggles and know the source of his being, which alone can give him eternal peace! And to be qualified for such a fragile innermost journey, the Gītā also serves as an guide.

Let me ask you, think of someone who is an ‘angel’ 😇? What comes to you? A person. Why that person, above all the others whom you know? Certainly it is the qualities the person inhabits which make him stand above the average. Who is an angel is referred to the cognition of certain qualities, which are humanly possible; just that, most of us, common folks, think it to be beyond us to put in “that sort of an effort”, or we deem them an unnecessary aspect to the running of our life or whatever else be the reason. But, that it is possible, we all know. Moreover, we may not be very clearl what those qualities are till we see them distinctly in someone! All we know is, angel must be above our level for sure. The weakness I have, an angel would not have them!

Now, think of a ‘devil’? The same comes to you, the qualities first, that a person exhibits. Along with also comes an underlying expectation, that person should have put in some effort to ‘not be so devilish’. And that, they can change, if and only if they want too!

Look at the verses below from chapter 16 of Bhagavad Gītā.

अभयं सत्वसंशुद्धिर्ज्ञानयोगव्यवस्थितिः । दानं दमश्च यज्ञश्च स्वाध्यायस्तप आर्जवम् ।।१।।

1. Fearlessness, purity of heart, steadfastness in Yoga and knowledge, alms-giving, control of the senses, sacrifice, study of scriptures, austerity and straightforwardness,

अहिंसा सत्यमक्रोधस्त्यागः शान्तिरपैशुनम् । दया भूतेष्वलोलुप्त्वं मार्दवं ह्रीरचापलम् ।।२।।

2. Harmlessness, truth, absence of anger, renunciation, peacefulness, absence of crookedness, compassion towards beings, uncovetousness, gentleness, modesty, absence of fickleness,

तेजः क्षमा धृतिः शौचमद्रोहो नातिमानिता । भवन्ति सम्पदं दैवीमभिजातस्य भारत ।।३।।

3. Vigour, forgiveness, fortitude, purity, absence of hatred, absence of pride—these belong to one born in a divine state, O Bhārata (Arjuna)!

These are the दैवी सम्पत्त – wealth or accumulation of characteristics; and one who has them is called divine, angel in our definition! While angel is stil a gender, ‘daivi’ is not gender based! Any human being can aspire to be rich with them. Irrespective of caste, colour, creed, gender or religion!

दम्भो दर्पोऽतिमानश्च क्रोधः पारुष्यमेव च । अज्ञानं चाभिजातस्य पार्थ सम्पदमासुरीम् ।।४।।

4. Hypocrisy, arrogance, self-conceit, harshness and also anger and ignorance, belong to one who is born in a demoniacal state, O Pārtha (Arjuna)!

These are the अासुरी सम्पत्त accumulation of the characteristics of the demonic, one we call a devil!

Is this ennumeration of human qualities, a religious mandate? They are called daivi or āsuri only as reference to two opposite spectrums that a human being is capable of gravitating towards.

They give a demarcation, a definition of what are the qualties which can be lived and which to be avoided or falling into. These are clearly, only aspects of self-development.

If someone asks, “why should I put in that effort, when the whole world is busy developing the devil in them?” The answer is the next verse.

दैवी सम्पद्विमोक्षाय निबन्धायासुरी मता । मा शुचः सम्पदं दैवीमभिजातोऽसि पाण्डव ।।५।।

5. The divine nature is deemed for liberation and the demoniacal for bondage. Grieve not, O Arjuna, for thou art born with divine properties!

So, why should anyone want to put in the work of developing the daivi sampat and avoiding the āsuri Sampat is dependent upon, if you want peace in life or strife! The divine nature is deemed fit for mental peace and the demoniacal for strife!

The message here is, even though it takes greater courage and effort to amass the ‘developed qualities’; in the long term, they have greater benefits and returns. In the immediate gain is the peace of mind and culmination is, it help one in knowing his own true and essential nature. This is the highest benefit.

Whereas, though it is easy to fall for instant ‘reactive-ness’, it results in greater stress and strife later on! Called bondage. Bondage to people, circumstances, and an alarmingly high proportion of dependence on external factors for one’s happiness. A cyclical struggle in life. A frustrated, unhappy, dejected and even violent expression to life, which is counter to one’s happiness.

Arjuna had succumbed to self doubt on the battlefield after the war cry was made. It was time for his skills to be in action. But instead, self doubt had paralysed him, making him incapable, even to lift his bow. Kṛṣṇa, here as a friend assures Arjuna, that he is equipped with all the capabilities to fight injustice, and he should shrug out this mental depression he had slipped into born of his attachments.

Is this religious ?

How and when in time did the śastrās take a religious outlook? Another post, some other time. 🙏

Deepti Vishwanath

Bhagavad Gītā-A Life encyclopaedia.

Gīta is like an encyclopaedia and no encyclopaedia is religious. Encyclopaedia consists of a concise of various informations regarding several topics. Bhagavad Gīta is exactly that. The several topics in it pertain to everything to do with a human life and his journey in creation. To call it religious, is to call a dog mad and kill it.

Bhagavad Gītā is well known to be a part of Bhīṣma Parva (Parva means section) in Mahābhārata. Mahābhārata is an ingenious story, and the characters, the protagonists, the antagonists, the side characters, all of them depict what a human journey goes through. But the genius lies in tracing and highlighting the events to
the inner mind of man. How his choices taken, unfolds the events in his life! The depth of the unfoldment is such that it takes an individual to know the source of his own being.

In the 17th chapter of Bhagavad Gītā, the three types preferences of food by three different kinds of people is mentioned. By knowing this, you know what sort of temperament you exhibit. It is a great tool of self-assessment!

आयुःसत्त्वबलारोग्यसुखप्रीतिविवर्धनाः ।
रस्याः स्निग्धाः स्थिरा हृद्या आहाराः सात्त्विकप्रियाः ।।८।।

Foods which increase life, purity, strength, health, joy and cheerfulness, which are oleaginous and savoury, substantial and agreeable, are dear to the Sattwic people.

कट्वम्ललवणात्युष्णतीक्ष्णरूक्षविदाहिनः ।
आहारा राजसस्येष्टा दुखशोकामयप्रदाः ।।९।।

The foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively hot, dry, pungent and burning, are liked by the Rajasic and are productive of pain, grief and disease.

यातयामं गतरसं पूति पर्युषितं च यत् ।
उच्छिष्टमपि चामेध्यं भोजनं तामसप्रियम् ।।१०।।

That which is stale, tasteless, putrid, rotten and impure refuse, is the food liked by the Tamasic.

(Translation from Bhagavad Gītā by Swami Sivānanda).

Is this classification of preference of food in anyway making a religious statement??

Every verse of the Gītā is useful to humankind to find his peace, even more so when he gets overwhelmed by how his life has unfolded and he gets clueless in many a moments during his life.

Gītā is a śastra vidya. Regarding this, in another post.

Beginning…

Contemplated for a long time… why should i blog? then contemplated even longer why not? & here i am.

These pages should hopefully see the emergence & conceptualisation of all my years of learning of Vedanta & may even  … lets keep it open. You see promises are hard to keep! & surprises are always welcomed !! An untended garden has infinite possibilties to tend it, but limitation sets in with tending it.

So shall we chooose the path of the wilderness & discover ever now & then different landscapes with varying shades & hues or shall we choose to lay out a plan & then walk the trek. You see the problem is, I enjoy both……