When a leaf fell

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

Samsāra – The vortex

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

Social media and Karma

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

River

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

 

Eyes and O Mind!

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