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.

By the Ghats

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimate Love

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.

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

 

The Bud

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)