Monthly Archives: March 2016

From darkness to light

In a foul mood I went banging doors and slamming things. Yes, I do such absurd things or sometimes just yell. It takes the stress away. And I get back to normal, Nowadays I just yell ‘Krishnaaaa’ and then calm down. But today I didn’t do any yelling. I was too stressed to do even that. No, nothing very critical. Just that water supply in our building sometimes plays errant. No water and I get tensed up. I start imagining all sorts of troubles eventually leading to my bad karma and my ‘sufferings’.

Yes, I tend to be melodramatic.

Today I didn’t yell. Nor did I blame my karma. Today my position was of a warrior who has accepted defeat even before the war has begun.

I went about folding clothes, arranging cupboards when I looked around and saw the lighted ‘diyas’ at the altar.

I love the sight of diya (mind you the oil diyas not the wax candles). I love the flames playing around in a dark room. Somehow it lifts my mood up, makes me calm and makes me believe that there is hope.

I am immediately reminded of the line, Tamosama jyotirgamay’ lead me from darkness to light. It also means coming out of ignorance to knowledge.  Always darkness is linked to ignorance. Lying down at night when sleep eludes, even the simplest problem looks gargantuan.  The same problem in the day time is minuscule.

I remember a similar prayer sung in school, ‘Lead kindly light amid encircling gloom’. The essence is the same, leading from ignorance to knowledge, from darkness to light. I have not had chance to study other religions but I am sure others too speak of the same truth. After all what is religion… its a means to advance to knowledge and erase the ignorance from our hearts.

Lord Krishna in the Bhagvad Gita Chapter 10 Text 11 says:

tesam evanukampartham
aham ajnana-jam tamah
nasayamy atma-bhava-stho
jnana-dipena bhasvata
Out of compassion for them, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.
In this shloka too darkness has been compared to ignorance.
We may think we are elevated, that we are ‘gyanis’ the knower of all truths but the fact is that we know very little. And that little itself is enough to make us puffed up with pride. But those who are humble enough to keep on serving the Lord come what may;  He himself lights the lamp of knowledge in his heart.
Such a simple formula.
So do I have the endurance to carry on against all odds? The illnesses, the material discomforts, the sudden doubts of faith? That time can only tell. Till then I will look on to the lamps in the altar and bring courage to the heart.
Tamso maa jyotirgamaya….Lead kindly light…..

 

 

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Filed under Essay, short musings

Longings of the soul

As a teenager I remember sitting with my friends in  the hostel room suddenly bursting into tears. This happened a couple of times. It was assumed that I was homesick. But now when I think back I understand that it was spiritual longing.

I was quite happy in the hostel. The company was good and yet I felt that I lacked something. That something was amiss. I was meant for something else. This feeling persisted even when I finished my professional course and after some time landed up with a job. Even the so called jobs which I landed up with failed to give the satisfaction that I was longing for. Its only after two decades that I realised that I was never made for a corporate job. And I have languished so much over my lack of ability to get a good job.

It is now that I realise that firstly I was not made for those jobs that is why I never was satisfied. Secondly My Lord saw to it that I come up to the devotional path because I  was never made for the other jobs. Today nothing gives me more peace and happiness than my preaching/teaching.

How did this transition happen? Was it gradual, was it sudden? It was gradual. To think of it, I didn’t have to struggle much to understand what I really wanted. After the initial hiccups, I just withdrew and let Him guide me along. So  just a five letter word helped me……F.A.I.T.H.

I just relied on him and He went on showing the way. If I had used that fundamental to guide me from the beginning, life would have been much simpler . I would have progressed much more on the devotional path. But then everything has a place and time.

 

There is a beautiful shloka from the Bhagbad Gita

nehabhikrama-naso ‘sti
pratyavayo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya
trayate mahato bhayat
TRANSLATION
In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.(BG 2.4o)
In simple words whatever spiritual gains you make in this lifetime remains with you even if you keep on taking successive births. The material knowledge and wealth which you gather remains limited to one lifetime. You may be a surgeon but the skill of a surgeon will remain with you for that lifetime. and if you die and take rebirth and again want to be a surgeon, then you will have to undergo the same process all over again.
Whereas spiritual knowledge is never erased from our memory. It remains as it is. You keep upgrading your knowledge but it can never be ‘formatted’.
So when I used to get upset and cry maybe it was the souls need to get back to its actual self, to its true identity.
This shloka also talks about the most dangerous fear. Which is the most dangerous fear? The fear of death and then being botn again NOT as a human. But for one on the spiritual path, it is guaranteed that he/she will take a human form again. That is the reassurance being given here.
So after a lot of trial and tribulations and errors, I have finally found my path and the peace that it gives me is everlasting.

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Filed under free writing, personal