Category Archives: free writing

The impermanence of it all….

As I stand idling on the balcony, a sudden wave of nostalgia hits me. I remember the good old times spent in Bahrain. The sevas I was fortunate to have; the classes attended all memories wash over me.

It is not easy, fifteen lovely years especially the last eight are not easy to forget. As I long for some company I remember my sisters at the temple or the ladies in my bhakti vriksha who had become like my daughters. As I cook in the kitchen I remember who likes the particular dish that I am preparing or how it was cooking in the temple kitchen particularly on Saturdays for the Kannada Bhagvad Gita class. As I clean my home my mind conjures up images of the mass cleaning on fridays after breakfast in the temple.

Memories can sometimes bring a smile on your lips and yet sometimes torment you with a sweet ache in the heart.

The last twenty-five years I have been like a nomad, flitting from place to place. enjoying each place and yet not getting attached to any. Bahrain in that way had been special. A place where I started my marital life, made a home, had a child; experienced the highs and lows that life brings with it and yet I always used to remind myself that it is temporary, one day I will have to leave it all.

Today where I am placed I love it. I am independent, I don’t have to wait for anybody to pick me up if I have to go somewhere, I have family close by, the weather suits me and yet a tiny piece of my heart has remained in Bahrain.

And then I remind myself that the change was inevitable. One day or the other it had to be.

 

The most important lesson that I have learnt in this whole relocation is how easily we forget ourselves. I knew that life in Bahrain was temporary. One day I had to move and yet I got attached.

Similarly even though I know that this body is just an outer covering I/We get attached to it, to the relations attached to that body . Even though I know that this relations are of this body, I still get angry if their opinion is different than mine or I am carried away by someones praises.

If only I could remember that none of these are permanent…..one moment we are praised; another criticised, it is just the duality of this world.

While in Bahrain there were so many sevas. Sometimes cooking, sometimes preaching, sometimes cleaning, sometimes dressing and so on. And each seva used to give so much bliss. If I could just remember that bliss and carry on ultimately waiting for that day when I would be able to personally serve the Supreme Lord….now that would be blissful indeed.

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi satyam te
pratijane priyo ‘si me
.
TRANSLATION
Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend. (BG-18.65)

 

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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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Distractions ……and me

At a time when there are so many distractions, it is difficult to stay in track. I see many students- bright eager to learn and yet getting lost in facebook and instagram and what not. Same with people like me. There is so much to read, so much can be done and yet….. The Television beckons. Sleep engulfs. Social media calls. Laziness drowns. That is the nature of maya who is ever ready to pull us into a bottomless pit. Bottomless yes. Because enjoyments, pleasures of this world neither have a start or an end. Neither do they really give an everlasting happiness. Have you recently bought a mobile, a TV or a laptop. You buy the latest and within a few days you come to know that what you have bought is now outdated. Something new has come up. Same with the pleasures of this world. They give instant pleasure and almost immediately pain. Pain because within moments the pleasure vanishes. Everything is momentary here; for a short time.

mam upetya punar janma duhkhalayam asasvatam napnuvanti mahatmanah samsiddhim paramam gatah

TRANSLATION

After attaining Me, the great souls, who are yogis in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection. As you see in this shloka (Bhagvad Gita  Chapter 8 Shloka 15) Krishna says this world is full of miseries. You may think miseries?? I have the best of everything, then how is this world miserable. Reason is this world can just ive temporary happiness. Your new mobile, your new home gives you happiness for a short time till the time something else catches your fancy.  But the thing is you never know what the next moment holds. One may have an accident, become bankrupt or even die. Of course you may win a contract or may get a promotion but then everything comes at a price. It may just mean new responsibilities, new tensions. But then I digress. Sometimes even after having the knowledge, maya beckons, mind succumbs and this body slips into sleep; forgetting everything. So, …….I have miles to go before I sleep…..And yet I sleep

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