Wednesday, 3 September 2014

राग





मैं गीतों में बस जाता हूँ,

तुम राग से मुझको पा लेना,

मैं स्वर लहरी बन जाता हूँ,

तुम शब्द से मुझको गा लेना,




autumn
Autumn

मैं फूलों में खिल जाता हूँ,

तुम तितली बन फिर पा लेना,

मैं कोलाहल बन जाता हूँ,

बन रजनी अंग लगा लेना,

मैं गोधूलि में छिप जाता हूँ,

तुम ऊषा बन फिर पा लेना,

मैं आँगन में बस जाता हूँ,

बन तुलसी फिर तुम पा लेना,

मैं हवाओं में घुल जाता हूँ,

तुम स्वांस  में मुझको पा लेना |

Meditation Journal

I refer to my article on basics of meditation. I want to discuss a few more things related to basics and best practices of meditation. The first is keeping a meditation journal. It's similar to keeping a diary for recording your thoughts in general with the exception that you devote this journal solely to meditation practice.


Those who practice lucid dreaming keep a dream journal. Scientists experimenting with something keep journal. Creative writers keep journal to capture ideas. Similarly keeping a meditation journal is a good habit which reinforces meditative awareness. Keeping a journal is creating a feedback loop and it enhances learning rate and makes it very deep. The first law of behavioral psychology says that you get more of what you reinforce. When you keep a journal your concentration related to the domain the journal is devoted for increases naturally. Which in turn improves the practice exponentially.



By keeping a meditation journal you regulate your practice. You record the timings. You record your observations. You record your findings and you also record blocks-on-the-way. This journal if kept for enough long becomes your guide and friend. Read it weekly or monthly and record the insights and you will find yourself progressing by leaps and bounds in meditation.


Journal




The second thing is regularity.



You obviously know about the importance of regular practice, but in spiritual parlance, quoting the meditation masters--" If you skip meditation for a single day, the negative power of universe--gravitates you towards your initial(the way it was before starting the practice) psycho-physical make-up."


 What it means is--if you skip your practices--it's not that you just make-up for that day on the very next--but that you are pulled back by many days-down  into the past by the negative force which does not want you to move forward spiritually. If you are irregular--chances are that pretty soon you will give-up the practice. The idea is to practice everyday without an exception no matter what may come. You may practice for 5, 10 or 20 minutes, as much as you can--but skipping meditation altogether is not a good idea.



   image source

Guru Nanak--Life and Teachings--Jairam Mishra

This is the first and only biography of Guru Nanak I have read. This is a brilliant book sketching the life of seer saint Nanak in a most vivid manner. The author Jairam Mishra is not only an intellectual but also a widely read spiritual personality. This book brings about sheer imagery of life events in the mind of reader as if he is witnessing them in person.


The book begins with portrayal of social background at the time of birth of Nanak. Then Nanak's extraordinary childhood in which he is shown as precocious spiritual child who makes all his masters his disciple, is narrated in a few chapters. In his adolescence, he has to face resistance from his materialistic father, because he is aloof from worldly duties and remains almost always in an ecstatic blissful state.

Then as a young man he gets married and still leaves his wife and children, in order to serve the humanity. He travels all across the country spreading his message of love and unity. He even went to foreign countries like Iraq, Mecca and Burma, blessing millions of souls which were in distress and pain. Throughout his travels he challenged the dogmatic and fanatic religious adherents and debated with them on various points concerning unity of mankind. He won every debate and he accepted every challenge which came in his way, not fearing anyone.


If you want to see a man who is a living example of Nietzsche's Live Dangerously  doctrine-it has to be Nanak. Nanak was more than just 'live dangerously' for sake of doing it--he had a mission--he was a messenger from God. He came to blast hypocrites and fanatics and no power could stop him from doing so. 


Nanak traveled for a whopping 20 years spreading the word of God--uniting people in love all across the India and Asia. We find his disciple Mardana accompanying him in most of his journeys. In those days travelling was not as easy as it's now--and yet--he was persistent and reached even to Kailash Mansarovar --on Himalaya, alarming Yogis who were living carefree there enjoying their time out with liquor and similar intoxicants. He suggested them to live a life for enlightening others instead of wasting time in seclusion.


Guru Nanak

Nanak finally settled in the town Kartarpur. There he created a real commune--his disciples worked with him in the fields and no one kept money for himself. All money was given to Guru Nanak who was kind and generous to bless everyone with material and spiritual food to nourish body mind and soul. 


Nanak's life is a life of great seer saint. If you read the book you would find that there is not even a single event where facial expressions of Nanak turned into those of an angry and agitated man. You find a blissful smile on his face with half closed eyes. Only rarely when he finds his fellow brothers and sisters tortured by Sikandar Lodhi, we see a deep sorrow on his face and he cries for them out of compassion.


Unlike angry-obnoxious so-called-saints which are(were/will-be) a-dime-a-dozen, Nanak was a rare personality a living legend of compassion and harmony. Author briefly depicts his teachings and their similarities to other systems of Yoga in the end of book.


This is one of the most inspirational books I have ever read. I highly recommend it to everyone.

See other book recommendations here: Tao-Te-Ching
                                                    The Einstein Factor
                                                     The Power of Now

image courtsey           

Lost and lost in Satan's island

I watched Lost TV series couple of years ago and enjoyed it well. A few days ago I learned about the Gnostic(Saint Mat) world view. Then, I recalled how crystal clear it became to me that Lost's story has striking similarity with Saint Mat's world view. It's possible that Lost's writer was inspired by those views or may be it's just a coincidence--in any case--lets see the similarities:


The Black Smoke, represents Demiurge or Satan--the negative power of universe. Jacob represents--the logos--the positive power inside universe. The island represents the universe. We see that it was The Black Smoke(TBS) who at first brought people on island by crashing the plane in order to prove a point. According to Saint Mat--rebellious Satan creates this universe and inhabits it with creatures to rule it to prove a point. TBS always misguides people, shows them their negative side and makes them wander and suffer on the island forever. Similarly Satan is hell-bent on keeping everyone in this material universe which is full of suffering, so that, his play continues. 

Lost: The Black Smoke
The Man in Black

Jacob represents the logos and he is obviously more powerful than the TBS. Jacob is the savior and guide of those who are lost. The word is indeed the savior and guide of humanity--very life of life. Jacob never wanted to make people suffer on island--the word is always pulling us towards God--towards our true home.


Then, the whole story makes sense seen in the light of Saint Mat's world view--except that there are certain marked differences in the plot to keep it look realistic--like Jacob's death. Moreover, TBS actually wants to leave the island whereas Jacob wants to keep him there--that doesn't match with typical characteristics of Satan and Logos; but the trait of -TBS of looking only at the dark side of psyche and Jacob's  looking only at the bright side of psyche fall consistent with the typical characteristics of Satan and Logos


Satan can take any form to misguide people in universe--so does TBS. TBS tests people to the full and he is very powerful. Inside island people are trapped because of TBS, but outside they are free--similarly, we are having limited painful existence because we are in the kingdom of Demiurge.   

image: here

The first attempt

भारत में सिविल सेवा परीक्षा सबसे जटिलतम परीक्षाओं में से एक मानी जाती है, वैसे तो परीक्षा की विषय वस्तु, पाठ्यक्रम आदि पूर्व निर्धारित हैं, पर सवालों के जवाब फिर भी नहीं बनते हैं| बहुत से अभ्यर्थियों के लिये प्रारम्भिक परीक्षा आज भी रहस्य है, तो बहुतों के लिये मेन्स, तो कुछेक के लिये इंटरव्यू |

मेरा अनुभव अभी अनुभव नहीं कहा जा सकता, पर मुझे गर्व है कि ये मेरा पहला प्रयास था, और पूर्ण विश्वास भी की असफलता मेरा वरण करने आयेगी|
Civil Services Examination
Examination

परीक्षा से पहले मैं सर्वज्ञानी भाव में स्थित था, जो कि प्रारम्भिक परीक्षा के रोज़ तक स्थायी रूप से स्थिर रहा, पर ज्यों ही परीक्षा केन्द्र पर पहुंचना हुआ मुझे बहुत से सर्वज्ञानी नज़र आने लगे, कुछेक की श्रेणियाँ तो महाज्ञानी पर पहुँची जान पड़ रही थी | कुछ हाँफते हुये आ रहे थे और कुछ काँपते हुये |

कुछ महाज्ञानियों ने तीन चार सर्वज्ञानियों को साथ लेकर स्वतंत्र सत्तायें स्थापित कर ली थी और आख्यानों का दौर शुरू हो चुका था जो परीक्षा हॉल में प्रवेश तक जारी रहा, मेरे बाजू से एक सर्वज्ञानी {नई दिल्ली में ट्रेंड } स्वतन्त्रज्ञानी के रूप में विरक्त से खड़े थे, कहने लगे कि पहले पेपर में सत्तर से अस्सी प्रश्न करना बेहद जरूरी है |{मुझे उनके भीतर स्वयं अग्रवाल साहब दिखाई दे रहे थे }, गार्ड कि आवाज़ से सहसा मेरा ध्यान भंग हुआ , जो सभी अभ्यर्थियों को भीतर प्रवेश के लिये आदेशित कर रहा था |

परीक्षा हॉल में प्रवेश करते ही एक अपूर्व शक्ति कि लहर मेरे भीतर दौड़ गयी | हॉल के भीतर दो पर्यवेक्षक मौजूद थे, एक पर्यवेक्षक ने मुझे यूं घूरा मानो कहना चाहता हो कि अब ये भी कलेक्टर बनेंगे ?

कुछ देर बाद प्रश्न पत्र का वितरण शुरू हुआ ,प्रश्न पत्र हाथ में आते ही मेरे हाथों ने स्वतः काम करना बंद कर दिया , प्रश्नो की प्रकृति रहस्यवाद पर आधारित थी जो-- प्रश्न दर प्रश्न और भी गहराता जा रहा था | मेरा सम्पूर्ण अर्जित ज्ञान प्रश्नो में ही निहित था, और मेरी हालत एक तूफ़ानी रात में मलक्का जलडमरूमध्य में फंसे नाविक जैसी हो चली थी |
कुछ प्रश्नो का चुनाव इतना ईको फ्रेंडली था कि एकबारगी तो मेरा मन वानप्रस्थ कि ओर मुड चला था क्योंकि पर्यावरण सम्बंधी इतना सटीक ज्ञान वन में रहकर ही अर्जित किया जा सकता है फिर भी अगले अटेम्प्ट और क़म उमर का हवाला देकर मैने अपने दिल को सम्हाल लिया |
मेरा ज्ञानाभिमान अब ग्लेशियर कि तरह पिघलना शुरू हो गया और मेरा शरीर ग्लोबल वॉरमिंग महसूस करने लगा था, वैश्विक तापमान कि तरह मेरा दैहिक तापमान भी उच्च होने लगा और इसके लक्षण पसीने के रूप में माथे पर उभरने लगे |
मुझे रुमाल से पसीना पोंछ्ता देख एक पर्यवेक्षक जो मुंह में पान दबाये हुये थे, बोले -'पेपर टफ है क्या' ?
मन में तो आया कि कह दूँ-" ये पेपर सिविल सेवा का है या वनस्पति सेवा का," पर फिर सोचा कहीं का गुस्सा कहीं निकालना ठीक नहीं, सो मैने अपने सेल्फ कंट्रोल का स्विच चालू किया और डेढ़ इंच की नकली वाली मुस्कान के साथ जबाब दिया-"नहीं ज्यादा टफ नहीं है ||" 
पाँच मिनट पहले बजने वाली घंटी से पाँच मिनट पहले ही मैने प्रश्न पत्र पूरा हल कर लिया था , और हॉल के परीक्षार्थियों के बीच 'अन्धों में काने राजा' वाला भाव भीतर ही भीतर महसूस करने लगा |

और फिर कुछ देर बाद घंटी बजी |

पेपर के छूटते ही एक कोलाहल चारों तरफ दौड़ पड़ा, परीक्षा के पहले जो अभ्यर्थी सदाबहार मेंग्रोव नजर आ रहे थे पेपर के छूटने पर अब वही कैक्टस बन चुके थे, मानो पानी की कमी के कारण पर्ण परिवर्तन हो गया हो |

पेपर कैसा भी था पर वास्तविकता को उज़ागर करने वाला था और चेताने वाला भी कि जब तक आपके समस्त ज्ञान चक्षु नहीं खुल जाते  आप आई .ए. एस. नहीं बन सकते | खैर जो भी था अच्छा था, पर इतना भी नहीं कि मैं कह सकता, अगले बरस तुम जल्दी आना

image source: here