Tag Archives: God

Rumi

rumiLife is fire,
And hatred
And passion,
And desperation-
Life is not lived
With calm reasonableness.
 
The stillness of mind
Reason and balance
The shadowy peace
Of the quiet lake
Hides death, or,
Maybe, something else.
 
Let Rumi talk of love
And peace
And of miracles
Of faith – 
We shall ask Rumi of all that
When we die.

***

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An incident in the park

imagination____by_punktlosThe child, about six years old, sitting on the park bench was looking curiously at me. It broke my reverie, and as an opening gambit, I smiled, but he continued to stare.

“What’s up young man?” I asked.

“What are you doing?” he asked, point blank.

That un-nerved me a little, for you never know what the kid was thinking. I played safe, “Just imagining things,” I said.

“What things?” he asked.

“All sorts of things,” I said, not really getting the hang of the conversation.

“Why?” he said.

Now there is little you can do when a young person asks you why. So I deflected the question, “My imagination saw your imagination there,” I said, pointing towards the sky.

That hooked him. We were on familiar territory now, in the world of imaginations.

“Where,” he asked. Perhaps he wanted to know the exact location of our imaginations.

“There, above the clouds,” I said, “Where lots of imaginations live.”

“Imaginations live above clouds?” he asked, curious.

“Not all,” I said, “but the better ones like to live above the clouds.”

“How do you know?” he asked.

“I have been studying imaginations all my life. I am an expert on them. My imagination meets the imaginations of so many people. That is what I was doing. ‘I was connecting’,” I explained.

The expression on his face turned to respect. It takes one to know one.

“Your imagination tells you everything?” he asked.

“Imagination can tell anything. Many things that even the scientists do not know,” I said.

“And they don’t lie?” asked the kid, for he wanted to be on sure grounds before proceeding further into the world of imaginations.

“Imaginations can tell you anything, it is up to you to believe them or not. They are not very particular about truth, but they are powerful none the less. They know the truth, which is sometimes difficult to find,” I said.

“But truth is easy to see. They are like facts,” the kid remarked.

“Not so. Most of the times truth is hidden behind layers of feelings. But imagination knows truth, for truth is sweet and imagination is powerful. I will give you an example. There are many poor children who have not seen the inside of a normal home. They imagine how it may be and are happy.”

“They can go anywhere they can imagine,” he asked.

“Yes of course, like you can go on an adventure, or on a spaceship, or fly with superman or fight the aliens. My imagination once saw a beggar child imagination what it would be to go around the city in a car. I decided to take him along with me in my car. And I did. At the end of the ride I asked him how he liked it, and he said, it was good, but he had been around earlier also. I asked him when, and he said, in his imagination. So, you see, imaginations can be pretty accurate.”

“Wonderful!” he exclaimed.

“No, but remember, not everyone is blessed with such great imaginations,” I cautioned, for I knew that he would feel that the world doesn’t need anything more than imagination. “Moreover, the soul needs imagination, but the body needs more worldly solid things.”

He was disappointed, for he seemed to detect a fly in the ointment. “My dad was saying it is all fool’s paradise,” he said.

“Not so. Newton to Einstein, Aristotle to Marx, Leaonardo da Vinci to Picasso – all the great men have had great imaginations, ones they believed in.”

“What was my imagination doing?” asked the boy.

“I don’t know. Did not talk to it. It seemed busy,” I said.

“Yes, it was. It was catching snakes. Huge snakes,” he nodded and said.

“Ah, that explains it. Your imagination was looking very preoccupied,” I said.

“How did you recognize it was my imagination?” he suddenly asked.

“It looked like you,” I said simply.

“Oh,” he said, “there must be millions and billions and gillions of imaginations up there?” he said.

“Not so. Only few imaginations soar so high. Mostly those of kids. Only few adult imaginations go there. Most adult imaginations can not even cross the clouds, let alone reach space. But the one that can go into space can go anywhere in the universe. No, even beyond the universe, but that needs more power,” I explained.

“What’s beyond universe?” he asked.

“Don’t know yet. Have not been able to go there. Imaginations of saints and really good people are so powerful as to break out of universe. But I have talked to some of those who have been beyond, and they say it is wonderful, for there it is without rules and limitations and free,” I said.

We were silent for a while, as we tried to imagine beyond universe. The little boy’s sigh told me that this time he had failed. And that is the danger of growing up. “Boy, never give up imagination even though at times it will not be able to take you where you want. The imagination of the adults becomes feeble only because they stop believing in them. They start believing too much in the real world, which, I am sure you know, is also imaginary,” I concluded with a smile, and decided to let his imagination figure out the rest.

***

 ((Pic courtesy: punktlos from the net))


The day of enlightenment

Nobody knew who had floated the idea of calling the yoga Guru to the office for a de-stressing, spiritually enhancing course, but it was certain that no one admitted to being the father of the idea.

The Guru, when he arrived, did not inspire confidence, or spiritual or peaceful thoughts.

When the overweight, shrewd-looking, shifty-eyed Guru arrived with half dozen disciples, including one pretty young thing in tow, the top management glanced at each other furtively and bowed.

Since the decision for the course on spiritual upliftment of the branch managers was ultimately taken by Superboss, it had to be right. Since the Guru was finally approved by Superboss, he had to be perfect, and deserved reverence.

All work for the day was suspended, all meetings cancelled. The environment had to peaceful and non-materialistic. The Guru was costly, and it was in the interest of the company to utilize the benefits of his wisdom to the maximum possible extent.

“X will sit near that girl,” murmured Mr A sotto-voice, “he is hardly going to have too many spiritual thoughts today.”

I glanced at Mr X, and knew Mr A was right. Though Mr X was the arch-rival of my boss Mr A, and in the past there have been skirmishes in which the two have charged each other with crimes they did not commit, in this instance, the facial expression of Mr X gave him away. He was positively smitten by the pretty disciple, and seemed to want a private discourse from her.

The conference hall was converted into the meditation centre, and for once, the huge chair at the head of the table was occupied by the Guru and not Superboss. The later seemed to be miffed with this, and it was evident he had not foreseen his demotion. He glared at Mr A, who was heading admin for the time being, for not thinking ahead and arranging for two huge chairs at the head of the table. Superboss sullenly sat at one of the smaller chairs, and had his first brush with spirituality – how to soothe a wounded ego without throwing a tantrum.

When everyone had settled down in strict accordance of seniority, the Guru surveyed the scene haughtily and began his discourse with an Aum.

That was the only Sanskrit word to be used that day. After the Aum, the Guru began in clipped English, trained no doubt during his earlier avatar as a corporate hunk. Though I have not researched the background of the Guru, it is my belief that he must have been a marketing guy, and would have realized that Guru-dom can be a lucrative consultancy service for corporate clients. And he was right in his assessment. We were paying him handsomely for the day.

From that point onwards, it was all downhill. The Guru harangued us for hankering after material gains and not devoting sufficient time for really important things in life. Like, laughter. Not that the Guru practiced what he preached – he sat all annoyed and bitter and gave a long discourse on laughter. Mr X tried to implement the instruction in right spirit. He first smiled at the pretty disciple, and then, to make it more authentic, laughed out loud.

That disturbed the Guru, who changed the subject and for the next hour spoke on the need for controlling our basic nature. Discipline, he said, was key to a balanced life. All the while he kept looking at Mr X with barely concealed hostility. Not that it had much of an effect on Mr X, who kept smiling at the disciple, oblivious of the consternation he was causing to the Superboss, who seemed to have divined the cause of irritability in the Guru.

And as if that was not enough, Mr X decided to get a clarification.

“Um, sir, I mean Guruji,” he began, “is it not necessary to let oneself go, at least once in a while, to let our nature take its own decisions, so that we are free of bondages of the mind. I read Osha said so.” With that he looked at the disciple for approval.

It is not clear what irritated the Guru more – name of Osho, the question or that glance towards his gorgeous disciple.

With barely concealed hostility, Guru answered: “That is the sort of muddle headed thinking one expects in a place driven by greed and base instincts. I find the aura of this company reeking with self-serving and petty souls, who must meditate hard to overcome their limitations of soul and spirit.”

I do not know whether that answered the question or not, but that was what Mr X got by way of elucidation. I cannot say I understood it, but it seems Superboss did, and he nodded his head vigorously and glared at Mr X. Mr X looked expectantly towards the disciple for further clarification, but was met with a cold stare. It was then that he realized that he had blundered and scored a spiritual self goal.

Keen observer that he is, my boss, Mr A decided it was time he intervened.

“Swamiji, you have opened our eyes. How divinely right you are in your grasp of the situation. If we can but implement but a fraction of what you say, much of our miseries will vanish. May I take the liberty to propose that we conclude our morning session and proceed for lunch, swamiji?”

Superboss looked at Mr A approvingly. Swamiji looked at Mr A approvingly. The pretty disciple looked at Mr A approvingly. In fact all of us, with the notable exception of Mr X, looked at Mr A approvingly. Personally I was happy to escape the difficult path of spiritual upliftment.

At lunch I excused myself from attending the later session, on a pretext of urgent work, and Mr X was sent on an errand that Superboss suddenly remembered.

The next day, a happy Mr A remarked that the Guru was good and meaningful, and Superboss had the right idea of calling him. Some of us, he added, need to look within ourselves more and cleanse themselves.

When I asked him what the second session was all about, he said he had unfortunately dozed off due to heavy lunch and did not get to listen much of it. One thing I must point out about my boss – he knows when he does not need to lie. And to that extent, keeps his conscience sparkling clean.

***

 


Awaiting the judgment day

It has been raining embers.
Men collect the burning drops
To make garlands
To offer to their Gods.
 
The angry sky spits fire.
The burning roof
Reminds the older children
Of bonfire, and Christmas.
 
The blood red sky is unforgiving.
No one remembers who committed the sins
That Gods counted and collected
In their silver cauldrons.
 
Earth hurtles towards the Sun
Eager for a fiery embrace.
Painted men dance with glee
Celebrating their misery.
 
Children have stopped crying-
They are born numb.
The birds too have learnt
To crow and screech.
 
The seas are boiling hot
The fish jump out in agony
And call the fishermen
For redemption.
 
The rust brown leaves
Have swiveled into thorns.
The land, where once grass grew,
Is being dug for making the graves.
 
Hope and wishes and prayers
Are for happy times.
For now, keep your smiles and tears hidden-
In wooden boxes.
 
***

The universe has space enough

The universe has space enough
For all your Gods.
 
Do not sit on your haunches
To pray to the Gods
That you meet on the way-
Bow before them,
And move on
To more miracles
That your eyes
May be permitted to see.
 
There is no method
No madness, no logic,
No map, no destination-
Move, till your legs ache
Till your heart beats.
 
Do not expect the time to end
Or the universe
To have a boundary.
Do not expect knowledge
To be final
Or unchanging.
Do not let the blinding illumination
Deter you
From travelling towards light.
 
In the ever expanding universe
The truths of today
Can become myth of history
In an instant.
 
You never know
When the time will reverse
Its march,
And move away
From wherever it was going –
Be ready, always,
To unlearn all your beliefs
And knowledge
And wisdom –
 
And remember,
The universe has space enough,
For all your Gods.
 
***

The irrelevant moment

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The waves have been crashing
Against these rocks
For ages.
 
The Sun sets here, dutifully,
Every day,
Ignoring the smiles
Of the lovers-
Or their tears.
 
You sit on the sand
Hand in hand with your lover,
Sipping juice, wondering,
Where these particles of sand
Fit into the larger scheme of things.
 
The waves, the wind, the sand,
The passage of time,
Turns your thoughts
To mysteries of nature,
And of God.
 
Arnold, at the Dover beach,
And Sophocles at the Aegean sea,
And many others, before and since,
Have heard the rumble of time
On these beaches.
 
Avoid the beach at dusk;
Avoid sitting under the orange sky
Holding the hands of your lover.
For the waves are marking
The passage of time-
And their incessant rhythm
Are trying to warn you
Of the irrelevance
Of this moment.
 
***

The cancer patient

Cancer began with his insides
And soon, attacked his handsome face
And the rest of his body and his happiness
And his freedom and his movement
And his faith in God.
 
He struggled to know
What curse, what ill-will
Had willed the bastard in his body;
He lost trust in justice, in fate,
For he knew, he had wronged none.
 
He feared the moments when the doctors
Let his children in, to see his wasted face;
He wished to be saved the ignominy
Of hearing his wife say, bravely,
‘To me, you are still beautiful.’
 
And yet, death was the last thing he wanted-
That would be too easy a victory
That would be surrendering to the bastard.
He would take all the chemicals, all the rays it takes
To kill the coward, once. Just once.
 
But that victory was not to be-
The doctors gave up before he did;
And as fate or justice or God stood aloof,
Silently, into the night he went,
Taking the bastard down with him.
 
***

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