The Universe within!

In the deep stillness
where the mind stands still,
the breath ceases to flow,
in that vacuum of nothingness
I get a feeble glimpse
of that vast Cosmos;

A moment, I am part of it;
Another, it is part of mine;
Still. Unmoving. Quiet.
Yet, A buzzing field of action!

#Thoughts|Experience|Glimpse during the Panchakosha Meditation | 14-03-2017

The Sankranti Bonfire

The lone
North Star
shimmered even more
brighter;
as it watched
The Mystical One
light a fire
of Consciousness
that devoured
all the thoughts
and minds
of the thousands of ones
who meditated with Him
in the dark, chilly
winter night!

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The Light Within

The soothing rays
of the winter sun
soft, yet luminous
ignites
the light within
a billion times
brighter;
erasing the duality
and lo!
The Oneness pervades!

Bright as as bright can be;
setting the heart ablaze;
the gentle soft rays
ignite the fire within;
and lo!
The Light within is the Light without

Seek it outside
or within;
The One Light pervades all.
Such an awesome revelation!

– Thoughts after Padmasadhana, Meditation & Kriya 29.11.16 |
Chants: Sri Aditya Hrudayam Stotram

The Gift of Grace.

I am back after a refreshing Art of Living Part 2 Program, at the Bangalore Ashram in the presence of Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar). Advanced Programs are usually spread over 4 or 5 days (sometimes longer too for those who can’t have enough of the silence) comprising of yoga and deep meditations, with silence at the root of it. Every time I do this program, I feel deeply rested, the mind becomes clearer and for me creativity springs up. Needless to say, yet another poem sprang up based on my experience and wanted to share it with you all!

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The Game

Five Thousand years ago
in the midst of a battlefield,
the awareness having gone,
down in the dumps, Arjuna,
had the presence of mind
to ask The Lord this question:
 
How does one maintain a
constant awareness?
 
The Radiant Lord,
creator of this Universe,
compassionately enumerates
his presence in all things
animate and inanimate
in this magnificent creation
of His. 
 
As He lists out his omnipresence
one stops to savor and relish
every word uttered as the creator
talks of His awe-inspiring creation
and His underlying presence
behind the entirety, stirring 
unknown chords in my heart,
as one vaguely recognizes familiar
faces on the street.
 
Passing through the sands
of time, five thousand years later,
I wonder at the same question
as the awareness of the presence
dissipates in the humdrum of daily life.
 
All it takes is an email, 
a harsh exchange,
an unmet expectation,
a plan gone wrong,
tough life challenges,
and hundreds of things,
big and small 
enough to throw me 
out of equilibrium,
and for the presence to
vanish as the mind races
to abysmally low depths.
 
As I sit on the yoga mat
going through the sadhana,
so beautifully laid out by My Master
The practice becomes 
experiential as the breath
recharges the body and brings
the mind back to equilibrium.
 
The Lord tells Arjuna,
recognize My presence 
through My attributes and
in everything.
 
I struggle enormously
to recognize and
to make that Awareness
and Presence my own;
 
I want it – not just in flashes, 
not just in deep meditation,
not just as an intellectual understanding –
but in an unbroken continuum
all throughout, 
on and off the mat.
 
Till then, I have to 
make an effort to see
that presence
in that email,
in that harsh-exchange,
in that unmet expectations,
in life’s tough challenges
and in all the things
that throw me off balance…
 
The game, I guess is, 
to get thrown off balance,
and to get up and say
Gotcha! I caught you there!
and then the Lord will
smile for he would have
found a playmate willing
to play His game on His turf
with His rules!
 
Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10. Guruji gave a commentary on this chapter this week and unfortunately haven’t been able to watch it yet. This poem came up today after the Sadhana and I thought I will share it with you. 
 
Don’t forget to pass around the word about my book “The Gita in My Homework“.

Be Awake, O Yogi!

Someone asked me a question on Quora about boredom in Yoga practices, and this poem came up spontaneously.

 

This is a quest of

lifetimes;

the un-quenched thirst,

the parched lips,

and mirages all over.

 

A thousand births

in the endless

Karmic cycle.

Some full of Sattva

And some passed

in deep ignorance

and darkness.

 

This lifetime the path

is beautiful – shady trees,

lovely meadows,

breath taking views of

unparalleled beauty.

 

Walk like a King

on this path

keeping your treasure

– of Sadhana – hidden.

 

Be Awake, O Yogi!

Robbers and dacoits

abound at every

nook and corner

waiting to rob you

and drag you down

their alley and make

you their own.

 

Masters of disguises.

They know what you

would fall for.

They come wearing

the garbs of boredom

laziness, apathy,

disinterest and other

veneers.

 

If you see them

sneaking up, show

them no mercy.

 

The dacoits have

become adept at robbing

you; they come at you

trying to catch you unawares

at your lowest moment.

Snatching your wealth

– of Sadhana – their only aim!

 

They know not, that you

have the Sword

of knowledge, wisdom

and grace that can finish

them off forever in an instant.

 

Sharpen the sword

said the Master.

His only instruction:

“eka tattva abhyasa”

with “Satkara adara asevito”:

 

One pointed practice

With Honor and Respect.

 

Enough to beat the

Dark forces at their game!

 

Be Awake, O Yogi

don’t let this lifetime

go waste.

 

Practice daily

–          With love

–          reverence

–          honor

–          respect

–          and devotion

 

The treasure is your only

possession and it grows

manifold with daily renewal.

 

Carry it safely across

for it is the only thing

that will quench the thirst

of lifetimes!

Be Awake, O Yogi!

He made us all Neelakanta’s

Just back after a advanced meditation program with Guruji (Sri Sri RaviShankar) and this poem came up spontaneously today evening.

Rudra Puja with Guruji - 6th Jan 2014 at VM

Rudra Puja with Guruji – 6th Jan 2014 at VM

A thousand and hundred questions;

A gazillion doubts and a

hundred more fears and a

billion more regrets;

Desires as many as stars in the sky.

All mixed together in colors that are dark;

Come out on the surface and express themselves

in a myriad ways –

from

–          aloofness to discontent

–          anger to rancor

–          fearfulness to anxiety

–          disenchantment to boredom

gnawing from within as the

fears, regrets, doubts and wants mix

themselves into a dangerous concoction.

 

All Inflammable’s carry a danger signboard

but there isn’t  one for the mind carrying

this dangerous mix.

Ready to explode

at a moment’ notice

on an unsuspecting victim.

 

Where’ the Undo button and where’ the

CTRL-Z shortcut?

 

At time like this,

the Wise One calls out.

Come spend a few days with me;

And let me show you the path

to handle your own mind and emotions

 

The concoction of poison you

have brewed of relentless thoughts

can be drunk and you can become

The Neelkanta!

 

Holding hands gently

The Wise One leads

pointing you to 4 roads

named

–          Sadhana

–          Seva

–          Silence and

–          Satsang

Traverse, this path

recursively

And you will lose

All that you have

gathered

and when you have

become hollow and empty

you would have arrived

at the Destination.

 

You know not what the

destination is, but give in to the faith

and start the journey

with a bit of trepidation.

 

“Welcome Home” say’s the Reception

At the Ashram!

The guy at check in says sorry it’s either

A dorm this time or three-sharing.

The body had enough of dorms

And the mind says it is ok to pamper oneself!!

 

The road of Sadhana leads to Yagnashala

As one goes through the rigorous SuryaNamaskars

And gentle Padma-Sadhana’s you catch the eye

Of the stray dog who breaks his lazy siesta

With Adho-Mukha-Svanasana

Wow! What majesty and what grace!

 

Thousands of kilo’s of vegetables all to be chopped;

arranged neatly in colorful baskets;

with tens of folks at it almost the whole day

is lined up on the road to Seva.

The mind cribs at the task at hand

but gives in and disappears into the background

as one immerses into it. Something that

was unpleasant to begin with was now

something to be looked forward to everyday.

 

The most enchanting and scenic path was

The Road of Silence.

The deep and relaxing meditations and yet

the longing to hear the melodious chants

Of Asangoham, Asangoham stirring some

unplayed chords deep within.

 

The Silence, so satiating,

yet so short.

 

As the silence enveloped,

the meditations became deeper.

The play of mind became clearer;

The past comes rushing in

bringing with it memories;

pleasant and unpleasant.

 

The future not to be outdone comes

With its own set of demons.

Watching them, Intermingle, they take

You on a ride you wanted to get rid

of in the first place.

 

Muddying the tranquil lake,

Emotions in all hues come up.

And you watch for

there isn’t anything else to do.

 

And the reverie is broken

As the Wise One takes

you deeper and deeper

into the Ocean of Meditation

making you hollow and empty.

 

And without your notice, the mind becomes still

As if time stood still for a thousand years;

Beyond there, is a door – yet unopened.

I know not, what lies beyond.

But for sure, what emanates from there

is Peace, Joy, Love and Grace.

 

As a cloth dipped in color acquires its color

The mind suddenly catches onto

Unbridled Peace and Joy

That comes out in spontaneous

outpouring in the Satsang

the exuberance, the enthusiasm

the dance of gay abandon

catches you unaware.

This is the road of Satsang –

Intoxicatingly beautiful.

 

Hundreds turn up on the path

With their bundle of wants:

Some are happy with a glimpse;

some want a meeting;

Some a conversation;

some a look, a smile, and

some are happy with a

wave of hand from the Wise One and

He doesn’t disappoint.

 

As the chants of Rudram fill the VM

the early morning sun rushes in;

in a joyful dance to catch

The Lord of Universe

in deep meditation;

With its desire fulfilled,

it bursts out joyfully

in the sky

having seen the One – formless in a form –

Meditating on Himself!

 

The hundreds of others

meditating with

The Wise One

Become One with Him

for a few minutes;

Only to be woken up

by a distant but

Melodious ring of

the small temple bell

signaling the

end of the chanting.

 

The Wise One, Awake

Smiles

and the

bliss and joy

permeates the whole atmosphere.

The mind which was so restless,

edgy and impatient

suddenly seems to be dyed in

new colors – of tranquility and stillness.

Gone was the restlessness

the doubts and the questions.

The regrets and desires

had vanished into thin air.

 

The Wise One had kept his promise

As He walked away from the Puja

Waving at us all;

He had made us all Neelakanta’s.

Freeing us from the poison;

of our own making.