Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Every Day a Lifetime

One fine morning, Master was guiding us through the process of yogic breathing. All we had to do was breathe in and out completely, while focusing in the process of the air flow as it weaved in and out of our body. Our eyes were shut and the morning sunny breeze spread a pleasant glow. What we were trying to experience and learn was the art of living in the present while focusing completely into what we were doing at the moment. Past and future didn’t exist, neither did they seem important. At the end of the session, one of the aged participants asked the Master: why is every day important.

And the Master replied: there are several reasons my friend, but the most important ones are two. One is based on law of Karma or action. Without action nothing will happen and it is only today, which is our every day that we can take action and do something. You cannot act in the past or in the future, all you can do is to act in today, every day, which in turn will reflect upon tomorrow; yet that tomorrow has to first become today for you to experience and understand what your action has led to.

Then there is another way of looking at each day as a reflection or compression of a lifetime. Each day is a lifetime. We arise each morning as if newly born, with yet another opportunity to do something; we are fresh and full of energy. As the day wanes, we age and grow, we learn and act and we experience and also tire. At the end of the day, at night, when we rest, we metaphorically perish and die.

One single day with this cycle of being born when we awaken, aging through the day and then dying when we go to sleep and rest, symbolises and depicts our entire life. It’s a lifetime compressed within a day. Therefore what we do during a single day, today, every day, and how we do it, becomes the basis and symbol of our whole lifetime. Because life is only the sum of our every single day. Any day, today, can become our life’s turning point.


In a single moment, in one day, today, we can alter our life. Arise and awaken, today, every day. Starting at this very moment now. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Desire is Enough

Master, where will I find her? One day a young agitated man prostrated at the Master’s feet and ululated.

I don’t know, Master spoke softly: but my son, first you must find her within yourself.

How can I find her within myself? I don’t even know how she looks or even if she exists!

It is not necessary to know of what you desire to find, Master said, the desire by itself is enough. If you know then you may be disappointed when you find, but to find the unknown and unexpected is beyond disappointment since your quest is without expectations. And whatever you find will be magic.

Then what should I do? The man asked.

Tarry no more, here or anywhere, Master said, keep fuelling the desire and find you will.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hurt

One fine morning in early spring the Master was regaling us with one hilarious story after another. The Master rolled on ground between guffaws while the rest of us (about a hundred) clutched our stomachs gasping for breath, laughing our heads off. But amidst all that merriment, there reposed one young girl of untold beauty, whose downcast eyes and pallid demeanour told of unbound misery. When the laughter had subsided to a manageable silence, the Master addressed the girl.

What troubles you my child? Why so sad amidst so much joy!

After a brief moment, the girl looked up and said: I love the most wonderful man and I have hurt him, inflicting severe pain, through my actions. And now I do not know what to do.

The Master beckoned her to come forward and be seated by his side. He caressed her head lovingly and said:

To love someone, you will hurt. You cannot love without hurting, just like you cannot eat an apple without biting into it. So don’t blame yourself for the hurt you caused to the one you love since you are not the cause of his hurt. It’s part of the process. It’s the way of love and loving. You hurt him, if you so believe, but who hurt you, since you are suffering too! It is just a process of action and reaction, of cycling and recycling, of beginning and ending only to begin again. Only through pain and grief, call it hurt if you must, true love shines splendid like the sun.

Then what should I do? She asked.


Just return to him at this instant and embrace him to your heart. Don’t say a word. And he will understand that the clouds have parted and it is a brilliant beautiful day. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Meaningless

One day the Master was in deep slumber under the banyan tree; or so we presumed. Nearby his followers and I sat discussing what he had told us in the morning. Some of us marvelled at his words, some pondered, some revered, and some were clearly bewildered. But we all agreed that whatever the Master said were surely wise even if we didn’t understand the full purport. And then one enthusiastic disciple said, a bit louder than the rest... Master is always right.

I am never right. The Master spoke despite his shut eyes.
Then are you always wrong? I jested.

I am never wrong. The Master responded. Now his eyes were open and twinkling mischievously.

But how can that be? One woman asked. You cannot be both right and wrong at the same time. You must be one or the other.

Tell me sister, the Master asked the lady: is it day or night?
It is day Master. She said cautiously.

You are both right and wrong. You are right because it is day here where you are and the day that you can see, but somewhere on the Earth, right now it is night that you cannot see, so you are wrong as well. I asked you objectively is it day or night? And you presumed that I asked for this place where we are physically right now. Similarly if we ask is it cold or hot, and somewhere it is cold and somewhere it is hot. So the answer is equally right or wrong. What you may find beautiful might be ugly to someone else, what is food to you might be another’s poison. What I say might be wise to you but to another might sound foolish.

But that is so confusing, if everything is both right and wrong. How do we know what we should listen to?

Hear what I say, the Master explained, but listen to what I don’t say. Read the words that I utter, but understand those I don’t. Emptiness makes up most of the universe, yet without it, the world will collapse and would not sustain. Within the nothingness lies everything. For something to mean we must have much more of the meaningless.


I may not mean what I say but do I mean what I don’t?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Colourless

As I walked beside the Master one afternoon, ambling and enjoying the fresh mountain breeze, silently submerged in our respective thoughts. Shortly we came across a beautiful emerald lake that was known for its rejuvenating waters. Many pilgrims travelled from afar to dip into the waters to cure of their ailments. As we skirted the lake, many of the devotees greeted the Master reverently. Everybody knew of him.

A little ahead, we came to an old man of stout health, dipping himself vigorously into the lake. Master paused to stare at the old man with amusement writ large upon his face. I too stopped and stared. Soon the old man noticed the Master and literally jumped out of the lake. He approached us and fell at the Master’s feet.

Master, he said, please tell me how to get rid of my pain and miseries. I have been to all the holy lakes and have been immersing myself but I am still in agony. I don’t know what to do anymore.

My brother, Master said, by immersing yourself into holy lakes you only get rid of the dirt and grime of your body. Not that of the mind and soul. For that you got to immerse your mind and soul along with your body.

How can I do that? The old man asked much puzzled.

What is the colour of this lake? Master posed.

Blue, the old man replied instantly. You are mistaken my friend, Master said, the water is colourless, it only reflects what falls upon its glassy surface, therefore appearing blue right now due to the blue sky above but orange at dawn and dusk. It has no colour because it doesn’t hold on to anything. Similarly your pains and miseries refuse to go away since you refuse to let go. You are holding on to them for your dear life yet they take life away from you.


Let them go and become colourless like the lake. 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Living in the Moment

One morning a middle aged lady came to visit the Master. She seemed highly perturbed about something. She sat in front of the Master and bowed her head in reverence, and was about to speak, when Master uttered: my child come with me. Let’s take a walk.

As the Master led the lady, the rest of us followed. I would never miss a chance to walk with the Master. Upon these walks lay the secret to greatest of wisdoms.

Right behind the Master’s humble hut, there ran a clear sparkling brook that gurgled gently throughout the day. He led the woman to the brook and stopped. I noticed that he had stopped where there was a small dirty pool of water right next to the bank of the brook. The pool had stagnant muddy water. 

The Master pointed at the murky pool and said: your mind is like this still water, clutching onto the mud and dirt of the past and of the unknown future, therefore you suffer. But look at the brook, you won’t find any dirty water there, no matter how much dust or dirt or things fall into it, because it keeps moving and takes the dirt away. It is always in the present. Allow your mind to let go of the past and stop worrying about the future, and move with the flow of life, living in the moment.


Be the moving brook not the stagnant pool. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Lake or the Glass

One day I was sharing a lighter moment with the Master, when a much agitated young man arrived. He fell at the feet of the Master and ululated: Oh Master, show me the way, my life is full of miseries.

Bring him a glass of water; Master commandeered, which I obeyed. The youth gulped the water down. The Master filled his glass up and then added a spoon of salt in it. Now drink this son.

The bewildered youth followed and immediately spat out the water. How does it taste? Master asked. Awful, it’s so bitter. He replied.

Let’s go for a walk to the mountain lake. Master suggested. Three of us, followed by few more, left for the walk. All through the journey of an hour, Master hummed a beautiful melody while I walked beside merrily. Only the young fellow seemed more troubled. He didn’t see how his miseries can be solved with a glass of salty water followed by a walk to a mountain lake.

We reached the shores of the turquoise lake. It glistened and shimmered beneath the sun. Small waves slithered across, chased by the cherubic breeze. Master produced another spoon of salt and handed to the youth. Please mix this into the lake. He asked.

The young man did as told. Now drink from the lake, the Master asked. And the young man did so and he drank several gulps as he must have been thirsty and tired after his long journey.

How does the water taste? Master asked. It’s so sweet, I feel so refreshed Master. The young man replied merrily.


My son, the amount of miseries in life is same for everyone for we create them through our choices and deeds, and it’s like the amount of salt you had in your glass or in this lake. Yet one tasted bitter and undrinkable while the other is sweet like nectar. Miseries will always be miseries but it is up to you to be the glass of water or the mountain lake.