Monday, November 14, 2016

Lighthouse

Master, once a man asked, how can I be like you? I wish to inspire and motivate people to live their dreams and to achieve the impossible.

Well my friend, Master smiled; first of all you can never be like me or anyone else for that matter. You will always be like your own self or a copy of someone else. But tell me, do you think I inspire and motivate people to live their dreams and achieve the impossible!

Of course you do. The man exclaimed. Whoever comes at your door, returns full of courage and inspiration to lead a better life, to overcome challenges.  And that’s what I want to do.

Well young man, Master uttered, inspiring someone is not the same as wanting to inspire someone. If your inspiration comes out of the desire to inspire someone then what will you do when there’s no one to inspire!

I didn’t get you... the man now asked.

If you want to be something then be a lighthouse my friend. It shines day and night, with the same intensity and rhythm, not with the purpose of showing the way to a vagrant ship, but to fulfil its own purpose of existence, which is to shine and offer light. It lights up even when there is no one lost or watching, it just does its nature, its purpose for being what and who it is.

But how will I find the lost if I don’t wish to inspire and lead.


My friend, Master replied softly: you be the lighthouse and the lost will find you. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Love and Happiness

One day a fine young man rushed into the Master’s abode and fell at his feet, crying, as if his entire world has collapsed; and indeed it had, if I was to believe the young man.

Master, my life is over, there’s nothing left for me. All my happiness is gone. What should I do? The youth asked.
You look fine to me, Master muttered, but tell me why you feel otherwise...
The love of my life, the girl I love, has left me for another. I will never be happy again.
Did you always know this girl, right from the day you were born?
No, I met her two years ago, when I was twenty.

Were you happy before you met her, up to your twenty years of life? Master quizzed.
Yes, I think I was. But not anymore.
Then why don’t you go back to the life you had before you met her. You only need to travel two years back in time to find the happiness that you knew before having this girl in your life.

But how can I do that? The youth was completely bewildered. She taught me happiness, she showed me happiness, and she is my happiness.

She was never your happiness. No one can be your happiness. Imagine yourself sitting inside a dark room with all windows shut while you are seeking the sun or happiness if you care to call it. And then one day someone comes into the room, finds you in the darkness, and then opens the window. The light floods in, the sun shines and you find your happiness, the sunshine. Now the person who opened the window is not happiness, she only opened the window to show you where happiness is. And you fell in love with her, which is excellent for we all need someone from time to time to open our windows, but you falsely believed that she is ‘happiness’ too.

Do not despair my friend, happiness is exactly where it always was, is and will be; that is deep within you. You were happy before you met this girl and you will be happy even after she has left because now your windows are open and you know that sun shines outside in the sky. But if the window has got shut again and you don’t know how to open it then wait patiently in the dark room, for someone soon will come along to open the window again.

And next time, when you fall in love with another person who will open the window for you falsely believing that she is happiness, please do ask her to teach you how to open the window or better how to keep it open even after she is gone. Let love show you the light and happiness but don’t be dependent upon it, for love is the way not the destination.



Thursday, October 20, 2016

Look where the light is

One day a man came to meet the Master, who was busy sweeping the ground outside his tiny mountain hut. What are you doing, Master? The man asked. Nothing, Master replied.

But you are doing something I can see. The man insisted
I am not doing anything but if you insist then I am looking for something. Master said.

What are you looking for? The man now asked bewildered.
Absolutely nothing. Master replied.

But you just said that you are looking for something!
Well, I am not really looking for anything but if you insist then I am looking for my pen.

Where did you lose your pen? The man continued his query.
I didn’t lose my pen anywhere. Master said.

But you just now said that you are looking for your pen! The man countered, now totally baffled.
Well my friend I didn’t lose my pen anywhere but if you insist then I lost my pen inside my hut.

Then why on earth are you looking for the lost pen outside here? You should look for it inside. The man was sure that the Master has finally lost his mind.


Master finally stopped sweeping and looked up: because light is here outside my friend while inside it is dark and I don’t see well. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

How deep is the Ocean

 One day a beautiful girl visited the Master and asked: I love this young man so, but I don’t know how deep his love is and I am scared.

The Master smiled: my child if you wish to know the depth of the ocean you must have the courage to dive in and find out for yourself for even the ocean does not know how deep it is. Do not ask the ocean how deep it is, he will not know. Sitting in the safety of the shore you will never know how deep your ocean is. So go ahead and jump in.

But I am scared, she mumbled.

Of what! Of drowning or of finding out that it is not as deep as you wish it to be or much deeper than you can ever fathom? Master plodded.

I don’t know, I am just scared. And Master said: A heart full of fear will never live, my child, a heart afraid of hurting will never love, a heart treading cautiously will never know the tempest that can rage within its soul.


Only when you are open to being rejected will you be accepted, only when you lay yourself bare to sadness that happiness will embrace you and only when you are willing to drown will you find the depth of the ocean. 

Perfect Love

‘Why don’t perfect love stories have a perfect ending?’ One day a young man in despair asked the Master.
‘What is a perfect love story?’ Master asked smiling.
‘In which the lovers are always in love with each other with the same intensity, equal passion and nothing ever goes wrong, they never fight and there are no tears at all, no sadness, no sorrow, no downs, only happiness and joy and love,’ the young man rattled breathless. Obviously he was suffering from some great agitation.

‘My young friend, the way you describe perfection in love, that way such perfect love stories will never have a perfect end because if such a love story existed then it would never end. Perfection is everlasting, unchanging, timeless and forever. But such a phenomenon does not exist in our universe. Only in our wishful dreams. But do not despair, we can find other kind of perfection, the imperfect one, the one full of flaws, ups and downs, sadness and joy, tears and smiles, the perfection of nature; the natural perfect love story and we can learn that from the seasons.’

‘But I have lost faith,’ the young man interjected. He had lost hope.

‘Only those who believe that the sun will never rise once it sets in the evening, lose faith and hope. But no matter how long or how dark the night may be the sun always rises. And look at nature, the perfect love story around us. The seasons come and go, in spring the flowers bloom and we all are happy, in the summer the fruits ripen and we cherish them and we are all happy again, in autumn it is time to bid goodbye to all that we hold dear and to let go, the trees shed their leaves, the flowers melt into the ground, all green and joyful turns brown, red and ochre but it is so colourful so mysterious because in autumn we see the change and rebirth and then in the winter comes the cold and the snow, when we shiver and pray for some warmth, when the cold winds rattle our bones and homes, but we find in this joy too since it is necessary for the snow to fall and seep into the ground making it ready for the spring. And deep within each of these seasons happiness, like the seeds, lie deep within for us to find or hope for and patiently wait to sprout again. For it will come again. And what do you think the sun, our eternal sun, is doing all this while!

‘Whether you look up into the sky to curse the heat from its core or to pray for warmth that sun offers selflessly, all through the year, each morning, no matter at what time, it always rises, though from different positions, from different angles, with different hues, it rises for sure, to keep us alive, to light our world with love and hope and faith. For us to believe in the recycle of life and love. That is a perfect love story my friend and it never ends forever but it ends intermittently since our expectations are too perfect and ideal for nature to offer. If you learn from the seasons and from the sun, you will never lose faith.


‘Love is perfection the way it is offered, what makes it imperfect is the way it is received and then perceived and then treated. Don’t question why, how, what, when or how much; just accept it the way it is offered including all the changes that it will entail in days to come. The sun will always rise, may not be exactly from where you want it to or at the time you desire, but it will.’

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Just Walk

Getting lost and being lost is the beginning of discovery, not only of self but also of the world around. So I often get lost, intentionally even, leaving the known trail. So once I was lost, as usual and came upon a Master in his mountain cave. He was looking at me as I came up the path to his abode.

'Which way should I go?' I asked the Master.
'Depends upon which way you want to go.' He replied.
'I want to cross that mountain pass,' I pointed at the yonder summit.
He led me to the other side of his cave from where we had a clear view of the valley below that led to the mountain pass. But there were two paths, one leading to the left and another to the right. Both seemed to be in the direction of the pass. He pointed to the one on the left and said, 'you should take that path my friend.'

'Are you sure?' I asked as I wanted to be certain that he was indeed pointing at the right path. 'Will I reach the pass on that trail?'

'You will find something for sure my friend.' the Master replied. 

'What will I find?' I asked intrigued. He seemed my  kind of Master. 

'I don't know, I have never walked that path and even if I did, I would find only what I seek that is different from what you seek. Even when we walk the same trail, we would discover and find different things because our quest is different. You will find what you seek and I shall find what I seek. But I can assure you that you will surely find something, even if it is unexpected, unwanted or unplanned. So go and walk that path since you must upon one of them. The right or left, right or wrong doesn't matter, since both are equally obscure, mysterious and confusing. But the only way to overcome such pitfalls is to walk a path without the desire to reach anywhere or cross any mountain pass. Seeking often takes us away from what we must experience and deserve. Walk without seeking. Just walk my friend and many mountain passes will you overcome and many new worlds shall you observe.'

'So you mean I could take the path to the right as well,' I asked again.

'Perhaps,' the Master replied, 'I don't know and it's for you to find.' 

'But how do I find if I don't seek?' 

'Just walk.' 

Be

Once a young man from afar, with his biggest quest burning within his heart, reached the Master in the high mountains. He was huffing and puffing into the thin air but he didn't care since he wanted to know about love. He had searched high and low, far and near, deep and shallow but couldn't find love. 

'Tell me, Master,' the young man asked, 'how or where can I find love?'
The Master smiled and asked him to rest and drink the sweet water from the waterfall and then eat and sleep. But youth is restless and impatient, so he asked his question again. And the Master replied - 

'My son, love is ever present, everywhere, you don't need to go and search for it, it is neither hidden atop mountains nor in the bosom of the oceans. It is wherever you are.' 

'But then how to find it?' the young man asked. 

'Don't find love, let love find you.' the Master suggested between soft guffaws. 

'How will love find me?' 

'Be the flower,' the Master patted his back, 'and the bees will come.' 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Hope

The morning breeze blew gently across the green dew-laden grass as I walked silently beside the Master through the chilly mist. Even though serenity surrounded me I felt restless as I struggled with a question within. And as I always did, I asked:
I am not able to decide which is the most potent force or feeling; love, hope or belief.

It is the one that you would let go off last that is most potent. Master replied. And it is hope my friend that anyone will hold on till the end. Even on death bed we hope that we would live a little longer. When love is lost, as it would be, we hope that it would return or we would find another. When belief is broken, as it happens often, even the belief in God, we hope that the belief would be rekindled and revived again.

With hope we live and with hope we die. Hope is the most powerful of all thoughts and emotions. Without hope we are lost, without hope there’s no future, no memory of the past and no need for the present. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

God and Belief

What is God? A disciple asked one day.
God is merely a belief. Master replied. God exists as long as we believe, as long as our faith stands. God is true and real because we humans want to believe in this reality in the presence of a superior being.God has significance only subjectively. Objectively we don't need God. 

Where does God live? Another disciple asked.
Everywhere and nowhere. Master replied. With belief within us we can find divinity and beauty everywhere and not only in temples, mosques, churches or synagogues. For the belief of God doesn’t live in places of worship or places we name as holy or in some shrines. Such places are only reflections of our belief that resides within us. Architectural opulence or materialistic grandeur doesn’t depict or represent or signify the might or veracity of God. It’s the depth and strength of our belief that does.  

Why do we have so many different Gods? Yet another asked.
Master laughed heartily for a moment, this is the easiest to comprehend. My friends, in our world of 7 billion people, not even two people look the same or identical though we all are similar. And since what God to each one of us is our own belief’s reflection, it is like seeing your own reflection upon the same water of belief, yet seeing your own reflection, which is unique from all the others. So no matter how many people are watching their own reflection upon the water (which is the religion), he or she will only see his / her own reflection therefore a different God. No two gods can be the same since no two reflections from two different people can be the same. Yet to the same individual there can be different Gods just like our own reflection can change due to the quality and capacity of the reflective surface, the time of the day, the light conditions and most importantly upon the clarity of our very own vision.

How do you view your God? I asked the Master.

I am quite like you my son, the Master patted my back. I find my reflection within nature in the mountains, forests, oceans and the sky above. These are diverse forms of nature yet universal and boundless all over the planet. Since they are not reflective surfaces I don’t see myself, instead I see them and they are my Gods. And I believe in them because I can see them touch them seek nourishment from them and find them wherever I go. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Happiness defined

One day we debated on happiness. There were three of us: a rich benevolent devotee, the Master and I. The devotee had come a long way to meet the Master and was talking about his life and happiness.

I have everything that I can wish for and I am the happiest man on earth. My wife loves me, my children and grandchildren are all happy and beautiful, my house is the most opulent and luxurious you can imagine, I have many things that give me joy and I have more wealth I can spend in ten lifetimes and I share my wealth with those who are in need. My life is fulfilled and I am so blessed and grateful to life. Yet I do not understand exactly what happiness is.

The Master asked. Do you know why you are happy? The devotee eagerly replied: yes Master, I certainly do. 

As long as you know the reason of your happiness you won't understand true happiness. The day you are happy without a reason, you would realize what happiness is. Then Master looked at me and smiled.

I mumbled: I have travelled around the world climbing mountains and living my dreams.  I have friends everywhere in the world and I have been loved and I have loved many beautiful women. The entire world is my home and I live my life without boundaries. I have everything that I need and want and desire and I feel I am the happiest and luckiest person in the world. Yet I am not sure exactly what happiness is.

And the Master spoke: when you derive happiness without cause, without associating the feeling of unspeakable joy with anything else, only then would you understand what happiness is. As long as you site a reason for happiness you are simply relating to an action and its reaction. Look up at the Sun. It burns constantly and continuously without fail. Some days we find it hot and unbearable and cause of suffering and on cold days we find the same sun enjoyable and source of happiness and joy, on some days we don’t see it since it is cloudy and overcast and some days we wish for the clouds to cover it for it burns the earth. Sun is sun, it is what it is, yet the way it affects us depends upon the weather, the location from where we observe it, our own moods, the time of the day and many such factors. Sun is constant and consistent in its action, but it becomes a source of happiness or misery depending upon our current reaction to it. Pure happiness is like the Sun. Constant and consistent irrespective to the external stimulus or causes. Happiness fundamentally is an attitude and a conscious choice and has nothing do with how much wealth you have or how free you are or how many children you bred. You won’t find happiness on the top of a mountain if you didn’t already find it below even before you started the climb. To understand happiness understand the Sun.  



Saturday, April 2, 2016

Seek Nothing

One day some of us had gathered with the Master in his mountain hut and the general discussion was what’s most important in the world. As we threw our personal opinions into the wind, Master listened eyes half closed, petting his one legged dog fondly.
‘It’s love that is most important.’ I said.
‘No, it’s food and you can’t eat Love.’ Another interjected.
‘It must be water,’ said another.
‘It’s family and home.’ A girl said. She was obviously looking for that. The discussion was now gaining a bit of ruckus without any sign of a conclusion. So I pulled the dog’s tail and he promptly bit the Master’s fingers, which brought him out of his forenoon stupor.

‘It’s nothing that is most important.’ Master said.
‘Come on, not one of your conundrums,’ the girl laughed out loud.
‘By nothing I mean ‘air’. It is everywhere yet you don’t see it, it is nothing just emptiness. You can live without food for long, without water a little less, without love all your life, but without air only few minutes. Though it is nothing it runs everything, the world literally runs on air. Look at all the vehicles, mechanized or manual, everything runs on wheels and wheels are filled with air. Even the finest car with tanks full of fuel won’t budge a yard without its wheels. While with empty tanks even the worst vehicle in the world can move provided it has wheels full of air. Even the plane that flies does so because of air. when you build a house, it is air that occupies the maximum volume and actually constitutes the home. Perceived practically air is nothing yet it is most important. Every living and non living are shaped and sustained by air.’
‘So should we live with nothing,’ the girl insisted, even as others forbade her to oppose the Master.
Master laughed heartily: yes of course my dear because only in nothing do we find everything. Seek nothing and you will find everything.


And always remember my friends: not to seek anything is not the same thing as seeking nothing. Seek...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Love and Hate

How do we counter hatred? A man one day asked the Master
The same way you counter anger; by pausing before you strike or act in hatred and asking yourself 'why'. Why do you hate someone or something. Go to the root of hatred or anger, dive deep and by the time you find the reason, your hatred and anger would have dissipated to the level that you can control, understand and cope up with. 

Being angry or feeling hatred is natural for human. The reasons are many. But like any other feeling we must use both anger and hatred to communicate something positive and constructive. It simply is a constriction of life-giving energy. Clear the block, open the clogged drain and let the positive energy flow and all anger and hatred would be dissipated.

A pause and rational thinking leads to overpowering and eventually controlling anger and hatred. And remember the seat of hatred is also the seat of love and there's not much difference between the two. 

If you can hate, so can you love. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Yes

Once while travelling through the Himalaya I heard of a mono-syllabic guru; who was known to answer all questions with only one word... the same word. This seemed like the ultimate unified solution that theoretical physicists have been talking about; one theory to explain all theories, or in this case one word to explain all words. I had to go and see this guru.

I found him perched on a raised platform of mud, beneath a tree shade. He looked normal yet the smile plastered on his face that just refused to go bespoke of inner calm and happiness. I stood aside, observing the serpentine queue of devotees that came from far seeking his wisdom and blessings. I learned that the guru had only one rule that only one question was allowed per individual.  

An old lady shuffled forward and asked: I am going to die soon, I am old yet I want to live to see my grandkids grow and get married and this makes me unhappy. Is there anything I can do to overcome my sadness? The guru parted his smiling lips: yes. And she was succeeded by a young girl. She asked: I am in love with a boy but he doesn’t love me, he thinks I am not beautiful enough for him. I am sad and I want to be beautiful. Am I not beautiful? The guru looked at the girl (for she was really beautiful; the boy must either be totally blind or daft) and uttered: yes.

Then came forward a young mother holding hands of a little girl and she asked: my daughter is ill, she can’t eat anything. I am so poor, how can I take care of her? The guru extended his right hand and caressed the little girl, pretty as a petal yet faded as old. He looked up at the mother and said: yes. A couple came forward thereafter; they looked wealthy and well-heeled. The man asked: we have everything yet we are not happy for we can’t have a son. We have tried everything, all the doctors, many temples have we visited yet nothing. Finally we have come to you. Please help us. The guru simply blinked twice and smiled: yes.

A young man in his mid-twenties crouched in front of the guru with bowing head. I want to be rich and famous and travel the world, yet I don’t know how I can. I want to change the world. Please tell me how I can! He asked. Yes, the guru said and looked at the old man waiting behind the young man. Even before the old man could open his mouth the guru said: yes. And bid him to move on.

Sensing a gap in the line and having already understood the guru’s message I jumped in and crouched in front of him. I looked into his deep set eyes and we held gaze for about a minute. We both were smiling.

And I said: Yes!


To which he uttered immediately: YES. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Human

One day someone asked the Master, 'why do we have so much hatred and suspicion in the world? Why don't we all live in peace as a family?'

Master replied: We all are so busy claiming and establishing our nationality, religion, language, beliefs, political boundaries, colors, casts, gender, values, ethnicity, history that we don't realize these are the ones that divide us. We have forgotten to claim our humanity, our underlying unifying factor that we all are same and belong to one single race, one specie. When someone asks 'who are you?' we promptly rattle out our individual name, nationality, job title and achievements, but we never say the word that is most obvious and important. We don't say, 'I am human'. How can we ever be united with this mindset?

'Then what is the solution?' the man asked.

'Solution is all around us my friend, within the very nature that nurtures us that we now seek to destroy. Sky is the same sky all over the world, snow is snow everywhere, a mountain is a mountain anywhere in the world, grass is green in every country. We cannot say that this sky is American or Chinese or Indian, even though it has various shades of the rainbow and changes hues often. When we see a mountain we have no idea where it is since it could be anywhere, animals similarly have no nationalities or differences, a frog from Australia can easily mingle with frogs in Amazon. And that's what we have to learn, to be one unified specie even if we all don't look the same.' 

Be human, before being the citizen of a country, speaking a certain tongue, worshiping a particular god, following a set of beliefs, or laying claim to some arcane history.  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Favorable Wind

Once I accompanied the Master on a journey to the other side of the delta, where we had to get on a sail boat across the sea. We found the boat captain sitting idly by the dock, puffing away unmindful. 

'When do we sail?' I asked the boat man.
'I don't know sir,' he replied, 'I am waiting for the favorable wind'. 

So Master and I sat down under a nearby tree and waited. Even after an hour when nothing moved, neither the boat captain nor the wind, I went and asked him again; to which he offered the same reply. This time Master came with me. 

'Are we supposed to sail within the harbor, my good man?' Master asked.
'Of course not sir,' the boat captain replied. 'We will sail through the great sea.'

'Then please tell me captain, How would we know where favourable winds are if we never sail out to the open seas!'

Companion

Once a middle aged man came to seek blessings from the Master. He looked well and content yet something disturbed his placid demeanor. 
'What ails you, my son?' Master asked.

'I have always wanted to go around the world, to explore, to discover and to enjoy the bounties of our planet,' the man replied. 
'Why haven't you done it yet then?' 
'I need a companion, a partner I love, with whom I wish to do this journey. I am still waiting to find her, my companion.'

Master smiled and said: If you keep waiting for the ideal companion to begin your dream voyage you may never start for in all likelihood your dream companion is already on the road. The day you begin your journey, she will find you.