To Guruji – today! (In his love!)

“Realized souls never see this door as a door. They don’t see the wall as a wall. They only see everything around them as, God They don’t see things, normal, like we do”. – Guruji

The universal principle of the Guru-Disciple relationship is eternal and established on a permanent platform of universal compassion, absolute love, and total forgiveness. There is no way to determine or judge who has practiced and perfected these principles, except – can only strive to withdraw and attune to the three natures of the Consciousness! My increasing love, and fondness for, Guruji, had to stop short of “conditioned attachment”, to the “image” of the “Guru”, to realize the formless! I had come back to Chennai for a few months in 2003. In December 2003, one night he appeared in my dream and said, “I won’t be living on earth for long”. I reflected on it, and knew in advance, I would be receiving this message in some form or other.

Many days, he would message me mentally, “I am not coming today”. The clairvoyance would confirm itself, while I would be waiting outside his doorstep, to receive a personal message sent through his driver.

I grew beyond this connection with a ‘man’ or a ‘personality’ who was ‘Shri Pattabhi Joise’, to realize the true worth of the Consciousness – mandatory, not to cling onto the, Guru! Whatever the teaching maybe, whatever the outer perfection of the body one may have to attain, but finally, nothing is achieved without annihilating the ego. Pride, at moment of our lives, any second, if allowed to occupy our minds, then it is a sure sign of downfall – an insult to our humility, which remains ignored and shut, mirroring the conscience. I had drop this pride, and embrace the simplicity he beheld, yet displaying the dignity, of a teacher, and humility of the student. Constant reflection was, “Non-expectation, from everything,  – every being! The Self, ever is and will be – and this is the only truth we can hold onto, achieve, live, and express!”.

It was late 2005, and I was already feeling irritated with the life in Mysore, and I felt a strong urge for a change of place. And I was also almost about to complete with learning the Primary Series. I was still wondering, what kept him waiting and unwilling to finish with me and start the intermediate lessons. Pressure was building up on my father to support me further as well. And it all accumulated into one situation of unease. I just wanted to leave Mysore, but not Guruji. But finally, in early 2006, he started with the finishing postures, but I was sad, and only wished I had met him so late. Tears of emotions of having learned through self-introspection, and withdrawal, wouldn’t be enough.. and I could see, it was time to snap the chord. He made it obvious to me the next morning, as he showed signs of indifference, meaning, I was free to leave.

Earlier, the previous three years, whenever I used to restlessly reflect and wonder if I should stop midway, or ask him in silence, if he could complete it quickly, so I can move on, and teach somewhere, he would never allow it, and messaged it with a positive note, to humble me further.. and continue learning under him – an intuitive message, “It wasn’t time yet!”.

Months in advance he knew, I wouldn’t be with him after the summer of ’06. I hadn’t planned my date of departure, but still he knew I won’t be coming back, and somehow he was successful in breaking this attachment. He started to ignore me, reduced his response to my emotions. He kept me totally away from him, so I must find my way out slowly. The last couple of months in 2006 were really tough to handle. On one side, I couldn’t continue due to personal circumstances, and on the other side, I couldn’t leave him due to the connection I had developed with him.

But all through these three years I spent with him, everyday I learned something new and different. I learned what tolerance and patience, and unconditional love is. It was a direct lesson by watching him impart wisdom of the Self, through practical asanas, while in mind – one has to constantly connect and communicate with the, Guru! He taught everybody in a different way. He did push students for perfection, with the same force, allowing each to progress at their own pace, but what he gave to each, is unique and incomparable. He never discriminated or gave special attention to the one who was extremely good to ignore the novice.

He did show that he was attached to gold and money. He did show he was living in luxury. But, I noticed that he knew very well who he was and what he was doing. One part of him was attached to materialism, while another part of him was resting in the Supreme Absolute. There was no doubt he had realized, God. His body was living in luxury, masked by the Universal Consciousness, which he knew!.

I left Mysore with a heavy heart and I could never come back to see him. But I continue to reflect his teachings – a very valuable flow, to this day. Once I asked him, about realized souls. I just mentioned about some great yogis, their attainments, and he replied, “Realized souls never see this door as a door. They don’t see the wall as a wall. They only see God They don’t look at things as normal, like we do”, meaning, they all see the infinite hidden in the finite.

Guru, is the dispeller of darkness, one who leads you to the ‘light’ within you. If somebody is learning from a Guru, he or she must reach out to the person inside, and learn to communicate in consciousness more than the body. Body can bend, muscles can stretch, and one can sweat night and day to prove or flaunt perfected flexibility, which is nothing but a, “Michael Jackson – Moonwalk”. The process doesn’t unveil till the Guru in us blossoms with or without body flexibility. In fact, the ego increases on pride over greater fluidity of the bones and flesh. The purpose of learning is wasted.

I always felt, I left the class everyday with something precious…. more precious than Ashtanga Vinyasa. I learned from him…. it is not important how well we can bend our body; it is not important how far we can stretch. This is just a primary preparation for our bodies to be able to sit for long periods of time in meditation. But through this process of bending and stretching, it is important to attune to the Self, watch the mind process. In the process of observing oneself, we get to realize the changes happening within, slowly revealing brief glimpses of emptiness, a state of permanence. It is obvious to feel happy over maintaining a slim and perfect body, totally flexible.. but, the point is not to perfect a stunt.

Over the years, I was not able to perfect the asanas he taught me, but still, I learned to flex my ego as much as I could. He always, reminded me subtly that it is not important to bend your body, but it is important to bend your ego. Bend your mind, and control it so you don’t get attached to the asanas and don’t let your pride settle in, at any point of time. Pride, is the main factor, which draws our attention, forcing us to project and believe, the outer image of who we are – a perfected teacher, dancer or anything…. which masks our humility.

Many of us miss the inner learning and remain attached to the physical self which is bound to perish any moment. People forget that. Our pride makes us forget that one small accident or a mishap could stop us from practicing yoga for life. Then where is the body which was, before? Is that the true learning, Guruji, has been giving us – perfection of the physical body? No. His teaching was blended with connecting to the consciousness through physical practice. We may think and believe, it is we who practiced, and progressed.. and perfected.. and regardless the effort we put in, it is the Guru, who perfects us, shapes us..!  No disciple, will be able to make it, would have made it… if he hadn’t unleashed the energy blocks. He can stifle, stop, regardless our abilities to perform better…! The Guru, can also decrease our excellence! And, this is the reason to remain humble, and not aim for egoistic perfection, and once it gets demeaned or we feel unappreciated, provoked… as if nobody has the right to insult us. Question for us, “Who is the person in us, that wants to be somebody “Great”, just because, there was a, Guruji, or, B.K.S. Iyengar, or, a, Jiddu Krishnamurti. That’s not the point or principle – to copy! Everybody, is only copying a text book, scripture, and mimicking the act – which is not “Teaching”, neither, “Learning”!

The way, is to withdraw, instead of showing it out to the world – “I do this.. I am this or that.. and, all of you should come and acknowledge my credentials… offer me a position to rule..”. If this is what Yoga, has done to everybody, then we might as well be a movie or pop star.

When I heard finally, that Guruji passed away on 18th May 2009, I remained silent, reflected and paid my respect, “His duty is over for this lifetime, and he has left his body. But, we must keep his teachings alive. Salutations to the ‘Master’!”

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Guruji- A tribute! (Shri. Pattabhi Jois)

Thought to practice and obey – “Never criticize or judge the Guru, whether they appear to be, right or wrong”.

I was so stupid, I didn’t come prepared. So I had to just remove my shirt and practice with my tracks on. He started with the Surya Namaskar -1 and finished it short the first day. As it was my first time, I experienced tremendous energy – sort of receiving initiation from the Guru!. Every touch from his fingers, and the pressure from his palms had a healing touch. The way he communicated through silence was more than enough and never gave me the feeling or need, to talk or engage him in any kind of conversation. 

Even though the first part was short and easy, it wasn’t simple enough for me to memorize the sequence, and refrain from committing mistakes. If I erred, he would make me start all over again. And, it so happened, on my third day, I was forgetting the sequence, and he made me start all over again at least 12 times, and I ran out of steam, but he continued to push me harder. I was just loving the perfectionist teaching a perfectionist.

Yoga 002

Weeks and months passed by, and I slowly started to realize the greatness of my, Guru, whom I hadn’t accepted as a Guru yet. I was still testing him to see how true and qualified he was, to be a Guru. In spiritualism when it comes to realizing the Self, both the Guru and the Disciple have the right to test each other. One day, he was observing me in silence as usual. It was one of those days, when the mind gets muddled up with cravings (totally sexually connecting to one of my girl friends), and he was quietly reading all of them. 

So, as he was looking at me, I just turned around and asked him, “Guruji,  when I go back to my room, I am always filled with worldly (indirect hint – sexual) thoughts”. He smiled and said, “You should not think of unnecessary things, you should think of God”. That was so sweet to hear, as it I realized, he was looking to answer my thoughts. Somewhere, he had this childlike concern, which filled me with immense warmth. He didn’t judge! There was never one moment where I felt his absence for the three years I lived in Mysore. 

He was always quick to notice me lose focus and dedication, not offering hundred percent of myself, and he would show it very subtly, but in a stern manner through his expressions and energy. His silence was more vociferous than his words. His silent and subtle disciplining methods, always pushed me to focus harder. 

The basic and most important way for winning over the mind is to control the senses, and resist all sorts of temptations, not falling for the opposite sex, or both –  but the very idea of being sexual, is ostracized in most schools of spiritualism.. Attraction isn’t right or wrong, but applying wisdom with discrimination and intuition helps one understand the ‘timing’ as appropriate or not, to flow with the senses. Reducing the needs of sense cravings is not easy, and developing will power to weaken them, requires a lot of mental discipline.

He would be sitting outside in the hall, but still he would know when to come and assist me in a posture which I had been struggling with. He would continue to stay upstairs and not pay attention, and I would be thinking, ‘Maybe, he doesn’t remember he has to help me with this asana. But, he would surprise me with his precise timing of appearance whenever I needed assistance, and this happened every time. He knew everything. He saw everything, and He heard everything, in SILENCE and made sure, I don’t talk, but kept it dignified enough, so I open my mind to tune into his thoughts. He just read me and scanned through my person… completely!

There would be days when I’d be feeling low in confidence, wondering if I practiced well losing hope on making progress. He would sense it right away, and smile at me with a comforting expression, “Your practice is really nice”. That would instantly uplift me, offering inspiration to practice better. He always knew how to work with energies. I would constantly hear criticisms regarding his attitude from the locals, as well as foreigners. 

One day, I was travelling in the auto-rickshaw and the driver asked me what I was doing in Mysore. I told him I was learning yoga with Shri. Pattabhi Jois. The minute he heard the name, he started saying, “He is a very money-minded person and very stingy and never helps anybody with money”. I was shocked and upset to hear this and I heard the same sentence from many people. But I just kept quiet even though, I was criticizing him in my mind, the next day during the class… and I could see, he was upset. I felt embarrassed, since I knew you was making it clear, he was reading my thought.

But later on, I understood that he is not what he seemed from his appearance. The message was, to look through his consciousness. He was a man with a heart of great patience and love. And the relationship which we shared was special, but still… he showed the same love and patience to the rest… who came to learn from him. He was never biased. He answered every doubt and question of mine. A few words from him, most of the days, was wisdom enough!

to be contd…

Mind watching…

There is no possibility of remembering what has been found and understood, and later repeating it to oneself. It disappears as a dream disappears. Perhaps it is all nothing but a dream.” 
P.D. Ouspensky, A New Model of the Universe

How different does it feel to be watched?

The human body has no idea it is being watched all its life. And, what runs through this biological system, has its own way of living – whether it is seeking to know or not – it knows itself – knows who it is, and lives through the tantrums of the body, whether the body remains in good or bad health. Do we feed the mind or the body, to keep them alive, and does the mind ever face its death if not fed well?

The constant characteristic of the mind is solely, to watch all the time. What the mind watches and doesn’t – there can be no perfect analysis, we can assume. It is only the memory, which reminds us, time to time, what we have noticed, absorbed, interpreted, and the same memory helps us derive a new interpretation to the same object which was noticed millions or trillions of years back.

All of us are watched by someone or other and we cannot avoid being watched or watching. When we witness a murder or rape, we understand and undergo the trauma of the pain inflicted – and also the person suffering has received the memory of aggression from the aggressor. A slow death happens and the person enters a state of coma, unconsciousness or death.

When the mind watches somebody, this mind can be watched while watching, entering a state of decision, and decisive action. If the mind power is not extensive enough to prevent the aggressor, it means the mind hasn’t been in the precautionary mode, to fence the aggression. That is because, we believe and live in a physical world where we are forced to connect only with the body, thinking we have no way to protect ourselves mentally enough, to ward off the physical contact.

When we notice something interesting, such as – a book… there is a message of the author’s mind we try to connect with, and even though the message our minds derive through contemplation, may be partially intuitive, there are stored subconscious memories which aid us to connect with the book, to arrive at a decision – if we should go for it or not.

Is it possible avoid murder, rape, and burglary?

Firstly, we have to realize there are different kinds of thought forces active in different people’s minds and each thought force has its own magnetic force of attraction and repulsion. There is no God, who can come and intervene any atrocity, crime, poverty, or even stop a millionaire running into bankruptcy.

So, if we don’t for a while step back from what we are watching, to watch the space in between the sequential thoughts, producing different emotions, then we are not arresting judgment. And when we don’t arrest judgment, we have an action to witness, and a reaction to experience.

What we choose to get attracted to, are the objects which get drawn to us. And, we make unconscious choices, and we cannot even remember when we attracted a small blade to invite the wound on our chin while shaving. We even attract fatal accidents as much as, ward them off depending on the reflex of the moment – how quick the mind can jump out of the present senses of the environment it is engrossed in, able to find an escape route.

Finally, whether we succumb or defeat the challenging situation – the world seems to the mind, the psyche, totally real, and it is real. But the attempt – in spite of fighting for justice, revenge, starvation, poverty.. has to be only be fighting against that which disturbs us, or lures us too much… as even extreme pride, and happiness from the sensory is definitely bound to take is to the next point of disappointment.. and this betrayal by the future which keeps on promising happiness with bright hope, needs to arrested….and if we don’t give up on that moment of pain inflicted, and give up on the accused, then we are simply wasting precious time to give in more to the awareness of the timeless neutral, and in it lies all the answers and solutions, apart from those offered by the judiciary, police, political system – local and international.

The argument can continue with this question, “How can you ever think of asking someone in such a traumatic phase to internalize and let go, when it’s simply not easy to forget everything?”.

Who can we punish for what? Do we punish a man or a woman for cheating on their partners, or ignore, just because we have learned to take it as a way of life? Why isn’t cheating, dishonesty, connected with a similarly gruesome feeling such as rape? This is where we are prejudiced and judgmental, biased and discriminating. The elasticity of the mind even though decides to ostracize a criminal, the same mind chooses to fall in love with the subject. The same mind which stabs a knife, lends money, builds shelter and feeds somebody, undergoes infatuation and all kinds of temptations. It is not the characteristic of the person, it is the characteristic of the memory projected as the world, and this world is simply a memorized view, and we all have rehearsed characters playing multiple roles.

So, if we don’t for a while step back from what we are watching, to watch the space in between the sequential thoughts, producing different emotions, then we are not arresting judgment. And when we don’t arrest judgment, we have an action to witness, and a reaction to experience.

The person we are – is determined by the way we want to utilize the universal will – whether to control the straying mind and senses or whether to simply let go and sink into this moment of the will and look for ourselves, how it influences one mind in all of this universe, shaping into different emotions, and bodies – and different worlds – a complete portrayal of a mixed pot, and still the universe remains undisturbed.

The mother’s womb will always be the womb!

Brief moments of life, stored in our psyches – Neutral Revisited

What is exactly the neutral state of consciousness?

We first have to start with period moments of withdrawal from the screen of external awareness. A simple and spontaneous seeking leads us automatically to focus on our breathing… when we are suddenly take over with this feeling of the environment, holding us back down to a realm which is extremely downtrodden, aggressive on our sense perception, suffocating us day and night, from which we need to liberate ourselves completely, to such an extent that we just don’t want to get controlled by anybody or any circumstance of our lives anymore!

The outer realm which we perceive can only be detached, when we voluntarily step back from every kind of impulsive thought. That is when we face our inner persons.

To experience that ultimate freedom, we first have to experience extreme sorrow, and suffering.. pain.. disillusion. Such a moment in our lives, would not even allow us to breathe anymore. What is it that holds the breath? And, what is that intense emotion, feeling.. and sensation which constantly reminds us to breathe?

We may say, breathing is a natural and physiological as well as psychological phenomenon. But, the pattern of inhalation and exhalation itself is a stored pattern of memory – something reminding us who we are – we are alive – we are hungry – we need sex…. we need to talk… and so on.. and on!

What kind of desire is it, and why is it so strong, not to allow us to break out of this cycle? It is not very difficult to answer this question, and all of us know the reasons. There is no perfect state as neutral state which can be described as – only this is like this, or like that.. except that all gurus say, it is permanent bliss, calm, peace.. and unconditional love.. !

All of these are only words.. and mere terms to define something which may rather never get defined at all. If the person is not there to embrace us, then we rather not personify anything! And, this is how the seeking to realize a neutral mind, to reach a point of zero, where no negative or positive idea, imagination, fantasy, desire or ambition exists.

If the neutral state of the being is to be described – then understanding the universe is the best way. A state which, never allows us to sink into sorrow, grow greedy over desires, and a state which doesn’t even allow a speck of pride or arrogance, where every idea and visual perception of life becomes meaningless – and only the peace emanating from the core of our being, begins to connect with every energy particle as that infinite source – is the neutral consciousness.

End of all judgement is exactly the neutral state of consciousness!

Brief moments of life, stored in our psyches – The Neutral

Does the psyche function in the neutral?

There is no guided thought to the neutral. The neutral consciousness, vis-a-vie, i.e., universal, functions independent of thought. Whether we look at a bird, and our memory reminds us – “it is a bird”, or, we have to decide to make relevant choices such as shopping and involving in simple activities – the neutral never demands anything… because there is no point of sensory desire functioning in a state of the absolute.. where thought isn’t the absolute force controlling us.

The function of the psyche, involves the unconscious and subconscious mind. Whatever is stored in our deepest memories of the subconscious replicates itself into various emotions, and actions – created from known and unknown desires. What remains unknown to the human being, and yet happens to replicate in a repetitive pattern, as all beings find it difficult to explain their own impulsive reactions based on different emotions – is the constant function of the unconscious mind. The accumulated memories which are partially visible and mostly invisible to our awareness, shapes up into a personality of every being.

The psyche does not become irrelevant, when the mind attains a neutral state, where thought process is totally absent.There is always a space gap in between sequential thoughts. Either we notice this gap or we don’t. We have a choice to notice this gap or we don’t, depending upon the density and restlessness of the thought force which plays a dominant factor in our memories. This duration of this gap varies from a millionth of a second to a couple of seconds to minutes, to hours.. and it can even extend for days, months and years. The psyche even though functional throughout our lifetime, enters cessation whenever the gap of silence arises between thoughts.

This gap between thoughts is not a short space like a container holding biscuits with relevant space between one another. This gap is limitless, but seems short and is not visible to the conscious mind, because the latter is predominantly muddled up with stored memories of imagery perception of the finite world. This gap we notice between thoughts is the neutral consciousness. This neutral state exists in every being, and is infinite in nature, just like every thought exists in every being. So, whether the psyche is functional or not – the neutral consciousness is always passive witness to the surfacing thoughts – like particles floating on the river stream.

The psyche does function in the neutral state of mind regardless the owner of the thought. It is simply a matter of power of detachment from thought memory. If we create or invent something, we still may not want to possess it, and simply give it away, or, may override with pride of ownership. This is the basic difference between the psyche functioning in a neutral state of mind holding onto the identity, that it is functional, or dropping the identity altogether, to allow this gap of the neutral between thoughts to become predominant allowing its infinite nature to resuscitate by realizing, thoughts are nothing but energy clouds which can be vaporized, and recreated, once the infinite nature takes over our personalities.

to be contd..

Brief moments of life, stored in our psyches – The underwear miracle!

A projection of patterns!

Whether it is about making sexist remarks at somebody, or holding prejudices against all sexes, the pattern of the conditioning, forces us to judge the imagery perception of a man walking into a shop, buying a pack of condoms or clothes or anything. Every mannerism of any conscious being visible is prone to judgement, till we don’t realize the neutral state of mind. And, even if he does, he is not supposed to speak about it with his male or female friends! What is the eternal factor of the mind which conditions us into a pattern of – must do, and must not do. Becoming thoughtless does not mean, non-existence of thought. It simply means reaching out to the absolute state of the consciousness which is free of thinking. All of us need a thought to allow universal consciousness to express itself through finite medium – but in the end – the expression itself is infinite, whether visible or invisible.

Are we truly growing and evolving in the liberal manner?, is something none of us would want to reflect nor, bother to give an ear to a voice lent voluntarily. Even if it may be a case of men and women facing each other regarding contraceptives, or, inner wear, I have often had the experience when it comes to facing a man, being a man myself, many succumb to unease. The funniest incident I noticed recently was when I was talking to my friend, who owns a garment shop. Just like any usual customer, I noticed a man, aged between 22-24, ride down and park his bike outside the shop. But, the most concerning bit was the expression he was carrying on his face. He looked totally shy, and uncomfortable, distorted expression with his mouth crouched sideways, unable to raise his eyes or hold his chin up, suffering from low self-esteem, wondering people may make fun of him, if they got to know he was there to purchase pairs of underwear.

The minute he walked in, he was totally ashamed of himself, looked sideways and avoiding our gaze. Feeling totally embarrassed, he whispered, “Uncle! Give me underwear (in, Hindi)!”… Realizing, he was uncomfortable to face it with the world, that he needs to buy underwear, I stepped outside for a smoke, to allow him some space with my friend. But he didn’t seem comfortable at all.. even after he was done with his shopping. He walked out in a couple of minutes, got on his bike, observing me with all curiosity, if I wasn’t finding him weird or shameful, as if he questioned me, “Aren’t you feeling strange to be present especially when people have something personal to lookout for?”.

In the midst of these experiences, we practice yoga, meditation, spirituality, and read all kinds of books, watch movies, listen to music.. and of course, we never stop making and meeting friends.  Continue reading “Brief moments of life, stored in our psyches – The underwear miracle!”

lost in eternity…

I have finally, delved in poetry, which I believed would never happen. Am glad, drunken mystic lost in eternity has been realized into a book, and I hope the pen will never stop!

lost in eternity.. is a collection of poems ranging from the authors discovery of consciousness – which is universally expressive through myriad finite forms, including the formless which embraces all, including the minutest particle floating in the infinite bosom.

For e.g., this particular verse –
“As I have no form now, I will be recreated;
into unknown new shapes, colours and forms distorted.
the ‘I’ in me has faded, and passed on, to a distant land,” –
contains an expression, of the consciousness, of the experience of life, and death, which continues to bother us, teach us, and evolve us through magnitudes of, varying dimensions of creativity.