Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Power and Bliss

Few days ago, I met him.. Again.. after long time.. I saw him, as usual.. Man with a smile on the face, and humor on the mind. Practicality in behaviour, idealism in eyes.. Yet, I sensed something more.. Something that was resolute.. That was missing in his eyes, when we met last. The serenity was appealing, mind was seemingly enjoying the solitude.. As if, few of his daunting questions were answered.. I also saw a tinge of pain and emptiness.. Emptiness that usually occupies the heart, when knowledge dawns.. Perhaps emptiness is a wrong adjective. But something exists in heart when a person is ignorant.. People say, it is bliss.. It goes away, with knowledge.. I guess, power and bliss cannot co-exist..

I asked him about his life.. Said he was fine.. There was a momentary silence.. And then, he started..

" Love is a strange thing..Perhaps, it is Maya's way of trying and making unknown connections.
If connection works, it stays.. If it doesn't, it either fades away with time OR breaks... But as long at it remains, the person is devoid of emptiness.. Devoid of vacuum within.
Usually, dawning of knowledge, is detrimental for existance of love.. For love arises from veil of ignorance.. That's why it is blissful.. "

" But, how can knowledge be detrimental to love? ", I asked..

He gave me playful smile and answered," Becoz, with knowledge, comes purpose.. The thirst for knowing the purpose of our own existance arises so spontaneously, that all the connections of heart are severed.. Of course, lovers try and keep this away like a poison.. With knowledge comes ability to think rationally. Ability to see horizons clearly.. Ability to see horrid future with greater resolution.. With it comes the complete knowedge of ourselves.. Hence, it also provides us the way to effectively face the future.. Tell me, my friend... How can two individuals love, when one of them is seeing such horrid visions which are relatively more neutral and hence rational.."

I was litsening in rather casual manner.. I was thinking about this theory of his.. rather I was thinking about the corollary for this theory..

" Then perhaps, Love must be detrimental to knowledge as well" I asked, sarcastically..

" Of course it is", he said," Love is like a hallucination.. So real that it severes our touch with reality and our ability to neutrally understand the happenings of the world.."

I understood.. I did not pursue the topic..

Next day, I went to see her.. She was also a good friend of mine.. She was bit shaken.. But quite and composed from her appearence.. I sensed the emptiness in her eyes too.. But that was due to loss or something, as opposed to gain of knowledge in his eyes.. Her eyes were a bit melancholy.. Seemed to me that his knowledge was indeed detrimental..

After formal talks and few silent moments, she started..

" Philosophy of life was simple for me.. Live in present.. Not to worry about future.. Don't even try and see too far in future.. And have courage to face whatever comes.. This faith and love are the real strengths of man.. As long as the love between two individuals exist, it helps us past all the obstacles.. I was aware of the differences.. And I was also aware of the similarities.. But his questions and his invoking of logic, caused the bliss on our hearts to go away.. Now you can see the emptiness.. I still choose to live as I believed was right.. I won't say that what he did was wrong... But what he did with me, was not right... We were happy and Blissful together.. Now, perhaps, he is lonely and powerful"

I left after some time... This incident gave a different insight to me..

The choice between bliss and power, is always a painful one.. Painful for person who prefers bliss.. Lonely for the partner who prefers power.. It all depends upon the Inner nature of the person.. The person's Swadharma.. No one can blame any of the person for making any of the choices based upon his OR her own Swadharma... But this is not seen in practise..

If we have look at HE and HER in day-to-day life, we can see that blame-game is not avoidable.. Perhaps, it is essential.. This makes me think again about the thin veil of ignorance called Maya on the human mind.. How essential ignorance is.. That no Deed is performed without it.. And how blissful we are, when a part of this system of Maya..

The problem begins, when we start rising up and see at world from a neutral point of view. This departure from Ignorance and Bliss, is an interesting thing to study..

But, inevitably, everyone makes this choice at some stage of life.. Some make this choice early.. Some later.. Some in next lives.. But at some stage, the individual begins to think about his departure.. He may be connected to his loved ones, but the drive to explore is so insurgent in the mind that he wilfully makes this choice.. Many times there are false dawns.. He makes and attempt but cannot break the connections.. But one day, he breaks the bondages..

What about the other person, then?? Who perhaps is not ready to make that choice and break the bondage.. For no fault of his own, that person has to loose the bliss in his life.. He becomes unhappy because of choice he did not make.. What of such person... Statistically speaking, Maya takes care of such person, and that individual finds the new bondage which he so lovingly seeks, giving him the sense of completeness and security..

Perhaps he was having false dawn of Knowledge.. Perhaps he was not.. But he made to choice to understand and know.. nonetheless..

She is a sweet girl.. She will be in sorrow for lost love.. Perhaps cursing herself.. Perhaps her lover, who chose knowledge's path.. But with times, the love in her heart will overcome this momentary grief.. She wil again be blissful.. And continue to be one, until time comes when she has to make the same choice...

And the cycle of Maya goes on and on........

Monday, September 04, 2006

On Dualistic and Monistic perception of Existance

Unity and duality are the two basic approaches of a Vedic individual in his spiritual journey...

The Advaita school of vedic philosophy propounds that everything in the universe is fundamentally same.. The Dualistic school of thought says that there is subtle duality in Supreme truth and rest..

Although both of these views are apparently contradictory to each other, in deeper sense, they in fact are complementary to each other..

I visualize Duality in terms of potential difference. The duality in Vedic literature is shown in form of famous duals like Praan-Rayi, Shiva-Shakti, Aatman-Brahman... In the terms of physical sciences, it can be seen as matter-energy.. In other oriental philosophies, like taoism, it is seen as Yin-Yang... In other words, this apparent duality is acknowledged by almost all of the oriental philosophies....

The basic question that arises in the minds of seeker is whether this duality is reality OR Illusion.. In other words, is this reality true OR false...

It is indeed difficult to say whether what we see is truth OR untruth. Because, I feel that it is just vagary of perception. It all depends upon the frame of reference of the observer. Hence it automatically becomes relative.

Hence, in Vedic philosophy and hinduism, this duality is given same important place as it is given to Advaita OR monism..

The approach of Advaita is that everything is Brahman.. (Sarvam Khalvidam Brahmam).

The approach of Dvaita school is somewhat like I am Brahmam... (Aham Brahma asmi)..

There is a subtle difference in the two approaches. First one negates the individuality..Since it says that EVERYTHING is Brahman, there is no scope for individual perception and understanding... In other words, there is no scope for individual's EXISTENCE as individual...

The Dvaita school propunds that I am Brahman.. This I denotes the individual's state while experiencing this unity.. It is difficult for anyone of us to forget our own consciousness.. The feeling that I exist is almost impossible to overcome. It is a bit difficult step to go from I exist to I am Everything and futher, Everything exists....

Universe/Multiverse Just Is

It is just a different point of view towards same thing.

Advaita school usually condemns the approach of Dvaita school.. Same is vice-versa..
However, what is needed is to achieve a golden mean...

It is the basic law of Universe/multiverse that for any thing to HAPPEN, what is required is potential difference.. All types of energies flow from higher potential to lower potenial.. Not only energy, even the matter shows similar tendency.

This Potential Difference is depicted in the concept of Dvaita OR Duality.. Becoz, it is this difference that keeps individual performing Karma.. Without Karma, nothing can exist.. And karma itself is a deed done by one sane human being with respect to other living being.. As it involves the concept of ME and OTHERS, it falls under the domain of Dualism OR Dvaita..

After an individual attains the state of Advaita in Supreme Samadhi mentioned in Patanjali Yog-sutras, there is nothing left for him to do.. Rather he cannot perform any karma as the duality is vanished and potential difference gone.. Two things at equal potential cannot perform work..

Hence all reasons of that person to exist are gone, and he unfies with the Parabrahman.. But until this stage, Duality enables a person to survive/to exist..

As it is stated above that experience of Unity bars a person from performing any karma.. But karma is extremely important as it is the reason of the existance of Universe..

Hence there is an ingenious phenomenon of Maaya OR Matrix.. This Maaya keeps a thin veil of ignorance on the minds of living beings, thus creating the illusion of Duality.. Although it is an illusion, it is so real and so essential that most of us prefer to live in Maaya and do not question its existence..

Everything in Universe/Multiverse tends to attain stability OR unity.. It is Maaya that maintains the Duality and hence maintains the Potential difference.. This enables the universe to exist.. The Sanskrit term for Universe Jagat arises from 2 word roots.. Ja meaning to come to birth OR existence.. Ga meaning to move..
One which comes into existence from movement OR difference, is Jagat OR world..

Thus, we can see, how important both Dualism and Monism are.. What is required is to strike a golden mean...

Hence, the correct approach. according to me, is as follows..

Unity>>(leads to)>>duality(maintained by Maya)>>(Purpose of person)>>to experience unity in apparent duality..

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Problem is Choice !!!!!!

Of all the questions haunting mankind, the enigma of self-realization is the most illusive one.

The Questions like Who Am I ?, Why Am I Here ? , are the ones that pose far greater challenge than anything else in the world.

In other words, what is the purpose of life, that we are living.

The careful analysis of Matrix trilogy along with Vedic Philosophy gives a nice insight on this very fundamental question..

The concept of matrix is very appealing one . It graphically explains the Vedantic concept of Maya.

Maya OR Matrix, in the words of Morpheus, is a dream world drawn in front of man's eyes, to keep himself from realising the simple and obvious truth. It is prison for the mind. But this, I guess is not a complete understanding of the true picture. It is later understood that even the apparently free-people are not free. Zion itself is a fictional system created by machines to keep the rebels at bay. And the character of NEO, the one, is himself a part of this control system. Everybody considers this apparent freedom as real one.

Purpose is a word, just like Karma. It is way of saying why we are here. Although, it does not answer the basic question, it satisfies the mind of the answer-seeker to large extent and gives him peace. Purpose is an Assumption OR a Hypothesis which is used to explain other aspects of life, like joy and sorrow and many others.

For a person who believes in classical vedanta, purpose of life is to attain moksha OR liberation from cycles of birth and death. His purpose of life is to burn out the sanchita karma and head along towards salvation.

But how much is this hypothesis testifiable is what drives seeker crazy. Here arises the question of freewill.

Seeing inside, we can compare these things with our lives. The things which we say as joy, sorrow, success, failure, the ideas are so much pre-programmed in our mind somehow. It is like a set of rules are there which tell us the nature of our experience. If we experience feeling X, it is joy.. If we experience feeling Y, it is sorrow. The very concepts of love and hate are pre-programmed. No one knows, but seeing from this perspective, I feel that these concepts and PREJUDICES should be unloaded. Who knows even we are controlled by some higher power. May be some people call it God. Others call it fate.

We are not even free from the programmed feelings. How can we even think of understanding the purpose of our own existence, if we are not able to transcend our own prejudices..

Atheist is the one who is really open to accept the truth. The one who questions the establishment becoz he feels that some thing is wrong with the system. It is like although he is FREE, still he is bound by some higher power. That power is shown as the ARCHITECT in matrix. He lets NEO know that he is not the only ONE. There have been many ONES before him. This is the moment of choice when the anomaly of the system is revealed both as beginning and end.

Absolute freedom is an illusion!!! Freedom is freedom to choose our own set of bondages and commitments. I think, this is the basis of free-will in the system which we live in. I guess, human being has been granted this freedom. But very few exercise it. This is the choice that most of us are afraid of making. And this is where we lose the purpose of life and submit to fate/God. Even if HE does not exist, we assume him to be present. Just like einstein assumed the Universal constant in his general theory of relativity.. To make his own life easy..

Hence, I think, the purpose of life, as I see it today, is to understand the degrees of freedom that are made available to mankind for usage, by the system we live in. To check the limits of our freedom, our choices..

This is sounding too much vague. But, isn't this question extemely relative? For nothing in this universe/multiverse is absolute. Everything is relative.. Even Time..

As aptly put forth by Neo... The Problem is Choice...

Regarding Vedic Philosophy

The term Hindu which is used to describe the way of living of majority of people living in Indian sub-continent, itself is of foreign origin. The inhabitants of India never called themselves Hindus. It was the name given by the Persians as they were unable to pronounce the sound ' S '.
Thus, people living to the east of river Sindhu (
Indus) became Hindus.

The appropriate term to mention Hindus can be Arya. The word 'Arya' refers to a noble human being, who the sense of responsibility towards 4 main accomplishments
(PURUSHAARTHA) which are mandatory for a human being.

They are
Dharma (Duty, Righteousness, basic nature)
Artha (Material gains)
Kaama (Desires)
Moksha (Freedom )

The word Arya has nothing to do with so called ARYANS who invaded the subcontinent according to Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT).. Without any authentic proofs, it propunds that white-skinned, blue-eyed aryans invaded Indian subcontinent and displaced the aboriginal Dravidians and imposed their philosophy.. It also states that Vedic literature was composed outside India by pastoral tribes.

It has been, proven by the facts, that there was nothing like Aryan-Dravidian struggle, nor did Aryans were migrants from central
Asia, and NOR that Vedas were written outside India. It is outside the scope of this post, but i would like to give certain illustrations.

Dasharaadnya Yuddha (War of ten kings) and many other geological, linguistic and geographical accounts conclusively proves that Arya people inhabited on the either banks of river Sindhu, and that Arya people never conquered India, rather Arya people in India went outside for conquests.

Arya dharma, OR the duty of nobles , is actually a way of living peacefully with self and others. It is the most scientific and ancient lifestyle, which recognize that each and every person is unique in one way or the other. The mode of thinking of every individual is different. It broadly classifies people into 3 categories

Group 1) People who like to feel things, emotionally
Group 2) People who prefer to know things, intellectually, logically
Group 3) People who refuse to be involved, either emotionally OR intellectually, but who insist on doing their duty in detached fashion and be happy.

Psychologically speaking, those people who are emotional, constitute group one.. People who are logical, constitutes group two. Those people who place duty over anything else, constitute group three.

The Ultimate destination of a human being according to Arya/ Vedic dharma is to experience and understand that a basic principle forms the substrate of each and every fabric of Space-time of this Universe/multiverse.. Every person actually is not different from this basic unifying principle or supreme truth (SAT). Everything in this universe is one, in principle (Sarvam Khalvidam Brahmam)

The Path of Devotion (Bhakti Maarga) - Usually it is prescribed to/acknowledged by/followed by people belonging to Group One. It constitutes unconditional belief towards the deity of worship OR principle of contemplation. Most important manifestation of Bhakti Marga is idol worship seen prominantly in Hinduism. Idol worship constitutes giving a form to a basically formless entity and believing that the form is that of god. This forms the initial stage the path. In later stage, the devotee no longer requires the necessity of idols and contemplates more on formless aspect of the supreme truth.

All the Monotheistic religions OR Abrahmic religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam prescribe this form of worship. Although, they form an extremely rigid framework which denied the follower any freedom of independent thought on his personal view of Supreme. The presence of prophets, messiahs and single holy-book make the matters worse. Belief in prophet and holy-book is more important that belief in god himself. Thus making them retrograde philosophies.

The Path of KNowledge (Gnaana Maarga) - This path is prescribed to/cknowledged by/followed by people belonging to Group Two. It involves logical understanding of various aspects of nature and thus culminating in knowlede and experience of Supreme Truth. It requires questioning attitude and relies heavily on independent thought. Usually traversed under the guidance of a learned teacher (Guru) to ensure correct direction.
The Path of Knowledge is highly praised in Vedic literature. But the followers are not too many as there are high chances of getting lost in the jungle of various thoughts. The path of knowledge is most beautifully explained in the Matrix Trilogy. The path of the ONE is in principle, same as the path of knowledge..

Abrahmic religions negate this path as Blasphemy as it may lead to contradiction to prophet and holy-book.

The Path of Karma - This path is prescribed to/acknowledged by/followed by the people belonging to group three. It involves doing one's duty with utmost sincerity without expecting the returns of the deed performed. This detachment from returns, takes the follower to higher trajectory of consciousness and understanding. This is highly revered path in Bhagvat Geeta.

Almost entire Vedic/ Arya philosophy is based on individuality. Even Buddhism which claims to be not believer in Vedas takes its core principles of eight fold path and pancha sheel from well known book in yoga known as Patanjal Yogsutras which was written about 2000 years before Buddha.

This individuality is what everyone must understand. As everybody of us is different. Hence the path and the ideals to be chosen by everybody are always relative.
What requires is merely good knowledge of ourselves......