One With the Divine

Can an eye ever see itself? Can a leg ever kick itself? Ever seen a hand that grabs itself, or perhaps, a tooth that takes a bite at itself? If you are “it” then you cannot exist out of what you are.

So tell me how can you be defined…by the thoughts alone that ring in your mind? For surely you have at least once or more…heard a voice within that observed your own.

When in fits of anger, it appealed to you for calm. When driven by hate, it spoke to you of charm. When in depths of jealousy, it reminded you to be grateful. When embroiled in revenge, it rid you from being spiteful.

On days mundane, we let our senses observe the drama around. On better days, we observe the senses for every sound. But what happens when the observer and the observed are sitting on the same mound?*

In that moment when we watch our own self, we see choices beyond the daily grind. In that moment of being present, we are a bit more than our mind. In that moment of self-awareness, we are one with the divine.**


* दृग दृश्य विवेक (Drig Drishya Vivek): Advaita Vedanta text on inquiry into the distinction (vivek) between the “seer” (drig) and the “seen” (drishya), making a case for divinity in all of us by establishing our ability to observe our mind as if watching a third person.

** तत्त्वमसि (Thou art that): One of the four Mahavakyas or great sayings of the Upanishads, it express the insight that the individual self which appears as a separate existence, is in essence part and manifestation of the whole.

Don’t

Don’t believe every thought
Don’t act on every emotion

Don’t opine in every debate
Don’t react to every instigation

Don’t chase every desire
Don’t succumb to every fear

Don’t rave every win
Don’t agonize every loss

Don’t yearn for every memory
Don’t fantasize every dream

You may think you are
The doer in every act

You may sense the world
As another separate fact

Don’t.

आयुष्यात आणखी काय हवंय?

एका हातात भाजलेलं कणीस
दुसऱ्या हातात गरम भजी
वरती ढगांची चादर
खाली पाय पसरायला रिकामा डोंगर
विचारांचा कालवा विरघळायला लागतो
तेवढाच हवेत गारवा
मातीचा सुगंध येईल तितका
पण छत्री लागणार नाही इतका पाऊस
अशा संध्याकाळी कविता करायची सवय
बस, आयुष्यात आणखी काय हवंय?

ख़्वाहिश

डरी हुई सहमी सी
अँधेरे एक कोने में
अकेले ही जूझ रही
तूफ़ान से टकराती
जैसे फहराती मोमबत्ती

“तुम्हे खोने का हैं डर नहीं
मुझे ना होने का ग़म नहीं
वादा करो छोड़ ना देना
तुम सपने देखना कहीं”
कह गई एक ख्वाइश मेरी

इन्तेहाँ

इन्सान आज फिर
तू क्यों हैं खोया?

हर वह मकाम
जो तूने ना पाया
उस हर कदम पे
तू जोश से रोया

हर उस मंजिल को
जिसने तुझे अपनाया
छोड़ काफिर उसे
दौड़ा तेरा साया

तेरी आदतें देख
तेरा ख़ुदा भी सहमाया
गर्जे तेरी सुन पंहुचा
अपनी वजूद की इन्तेहाँ

इन्सान आज फिर
तू क्यों हैं खोया?

Voyage

Sometimes I feel I must be
An alien in my own body

Why else then I not
Listen to its pounding heart
Pleading for me to calm
The rage I fail to guard
Until its fist I hurt hard

Why else then I not
Rest the weary brain
From endless tiring thoughts
Of “What Ifs” from the past
And wishes yet to be cast

Sometimes I feel I must be
An alien in my own body

The Present

Standing amongst the
snow-clad mountains
soaking in waters of
the holiest rivers
bowing down in the
tallest of the temples
singing  hymns in the
most silent shrines

None of this alone
nor any deed
no single thought
neither any trick
can bring peace
to the mind that
rues the past
revels the future

But the one who
surrenders to what is
the present moment
in all its glory
can find inner peace
to forge actions
to change the self
and with it the world

An Unbound Happiness

To the hands that planted
To the eyes that nourished
To the muscles that carried
To the strength that grounded
To the mind that imagined
To the effort that gathered
To the diligence that cooked
To the attention that served
And to the infinite energies
Of Earth, air, water, and light
That preserved and flourished
Many a generation of greens
From whom the seeds were born
Thus this meal was formed
To all of them I sound
Stream of happiness unbound.

The Sanskrit phrase अन्नदाता सुखी भव (Anna data sukhi bhava) literally translates to “Those who are providing me with this food, let them be happy.”

Neti Neti

I am not my body
that I cling to
but instead
let me dissolve
like the air that
in any shape can grew.

I am not my feelings
worn out by weight
but instead
let me float
like a feather
free from any freight

I am not my perceptions
coloring my judgement
but instead
let me disappear
like the glass that shares
all light without abatement

I am not my intentions
Nor the dreams they hound
but instead
let me be content
like the still water
steady in the sound

I am not my consciousness
molding a mirage wholesome
but instead
let me expand
like the rain drop that falls
to one with the ocean become.

Like we disregard the sensations within a dream as unreal, the sages of Upanishads discarded everything that was in a constant process of change as unreal. Their principle was neti, neti atma: “this is not the self, that is not the self”. When you dig into your own personality deeper, you find layers of perceptions, thoughts, emotions, drives, and memories. The sages found that none of this is permanent. In their search for a constant, they defined what was left – the intense awareness – as the atman, the Self.

Desire

When after worthless wars
And losses unknown
We draw imaginary lines
To mark our own

When after earning the alms
And growing it many fold
Still sleepless we count
Our neighbor’s gold

When in need to be faultless
Photoshop and filters we use
Our very own reality
Is what we abuse

When yet again we choose
To sever from a mate
Slicing the once beloved
With words of hate

Then a desire is met with
and a wish appears to be granted
Only to spawn another longing
For a thing we never wanted.

The Sanksrit word samskara literally means “that which is intensely done”. Samskaras are thought, speech, or behavior motivated by desire to get some experience for oneself. It is one of the five ingredients Buddha uses to describe personality. The others are rupa (form), vedana (sensation or feeling), samjna (perception), and vijnana (consciousness).