Hope all are well!
Gratitude to the Formless that resides in all hearts! I wanted to write about music and meditation/prayer. Real prayer is meditation and meditation is real prayer. In sanskrit, they call it dhyana. Meditation is a very cold word to use compared to the sanskrit word. I love the word dhyana because in the sanskrit, there is a sense of union. A union between you and Existence, you and the Divine and you and God. I use God because it is a common term. We all pray to God but do we know God? Worst still, some of us have Gurus or Gods that we worship and can we say we know them? And truly knowing them is loving them, truly merging with them is the only worship.
I want to tell you a story. A Hare Krishna devotee once asked me ‘Do you know Krishna, can I meet Him?’ When he asked me, I looked into his eyes deeply and saw whether he was genuine and trust me, some people are good actors too! I replied ‘What would you do if you met Krishna? What would you say to Him?’ He looked rather confused at my question and said ‘I would like Krishna to answer my prayers.’ I laughed because now I understood what he was trying to do. I shook my head and said ‘It is better you still repeat ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Rama’ because if I let this meeting take place, you will destroy everything. Don’t ask me again until you deeply inquire within why I will not allow this meeting to take place.’ I ended it there and you must be wondering why? But before I disclose why…take a few moments to think why!
So why did I say no? First of all, he was sort of challenging Krishna. He doesn’t truly worship nor love Krishna. In your case, you may not truly worship nor love your Guru or God(s) or Goddess(-es). Plus, his challenge was weak to Krishna, he wanted Krishna to answer his prayers. Now, to you it does not look like a bad thing but it is a sin in my opinion. Now, Krishna can easily say ‘No’ and this person, because he truly has not worshipped, he has not surrendered, he has not accepted, he has not loved will pretend to be ‘heartbroken’ and will lose his ‘belief’! Remember, I have not said faith! Faith is above belief, faith is based on acceptance and knowing. Think and inquire, whether every cell of your body wants to meet the Divine, to meet the Ultimate Reality, to meet God. If this meeting takes places, enlightenment is at your feet!
Now, for those that find meditation difficult, it is essential to put some music on. It is best if it is spiritual music of course and preferably without words. Meditate with eyes closed, concentrate on each breath and take your God’s name in the outtake of the breath. So exhale and take your God’s name or Guru’s name. Music is the union of sound and instrument. Meditation is the union between your mind and the Ultimate Reality. There is an inner world that needs to be discovered and this is your chance now!
I will keep this post short and somewhat incomplete. If you have questions, just post them underneath but better still, meditate!
Dearest my lovely readers!
Hope you are all fine and are having a great week.
Today I would like to talk to my Hindu friends. Coming from a Hindu background, I have grown up around Hindus and Sikhs. Frankly, Hinduism is so vast and that can be seen in a positive light or a negative light. It can be seen that it is very open to new practices hence the vastness. Or it can mean that the Truth has lost itself with rituals and false commentaries being placed above it. On top of that, some Gurus do not even understand the scriptures themselves and then start their rants.
I have read a lot of the Hindu scriptures. I have read the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ashtavakra Gita, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Rig Veda.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Upanishads and the Ashtavakra Gita and the reason is that this is the direct truth as it is. It is between the masters and the disciples. It points to the truth and does not shy away from saying that Hinduism is meant to be full of sages. This is something I really respect about Hinduism but with the new wave of Gurus and with them all claiming a right over the Truth, it is sad to see the growth has stopped and blind worshipping has taken over.
The latter (Ashtavakra Gita) possibly the best thing I have ever read is a book that shows how a Guru transforms his disciple into a master of his own right.
The Bhagavad Gita is great but due to its openness, it is always open to interpretation and many people can resonate with it because Krishna accepts everything. However, this is not the right way to look at the Bhagavad Gita. One must understand the context in which Krishna speaks and it does not necessarily mean that we can adapt what He says to fulfill our egoic ambitions. One can see the way it has been misinterpreted by the head of the cult ISKON. I have read the Bhagavad Gita As It Is and it’s very poor when it comes to the commentary and the author does not explore all avenues to what Krishna could have meant. Sadly, the translation falls short and I personally would never recommend this to read first. Then I have read the commentary of the Bhagavad Gita by one of my favourite Guru’s – Osho. If you click on the word Osho, a pdf of the book will open in a new window or tab. This is the best commentary of Krishna’s words and Osho brings a modern flavour to it without limiting Krishna. If you really love Krishna, it will show in how you take Osho’s words. On top of that, I would say the translation by Eknath Easwaran is top notch!
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are interesting and can be a bit difficult to understand for a new person. However, I will say it is amazing to read. I would suggest you find someone who has read it to explain it to you if you feel you cannot understand it.
The last one is the Rig Veda and I find this to be the weakest of all scriptures. It is funny how majority of the priests follow this scripture but it is very ordinary. There is hardly anything great or outstanding in it. You can tell that it is written by some greedy people, who were more interested in maintaining their power in society. The Vedas is a collection of ordinary words and expectation for something spiritual diminishes very early on. It is more a political book than a spiritual one.
I remember once speaking to a Pandit from London and I must say that I respect him alot and if I see him, I will give him a huge hug. I asked him ‘What is the best translation for the Vedas?’ He looked at me and saw my thirst for the Truth and whispered ‘Don’t read the Vedas yet, read the Upanishads first. It is more interesting and spiritual.’ I was a little confused so I asked him ‘Don’t you use the Vedas for your practices?’ And his loving response was ‘Very rarely do I tell someone to read the Upanishads, seeing you has made me very happy and I know you are not a hindu. As far as the Vedas is concerned, I have to earn my bread and butter.’ There was sadness in his voice but hope too. The fact is, I knew he never met anyone who has asked to read the scriptures. But if you understand what the Pandit was saying, it is of immense value.
I have come across people in my life, who claim to be Hindus and have never read their own scriptures. They will do the pilgrimages, they will go to the mandirs, they will listen to the kirtans and do jagaratas (all night prayer), they will do their rites and rituals in front of their idols but not one of them have consulted the scriptures. Hence, it is easy for Gurus to manipulate the scriptures to meet their needs. I see it on the television, all these gurus quoting the scriptures and because nobody has read them, people are misled. If the Guru on the stage says that ‘Do not drink water between 5pm and 6pm on a Tuesday otherwise it will bring you problems. I can guarantee this because it is written in the Vedas. If you want to get rid of this – there is the donation box and you will be saved.’ And the majority of people have not read the scriptures (and even most priests cannot remember alot of the scripture) and they will fall into the trap. They cannot remember if they have had a sip of water during that time and it is possible that they have, so they will put something in the donation box. This is blind faith. As far as I am concerned and the Upanishads are concerned, they tell you to know the Truth directly, instead of going around gurus who will not teach you the scripture but is looking to fill his pocket with YOUR money!
A True Guru will tell you the tool for self-realisation or god-realisation and then will tell you to read the scriptures and see if you can see the Truth now. You will be surprised at what you find out! In fact, the Upanishads tell you that go and find a Master, who can give you the Divine Revelation, who can give you Enlightenment! There are a few Gurus out there that are doing this. I will not say that it is my Guru only. Existence has been kind and blessed us with a couple of enlightened gurus.
If people used a little intelligence and spared a little time to read their scriptures, they would understand their religion. Hinduism is not a religion that is misunderstood by non-hindus but in fact, is the most misunderstood within its own followers. I have read the scriptures and say this with authority. If they consulted their scriptures, they would know that the way they are worshipping is not going to give them liberation nor is it going to improve their next lives. So I find it a sad state of affairs to see Hinduism losing itself in the insignificance of useless practices. Just read the Upanishads or the other scriptures. I would love to have a chat with you and discuss it in depth. If you are really religious and it’s not something you do for leisure or ‘time-pass’ then you will take my offer. I find the knowledge to be far too valuable to be lost in the miniscule nature of the practices that are ordained by the ignorant priests.
What Hindus here need to recognise is that I am not even a Hindu and I know your religion more than you. I find that sad. Prove me wrong and read the scriptures. Please!
I have a vision that one day, these scriptures will be talked about and practiced. The scriptures will be a guide instead of being a mere tool for reciting. It is all about reading, listening to it in your mind, then contemplating on it and let the experience flow. I feel this can be done today and this is what real learning or education is. This is what a real place of worship does. It places experience over words. The experience becomes the Truth. All the scriptures are meant to do is create a desire within you to experience the Truth, the real Freedom, to be one with godliness!
Thank you for reading this and I hope you understand me.
Another week has gone by and here I am writing another blog for you all.
It has been a strange week for me. Let me guide you into why. There are moments in my life when I remain a little silent. Take everything in. Be one with everything. I just watch things instead of interpreting them and the result is phenomenal.
There is sometimes a glimpse of this emptiness, this void or this formless and I wonder what covers this empty space. A few moments seem like hours when I just stare into it and wonder what is there? Is this emptiness staring back at me wondering the same.
Stop! The mind has started to interpret again!
This is when you pull back and realise that you have lost being the witness and the exploration has stopped.
People ask me sometimes about how they can deepen their meditation experience, I say concentrate on actual nothingness. Close your eyes and explore the inner darkness. It seems scary, sounds scary but it is very liberating when you enter the realm where there is no top or bottom. Where you cannot crash nor bump into something. I have to admit that sometimes when you are looking into the inner darkness, there is a possibility that visions enter and memories start to appear. The best solution to get rid of them is to watch them, without judging them, without interpreting them, just watch them fleet by. I used to have some graphic images, some of my past lovers, some of my family, some of my friends and they were disturbing. You need to be mentally strong and if you can pass through that storm then consider the journey has not got long until it comes to a feeling of completion.
This is the journey for every individual. It is not about finding God or enlightenment, just finding your inner self. I can go on and on about how I disagree or agree with religion or likewise, with atheism but these things are personal for me. What is universal is that truth within the centre of your being, if you can be present in your life, then great things will come your way.
Have a little faith and trust in your self. Take the journey into the inner self. Enjoy everything material in this world but find your centre of being that is immaterial. Call it a soul, call it god, call it nature, call it presence, call it energy, it does not matter what name you give it. It is intangible. You cannot put a value on this and this is why I ask you to experience it if you wish to.
I can certainly say that meditation brings a lot of peace and eventually leads to contentment. If you are truly religious then you will know the past spiritual teachers like Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu, Christ, Rumi, Nanak, Kabir have all said to ‘know thy self’ and this is what meditation is. The practice is simple, close your eyes, be aware of your breathing and let things be natural. If I tell you what should happen to you after that then I will be forcing my experience onto you. I rather that it becomes a discovery for yourself. If you feel that you cannot carry on, just carry on being aware of the breath. Let it all lead back to the breath if you feel a distraction. But do it with the energy to enjoy it. Don’t be serious about spirituality. That is the biggest mistake to make. Practice meditation with joy!
Don’t let go of the opportunity to know your self! Not one single human being has known Existence (God) without knowing who they are as an individual. If you want inner peace then you have to go through the chaos of the ego. You may have to be rebellious with your ego but that is the only way you are going to transcend it.
What I am saying here does not belong to any religion but is the essence of all religions. That is my truth. What is yours, discover it for your self!
My love to all of you,
Greetings to all!
First of all, I would like to thank you all for your patience but also ask for forgiveness. It has been a long time since I have written on this blog and to be honest I have missed it completely!
I am coming back on to the writing side of things after trying out video blogs, which I shall carry out in the future sometime but not yet. I think it is essential to carry on writing and not underuse this sacred talent.
The journey of life is not really about what we do but how we feel. Ultimately, acts remain as acts but your contentment matters more. Did your actions fulfill you? Did they give you some sort of purpose? They say that life is meaningless. But I have taken a new meaning out of that! When your life has a meaning, it becomes less. Now…what the hell do I mean by that is what you are wondering? Well, once we have a life of meaning, we as an individual cease and we become more universal. Ultimately, our goal in life is to become universal in thought and action. We need to be thinking of new ways to bring the world together. That does not mean that we ignore the bad things about life! These issues need to be addressed and not only that but we need to look at where they stand in the universal framework.
I was once asked, not long ago mind you, probably last week sometime. ‘Are you a Nirankari?’ This is due to my regular attendance at their gatherings and also my complete admiration and devotion to the Nirankari Spiritual Teacher. I explained this to my companion but I told him something that needed to be made clear. I replied ‘Above all, I am of the Universal Soul and I speak only for humanity. Everything else is just a label and that is none of my business. I hate labels and if anything gives me a label, I am ready to peel it away.’ I further explained that labels are something that suggest something is not permanent or that you owe something to that label. That label gives you superiority over your individuality. Ultimately, I rather be known as someone who is rebellious rather than someone who conforms. Rebellion does not mean that you are unsettled. I think that is a very naive way of thinking. Rebellion means you are settled in your individuality and now you want the world to be at peace. The best way to get people to understand you is by making them think again. By making them wonder again. By allowing them to stand back and feel like an individual. Then when you find others who have a common cause – then you know your consciousness is not only individual but has become part of the universal consciousness!
That is all for now my friends and I hope you enjoyed it.
Keep your good wishes close to me and may I always serve you with my writing.