Blessed with a Legacy

It’s been some time since I have written a blog and I must say I have completely been missing it. I have loved sharing my thoughts with you freely and frankly.

I have a couple of guest blogs that will be coming soon. They are amazing reads and if you haven’t read Niharika’s amazing guest blog yet, then click here.

We all have been blessed (or cursed) with an amazing legacy that we look up to, that we admire and what we understand has allowed us to enjoy life to the max. Sometimes, inheritance simply isn’t money but wisdom. If wisdom is inherited then wealth has no power over that. However, wisdom can bring in wealth.

I give a lot of gratitude and appreciation towards my elders for everything that I have today. Somehow, I have learned so much from their stories, their commitment to the Truth and their yearning for a better inner life. Their acute awareness of being awakened in the Truth is what has given me the required path towards the Truth. Not many are as lucky or as fortunate as me.

Sometimes, I can be in our (my wife and I) newly bought home and I feel immense happiness because I understand where it has come from and I don’t know how to express that it is so amazing. Although, at the moment, my work is not on the positive and it is very stressful, I am not letting that affect my happiness as much as it would like to damage. I have controlled that damage and I am sure that whatever doesn’t break you, simply makes you stronger.

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The Body is a Gift

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Today, I was thinking about how important it is to look after our bodies. Where I go for my spiritual practice, it is said there that the body is a gift from the Formless and it can go back to the Formless at any time. It is interesting when I think about this. If everything is the Formless then this body is also the Formless. To understand this simple concept, this actually gets rid of the fear of death, if we see this body that we have as a gift. This way, we understand it is temporary and needs to be utilized to it’s best potential.

We never abuse gifts. If we receive a potted plant as a gift, we place it in the house and we provide water to it, give it ample amount of sunlight and we give nutrients now and then. We ensure it is kept in the best condition.

The question is do we do that with our body? Do we think about what we are consuming and what harm it is doing to our body? Do we exercise enough?

You see, the belief that we should just ‘eat, drink and be merry’ is no way in seeing this body as a gift. In fact, we are actively saying that we can harm it and what affect will it have as I am not the body. However, this is not the way to think, if we truly find the body to be a gift.

I have had to make radical changes in my diet, be firm on exercising enough a day so that I keep my body at its best. In fact, with a good body, it leads to a good mind and they both lead us to have a strong spiritual life.

Hope you enjoy this gift of the body.

My Satguru – Why I still need Him!

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I look at the picture of my Satguru, the Enlightened Teacher that has transformed my life and I can’t thank Him enough for all He has done.

His words although said in a simple way, once you get thinking about it, they enter a depth you never saw in the first instance. Is my Satguru misunderstood? Maybe. Do I understand Him? Not enough.

I have a close bond with Him and it is not because our families are close. It may have a part to play and I acknowledge that. However, what is the real relationship?

I am not shy to say that I have realised the Formless by the True Knowledge that my Satguru has given to me. This True Knowledge, known in sanskrit as Brahm Gyan, opens up your mind and body to accept the soul as the driver of your life. The Soul, the Eternal Witness realises that it is no longer the body and mind. It realises that it is a part of everything and everyone. Therefore, this ‘I’ that says it is realised is not of the mind or body and therefore does not belong to Rahul.

If I die today, I am liberated because my eyes have seen the true form of my Satguru. I know that He is not the body and mind but He is the very energy that I worship. The Supreme Consciousness that we can call God, that is Him. He is no less to that.

I am always asked that ‘What is the point of a Guru, if you have realised the Truth. If He tells you to worship the Formless, then why do you worship a form (Satguru) still?’ It is a very profound question and I’ve spent time answering it in many ways.

However, today I have a different take on the question. If I worship the Formless, I worship the Form the Formless has taken to reveal Himself. I worship that Form, who is a mirror and says to me that I can be like Him because I am Him. Without that Form of the Satguru, I wouldn’t know the Formless, I wouldn’t be able to perceive nor see the Formless, nor could I ever have a conversation with Him.

The fact is that the Guru does not need me but I need Him. I need Him when my faith falls because He shows me that it hasn’t fallen. You know why? He is always holding my hand, saving me from falling. He walks an extra step to remove any obstacles in my path so I do not trip up.

After realisation, it is hard to function in the world and this is where the Satguru is the most helpful. If you truly listen to Him, be connected to Him, have gratitude for Him, He will let your feeling of enlightenment not overwhelm you. It will allow you to stay alive because I have the same desire that He has. We have a world to protect and a humanity to keep alive. A humanity that is enlightened with the beauty of diversity. The Union between me and the Formless, the Union between me and the Satguru has united me with everything and I see it all as my own.

If you have a Guru, I would be honoured to read your experiences.

His blessings and love,
Rahul

Devotion – An Underrated Practice.

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The intense longing for the Truth, the strongest desire for the perception of Reality, the heartbreaking moments of losing everything and everyone even your own self for the sake of enlightenment is the beauty of devotion. Dancing like there is nobody watching, dancing by yourself without the need of music because the sound of the universe vibrates around you. Singing like there is nobody listening, singing by yourself without the need of the audience because the only spectator is the Formless One. Speaking like there is nobody listening, speaking with yourself without the need of appreciation, speaking just because you are sharing your heartfelt experiences with the Divinity that is within you, that surrounds you and that permeates within every aspect of creation and yet at the same time is beyond creation.

It is a shame that the western audience for Hinduism, specifically for Advaita Vedanta or nonduality or even neo-advaita is shunning devotion because they feel the intellect can reach the highest state of knowledge. Frankly, it cannot and it never will. They praise Kabir, Shiva, Rumi and yet, the miss the fundamental practice they had and that is bhakti or devotion. They had a strong passion for the Formless and the one who revealed the Formless to them. They praised their Gurus and today, we have become sceptics, albeit not for the wrong reasons, we have not opened our hearts to the Guru.

Self-realisation or God-realisation is impossible without the grace of the Guru. The disciple feels that the Guru is absolutely needed and the Guru will feel equally as dedicated and passionate towards his disciple. I know for a fact that the Satguru or True Teacher is out there, literally in love with his devotees and sacrifices everything he has for them. Devotion is impossible without a Guru.

Here is a poem by Rumi:

Once again my beloved sought me and found
Joyously in the marketplace sought me and found.
I hid myself, at my feet that drunken rose, rose from the ground
I escaped the House of Wine, sought me and found.
How wondrous that so doggedly would hound
What luck that such swindling lock sought me and found.
Who would find me if with crowds myself surround?
Knower of crowded secrets sought me and found.
I have left a bloody trail; just look around
And the one on my trail sought me and found.
Run away to what avail, deathward bound
Why hide, a thousand times sought me and found.
I pulled the thorn from my side, yet one more round
That oak towering flowerbeds sought me and found.
Like a pearl at the bottom of ocean, drowned
Pearl diver, with a string sought me and found.
Shams-e Tabriz with piercing eyes and no sound
In the light of insight sought me and found.

Kabir also says:

Even if the whole earth is transformed into paper,
with all the big trees made into pens,
And if the entire water in the seven oceans are transformed into writing ink,
Even then the glories of the Guru cannot be written.
So much is the greatness of the Guru.

Today, devotion needs to be celebrated and observed correctly. It is not just about passionate love and affection but it is the route to grow within spiritually. Knowledge transforms into wisdom by the act of devotion. Having the intense love to be there with the Beloved, the Formless One. Without the Formless, there is no love for even the forms around us. With Advaita Vedanta and other paths, you may negate until you reach the Formless, but to stay with the Formless, you have to learn to love the Formless unconditionally. Only then does the realisation stay with you. Only then does wonder and awe become an everyday part of your life. Only then do you become an explorer of Reality and Wisdom. This is only when the intense longing of the Formless is within us. To truly be wise, is to truly long for the Formless. The Formless is Reality. The Formless created consciousness. You can only understand the nature of consciousness, if you understand the nature of the Formless.

The Formless is shapeless, ceaseless, boundless, birthless, deathless, self-existent, colourless, endless, without a beginning, full of love, compassion, radiating with peace and harmony, celebrating the oneness of all things. The Formless can be yours but can you let go and surrender to the Formless.

Surrender is not letting go of you, it is letting go of who you think you are. When you surrender then you truly find yourself. Then you truly discover who you are and this Reality will stay with you. Surrender is only possible in duality, once you enter the nondual state then who will it be that surrenders. In the grand scheme of it, it is the Formless surrendering to the Formless. Surrender removes any aspect of the ego that can disturb the process of enlightenment. The chances of surrender become higher with keeping in the company of like-minded people, serving others selflessly and constantly remembering the Formless is within you and around you. Remembering the Formless not as a form of repetition but as a form of daily practice. Every feeling, every intention, every emotion and every thought must be done with the remembrance of the nature of the Formless.

Devotion is the key to spiritual enlightenment. It can be done instantly and it all depends on how much you really want to be enlightened by the Formless One. The path of devotion is simple and it is simple because the Formless is simple. It doesn’t need to be complicated by massive words which mean nothing. The less you want the Formless then frankly the longer it will take you to be enlightened. It is not if you become enlightened either, you already are but the ego will always make a goal or a meaning out of it. Being on the path of devotion, you have to let go of meaning, of concept and context. You simple have to be in this moment. This moment reveals the eternal. Give time to the Timeless and you will see a moment transform into eternity. Devotion adds juice to your journey. Without it, your faith, your practice will stand like a wilted tree, bored and secluded in the desert. However, devotion will be like an oasis in the desert. Not only does the oasis enjoy itself but others feel blessed by the presence of the oasis. They also drink the nectar that leads them into immortality.

The path of devotion is extremely important. I would go far to say that it is the best way to God, to the Formless, to Reality or whatever you would like to call it. You can even curse This, and if you do it out of love and passion then it will reveal itself unto you. It is not partial to words. You think God is so sad that He analyses each word. He knows you analyse it yourself and you yourself provide your own punishment. God neither punishes nor congratulates. He has left that to You!

His Love and Blessings,
Rahul N Singh

Why do I love poetry?

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My life would be empty without poetry. It adds a certain dimension to my existence on a daily basis. Poetry isn’t always about the words but about the journey it takes you on. It is a journey that speaks of wordless wisdom, a speechless spectacle and a continuing wonder of the world around me.

There was a time when poetry was there for my pains. Those were pains of growing up. Ditching knowledge for earthy wisdom that contained elements of the wisdom contained in the stars. It brings forth a great rush of meditation so that the soul within you becomes still. This stillness contains the mark of the Formless. Oh I love the formless! What would I be without Him?!

Poetry has a certain melody that only a silent person truly finds. Someone attuned to music can find poetry very easily and see the soundless sound behind it. Poets endeavour to try and put words to an experience that leaves them lost for words. It is very difficult but it is the best experience. I wouldn’t trade this for the world.

The Formless and Poetry are the two of the best things in my life. I cannot see my life without either of these two. They add certain dimensions that no other substance can come close to. The intoxication, the high that they bring cannot be found in the marketplace. Such is the wisdom found in the hidden depths of our being.

A little poem for you all to end this:

I do not know if I will love you tomorrow,
I do know that I love you right now.
Time and feelings are transiently flowing,
Love remains devoted to the Stillness.

The wondrous nature of this Vision,
I have made poetry my ambition.
An attempt to explain the Unexplainable,
A route to attain the Unattainable.

Love,
Rahul

Marriage – What is it good for?

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The one thing that I am questioned about as I am now into my late twenties is when are you going to get married? Sometimes you get the curious look if I bat on the other side or I am not interested in marriage at this moment. I see marriage as a great form of relationship but my issues with it are personal and it is the idea of what marriage brings that disturbs me.

One is that you have to be settled. I don’t know what settled means and there is not one married couple I know that are ‘settled’. Either it is a career progression, a mortgage, a child or even infertility; something always keeps them on edge. It always keeps them feeling that somehow the picture is still incomplete.

I have never believed in the idea of being settled, it doesn’t make much sense. In a world where coaches and motivational speakers tell you that life is about adventure and wonder, I do wonder whether marriage fits into that agenda. Being settled is not adventurous at all.

In a world, where a swipe to the right can match you to a great potential, it is still filled with an egotistical sense of acceptance. It is not easy being a guy or a girl, to date and get to know each other on apps like Tinder and Plenty of Fish. Having experimented on them for a few months, I would like to say they are redundant. People will reject you before they have met you. A message can never replace the tone of your voice, your body language and facial expressions. Go mad with your emoticons or emojis but none do justice to the real life nuances.

Where is the dating world going to evolve to? Will the globalisation end up shrinking into an abyss and now you will most likely date someone in your own community? Will it go back to arranged dates made by family or friends? Where is it going to go?

Personally, I haven’t said no to marriage but what are my apprehensions? One is losing the ability and availability of being alone. I love the times I am alone as it allows me to reflect, self analyse and just be with myself. I give a lot of my energy to others as it is right now, but we all need that space. Marriage can provide this space but the partner has to be in tune with this, otherwise it is definitely going to create trouble. Another is meddling in-laws or parents. No matter how great your parents are the reality is that they have made many mistakes and they never tell you what they have learned. Instead, to distract themselves from their issues, they will tell you about what marriage is like. I say take no advise from anyone, just observe. Observing others is the best way to learn. If before your marriage, you find that your potential in-laws are being too overwhelming, you are in for a ride if you do get married. What about my independence? I love the fact I can go where I want, be with who I want and not have the judgment of others peering over my head. I am all for marriage if my wife is able to provide that and I respect that she deserves the same independence that I do.

This great institution is slowly evolving and co-habitation seems to be on the rise. I like this idea. You should live with someone for a few months before you decide on getting married. The reason for this is simply that we are more intolerant and very picky about our wants and needs. We have a way of life and we don’t want that changed. Therefore, living with each other in the beginning is a good test. In Indian culture this is a mad thing to say but it is a must. We need it just as much as any other culture. We have rising divorce rates and still out-dated views about those who have divorced. I can’t see how co-habitation or live-in relationships are wrong, it is the next best thing.

The other issue with marriage today is the commercialisation. Simplicity has been thrown out the roof and now it is about who can have the most lavish wedding, or who has the best food, or who has the best alcohol served. It has become an event that has lost its holy sanctity for some commercial insanity. Each wedding is competing with the other. The best jewellery set, what did your in-laws give you. The dowry tradition may be condemned but it has taken many other forms. I love simplicity. I don’t want the lavishness. I know a girl dreams about her wedding day and I am bound to meet in the middle, however my view is simple. The best marriages are the simple ones – and sadly hardly anyone follows this rule today.
Am I ready for marriage? It is a question that seems to have no right answer.

Is anyone ready?

I don’t know what that means.

I can’t see myself married anytime soon and yet, I have no control over the next moment so anything can happen. Life has its own journey and I am going with the flow with it.

I leave with a famous Quote from Osho:
“I have never heard about any perfect marriage. They say perfect marriages are made in heaven. Nobody comes back from there so maybe it is true, but what kind of marriage will those perfect marriages be?

There will be no tension, there will be no individuality in the man or in the woman. They will never collide, they will never fight. They will be too sweet to each other. And too much sweetness brings diabetes!”

Love
Rahul