Elevate your Self

Following from yesterday’s post, I wanted to continue with discussing Allama Iqbal’s poetry, specifically from the poem ‘Dayar-e-Ishq’.

Khudhi Ko Ker Buland Itna Ke Har Taqdeer Se Pehle
Khuda Bande Se Khud Pochay Bata Teri Raza Kya Hai
Elevate your Self to such great heights that before issuing every decree of destiny, 
That God should ask you, 'Tell me, what is your wish?' 

Here Iqbal is really instructing his son on what to do. The best thing to do in life is to elevate your Self. What is this Self? Who is it? Where does this Self reside? In the some of the Upanishads, they didn’t see the soul and God as two different things but called it the Self, obviously with the capital ‘S’. This was to make us, the listener/reader understand that the true Self is not our ego but the limitless, indivisible, formless existence that witnesses through our senses. Here Iqbal is referring to this true Self. Before I go on, I want to make sure that I clarify what I term as the ego in a quick sentence. The ego is the accumulation of everything that I think is ‘me’ like ‘I am my body’, ‘I am my mind’ or anything subject to change, decay or death. As I have established what the ego is and what the true Self is, the poem further expresses to reach great heights. There is nothing higher than living an awakened life that is in awareness of our true Self.

In fact, here Iqbal really sets an interesting tone that by reaching such great heights that whenever destiny has to be written, or shall we say the results of our karma is to be issued, that God has to ask us what our wish is, what our desire is, what will satisfy us. It’s such delicate poetry that it can be interpreted in many ways. From the point of view that I look at it from, is that once there is oneness with the Formless, then you are literally writing your destiny. This isn’t some new-agey nonsense that whatever you wish for will be manifested. As you are the Self, the Formless, you will be honest in the result of your own karma. Also, anyone who reaches such great heights, most likely will not make mistakes. But sometimes, we do make subtle mistakes and an elevated Self will notice this and will be fair in its outcome.

This line just stood out to me because it contains oneness with one Self – which is the same as oneness with God. How many of us can attain to such heights? Who knows? But one sure thing is that we need to practice. Simply saying nice words, thinking nice thoughts will never be enough but sincere concentration and meditation on the Formless will elevate us. We can do it and it all depends on how important it is for us to reach that life-transforming moment.

Mirror of my mind

I take a look in the mirror of my mind now and then,
And I ask myself how many more talks are needed?
My mind runs through each talk with a quickening pace, 
Often losing track of what was spoken a second ago. 

I take a look in the mirror of my mind now and then, 
And I ask myself how many more books are needed?
My mind passes through multiple books simultaneously, 
Forgetting unique perspectives from the previous chapter.

I take a look in the mirror of my mind now and then, 
And I ask myself what more is there that I can do?
My mind gently tells me to keep practicing,
And I ask it again again on what I should practice on?

I took one last look in the mirror of my mind, 
My mind presented every thought and emotion held, 
Then one by one it took each thought and emotion away, 
Until nothing was left and my mind disappeared with it. 

Happiness and Creative Work

Attention and a critical eye is necessary for any form of writing, whether it will be for a blog, for a book or even for social media. Today, as fast as we scroll on Instagram or Facebook, it seems that we write just as fast with little consideration of what we have typed. Sometimes, what I read cannot be termed as poetry but for the sake of thinking art is evolving, I accept the few words on a blank space to be as great as Whitman. I read captions to a picture or to a video and sometimes I am impressed with the content that it makes you wonder and analyse your own life. In these moments, social media seems worth the time that it demands. Then I read some captions and I don’t know what I have read and wonder if the person has checked what they have written. It seems like that captions can be for the more attentive folk, and some write paragraphs knowing that nobody is really checking it. Then comes the story feature (which I like), however it dims our attention span even more. We click to the next story without any bother of what the person may have asked. I am completely guilty of this too so I am no saint here.

I recently thought about sharing more on Instagram and thought it would be good to write a couple of poems a day and as much as it is creatively inspiring and some poets on Instagram are impressive poets, who have words that make you think deeper about the subject in their poems, it just didn’t feel enough for me for my own writing. I found more joy in caption writing and sometimes I asked questions and only one or two people would respond and this saddened me a little. I would explain my point of view behind the poem I had written and it solicited minimal return. Therefore, I led myself to question how can I make myself happy with my creative work.

I can easily add that I am lazy too. To create 3 or 4 poems a day takes some effort and even though I could do that, I felt it took time away from doing the more sacred things for me like writing a book, writing on my blog that I love and often abandon, for the sake of hoping that I will get recognized on social media. Therefore, turning to the quick option of writing poetry on Instagram. To become the next successful Instagram poet is less about poetry but about working the algorithm but what makes someone different is who they are as a person. When I thought about how do I express myself the best then it would be through blogging.

So what do I intend to do? Write as much as I can on this blogging site, even if it means more than one post a day and maybe include one Instagram poem/post a day. The joy is in the mix of things and excelling in anything we do, not for the popularity but for the improvement of one’s own art.

We may live in a world where we want the fastest results done in minimal effort but I miss putting the effort into effort nowadays. The joy has to be more in just feeling that joy yourself. The moment you feel tired from something, it is best to take a break and question it’s validity and what it is doing for you and your whole life in general, not just what it is doing to your creative juices.

There are some great features on social media like IG Live or Facebook Live, even the stories are interesting for a snapshot of your day or promoting your awesome art. The ability to make short videos and just show your personal side is incredible. Things have moved forward and that has been awesome for creatives. However, at the same time, the element of mystery can become extinct and when this is extinct, we lose wonder. Sometimes, I want to look at a picture or read a caption and feel the same joy that I felt as a kid that looked up at the blue sky and wonder at it’s blueness.

Remembering a friend…

Today, I was remembering a dear friend, my closest friend and who’s presence I deeply miss as each day passes by. How in one glance, all that I needed to say, was understood.

Sometimes, when I feel all alone, He is the first person that I think of and I smile in the sweet memories that I have of Him. Then an overwhelming sense of grief fills my eyes in the fact that He is physically no longer here.

It was beautiful to know that a human being existed that didn’t judge me, that didn’t make assumptions about me, that didn’t think the worst of me and I guess sometimes I wish everyone was like this.

His innocence that filled the room with love, His sweet nature made many rejoice and His absence gave meaning to a God that has lost meaning in the rising wave of material desires.

His silence filled a vacuum with an energy that buzzed, that tingled with grace and this is when God felt present in the human standing before me. Who could deny God whilst looking at Him?

Each day going by since He departed, has been difficult, each step more difficult than the last. I often wonder why I am still left here and then I realize that I am yet to complete the task that He gave to me.

Maybe we will meet again once the project of enlightenment is complete, then we shall sip on tea and eat digestive biscuits. I will be able to hear the melody in His voice and absorb His meditation contained in His silence.

Miss You my dear Baba ji, how I wish to tell you that your Rahul is nothing without his Hardev.

Pseudo-Wisdom

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It has been a long time since I have written on my blog and I will not lie but I have missed it. There is something about writing your thoughts every day and how it connects you to your own self. It’s quite an interesting way to introspect.

I have been spending time away from posting on social media too and I feel that now the likes of Instagram, Snapchat etc are more for businesses than individual content. Facebook still has it’s place as we find out news about our friends and family, or generally the political climate in our home country or abroad. However, Facebook is not something a 18 year or under runs towards now.

I have started to stay away from Instagram and I used to write poetry on their daily. Eventually, I found that the thoughts I expressed had lost it’s original voice and depth. A few may disagree but I really felt I wasn’t doing justice to the actual thoughts that I had.

I have noticed how individuals are trying to be content creators or influencers and as much as I applaud the efforts, I find that it is more narcisstic and definitely spreading more pseudo-wisdom than anything truly worth remembering. I often wonder would one find the Buddha or Lao Tzu or Krishna ever enjoying what they see on Instagram and the like? They would probably like to retreat to a cave and I must say that it may be the first time ever in my life where I find staying in a cave more interesting than going through the torture of social media.

However, I do find it funny and I do laugh at a lot of people’s attempts of being something special. It is a bit sad and I must add this, that some people on Instagram provide amazing content and it’s a little unfortunate that their talent that is screaming is being drowned by the mediocrity that has become the mainstream.

As I remain more of a spectator of social media than an active participant, it’s wonderful to find out good news on dear friends and family. It brings me a lot of joy when I see genuine happiness and that is what I really look for.

I certainly do not look for wisdom on Instagram and I must say that it is nearly impossible to find it anywhere on social media. I have resorted back to reading on my Kindle, reading about the deep hindu philosophy of advaita vedanta, reading poetry or works by great mystics and therefore increasing my concentration on focus.

In a world today that loses it’s attention span so quickly, I am doing the opposite. I am working on increasing it. This is obviously aided by meditation. Maybe this is why I see the frivolty of so-called influencers and content creators. The biggest question that they need to ask is am I going to be relevant a thousand years from now. If that is a stretch then 100 years from now? If not, then the few days of success will end up being a lifetime of failure. Which will only increase anxiety and possibly, mental illness because when someone loses relevancy, it hits really hard.

For years, I have thought about how to be relevant in today’s day and age. How can my poetry reach far? Then I remind myself of the above. My success lies in how long my work remains. Will it remain for a few years now as a fad or will it be something of an eternal nature. All I know is that I have a lot of work to do internally and on myself and that is what my focus is on.

As much as my discourse above has been based upon the state of social media from my perspective, I do appreciate the entertainment it provides even if they are trying to be serious. It is a little scary too and sometimes I have seen posts talk about mental health issues and the advice provided is not appropriate or even shows a little understanding of the actual issues that people go through. What needs to be understood that the shallowness of their thoughts or pseudo-wisdom cannot comprehend the issues that run deep in the human mind. In topics where professionals’ advice must be shared, others should either spread those professionals advice or not write about it at all.

There is a lot that I want to share with you. All that I share is what I know and whatever I feel helps, I will share that. I want to be authentic and honest and these are the basic values I strongly hold on to. As I grow in my spiritual practice, there is one thing that I am more transparent about and that is ineptness and I am quite vocal about the dangers of such matters. Being genuine and straightforward is better than sugar-coating. Although, my personal philsophy is to sugar-coat first and if someone still doesn’t get it, I just share what I feel in it’s less filtered state. After all, one has to respect the feelings of others even if their pseudo-wisdom will eventually do some harm.

At the moment, pseudo-wisdom is definitely winning and it is gaining huge popularity but the lack of real transformation will eventually lift the veil on the reality of the ‘wisdom’ that was once so inspiring. This is why I go back to the ancient folk because the Truth doesn’t belong to time and therefore, you can be in the world today and practice those pointers without worrying if it is relevant in a modern society. Being enlightened is transcendence and therefore trnascends all apparent limitations.

Anyway, this post was longer than I had anticipated and I just hope that whatever you are doing is the best for you. Keep it real. Keep it authentic. Keep it honest. May joy and happiness be with you in every step that you take.

Love.

Poem: Reflection

reflection-017In a reflective mood tonight,
To check where I am at the end of 2016,
Another year has whizzed by,
With it blessings and losses,
The blessing is my marriage,
The loss is the Guru that I loved more than anything,
Snatched away in a moment,
Without a glimmer of hope of survival,
The One whom I still feel is alive
Would appear lifeless in the month of May.

I want to say that this year has been great,
But that would be a lie,
The aloneness I feel is not ordinary,
It seems like I have been forced into it,
I have had the aloneness look at me,
And I give in to it and the darkness is embraced.
Then I have a beautiful wife,
Who is like an angelic light
Who whispers to me that I am never alone,
And I smile and feel okay on the surface,
With the Light entering the roots of my mind eventually.

The tears that I shed contain my sadness and happiness,
The joys of being with someone who reminds me of Him,
Then the sadness of realising He is no longer here,
Although the presence of our Satguru is everywhere,
It can never be destroyed or even created,
It is transferred in every moment,
From one cell to one universe,
It is difficult to not be able to hear a response,
To have a hug and forget my troubles,
To have that one glance where our eyes meet,
I will know in that instance that God is here,
And I miss this interaction more and more everyday.

I may be lost today and trying to find my feet,
I may try to live in a reality where You are here,
Baba ji, it is not easy being without You,
For me a Guru is never born nor dies,
That is why I cannot understand this ‘death’,
You are aliveness and Fullness,
You are Formless and Boundless,
You are the Soundless Sound,
You are the Gateless Gate,
In 2017 this is what I need to reawaken,
I know where I am failing,
And that is where I will be picking myself up,
2016 has been a lesson not a defeat,
And 2017 will be lessons learned.

rahulnsinghpoetry

Poem: Surrendering

eternity

As much as I write,
I can never touch the glory of the Creator,
Without permission,
I cannot write even a single letter.

The power lies in the word,
Once the word is understood,
It is heard in all directions,
It becomes the Friend of your heart.

I have tried to write about This One,
Who has shown me just a glimpse of Him,
And I am failing to write a single atom to Him,
His Vastness has no bounds and is infinite.

When He is fully realised,
This pen will not be able to lifted,
The beauty of the Formless is indescribable,
Silence fails to even comprehend Him.

My Formless, I surrender to You,
Let the Pen of Realisation re-write my mind,
Let the Pen of Realisation re-write my heart,
Let the Pen of Realisation re-write my soul,
Wherever and however I am approached,
May it only be You – Formless One,
That is experienced by all.

Surrendering I am singing Your praises,
Surrendering I am writing Your praises,
Surrendering I am hearing Your praises,
Surrendering I am walking Your praises,
Surrendering I am forever alive,
Whoever surrenders is never born nor dies.

rahulnsinghpoetry

Poem – Swept Alone

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This pain calms down and settles,
You feel that it is still and grounded,
Suddenly you are swept away,
Struggling to think as a wave crashes against you.
Then you realise it is an earthquake
Everything is crumbling down,
A tornado vacuums all your happiness,
And then it all stops.
You would call this a time of disaster
But now nothing is happening,
And this nothing feels like a disaster.
Atleast the activity kept me busy,
Now all I have is myself
And I don’t know where I have gone.
I went out on a journey,
Travelling against land and sea,
Still my Beloved is missing.
I seek for those eyes,
I seek for that smile,
I seek for that embrace,
I feel lost without You,
I am all alone at sea,
No activity not even myself,
Enlightenment without You
Feels like I am all alone.

@rahulnsinghpoetry

Work stress – Don’t bring it home!

I remember speaking to a manager
She didn’t approve of a management style of
another manager who managed me.
She told me a simple thing
And it should apply to everyone
‘Do not become a mood hoover!’

It got me thinking alot
We all have bad days at work
Sometimes it becomes overwhelming
It can get the better of us
But why let it get the better of us?
We are incharge of our own lives
Why should our state of mind
Be at the will of others?

Yes, if you must show emotion at work
Do that and don’t hold back.
If you can look at the situation objectively
Then right course of action is taken.
If no answer is coming to you
Then simply do not react,
Otherwise something that is a molehill
Will undoubtedly take shape of a mountain.

The worse thing is when you come home
Or you go to see your friends
And you act all moody and down.
We all have our troubles and problems
Nobody is exempt from experiencing this.
Begin to understand the nature of your feelings,
Understand how your energy passes into a room.
A wise man once told me personally that
Are you that person who enters a room
And people stand up to leave? Or
Are you that person who enters a room
And the room lights up with joy?
If you cannot find happiness in yourself
If you cannot find joy in yourself
You will NEVER find it in another.
That person will become a reflection
Of what your state of being truly is.

When you come back from work
Meet others with a grand smile.
Give them positive energy
Because when their times are tough
You may be the only hope they have
The only thought they will possess
When they feel overwhelmed.

The Beloved – The Next Poetry Project

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It seems to be that whenever I go to a Shammi Pithia concert, I seem to have an idea of creating another book. In February earlier this year, I attended a concert of his and the book ‘Reflections of the Formless’ was born. Now it seems that this Saturday followed the same tradition.

To give a little context, I had thought that I wouldn’t be writing another poetry book for another two years as I had a few projects already in hand that I wanted to concentrate on. However, it seems that every project has it’s own time and place.

During one of the songs that was harmoniously played towards the heavens, the words ‘The Beloved’ came through across the screen of my mind. It was something that I couldn’t really ignore. Then random lines would appear of what would shape the project and also how the project would be presented.

The title is ‘The Beloved’ and the release date will be announced shortly. I haven’t done a project plan or anything yet, so you have to bear with me. All I know is that this book may be written by me but the voice will be of another. I know why this book is being created and it is to lay the foundation for a future project. It will be released Kindle only.

I feel the whole point of art is to inspire. Like music is poetry and poetry is music. All art is interlinked and interconnected. For us artists, we are nothing but instruments, which allow a deeper level of consciousness to explore itself in the human dimension.