if it goes without saying, let it

All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.
– Blaise Pascal

silent beauty, cherry blossomsI went back to my yoga class today. I felt immense gratitude for the teacher so I asked if I could touch his feet. He’s American, but he spends months in India to learn from the Iyengars, so he knows what that gesture means. I only asked to do it because I felt a deep sense of gratitude flowing out from me, something I’ve not felt in my life for a long time, and I got carried away with that feeling. Never once did I stop to think if it might make him uncomfortable. The desire to express was so strong that the idea of not doing it did not even cross my mind. So in someways, I didn’t ask my teacher, I told him I was touching his feet. And he, being his generous self, blessed me back.

The question is – did he really give me his blessing? Did the gesture give a tangible truth to my gratitude? Did I really seek his blessing or was I merely trying to deposit an overwhelming feeling that I couldn’t deal with outside my self?
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When I look at it closely enough, even the mere act of saying something to someone smells of my ego trying to establish itself. To speak without being spoken to, is to try and make one’s presence felt. To seek validation from the outside when the inner voice is inaudible or perhaps, deficient?

I’m beginning to understand why people are called mirrors. The ones that agree are in alignment with a part of you that agrees – let’s call this part A. The ones that don’t agree, are in alignment with a part of you that questions what you’re saying – let’s call this B. Very often the mind knows which way it wants to sway – towards A or B (let’s assume B is a bad thing), so it focuses only on the mirrors that amplify this sentiment. When you’re happy and feel invincible, you ignore the Bs and count the As. When you’re depressed you amplify the Bs. It’s like collecting votes from a sample set of our own choosing (“like minded” people) and then counting among those only the votes we want to. When I see my actions this way, it feels like a convenient use of my environment and its inputs to persist my own delusions. Going as far as possible from the truth.

But then mirrors don’t make a person beautiful, and more voices don’t make your voice the truth. Maybe silence – one’s own and of the voices that one wants to listen to – is the only hope to de-clutter the table, blow away the chaff, and get a glimpse of the seed of reality.

Other questions that I tossed around while writing this:

  •  If I write to declutter my mindspace, is that an act of my ego?
  •  Is seeking to understand also an act of my ego?
  •  Isn’t understanding also subjective, and therefore, also the function of my ego?
  •  If egolessness is the goal, then would it require me to drop all pursuits, stop the seeking, be silent, and merely witness the now?
  •  And “who” made the egolessness a goal?
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5 thoughts on “if it goes without saying, let it

  1. And “who” made the egolessness a goal….that is my problem…i have realized this who is sick bored abused…i need to fix this who…then the rest will follow…right now the plan is to travel for 2 years in search for this who…till then prepare for the trip….

  2. I cannot answer your question about seeking and giving blessings. Because anything i say at this point would be speculation, not true knowledge. Once I’ve studied this part in the scriptures, I will let you know.

    In this world, we are under the spell of the three gunas (Bhagavad Gita), so everything we observe, do, or say is in their spell. Even if someone has more of the Sattva (goodness), he or she is too still under the spell of prakirti. Whereas liberation means going beyond the realm of gunas and maya.

    * If I write to declutter my mindspace, is that an act of my ego?
    Yes. False ego.
    * Is seeking to understand also an act of my ego?
    Yes.
    * Isn’t understanding also subjective, and therefore, also the function of my ego?
    Yes, as long as we are under the three gunas. In our hearts there are two souls: Supersoul who is the Seer and the Jiva soul who is the Seen. Absolute understanding requires us to realize the Seer. That is what Self-realization is. But even this is just a step of success; not the ultimate success.
    * If egolessness is the goal, then would it require me to drop all pursuits, stop the seeking, be silent, and merely witness the now?
    There is no way one can kill the ego or go beyond it. We can only occupy our senses and ego in the service of God. We can’t suspend or kill them. Krishna has said in ch. 12 that the path of Unmanifest is very difficult and even those who take this path have to surrender to Him eventually.
    * And “who” made the egolessness a goal?
    Nobody.

    • Egoless state is not the goal. The goal is to serve the Supreme to whom we originally belong. Every soul has an individual identity, even after it has reacquired its original position. The idea of being one with God or becoming void are faulty philosophies per the main Upanishads and the Vedas. (Maya has worked wonders by letting many people try their hands on misinterpreting these scriptures. That’s why it is said that scriptures should be read under the guidance of a bona-bide master who comes from a proper tradition. and not from Max Muller or the Internet or any xyz)

      We serve Maya as long as we have not regained our identity. How do we do that? Well, when we serve our senses we are actually serving Maya. That’s Her trap!
      We serve our senses in the many ways. Some of them are:
      — through sensuous pleasures like eating, mating, defending, fearing etc
      — through mental speculation (impersonalist philosophy, or all other philosophies that keep going round and round in circles. This includes our much revered Buddhism too which doesn’t subscribe to the “idea of God” as they say.)
      — through fruitive/pious activities like charity etc.

      However, as soon as we begin to serve the senses of Hrishkesa (The Lord of the Senses), Maya takes the form of Yoga Maya (Internal Potency of God) and helps us find our original identity. In our original state, the questions like Who Am I? Why am I doing what I am doing do not arise, and they don’t have any relevance either.

  3. I know what you mean by ‘depositing an overwhelming feeling’. Performing a gesture (like touching someone’s feet) in this context might not mean that you are seeking something. It’s a simple act of displaying/offering your gratitude for that person’s act, which made you feel overwhelmed (in that divine way, of course) in the first place. Innit?

  4. Remember i was questioning the meaning of gratitude when sou saw people fall on shri shri ravi shankars feet…i was trying to say if you would just quantify the feeling of gratitude and overlook everything else, lifestyle belief system etc etc… look at our grandparents and older generation, everyday they felt the need of bowing in front of their diety or guru…dont you think they also felt the emotion tht you experienced here…difference being for them it was a daily occurance and for us it is a special event. Dont you feel v r living in abject poverty when compared to somene like that who feels gratitude on a daily basis…is this the spiritual vacuum…our loss of culture caused by political instability and mass migration…

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