Experiencing Durga in Others

It is easy to be judgmental of the world and people around us. Often we have strong opinions – this is what he/she should do/think. Well then, so here we are. another very fertile opportunity.

reachingforthesky[1]

In the last post, I talked of an opportunity to experience the force and movement of Durga within ourselves. Here is a wonderful opportunity to experience Durga in others.

There is a line in the “yaa devee sarvabhooteshu …” Devee Stotra

या देवी सर्वभूतेषु भ्रान्तिरूपेण संस्थिता।
नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमस्तस्यै नमो नमः ॥
(yaa devee sarva bhooteshu bhraanti roopeNa sansthitaa
namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo nama(h))

To that devi who is present in all beings in the form of ‘bhraanti’
salutations again and again.

भ्रान्ति (bhraanti) means misguidedness, misunderstanding, delusion.

This mental state exists, at some time or the other, in all of us. However, by the very definition of it, we are unable to see it in ourself. At least until we come out of the delusion, and even then we may not realize and accept that earlier we were deluded.

However, it is easy to be judgmental of the world and people around us. Often we have strong opinions – this is what he/she should do/think. At times, it is to the extent of feeling exasperated – “This guy has lost it!”. We experience it in personal relationships, professional interactions, national policies, religious behaviors, social mindsets …

Well then, so here we are. another very fertile opportunity.

Whenever we perceive delusion, misunderstanding, misguidedness, in our fellow being or society at large, it is an opportunity to know that we are perceiving Durga and experience it in its fullness. The dance of Durga. The play of Durga. The power of Durga. Anytime you see delusion, it is just Durga in one of Her myriad hues.

That same Durga who is the embodiment of power and energry of all of the Universe, who is all that is beautiful, divine, comforting – nurturing love, compassion, prosperity, fulfillment. That supreme feminine force is present in all beings in the form of delusion too.

Seeing delusion in someone as the force of Durga at play, enables us to pause a moment and perhaps reconsider the person. We may still not agree with his/her mindset, but we can consider the person at least with a tad bit of softness, a hint of compassion, knowing that it is a force that is at play within us too. At the very least our mind can acquire a tinge of curiosity towards all that is going inside that person.

We, and the people around us, we all have the nurturing motherly instinct, compassion, awareness (all things nice, positive, desirable too) but we tend to focus on the negative more. The negative too is a form of the divine and we can turn our tendency to focus on the negative into an asset.

Any emotion, any feeling, it is She. Positive or negative is irrelevant. All change, it is She.


Image credit: Reaching for the Sky by Carol Herzer

Experiencing Durga Within

So here is an opportunity. Here is a way to actually experience Durga within. It is an opportunity specially because this feeling is so intensely personal and because when it occurs we experience it as a distinct sharp tinge. …

There is a line in the “yaa devee sarvabhooteshu …” Devee Stotra

या देवी सर्वभूतेषु लज्जारूपेण संस्थिता|
(yaa devee sarva bhooteshu lajjaa roopena sansthitaa)
That devi who is present in all beings in the form of ‘lajjaa’.

Lajjaa? Now that is interesting!

So what is Lajjaa?

Lajjaa seems to get associated with “लाज”, “नारी की लाज” (naaree kee laaj) – a woman’s honor that supposedly gets taken away say when she is raped, or feminine modesty, mostly associated just with her physical parts and her social reputation. Or it may be conventionally viewed as sweet bashfulness, shyness, blushing of a woman, often in a romantic sense. However, that is just a tiny tiny part of lajjaa.

Lajjaa essentially conveys a sense of shame, disrepute, disgrace – in any context. Bashfulness, reserve, modesty, these are also words used to translate the sense of lajjaa, because they are attempts to avoid shame, disrepute, disgrace. So when something undesirable occurs, people exclaim, “tumne aisaa kiyaa? kitnee lajjaa kee baat hai!”.

To me, the best explanation of the word lajjaa is – feeling embarrassed.

That feeling of embarrassment can be anywhere in a whole range of intensities. The mild: feeling somewhat silly. The stronger: feeling stupid. The very intense: feeling shame.

And it is in sarv bhooteshu (all beings) – i.e. all of us, all humans – man, woman and all other gender variations possible. In fact all beings, not just humans. So it has nothing to do specifically with women. Embarrassment is a feeling that we have all experienced and would prefer to avoid. It is because we want to avoid this feeling that we are hesitant to ask questions for example.

At times it is mild, and depending on our level of awareness, we do not explicitly recognize it as such but just feel a sense of discomfort. There is a slight internal squirming. At times it is so strong, it feels like a stab in the chest. We are unable to ignore it and are distressed.

That feeling, that stab of embarrassment, mild or forceful, is She. The supreme feminine force. And She exists in everyone. Sarv bhooteshu.

So here is an opportunity. Here is a way to actually experience Durga within. It is an opportunity specially because this feeling is so intensely personal and because when it occurs we experience it as a distinct sharp tinge. Also, we tend to be better at focusing on the negative within us than positive, so might as well use that tendency.

The next time you experience any tinge of embarrassment, experience it fully. Feel it completely, in all its textures. How it invades and gradually unwillingly departs. You will be directly experiencing Durga inside you!

Durga, that is, Shakti – power, energy, force. Emotional energy is the core driving force of our actions and there is energy, power, force in our so-called negative emotions too, if we connect to it. It can be a powerful exhilarating experience.


Image credit: Inner Eye Moon by Carol Herzer.

But The Colors Could Not See The Grand Picture

It is out of its inherent throbbing joy that white burst into a myriad colors. It is out of its inherent throbbing joy that the land danced and there were highs and lows. As the land was high and low, the colors flowed. And so a grand picture was formed.

And the colors loved themselves. The green was proud of itself, and rightly so, for it was beautiful. The blue was proud of itself, and rightly so, for it was beautiful. And the colors flowed. Little particles of joy were embedded into the colors which made them move ahead.

But the colors could not see the grand picture. As one color flowed into the other, the other felt threatened. Its identity was threatened. Its territory was threatened. The deep flaming red would turn into a milder orange if the yellow flowed into it. That was not acceptable. And the yellow did not like it at all either, that its natural flow was being inhibited. The whole land was his to explore after all. Its inner joy particles were asking it to move forward.

So some colors flowed, some did not. And there was a muddy pool. For the colors could not see the grand picture. They could not see the big orchestrated dance and be in awe at what they were creating together.

But the force that was there in the colors, was there in the colors, whether they liked it or not. So they continued to dance and flow, albeit reluctantly. Their reluctance made them heavy. And as as they danced and flowed, they mixed together and turned into black. A deep velvety never-ending black.

And white was filled with amazement. This is also a form of me? A reverse side of me? For white had seen the whole dance, the beauty and the resistance. It knew the black emerged from its own self. There was a deep wisdom that seemed to emanate from the quiet all-absorbing black, that white found so beautiful.

And it felt a kind-of peace, resting in its own black reverse self. And it rested there for long. It felt good. The black held the same power that white had. As white rested, black kept nourishing it, black kept nourishing its own reverse self. That felt good. A smile spread on the lips of the sleeping white. As it was nourished more, it was energized. The smile converted into a fountain of joy. Then out of its inherent throbbing joy white burst into a myriad colors.

anant aakaash garbh

ek jagah hai – jahaa(n) n Hindi hai n Angrezee – n shabd n akShar. dhvani kaa garbh hai ye. desh, sanskRti, dharm, vichaar ke pahale kaa anant aakaash garbh –

ek jagah hai – jahaa(n) n Hindi hai n Angrezee – n shabd n akShar. dhvani kaa garbh hai ye.

main vahaa(n) se aaee hoo(n). mujhe bhejaa gayaa hai – tumase milane. doot hoo(n) main. mujhe yah aadesh diyaa gayaa hai ki dhvani ke garbh ke viShay men tumhe bataaoo(n).

desh, sanskRti, dharm, vichaar ke pahale kaa anant aakaash garbh – jo kisee grah aur kisee lok ke us paar naheen hai – tumhaare samakSh hai. yah jo tumhaare saamane rakhaa hai, usake aNu men hai| vigyaan ke beej men hai.

jis aangan men tumhaare vichaar nirantar naachate rahate hain, jahaa(n) se vichaar utpann hote hain – vah aangan vah anant aakaash garbh hai. is kamare men jo rikt sthaan hai – dekho – jahaa(n) kuchh naheen hai – vahaa(n) hai vah anant aakaash garbh – yahaa(n) hai| aa jaa rahaa hai – sthir hai. bharaa hai.

is kamare men jo bhee hai – dekho – vah anant hai. har do aNu ke beech anant aakaash. har aNu ke bheetar anant aakaash| jitanaa bhee bheetar jaao, jaane ke lie chaaron or aangan aur phailataa jaaegaa.

tumhaare vakSh men, tumhaare mastiShk men, tumhaaree tvachaa men, anant aakaash. netr men, dRShTi paTal par ubharate har chitr men, anant aakaash. har chitr men vah anant beej, us anant beej se ubharataa har chitr.

oorjaa kaa garbh.

ek baḌee haanDee hai yah – yah sRShTi – jisakaa koee or chhor naheen – isee men sab kuchh umaḌataa ghumaḌataa rahataa hai.

aur isamen main hoo(n). us oorjaa kaa ek roop, ek abhivyakti. pyaaree. magar pyaaree yaa naheen yah sarvathaa asangat hai. bas hoo(n). oorjaa kaa ek utthaan jo oorjaa ke garbh men loT rahaa hai, aur oorjaa ke garbh men Dhal jaaegaa.

teraa man kShubdh hai kyonki vah aseemit honaa chaahataa hai magar bhinn bhinn seemaaon men grast hai. seemaaen jinhen tumane sach maan liyaa hai| aseem kaa ehasaas ho to kuchh kuchh aseem par vishvaas kee raah khulegee.

“aseem” yah koee devataa naheen, koee eeshvar naheen. isakee koee kahaaniyaa(n) naheen hain. yah n achchhaa hai n buraa. bas hai. tum n achchhe ho n bure. bas ho. yah jo ho rahaa hai – n achchhaa ho rahaa hai n buraa ho rahaa hai – bas ho rahaa hai. shreyas, preyas, uchit, anuchit, sahee, ghalat sab mithyaa hai. in shabdon kaa koee arth naheen. dharm, adharm – in shabdon kaa koee arth naheen hai. yah bas seemaa men baandhe rahane ko, seemaa men bandhe rahane ko, seemaa grast vichaar hain.

koee n tumhe prataaḌit kar rahaa hai, n tumhe daND de rahaa hai. jo bhee ho rahaa hai, bas ho rahaa hai. sadaa aakaar badalatee ek prakriyaa. prakriyaa ko dekho, vismay ke saath. yah dekhanaa, vigyaan kaa pratham charaN hai. yah vismay us anant aakaash kee anubhooti degaa. kaN bhar anubhooti jo hameshaa tumhaare man men rahegee.

अनन्त आकाश गर्भ

एक जगह है – जहाँ न हिन्दी है न अंग्रेज़ी – न शब्द न अक्षर| ध्वनि का गर्भ है ये| देश, संस्कृति, धर्म, विचार के पहले का अनन्त आकाश गर्भ …

एक जगह है – जहाँ न हिन्दी है न अंग्रेज़ी – न शब्द न अक्षर| ध्वनि का गर्भ है ये|

मैं वहाँ से आई हूँ| मुझे भेजा गया है – तुमसे मिलने| दूत हूँ मैं| मुझे यह आदेश दिया गया है कि ध्वनि के गर्भ के विषय में तुम्हे बताऊँ|

देश, संस्कृति, धर्म, विचार के पहले का अनन्त आकाश गर्भ – जो किसी ग्रह और किसी लोक के उस पार नहीं है – तुम्हारे समक्ष है| यह जो तुम्हारे सामने रखा है, उसके अणु में है| विज्ञान के बीज में है|

जिस आंगन में तुम्हारे विचार निरन्तर नाचते रहते हैं, जहाँ से विचार उत्पन्न होते हैं – वह आंगन वह अनन्त आकाश गर्भ है| इस कमरे में जो रिक्त स्थान है – देखो – जहाँ कुछ नहीं है – वहाँ है वह अनन्त आकाश गर्भ – यहाँ है| आ जा रहा है – स्थिर है| भरा है|

इस कमरे में जो भी है – देखो – वह अनन्त है| हर दो अणु के बीच अनन्त आकाश| हर अणु के भीतर अनन्त आकाश| जितना भी भीतर जाओ, जाने के लिए चारों ओर आंगन और फैलता जाएगा|

तुम्हारे वक्ष में, तुम्हारे मस्तिष्क में, तुम्हारी त्वचा में, अनन्त आकाश| नेत्र में, दृष्टि पटल पर उभरते हर चित्र में, अनन्त आकाश| हर चित्र में वह अनन्त बीज, उस अनन्त बीज से उभरता हर चित्र|

ऊर्जा का गर्भ|

एक बड़ी हांडी है यह – यह सृष्टि – जिसका कोई ओर छोर नहीं – इसी में सब कुछ उमड़ता घुमड़ता रहता है|

और इसमें मैं हूँ| उस ऊर्जा का एक रूप, एक अभिव्यक्ति| प्यारी| मगर प्यारी या नहीं यह सर्वथा असंगत है| बस हूँ| ऊर्जा का एक उत्थान जो ऊर्जा के गर्भ में लोट रहा है, और ऊर्जा के गर्भ में ढल जाएगा|

तेरा मन क्षुब्ध है क्योंकि वह असीमित होना चाहता है मगर भिन्न भिन्न सीमाओं में ग्रस्त है| सीमाएं जिन्हें तुमने सच मान लिया है| असीम का एहसास हो तो कुछ कुछ असीम पर विश्वास की राह खुलेगी|

“असीम” यह कोई देवता नहीं, कोई ईश्वर नहीं| इसकी कोई कहानियाँ नहीं हैं| यह न अच्छा है न बुरा| बस है| तुम न अच्छे हो न बुरे| बस हो| यह जो हो रहा है – न अच्छा हो रहा है न बुरा हो रहा है – बस हो रहा है| श्रेयस, प्रेयस, उचित, अनुचित, सही, ग़लत सब मिथ्या है| इन शब्दों का कोई अर्थ नहीं| धर्म, अधर्म – इन शब्दों का कोई अर्थ नहीं है| यह बस सीमा में बांधे रहने को, सीमा में बंधे रहने को, सीमा ग्रस्त विचार हैं|

कोई न तुम्हे प्रताड़ित कर रहा है, न तुम्हे दण्ड दे रहा है| जो भी हो रहा है, बस हो रहा है| सदा आकार बदलती एक प्रक्रिया| प्रक्रिया को देखो, विस्मय के साथ| यह देखना, विज्ञान का प्रथम चरण है| यह विस्मय उस अनन्त आकाश की अनुभूति देगा| कण भर अनुभूति जो हमेशा तुम्हारे मन में रहेगी|

नाँव एक विचार की

नाँव एक विचार की
और लय पतवार सी
ऐसी कोई रचना हो
जीवन धारा पर बहती …

नाँव एक विचार की
और लय पतवार सी
ऐसी कोई रचना हो
जीवन धारा पर बहती

अनहद से भरी हुई
शब्दों से जुड़ी हुई
ऐसी कोई रचना हो
जीवन धारा पर बहती

नभ मण्डल में

नभ मण्डल में बड़ी छटा सी
पंख खोल कर उड़ान भरती
ईश्वर के वाहन का वैभव
उसके अंतस में पलता है …

नभ मण्डल में बड़ी छटा सी
पंख खोल कर उड़ान भरती
ईश्वर के वाहन का वैभव
उसके अंतस में पलता है

एकल जीवन बीच सभी के
दिशाहीन सी लगती तो है
आज वही करना है जो वह
कह दें उसी दिशा मुड़ना है
क्या बन जाए पता नहीं है
बस विश्वास दीप जलता है

उठ चल दिन आरम्भ करें फिर
देखें इस दिन क्या घटता है
ईश्वर के वाहन का वैभव
मेरे अंतस में पलता है

right, wrong and neither

this is right and this is wrong
so you get four out of ten
try harder, come try again …

IMG_20160510_070912

this is right and this is wrong
so you get four out of ten
try harder, come try again

if there is something in there
that is pulsating for you
then yes, try again, yes do

the subject you do not dig
do not let it pull you down
many ways go to the crown

heed you not the screaming voice
every kind of skill has place
this our world is filled with grace

bunch of fear as wisdom words
elders and we ourselves give
spirit gnawing way to live!

may your song be gay and free
whatever tune it may take
have no fear, nothing’s at stake.