Monday, 31 August 2015

In spite of all claims of development and progress, we are still a bigoted society trapped in medieval mentality. The retards who killed an old scholar in cold blood  for his irreverent views on religion may also garner support from many bigots and fanatics for being the keepers of faith. Just like the killers of rationalists in Bangladesh.

Today it was the old  frail man. Tomorrow it may be me. Day after it will be you. Where do we take refuge ? The wall of indifference can just support our back. It will not protect us from the bullet or chopper which the assassin has ready for us. Make no mistake these killers or their backers are no better than the IS or Taliban.

I will laugh away the secular ideology as  "Sickular". Trash the liberal outlook. Dump the nonbelievers as enemies of faith. Time is just ticking away for me.

Monday, 17 August 2015

The Mughal Dynasty ruled a vast part of India for about 300 years.  The grave of the first ruler  Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur is at Kabul, Afghanistan and  that of the last ruler Bahadur Shah Zafar is at Yangon, Myanmar. Strange are the ways of history.

Babur himself lost his kingdom and lived a life filled with battles  to establish an empire across India. His descendant Bahadur Shah lived a life of ignominy, first as the heir to a  fading  dynasty, then as a nominal ruler and finally as an exile.
Babur, inspite of his life of a warrior and ruler was also a man of letters. He has written poetry and journal. And Zafar is of course remembered for his Urdu poetry.

The Indian culture has benefitted from the Mughal rule in the realms of art, architecture, literature and allied fields. The best example perhaps is the birth of Urdu language which was not region specific in origin like other languages.

The epitaph of Bahadur Shah Zafar itself is a famous poetry often rendered as a Ghazal by many worthy singers, notably among them Begum Akhtar. 

लगता नहीं है जी मेरा उजड़े दयार में
किसकी बनी है आलम-ए-नापायेदार में

बुलबुल को पासबाँ से न सैयाद से गिला
क़िस्मत में क़ैद लिखी थी फ़स्ल-ए-बहार में

इन हसरतों से कह दो कहीं और जा बसें
इतनी जगह कहाँ है दिल-ए-दाग़दार में

इक शाख़-ए-गुल पे बैठ के बुलबुल है शादमाँ
काँटे बिछा दिये हैं दिल-ए-लालाज़ार में

उम्र-ए-दराज़ माँगके लाए थे चार दिन
दो आरज़ू में कट गए, दो इन्तज़ार में

दिन ज़िन्दगी के ख़त्म हुए शाम हो गई
फैला के पाँव सोएँगे कुंज-ए-मज़ार में

कितना है बदनसीब “ज़फ़र″ दफ़्न के लिए
दो गज़ ज़मीन भी न मिली कू-ए-यार में

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Is there any justification to take all crticisms to heart needlessly. Won't it be better to instead calmly evaluate the bitter words of others to see if there is a grain of truth in them somewhere. This can be a good practice and one that should be continued. While we may not be in the mood to tolerate any injustice, we can try to forgive those who have wronged us and thus be able to refrain from stoking the ember further, to raise the flames of enmity. Fire ultimately burns everything. Be it one's house or the mind.

No way to forget you;
even being away has not helped.
Alive in my heart you remind me
with every beat;
how much I miss you,
at this very moment.
What is the reason for this longing
and how to let myself free.
No way to explain
why this is happening to me.
All the desires that  I feel,
a caged bird flapping its wings.
In a crowd of known memories
these unknown sensations beckon.
Making it so difficult to forget
the story that should have ended
long ago.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

My experience with Vipassana

My experience with Vipassana.

Let me mention a few points about Vipassana before I begin. Firstly a Vipassana course cannot be bought. It is free of charge, including the food and lodging.  Secondly Vipassana is not a religious cult or ritual. Thirdly it is not an exercise schedule or detoxification procedure for the body.

It is a actually a technique for meditation to purify oneself from within and attain a higher plane of life.  Often spelt as #Vipassana ,  the real word should be spelt as #Vipashyana which is literallly derived from Sanskrit / Pali words  ''Vishesh'' meaning ''special '' and ''Pashya'' which means '' To See''. This seeing actually denotes seeking or perceiving.  Remember the famous dialogue from the movie Avataar- I see you.  So it is actually the art of seeking. And this seeking is done within to cleanse the soul of impurities by locating the cause of strife in the unconscious layers of mind through the examination of sensations of the body. It is complex in its concept , simple in its explanation and understanding and rigorously difficult in practice for initial followers.

This is the method of meditation which is said to have been followed by Gautam Buddha to attain Nirvana (or Nivvana) and has been nurtured and kept alive by a sect of Buddhist monks in Myanmar.  Mr S D Goenka  learnt it from the Master Shayagi U Ba Khin in 1955 and has been authorised to teach it since 1969. He has since being spreading the technique and the message through the various centres and disciples who are authorised to conduct such courses. This technique of meditation came into limelight in 1994 when under Kiran Bedi  a big push was given to use it as a therapy on the inmates as well as the personnel of Tihar Central Jail.

There are a lot of literature and articles available on the subject and I will therefore not elaborate further. Better to be discreet and let others wonder about my ignorance rather than write and clear all doubts about it. I will write about my experiences only as I realised.

First thing to ponder upon is that this is a meditation technique  and there should not be any short sighted prejudices to link it with conversion to the Buddhist faith. Though it has undeniable roots in Buddhist philosophy, it can be practised by people of any faith, even atheists, animists and communists too as the concept is universal and without bringing God or religion into it. I have a very rudimentary idea of Gita and Bible and found that a lot of echo from them can be found in Vipassana.  It is not a religion by itself  and thankfully, till now, is not a much hyped cult because of its rigorous initiation process.

I myself has been mildly interested in Vipassana, since 2009  and twice made unsuccessful attempts to join the 10 day preliminary course, at Igatpuri in 2011 and Gorai.inq
2013.  This time, very interestingly ,  with the small bit of irony thrown in,  I completed the programme at Dhamma Vipula located on Parsik hills at an aerial distance of not more than 4 kms from my residence. I was determined that I would not keep this decision pending anymore and so keeping G-secs, Nifty, Oil, Rupee in whatever state of volatility they were, office works in whatever state of pendency they were, ignoring a shift of office premises,  disregarding family matters and any such other excuses which could justify a change of heart, I took the plunge. Enough of attaching too much importance to my existence for the family, office and society at large. When responsibilty starts overwhelming you, its time to step aside and do something for yourself and let the world sort itself out without your help or participation.  And what the hell, this was not a session of Thai massage or any such frolic  that I was planning to do. I deserved to break away. It sounds selfish, I know but definitely not self indulgent.


Sometimes we treat the words Karma  and Dharma for our own use as it suits us. We don't believe in them fully. But today itself something opened my eyes.

While waiting for leaving from Dhamma Vipula , I called a cabdriver whom I generally call for pickups and drops from and to airport or office, parties,  etc. Luckily he was on road at Nerul. He came to pick me up and looking at my unshaven beard asked me what was the matter. I explained him the whole thing during my short ride to home.

Reaching home when I put my hand in the trouser pocket to pay him, he just stopped me by holding my hand and refused to accept money saying I was returning from a good cause.
I was really stumped by his goodwill gesture.

Yes, good Karma begets positive vibes. I now belive it fully.