It has been a long time since I have posted my last message here. But I will continue to keep the Blog up and, from time to time post some thoughts or as today something I have worked on for some time. It is one of my favorite poems from Rabindranath Tagore. I have combined the spoken text with the Piano Concerto N° 5 from Beethoven. The image is a wallpaper image I downloaded from http://www.mrwallpaper.com. I have put subtitles to give the watcher an easy and joyful experience. I hope you like it.
Currently I am studying Vedanta scriptures, the Upanishads and more precisely the Advaita Vedanta. Reading does not bring enlightenment as we are already enlightened. It is through awareness and by giving attention to the experience of perception rather than to the object that is perceived that we will discover oneness, love… But these ancient texts, the Vedas, are of tremendous beauty if your heart is open. The Vedanta, or Upanishads, are the latest text of the Vedas. Vedanta is composed by the two words Veda and Anta. Anta means “the end”. Vedanta can be translated as the End of the Vedas. The Vedas are the most ancient texts known by mankind composed more than 5000 years ago by several sages over a period of time. The four Vedas talk a lot about rituals and ethics, the worldly religious knowledge, and as soon as self inquiry and self introspection comes into play we speak about the Vedanta. Advaita Vedanta speaks about non-duality and the most famous sage was Shankara, who commented and developed the Advaita Vedanta philosophy further. There is a lot more to say about these texts but the mere knowledge about them is not helpful. They are the finger that points to the moon. Some spend their lives analysing the finger, chewing and sucking on it and intellectualizing everything and the others simply look to where the finger is pointing… the moon.
For certain is death for the born, and certain is birth for the dead;
Therefore what is inevitable ought not to be a cause of thy sorrow.
— The Bhagavad Gita – Second Chapter – Verse 27 (Sri Aurobindo)
In what for others is night,
therein is the man of self-restraint wide awake,
separate from passion and hate,
self-possessed and drawing near to calm serenity.
This is the athlete of the spirit,
whose ground remains unmoved,
whole soul stands firmly on it.
This is the fixed,
still state which sustains even at the time of death
the athletes of the spirit,
who even then set forth,
some to return, some never to return.
Outstanding is he whose soul views in the selfsame way
comrades and enemies, loving all alike.
—Philip Glass – Satyagraha – Act III – (compilation of excerpts from the Bhagavad Gita)
This Saturday I had the great pleasure to attend to the Metropolitan Opera Live transmission of Philip Glass’ opera named Satyagraha. Gandhi conceived the term Satyagraha for his principle of nonviolent and civil resistance. This opera in 3 acts lasted about 4 hours. But it was so captivating that the time went by as quickly I could have stayed even 2 hours longer watching and listening to that wonderfully composed and performed opera.
O servant, where dost thou seek Me?
Lo ! I am beside thee.
I am neither in temple nor in mosque:
I am neither in Kaaba nor in Kailash:
Neither am I in rites and ceremonies,
nor in Yoga and renunciation.
If thou art a true seeker, thou shalt at once see Me:
thou shalt meet Me in a moment of time.
— Kabir – Songs of Kabir (First Poem)
Life, death, – death, life; the words have led for ages
Our thought and consciousness and firmly seemed
Two opposites; but now long-hidden pages
Are opened, liberating truths undreamed.
Life only is, or death is life disguised, –
Life a short death until by Life we are surprised.
— Sri Aurobindo – Collected Poems and Plays, vol 1 – page 141
Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.
For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!
“Say not in grief that she is no more
but say in thankfulness that she was
A death is not the extinguishing of a light,
but the putting out of the lamp
because the dawn has come.”
— Rabindranath Tagore
In Hindu tradition if the parents (either father or mother) pass away, the eldest son has to cut his hair and circle the body three times with fire.
Whatever is born is impermanent and is bound to die.
Whatever is stored up is impermanent and is bound to run out.
Whatever comes together is impermanent and is bound to come apart.
Whatever is built is impermanent and is bound to collapse.
Whatever rises up is impermanent and is bound to fall down.
So also, friendship and enmity, fortune and sorrow, good and evil,
all the thoughts that run through your mind – everything is always changing.
— Patrul Rinpoche – The Words of my Perfect Teacher (Page 46)