Bhakthi – the force behind karma yoga also

Leave behind “raaga-dvesha” and become karma yogi, say the shastras. This is a sure path to chittha-shuddhi, which in turn is mandatory for jnAna.

Easy said. Try doing it.

Spouse asks for certain food when it is already tiring day. Kids cry for attention. Office work very often mind-deadening. One feels reluctant to move. On bad days, this “dvesha” for certain activities becomes a burden. This burden results in burst-outs of temper, hatred towards the person causing this, mental stress leading to tamas.

Guru bhakthi is the cure for this too. One sees Guru not only “talking” but “walking the talk”. Swamiji takes class, whether he wishes or not, whether is sick or healthy, whether the audience is big or meagre, whether audience listens or not. Swamiji answers patiently whether people ask wise or silly questions, cleans property whether people do it or not. Endless examples.

Once one opens up to this prabhAva, one cannot but do similarly. I am still feeling the dvesha for certain work. Mind and body still rebels. But along with it is the power of guru bhakthi forcing itself into the confused mind. With its power, mind and body put aside the raga/dvesha and act as should be done.

Point is – the strictly drawn paths of karma, bhakthi and jnana are not possible. The force of bhakthi has to power every mArga.

Guru bhakthi power


What a world we have created! – Competition corrupts

I received this through my child’s middle school mailing list.

“Neuqua Valley Cheerleaders will be selling “Beat Waubonsie” t-shirts for the upcoming Neuqua vs. Waubonsie football game.  T-shirts will be on sale on Wednesday, October 15th and Thursday, October 16th during all lunch periods in the Cafeteria.  They can be purchased for $10.00 – cash or checks written out to NVHS will be accepted.”

It is admirable to raise funds for the cheerleaders. But I am surprised at this choice of words for the t-shirt. Does excellence in sport have to come through war cries? Why cannot such a t-shirt just encourage the home team to excel? Wouldn’t a “Go Neuqua!”or  “Neuqua is the best” do?

Seems like a small matter.. but this is how our children slowly get brainwashed into aggression, never able to appreciate others, always putting oneself first. I am guessing such tactics start even much younger.

Competition, the wise say, is always with yourself. The world we have created says differently.


Little fish in the mighty river

You said,
“Follow the course of the river”

I am still a little fish
Learning to swim in the ocean of life.

I swim merrily
In the still waters at your feet.
Knowing in my heart that
When turbulence hits
I can take refuge
At the abode of my Guru.

Far from this haven
Where the river throws torrents,
Currents and whirlpools
This fish may not survive.

Until my fins grow strong
Please keep me safe and calm.
That is all I pray for.

How a bangle becomes a benediction

Guru’s grace flows everywhere.
Still, looking everywhere but at Him,
I had clogged its entry into my heart
Through His own grace,
the clog cleared.

As His grace shone, I found
He became my all.
Various verses on guru,
previously only poetic chants
shone as self experience.

I held onto Him tightly
as fears melted and joy arose.
Still, the clogs made their insistent appearance.
As life’s pinpricks took monstrous sizes
And emotions created havoc,
the grace seemed to disappear.

With compassion, Guru gave
A gross reminder for me,
who is still tied to this gross body.
His advice to wear a bangle
seemed not to make sense.
Until I realized,
it is no longer a bangle,
but a benediction.

When the waves throw me around,
The bangle is a life saving rope
That will bring me back safe
To the one true home
To my Guru’s feet.

Nagalinga tree – divinity everywhere

In the middle of all the destruction/construction happening in Chennai, where large bungalows with very old trees are making way for boxy apartment complexes with barely any greenery, one tree has survived the axe. Why? This tree, called aptly as Nagalinga tree, is a vivid reminder of divinity – the flowers are a unerring depiction of a Shiva linga resting under the hood of a thousand-headed snake. (naga – meaning snake and linga – a popular symbol of Shiva)

photo 2 (1) photo 1 (1)

There are many of these trees struggling too close to compound walls, yet they thrive. In its namesake park, the Nageshwara Park (“Snake Lord”), Mylapore, it stands in lieu of a temple. People coming in for morning walks step out of their sneakers, tenderly touch the tree and place their palms on their eyes, before going on their laps.

The flowers are so much in demand that devout mamas in the apartment wake up earlier and earlier to grab more than their share of these flowers for their morning poojas. My father is the current reigning champion managing to step out at 3am to get the choicest flowers!!

So, atleast until there is some devotion in the population, it is safe to say this tree will survive extinction!

Inexplicable wonder – the guru tattva

Everybody says you are
A human form. A man.
A friendly person. A learned one.
So simple. So humble.
Always smiling and compassionate.
That you are.

I have found what you are.
And that is totally inexplicable.
It is a wonder beyond words.

A wonder that shines through
Life’s darkening clouds
As well as the glitter and glam.

A wonder that sits within
Still amid turbulence
Blissful amid sorrow.

A wonder that is so effulgent
That mind is pulled back
To witness this brightness
After every thought that goes out.

How can one as lowly as me
Have even a glimpse
Into such wonder?
Its not my effort.
It is only immeasurable grace.
That has poured on me.
I want to stay drenched for ever.

Crows vs Hamsapakshi

My Guru,
You are the tattva darshinah
The One that knows
The One thing to be known.

We are the Ones
That know a bit of this and bit of that
All irrelevant, all useless.

Yet, like screeching crows
Which shriek when they find
A piece of rotten food
We caw caw, we boast.

This habit has to die
This screeching has to stop.
The only power to quell it
Has to come from your silence.