Friday, April 25, 2008

A potful of Rasam and a spoonful of advaita.

Sri gurubhyo namaha.

Its fascinating how 'normal' 'everyday' things and activities are great revealers of Advaita vedanta. Yes, no mistake there, you read it right. Common things and much repeated actions reveal the essence and the beauty of the most subtle Advaita vedanta. May I add, to one who is ready for such a revelation, as an afterthought?

With the hours in each day not enough to 'fit' all the things that I do in to each day as it is, I realise that it would be simply impossible for me to cook my lunch in the mornings. I decided to cook something (like a rasam) the night before which could just be added to freshly made rice in the morning. This would be a good solution, after all Basmati takes just seven or eight minutes to cook. So, I began cooking in the night for the reward of fine food the next day! I had already eaten my dinner and my hunger was satisfied as a result. Cooking when not hungry or cooking with a full stomach felt quite strange. There was no 'fire' in the process and I simply was not as involved with the process as I normally would have been. I realised that it was perhaps the fact that my stomach was full, there was no hunger, so the motivation to cook was totally muffled. Thinking about this a couple of minutes, I soon became aware of the similarity between our life the way we live it and the process of cooking when one's stomach was full.

Almost all our life is spent in the pursuit of happiness and pleasure, yet we hold an inexhaustible bounty of this happiness within us. The atman or the self who is the very embodiment of the Supreme Brahman is forever in the nature of Bliss. It (self) experiences nothing but this supreme ananda. Actually, even this bliss is not an 'experience' of the self - it is the very nature of the self. With the prize within me at all times I am still engaged in a senseless pursuit of 're experiencing' this happiness through things outside of me. I imagine and hope and try to find this happiness through wife, through work (karma), through family and children, through cake,through cannabis, through entanglement, through entertainment..........I try everywhere to find the echo of this happiness calling my name as I call out for it. I began the pursuit when I was just born and I am still searching! One might imagine that one will eventually tire of this wild goose chase, but wonder of wonders, each morning finds me awake and ready to go through this yet again!

I am like the musk deer. Wandering all over the forest desperately trying to find the source of this unexplainable scent, this incredible smell that is verily the olfactory equivalent of its soul, its very essence. The musk deer I am - searching every bush, scrub and tree in the forest,forever sniffing at everything, in vain. The thing responsible for this incredible smell, the musk, is hidden deep inside the deers being. In the musk pods- the gland that produces this musk which is inside the deer. In a similar fashion, the happiness I hunt through everything else, the bliss that I seek everywhere else, is actually at all times emanating from somewhere deep within my being.

Every night as I lie sleeping in the deep sleep state called sushupti, awareness of every kind is lost. All processes of cognition and mentation stop. And in that deep sleep the 'I' is aware of nothing. But on waking the next morning, the 'I' is aware that it had a bliss full sleep. This experience of bliss is the very nature of ones being. It is completely independent of anything else. The total shutting down of all my internal processes by this deep sleep makes this ever present 'ananda' state feeleable as every other kind of feeling and cognitive process is stilled. Intimately aware as I am of this state of bliss (I sleep every night. Have always done.), I don't seem to realise that it has nothing to do with anything outside.

I go on my whole life with a belly full, and still intent on cooking for the next meal. I have done it so long that its now an unconscious process. Focused as I am on the next meal, I have forgotten that I am not hungry. I have forgotten that I am never hungry.

The boiling rasam brings me back to my 'senses' from the advaita cloud.


Anonymous said...

Yup, we are not ready to relinquish control - afraid life will head straight to the pits.
I need to see the gurantee,warranty before i sign the dotted line ;-)

- K

mooligai sidhan said...

sri gurubhyo namaha.
Relinquish control?Of what? What may I ask is in your control that you need to relinquish? And does being in the 'drivers seat' so to speak ensure life does not head straight to the pits?
There is no warranty,there is no dotted line, there is no signature.There is nothing - really!

mooligai sidhan said...

@ K (again)
Re reading my reply to your comment I want to make it clear its not me being stand offish!! Its advaita:)
We imagine we are in control. We imagine there is even something in the first place to control. When the distinction between the controller and the controled is realised to be imagined (and unreal),then non duality takes root.
It is the essence of gradually diminishing the boundary between things until there is no perimeter or boundary of any sort.Nirantara (LS nama)is an expansion of this concept.Due an elaborate post on that someday.