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Meditation, Sightseeing, Love and Partiality

Discussion in 'Wednesdays with Varalotti' started by varalotti, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Meditation Sight Seeing, Love and Partiality

    All my attempts to prayer and meditation were grand failures. My mind will remain very calm and still all through the day, till I sit down for just a few minutes of meditation. As if on clue, my mind will start its journey on the fastest steed.

    One second it will be thinking about the blunder I had committed in my client’s tax returns that day and the next second it will be happily ogling a beautiful lady I had met several years ago. Then it will switch over to the money worries, and fly over to Allan Watts’ book I had read several years ago.

    The meditation books and the Masters repeatedly assured me that it will be like this to start with. Soon my mind will be in my control, they thundered. But I never crossed that “to start with” stage.

    One day in exasperation I abandoned all attempts to meditate and intent on breathing fresh air and looking at people, I took a ride on my motorcycle. Soon I was on the main road. The motorcycle was running on top gear.

    The rhythmic sound of the pistons going in and coming out of the cylinders, the moderately congested Tallakulam Area, the laid back atmosphere very typical of <st1:city><st1:place>Madurai</st1:place></st1:city> – all these conjured to create a magic in me. I and my bike were one and the same.

    I could not pin-point where my boundaries ended and those of the motorcycle started. It was the I-Bike entity moving all on its own. My mind was unusually calm and soon I realised that I was meditating.

    After this experience I started to go on bike-rounds quite often. But on 99 out of 100 occasions there was no meditation. Just sight-seeing. But whenever meditation happened (I did not cause it) it was complete.

    Then I tried the slokas route. I used to get a lot of them by heart and religiously recite them in the Puja Room. I remember in 1977 some astrologer had warned my father that I will be going through a very bad period of about two and a half years.

    And the prescription that was given to me was to recite Kolaru Thiruppathikam, Saneeswara Sthotram and Hanuman Sthuthi.

    Whatever astrologer predicted happened. It was far worse that we all feared. My adoptive father died. We were caught in a legal case concerning the family’s agricultural lands. There were visits to courts, tehsildar offices and police stations.

    The only peaceful time of the day will be my sloka chanting time around six in the evening. The moment I finish chanting, my father will take me to some lawyers office for some discussion or to a Government Official’s house for the next move and we will come back home late in the night. Many times we did not even have the money to pay our lawyers. The slokas really helped; but for them I would have lost my sanity.

    But there was a serious drawback.Once you know the slokas by heart the mind switches the recitation to autopilot and goes on its loafing expeditions.

    Then later in life I took to the study of scriptures – particularly The Gita and The Upanishads. I even tried to read Yoga Vashistam in English. But one thing I found out was that all these things were purely intellectual pursuits and served only to harden my ego, which was already pretty hard. I learnt pretty fast how to look down upon people.

    After giving a few lectures on Gita and Sankara’s works my mind was at the peak of its arrogance. Any pride kills joy. But spiritual pride is the worst of all. It kills everything that is spiritual in us. I got out of it before it was too late.

    Religion is basically about love. It is about the imperfect, selfish, ulterior love we have for the Alladin’s Genie which we mistakenly call as God. It is more about the perfect, self-less and blemishless love the real God has for each one of us. Let me cite some instances of such love.

    Nammazhwar while describing God tells us that he ஈடும் எடுப்புமில் ஈசன் He does not discriminate among His devotees. The Great God does not prefer any of us to the other. Nor does he love any one more than any other. (எள்கள் இராகம் இலாதான்)
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2007
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Re: “Your Religion? Money!” – The Lamentations of An Accountant! II

    We all know that He has the same treatment for the rich and the poor, the mighty and the weak, for King and the beggar. But Her (I mean God’s) love is so great that She does not even distinguish between Her devotees and atheists. It will be absurd to think that God loves Her devotees more and hates those who do not believe in Her. To me, that would be the worst form of blasphemy, as we are lowering Her stature to that of a fool surrounded by sycophants.

    ”But I find His devotees generally happier than those who do not believe in God? The psychologists are unanimous that the Believers generally enjoy better mental health? Is that not a kind of favourtisim?”

    A friend opposed my point of view.

    “No my friend.” I countered. “It is not what God gives. It’s people’s own making. God’s love is there for every one to enjoy. Visualise this situation. Food is made available in infinitely large quantities; but is kept in a large vessel for every one to see. Some go and fill up their plates. Some take very little. Some do not go near the vessel at all. Now can you say the host discrimnates between his guests?”

    You might have heard of the fable The Prodigal Son. Out of the two sons, a father has, the younger one falls into wrong company, fights with his father, gets his share of wealth and goes away. The elder son is faithful to his father and stays with him.

    That does not mean that the father loves the younger son less and the elder one, more. When the younger son returns to his father as a penniless beggar, the father hugs him and takes him into his fold. The elder son seeing this is a little upset. That attitude is shared by most of us who believe in God. We want God to punish, to kill, to maim the atheists. We are upset when the atheist also receives His blessing.

    But if God were to partial to those who love him then he is no God. His love is universal. His love for the man who breaks his statues and burns his pictures is no less than His love for the man who spends all the time praying before his statue or picture. That is why Nammazhwar adorns Him, “ ஈடும் எடுப்புமில் ஈசன்

    Eisenhower after winning many victories for America returned home a national hero. His mother was interviewed by the press. She had five sons of whom Eisenhower was one.

    A reporter asked her, “How do you feel about your son’s success?”

    She asked him: ‘Which of my five sons are you referring to?”

    Please remember God’s love towards each one of us is several billion times greater than the love of Eisenhower’s mother who simply did not know to show more favours to one of her sons, though the rest of the world was doing that.
     
  3. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,
    I remember reading this yesterday under another heading and posted a good reply too.....now i am wondering where that disappeared?:bangcomp:
    Of late dont know whats happening, i am not getting email notifications too....i am lost....and there seems to be no technical problems on both sides!
    Oh god, now i have to start lamenting.....
    And i thought i has replied so well and spontaneously yesterday!
    well lets see if it will pop back again, if not will reply again.....:cry:
     
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  4. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sudha,
    This came under the same heading as the earlier post Your Religion Money.. Then I thought that the topic was a little confusing and ILites were confused between this week's post and the previous week's post.
    So I requested Admin to change the name of the thread.

    But if you had written a reply I would have got it in my mail. Or may be it got lost somewhere. Probably it was not destined that I should read it. ha ha

    Even if your reply pops up else where in the site, let me know.

    regards,
     
  5. Gem

    Gem New IL'ite

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    Dear Varalotti,
    It was enlightening to read your article. (I thought I was the only one having problems with a restless mind and meditation. It is a relief that I am not alone.)

    I too had a tough time meditating. My mind runs riots and the thoughts, if not careful, lead me astray. I did much reading to get an answer and everywhere I turned the arrow directed me to meditation (this was some years back).

    So I went for meditation classes. I must have been the only student with a belligerent mind. Everybody else’s seemed to listen to instructions.
    The more I tried to meditate the more my thoughts zoomed in on to my blunders, problems, past actions, people who had hurt me, people I had hurt, and even my future. Slowly I stopped the classes. But I am not one to give up easily. So I continued trying it at home – didn’t work either. Frustration crept in. Finally I gave up. I felt like a failure.

    But surprisingly, I felt a load taken off my shoulders once I stopped trying hard.

    I like going for walks. I love listening to Tamil and Hindi songs. So one day I started combining both - walking and listening to songs (walkman). Boy, did my mind calm down! I enjoyed the walks - listening to my favourite songs, watching the birds, the flowers, the clouds, children playing… My mind felt at peace. I think that was when I was closest to what is called meditation.

    However, I abandoned this beautiful habit due to other demands in my life -family and work (and sometimes sheer laziness). Reading your article has inspired me again. Thank you.

    Recently, writing too has brought much peace to my restless and wandering mind.
     
  6. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Gem,

    As your name implies that was really a gem of a piece of writing. You seem to echo my feelings and my thoughts on this tricky subject.

    Our minds (I mean people like Varalotti and Gem; there are those who can at the drop of their hats, drop in to an hour long meditation) are not designed to sit alone and savour the calmness; it is made to enjoy the world, beautiful songs, works of literature, or just people, or the natural scenery.

    After ages and ages of experience I have come to define meditation as the time when we completely forget ourselves. Where we start doing an act and suddenly the doer vanishes and what remains is just the act doing itself. I have this experience when working on a complex tax problem, when writing a story, at times when just idling around the city in the bike, the engine running at its optimal speed.

    I see that writing is bringing you peace and quietitude. Start writing. Post in this site, in all the forums. May your meditative moments be shared by us all. Best of luck.
    regards,
     
  7. Gem

    Gem New IL'ite

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    Dear Varalotti,
    Thank you for your reply.
    Yes, what you wrote rings true. You wrote,‘After ages and ages of experience I have come to define meditation as the time when we completely forget ourselves. Where we start doing an act and suddenly the doer vanishes and what remains is just the act doing itself. I have this experience when working on a complex tax problem, when writing a story, at times when just idling around the city in the bike, the engine running at its optimal speed.’

    I can see clearly now that when I am engaged in doing the things that I love I am peaceful; my mind is quieter.

    Not all the prescribed methods work the same way for all the people. We have to find one that suits our nature/psyche. Thank you for pointing out that. I needed that.

    Thank you too for those encouraging words. I am not that very bold yet but will start writing more to IL’s threads (I have posted some replies to some threads like this one).
    But if I say I enjoy reading IL’s threads, it would be an understatement. I get so immersed in the writings of marvellous writers I have discovered in IL – Ambika, Janani, Sharada, Chitra, Kamla, Cheeniya, Sunkan, Mrs Pushpa, Pankaja, Sudha, you and so many others [​IMG] .

    Mere words are not enough to praise the vibrant, colourful,entertaining and enlightening masterpieces. Many of them make such enormous impact! Just awesome.

    Warm regards,
    Gem
     
  8. Bhugan

    Bhugan New IL'ite

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    Dear Varalotti
    I enjoyed reading this article and was greatly relieved to know that i'm not the lone person who finds it hard to meditate. I too tried difft ways but always i was back to square one. But once i had a difft experience , when i went to see a practitioner in Ojas foundation ,he tried explaining about the merits of meditation and the advantages of it i tried telling him all what he was preaching me i know it myself so in what way he wld help me, he said "when u come to me u come with a bag of coins worth Rs500/- but when u leave my place i just give Rs500/- as a single note instead. I was quite floored by that answer and fm then on when ever i want to meditate i think of his words and tell myself that i can achieve the impossible.
    bhugan
     

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