Posts tagged hinduism

Alan Watts – Guru, Scoundrel or ‘Spiritual Entertainer’?

I’ve been listening to more Alan Watts recently and stumbled across this old post that you may enjoy. Does it matter that our spiritual guru’s are rascals? Or does it just make them more endearing and human. More real?

Riding effortlessly on a large green turtle

‘There was a young man who said Dan, for it certainly seems I am, a creature that moves in determinate grooves, I’m not even a bus I’m a tram.’ 

Alan Watts is a man who has taught me much, giving me insight and inspiration and always a good laugh.  Although he died in the early ’70’s his legacy lives on in his many books, recordings and the seemingly endless clips on Youtube.

Alan’s words deeply resonate with me, he was a man who didn’t seem to take himself or life too seriously.  I am always heartened by his mischievous belly laugh, which for me, was an integral part of his appeal (and teachings!).

Under a Thai Sun, Prachuap Kiri Khan, Thailand

By his own admission, Alan was a ‘spiritual entertainer’; but he was surely being modest, he was much more than that to so many folk.  He was a scholar who…

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Sweet Child on the Road

Oh Atman! Oh soul!
Sweet child on the road.

Oh mother who feeds
Her family with peace.

Oh father in sky,
Can’t you hear the lowly cry?

Oh truth, oh lies
All unfolding in time.

Oh existence, oh knowledge,
Oh bliss absolute.

Oh teacher, great silence,
So loving and wise.

Oh yoga, dissolution,
Ascend material resolution.

Oh guru, pure light,
Resting easy at your side.

Oh wisdom in life
So many ways to delight.

Oh death, take me home,
Leave with grace these skin and bones.

Oh Atman! Oh soul!
Forever love this mortal stone.

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Savitri – Sri Aurobindo

I recently visited Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India for the second time, a place I find deeply inspiring.  Auroville is a community envisaged by the sage Sri Aurobindo, a place free of binds to nations or corporations.  A work in progress, a place that strives to embody a new society based on sound ethics and virtue, a positive vision of how we could live in various degrees of harmony.  

I had not read Aurobindos poetry until recently and when I did, felt deeply moved by the potency and diversity of his work. Here are two small exerts from Savitri, regarded by many as his most profound and essential writing.

 

“and he saw like one walking into a dream

some timeless beauty and reality,

the moon-gold sweetness of heaven’s

earth-born child.”

“a few can climb to an unperishing sun,

or live on the edge of the mystic moon

and channel to earth-mind the

wizard way.”

“The two longing to join, yet walk apart,

Idly divided by their vain conceits;

They are kept from their oneness by enchanted fears;

Sundered mysteriously by miles of thought,

They gaze across the silent gulfs of sleep.”

“A marvellous sun looked down from ecstasy’s skies

On worlds of deathless bliss, perfection’s home,

Magical unfoldings of the Eternal’s smile

Capturing his secret heart-beats of delight.”

Namastex

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The Poetry of the Bauls

Bauls, the wandering mystics and minstrels of Bengal. Their branch of thought pre-dates even the Rig Vedas; for me their poetry and songs evoke all that is magical about India.

My soul cries out,
caught in the snare of beauty
of the formless one,

As I cry myself,
Night and day,
Beauty amassed before my eyes,
Surpasses moons and suns.

If I look at the clouds in the sky,
I see his beauty afloat.
And I see him walk on the stars,
Blazing within my heart.

I am returning to India in early January and ‘Riding effortlessly……’ will switch from a mainly poetry based blog to being a mainly travelling poetry blog.

Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas time and prosperous New OneX

 

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Some Thoughts on Yoga and Yoga Asana


Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. (B.K.S. Iyengar)

Teach what is in you, not as it applies to you, to yourself, but as it applies to the other. (T. Krishnamacharya)

Before you’ve practised, the theory is useless. After you’ve practised, the theory is obvious.

Crave for a thing, you will get it. Renounce the craving and the object will follow you by itself. (Swami Sivananda)

The difference between yoga and bodybuilders is that bodybuilders have a body of a bull and the heart of gazelle – and yogis the heart of a bull and the body of a gazelle. (Sri Kartakeya)

Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have. (Swami Chidananda)

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds:
Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be. (Patanjali)

The pose begins when you want to leave it.

Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked. (Yoga Sutras)

In the lamp of the heart; put the oil of dispassion, insert the wick of devotion, and kindle the light of knowledge, by constant meditation; The darkness of ignorance will be dispelled and you will be fully illumined. (Swami Sivananda)

Do your practice, the rest is coming. (Patthabi Jois)

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Happy Diwali – The Festival of Lights

Today is Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. Although it is much more than that. Diwali is a five day festival with each day having a different significance.

Diwali is celebrated by millions (maybe billions!) all over the world, and tonight clay lamps will be lit and fireworks will be let loose; keeping evil spirits at bay. Diwali is huge and even a national holiday in Trinidad and Tobago.

Krishna fighting the Narakasuras

My first memories of Diwali were at school and being brought up in Leicester, England.  A county where Hinduism is now the main religion.  Many of my friends were Hindus and Diwali seemed to mean as much as Christmas at my school.  We made small clay lamps and filled them with butter, we went down to the huge street parties in Leicester centre and enjoyed the sweets and vibrancy of it all.

Diwali translates to something like ‘row of lamps’, the festival embodies the triumph of good over evil, symbolised by Krishna battling the Narakasura’s army (see picture above).  In India, it marks the end of the harvest in most areas and prayers are offered for the coming harvest.  This is a very similar sentiment to Samhain, the Celtic Festival, which would have been celebrated around this time, although the Roman Catholic Church changed the date to 1st November.   Essentially Samhain is a festival for the dead, a time when the door to the otherworld is open and spirits may wander this world.

It is worth noting that drinking alcohol has always been part of the Samhain mythology, I shall be enjoying a few ales this evening with my father and celebrating both of these festivals.  I embrace both equally, the festival of light and of dark and the inner space in which they both dwell.

Cú Chulain going into battle in the Táin Bó Cúailnge, which is said to begin on Samhain.

Wishing you all fertile times aheadx

“Who is there to take up my duties?” asked the setting sun,

“I shall do what I can my Master” said the earthen lamp.

Rabindrath Tagore

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Strange Desires

Out of the wild woods,

The moon rose.

Out of her breast,

Rage on

Without remorse;

Recourse.

 

Love your mother

Young pearl diver

Of the bottomless blue.

When fresh winds call;

Release the

Poems of your heart,

As doves, watch them go.

 

Where whispers fall as

Strange desires,

Speak of this sight

And this alone.

 

In the mornings love

Of beginning,

Your lover sings

Of life’s young spring

And her womb

Is fecund with

New love and old.

 

Soft wind kissed,

But not woeful,

There is no shame

To seek;

Chain-less.

And feigning innocence.

 

I strap my limbs

To the cause,

I hide in caves

As the planets battle

For supremacy of the sky,

Wandering around graves

In circular patterns.

Fit to drop

Into red rivers,

Way past

This worlds end.

 

Something calls

And tugs

At the heart’s shadow

And somehow,

Things unseen mean more.

 

The carnival

Is just beginning.

 

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