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Worshiping the manifest Godhead ( Sagun Brahma), the visualized divinity, one with form, the Image, the Avatar, the Prophet, the ‘Son of God’, the conceivable, both on the spiritual plane and the physical one – is given preference in the Gita over contemplating or worshiping the Unmanifest Godhead ( Nirguna Brahma – the absolute without characteristics), because for an embodied being ( like us) the worship of the Unmanifest or formless is explained as being both difficult and troubling. The tenor of tolerance for all forms of worship, however is in clear evidence in the Gita.

However, the worship of divinity with form in the shape of Krishna ( Avatar) or the numerous gods of the Hindu pantheon, or for that matter elsewhere, have clear sanction without denying worship or contemplation of the formless as equally legitimate, if more difficult. While some faiths allow one or the other, the Gita permits both, but prefers a representation with form for worshipers who have physical form themselves and can mainly comprehend and relate to a God with form.

                                QUOTES  FROM  THE  GITA

”Those who, fixing their minds on Me, worship Me with perpetual devotion, endowed with supreme faith – them do I consider most perfect in the rule.”

”But those who worship the Imperishable, the Indefinable, the Unmanifested, the Omnipresent, the Unthinkable, the Unchangeable  the Immovable, the Eternal; having restrained all their senses, even minded everywhere, rejoicing in the welfare of all beings – win to Me also.”

Greater is their difficulty whose minds are set on the Unmanifested, for the goal of the Unmanifested is very hard for the embodied to reach.”

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Photo Credit: waytogomedia.com

 

There are patterns everywhere. In my mind, there a  a pattern of thought. In the seed, a pattern of growth. In the solar system a pattern of circulation. In the elements, atomic patterns. Mammals have a pattern of suckling, birds of laying eggs, lizards of slithering, plants of rooting, flowers of coloring.

The snow crystal has a striking design. The sugar crystal repeats the same pattern. The British is pastel and lace, the French, perfume and chiffon, the Indian a riot of symbols, the Chinese, pagodas and green tea, the Japanese bow and karate. You have your own style of holding and gesturing. Europeans abstain from using the tips of their fingers in gestures designed to be dexterous and utilitarian, Indians insist on the tips as in the ‘Mudras’ of their dance. The grocer artfully drops his sale with a flourish into a brown paper bag. The fascinating fingers of the sales woman on the key board of her cash box, the tellers reflexive counting of bank notes, the conductors flitting musical staff, the different patterns of acknowledgement, denial, culture.

The law of the land, crystallized pattern; physical and natural laws inflexible pattern; dogma and ideology, firm pattern;  genetic growth, unerring pattern; seasons, designs, repetitive patterns; systems, solar or circulatory, circular patterns; fashions and vehicles, changing patterns; birth, death, rise and fall, graphical patterns; progress and development, evolving patterns; language and writing, expressive patterns; logic and symmetry, mathematical patterns; character and personality, individual patterns; finger prints, chromosomes, unique patterns; policy and strategy, directional patterns; style and panache, sophisticated patterns; war and weaponry, destructive patterns; literature and art, creative patterns.

Patterns surround us, are with us, emanate from us. Our wisdom grows as we learn to recognize and assimilate patterns. As we learn of the more obvious visual patterns, we begin to gauge the less obvious ones and as our sensitivity to patterns develops, we begin to comprehend hidden and more subtle patterns till we are so full of patterns that we generate a unique pattern of our own, in an act of creativity.

The patterns that envelop us must arise from some more creative source, even as our own arise from us. At the centre of the Universe an inconceivably creative force must send out the patterns that govern the universe, introducing shades of colours, timbres of sound, aromas of smell, depths of feeling and a range of tastes – countless patterns radiating to fill creation with order, dispelling tha vacuous anarchy of nothingness, infusing and instructing pattern into the paternless, dispelling nihility, vacuity and emptiness with the infusion of pattern, allowing new space and dimension for more patterns, overtaking disorder with purpose, disciplining, ordering, making reliable and more predictable, through the patterns of creation.

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Photo Credit: cogmobblog.wordpress.com

 

 

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cREDIT: ISKCON

 

Externally divinity is ubiquitous, in every atom of creation and internally it is situated within as the Indweller, the soul. Recognition of this leads to an attitude of Sam Darshana or Same-sightedness, the understanding that every individual and every facet of creation is imbued with innate divinity. Therefore every individual, creature and aspect of creation has to be honoured and treated with respect and consideration. One should therefore apply the same norms to others which one wishes for oneself. While our world looks diverse, in essence it is one grand unity in apparent diversity.

 

 QUOTES FROM THE GITA 

 

”He sees, who sees the Supreme Lord, remaining the same in all beings, the imperishable in the perishable.”

”The knowledge by which the one Imperishable Being is seen in all existence, undivided in the divided, know that, that knowledge is Satvik ( true).”

”But that knowledge by which one sees in all beings manifold entities of different kinds varying from one another – know that, that knowledge is Rajsik ( confused arising from egoism).”

”And that knowledge by which one believes that a single life is all there is, which with its unreasoning and trivial view sees not the cause, or the external reality, that knowledge is Tamsik ( false arising from ignorance ).”

”They rise above this transitory existence whose minds abide in the sense of equality, for Brahman is unblemished and the same in all, such people become established in Brahman.”

”His mind being harmonized in Yoga, he sees himself in all beings and all beings in himself; he sees the same in all.”

”He who sees Me  everywhere and sees all in Me, he never becomes lost to Me, nor do I become lost to him.”

”That Yogi, O Arjun, is regarded as the supreme, who judges pleasure and pain everywhere by the same yardstick he applies to himself.”

Behold now, O Gudakesh ( one who has conquered sleep – Arjun), the whole universe of the moving and the unmoving, joined together as one in my body and whatever else you desire to see.”

There in the body of the God of gods, Pandava then beheld the whole universe, in its manifest diversity, drawn together into one.”

”He is undivided and yet He seems divided in beings. He is to be known as the supporter of beings. He devours and He generates.”.

 

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Credit: ISKCON

 

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From my earlier posts we are already familiar with the universal prohibitions arising from the nature of the Tithi ( Hindu Lunar day), the daily Chaughadias ( hourly change in auspicious and inauspicious phases of the day) eclipses etc. The longer term prohibitions become more significant as they affect Hindu social life and commercial activity over extended periods as contrasted with the shorter term prohibitions which pass quickly from hour to hour or Lunar day to Lunar day. These prohibitions relate to ‘universal effects’ as contrasted with ‘individual effects’ which are the concern of the horoscope of an individual or sometimes of a national unit.These universal prohibitions, applicable to all are governed by the following astrological or astronomical events:

DAKSHINAYAN

The fundamental precept of long-term prohibitions arise from the belief that when the Sun is in Uttarayan (Norther swing) moving from the tropic of Capricorn to the tropic of Cancer, it is an auspicious time  as the Sun becomes stronger and empowered with every passing day. The commencement of this process is marked by the great festival of Makar Sakranti ( entry of the Sun into Capricorn) mid January, with great rejoicing, kite flying and feeding cattle around town. When the Sun is in Dakshinayan ( southern swing) moving from Cancer to Capricorn, its rays grow weaker, losing power and the time is less auspicious. This is marked by Kark Sakranti ( entry into Cancer), mid July. If this were strictly observed or enforced, no auspicious activity like marriage, inauguration of temples , entry into a new home, ceremonial tonsure of a child’s hair, coronation or assumption of important office etc etc  would be astrologically recommended during a six month period during each year. Fortunately, relief has been provided in the month of Margsheesh ( November-December) but only till the Sun enters Sagittarius ( Dhanu Sakranti) in mid-December when the prohibition becomes total as in this month the Sun is at its weakest in the year.  This period is called the Malmas, the dark month.The prohibition ends with Makar Sakranti and suddenly there are marriages everywhere once again. Even a former Governor of Rajasthan state waited till Makar Sakranti before assuming office.

SHRAAD

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Soon after the Dakshinayan phase commences, come the further prohibitions on account of Shraad. These are observances which are not festive but equally essential. We are said to be born with two types of obligations: debts to the gods ( Dev Rinn) and those to the ancestors ( Pitri Rinn). Dev Rinns are discharged through prayer and ritual and the first half of every day is for that. Pitri Rinn is discharged through ritual observances for ancestors and the latter half of the day is appropriate for that. Both are to be undertaken with the Sun as witness, therefore preferably between sunrise and sunset.

The Shraads commence with the full-moon of the month of Bhadrapad and end with the no-moon of the month of Ashwin, generally falling in the month of September each year, prior to the Sharad ( Winter) Navratra ( discussed in the post on fasts). This is a fortnight during the year which is reserved for deceased ancestors. Ancestors include three generations of parents, grandparents and great grand parents and uncles, aunts and siblings who have no progeny other than yourself to honour them. That which is done with Shraddha, faith, is Shraad. During the Shraads all other auspicious and festive events are prohibited. Each of the fifteen Shraad days is dedicated to the ancestor who died on that Tithi. Prayers and offerings to ancestors consist of preparations of rice, lentil and milk and the favourite food of that ancestor if known and then distributed to five beings – a cow, a crow, a dog, ants and a beggar – called the Panch Gras. Thereafter Brahmins are fed. This upholds an ancient tradition of feeding all manner of beings before consuming ones righteous repast. Through the mouths of these beings the ancestors are satisfied and honoured. mahalaya-ama-nIt is believed that the ancestors are permitted to visit the mortal world from their realms as spirits during this period to observe whether they are still loved and remembered. Most people observe these rituals meticulously as it is believed that one will be blessed with progeny and they will be assured long life and a successful career only if the ancestors thus honoured bless the family. The principle is that you are only entitled to future generations if you care to remember and honour your past generations – sounds quite logical.

DEVSHAYAN

images (9)Growing up in an Indian home one often hears the remark ‘sorry we can’t celebrate the wedding for the next few months, the god’s are asleep’. This was always intriguing. how possibly did the gods go to sleep? Of course one was familiar with the strict timings observed in temples when the gods awaken in the morning to the chanting of Mantras and the afternoons when the curtains are drawn or gates closed when they are resting, bathing or being presented with offerings of food. The timing for worship and divine audience  Darshan, was fixed in the morning and evening hours. If you came at the wrong time your worship would be without viewing the deity of the temple. Thus one was familiar with the concept of divine rest periods. But the prolonged rest for months on end in the lunar calendar was another matter and once again had stellar origins.

The period of divine rest or inactivity falls between two Ekadashis ( eleventh Tithis). Beginning with the Ekadashi in the Indian month of Ashad, Shukla Paksh ( lunar ascending phase), falling generally in June-July, it extends to the Ekadashi falling in the month of Kartik, Shukla Paksh. The first Ekadashi is popularly known as Devshayan Ekadashi ( Divine rest Ekadashi), signalling commencement of Devshayan Dosh (divine inactivity affliction) and the second one is called Devauthni Ekadashi ( Divine awakening Ekadashi) signalling end of the afflicted months.

Hindu-God Vishnu imageAs the Devshayan Dosh runs more or less concurrently with the Dakshinayan, the prohibition becomes strengthened further and no one dares to breach it by arranging any auspicious activity then. After the Devuthni Ekadashi, cities in India suddenly spring to life for a month, squeezing in a spate of marriages and events. Roads become so crowded with marriage processions and bridegrooms on horseback and elephants moving with their dancing and singing entourages that traffic happily comes to a standstill, unless of course you have to take a flight or a train. Mass marriages are also the order of the day for people of humbler means.

MALMAS

A month later, despite the prohibition arising from ‘divine rest’ having been lifted, another prohibition arises on account of the Sun entering Sagittarius and once again there is a complete lull on the Hindu social calendar. The entire sub-continent pauses till the Sun leaves Sagittarius and enters Capricorn on Makar Sakranti when its Uttarayan phase begins. Then all is well again for another six months, though short-term prohibitions do crop up from time to time. the Pundit is your trusted guide through all this. The question arises why the Sun’s entry into Sagittarius is deemed unfortunate. Of course the obvious explanation is that it is the month in the year when it is the least empowered having moved to its southernmost point and therefore inauspicious. But there is also a mythological basis for Malmas being inauspicious.

Jupiter, lord of Sagittarius, is the divine mentor and Guru of the demigods. When a royal personage, like the Sun enters the abode of his Guru, he must humbly conduct himself as a disciple and assume a lower seat from him, which he does not find pleasant. This causes him discomfort and being thus reduced in stature he is not his radiant self and in such a state cannot be expected to confer auspiciousness on celebrations. Marriages therefore are avoided during this period. also deferred are important trading and commercial transactions. Indeed, the Indian stock market itself is affected by these distant and invisible cosmic events and it is only after Malmas has passed that the stock market assumes full momentum again.

  Once, being in a hurry I installed a statue of my father in the village square at considerable cost with a stone carved canopy, despite warnings by the Pundits. Within days I was informed that a wayward truck had hit the canopy and that it had shattered, though the statue only suffered minor damage as it too was toppled to the ground. Could have been an unfortunate co-incidence – who knows? 

While the presence of a visible Full-Moon engendering a feeling of auspiciousness and a clearly visible eclipse or transit of a comet arousing fear and being interpreted as evil, may be understandable, the occurrence of a cosmic event which is not visible and can only be known through calculation of movement of the Sun affecting something as mundane and material as the stock market is most remarkable and shows the dominant influence of stellar phenomena on Indian culture and civilization. One cannot escape the feeling that India invisibly reels under a stellar spell.

ADHIKMAS

The third major prohibition period is the additional  month which we saw had to be inserted within  a month in the lunar calendar every three years. Generally Adhikmas ( additional month) falls in late summer or monsoons and therefore in the period of Dakshinaya and the Devshayan, thus not creating an additional period of prohibition but this may not always be so, when the prohibition period would grow even longer than it is. Apart from the prohibition of marriages, during this month, the scriptures  demand that one prays more, fasts, sleeps on the floor, eats only once a day and is charitable.

JUPITER IN LEO

The entry of Jupiter in Leo is another signal for prohibitions. Again we go back to the relationship of Jupiter and the Sun in Indian lore. As the Guru of the Indian Olympus enters Leo, abode of the Sun, the Sun begins to feel the same discomfort having to act deferentially to his Guru and marriages are once again avoided during Jupiter’s sojourn in Leo. However as this would mean no marriages for a whole year because that is the period that slow-moving Jupiter remains in the Sign, the Pundits have found a way out of this impossible prohibition by restricting it to a shorter duration when Jupiter enters a segment of three degrees of Leo from 13 degrees 20 minutes to 16 degrees 40 minutes called the Navmansh of Leo, thereby limiting the prohibition to less than two months.

COMBUST JUPITER AND VENUS

Other prohibitions are associated with periods during which Jupiter or Venus become ‘combust’ ( get too close to the Sun as viewed from Earth). A ‘combust’ planet cannot exert its benefic influence and becomes a source of negativity, therefore inauspicious during such phases. During such phases also, marriages are avoided. fortunately with the Sun’s movement onwards as also that of faster moving planets, the combust status remains only for a short duration.

From the foregoing it should become abundantly clear that planning a calendar event in India is no joke and the astrological almanac is the arbiter for fixing the timing of auspicious and inauspicious events with the assistance of the Pundit – those who take this lightly do so at their own peril!

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The carnivore predator often attracts our admiring attention for its strength, naturally equipped weapons of offence and hunting strategies, its ability to overpower and kill its prey. The mighty lion is proclaimed king of beasts. We marvel at the knife like long canines of the large cats, their retractable claws on paws as broad as the face of their victims, their enormous size and muscular strength and deafening roars. The cat is cute but equally lethal when it strikes its prey with lightening speed. We are astonished by the athletic speed of the cheetah in chase and the aerial jet like flight of the raptors, outpacing any flying creature, in mid-air kills, when the force of their huge talons snuff the life out of the victim with the force of a canon’s shrapnel when it strikes. Likewise the marine monsters, Sharks, Swordfish and Killer Whales and riverine mobs of piranhas  and catfish become our awesome nightmares, armed to the teeth literally for their grisly purpose. These masters of the land, sea and air evoke amazement, respect and awe for their strength and prowess.

But the question arises whether they are indeed more fortunate than their prey, the herbivore deer, antelope, wildebeest, horse and cow or their avian counterparts who rely on seed for nourishment, or again the species of fish who subsist on weeds and plankton, like the gentle giant the humpback whale or its terrestrial counterpart the elephant. Does the strength and fury of predators make them more fortunate than the rest of the animal kingdom?

Both are fundamentally motivated by the perpetual need to seek sustenance and nutrition in the food they consume. While the herbivore and plant and seed eating beings consume simply by grazing or foraging, their aggressive predatory counterparts do not have it so easy. They need to employ guile, give chase, overcome the prey at some risk to themselves in a kind of wrestling match, overpower and kill their prey every time they need a meal. The amount of energy required to graze stands in no comparison to the energy expended in chase, catching, overcoming and killing their mobile food and often the food escapes and they are left hungry. To have to hunt for food is a strenuous excercise which when compared with the virtually effortless grazing and foraging can only be seen as a punishing necessity, no less than a curse imposed on these regal beings, which I would like to term as the Carnivores’ Curse.

I would rather be a sparrow than a hawk, a humpback rather than a shark, a gazelle than a tiger.

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pigeons

We tend to dismiss the ubiquitous, humble pigeon as a grey feathery blob,  just a common bird if not a pest. But be not deceived, inside its feathery breast resides a heart far more adventurous than yours. As it forages on the ground bobbing its head and courting with its dance steps, we are persuaded that it is a land creature. Yes in its little mind there is much knowledge about land – where to look for seed and feed, how to use its feet to traverse the ground and how to move its legs in an intricate dance number – but that is only a small part of its life.

bird-pigeon-flying-transparent-background-0400-10049.previewThat little mind knows much more – how to take flight, spread its strong other limbs, its folded unseen wings and rise into the air, far into the sky. Those eyes not only are expert in looking out for seed and worm a few inches away but know how to survey from far above, hundreds of meters away, like when one is in a plane, and make out distant features on earth, recalling in swift flight the route to its nest, how to utilize warm currents of air far above for effortless gliding, doing areal acrobatics for fun, knowing how to join a flock and move together, flapping its wings in quick flight in the absence of currents and gracefully landing expertly with reversed flaps of wings precisely where it wishes, to resume its land creature aspect. It also knows the precise location of the nest it has built deep down a well under the earth and how to descend to the ledge which is home, or enter a building secretly to the enclosure it has chosen over a pillar, a vent or aperture , deftly to laboriously build its nest, lay eggs in the company of its mate’s encouraging gurgling calls, and after hatching to care for its brood and bring it out to learn how to forage and fly.

ROPI_formationFlight_Kumon_b_wikiThis is not what it seems – a mere creature we see strutting about – it is terrestrial, arboreal, areal and avian – a creature of land and air, earth and sky, tree and buildings, wells and towers, outdoors and indoors, earthy minutiae and macro areal  landscapes, capable of maneuvering dexterously in both – pedestrian and pilot rolled into one. We need therefore to wonder, of how much its mind must encompass of these contrasting elements and diverse dimensions – it must be a remarkable being that can handle both and be at all times aware of being a creature of two worlds, capable of switching at will from the terrestrial to the areal – something beyond our imagination and scope as Homo Sapiens.

We need to marvel at the heart of this little creature which must feel dual emotions at once of remaining on land or flying high in the sky. Close your eyes and imagine that you too could have such dual capacity, then sit down and read a book but suddenly decide to take off and swing through the clouds viewing the speck of your home where the book is resting on a table far below and then decide that you need to read some more and swiftly descend and alight gracefully at your door – breathless? sure – but now you look forward to a little more reading – and of course you wont need that car anymore since you can visit friends or go on a date ( as the pigeon does on the parapet of yonder high rise) by simply landing at the door.

Whenever I see the humble pigeon just beyond the reach of my hand as I throw some seed and it comes close to pick at it I know that he has just been flying high in the sky and you could not suspect that it has. It is also the kind of emotions an amphibian would have at home in two elements where land is for procreation and rearing young and the sea is for food and fun.

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parth sarthi

 

The central teaching of The Gita is that there should be no obsession with the fruits of ones actions, performed more as a duty to be discharged with ones entire being rather than a hankering for results, producing neither euphoria in success nor despondency in failure. but act you must not pretending renunciation in inaction.

 

‘You only have a right to your actions no claim to the fruits thereof; do not be moved by the fruits of action; nor be inclined to inaction.’

 

‘Motivated action is, O Dhananjaya (winner of wealth – Arjun), far inferior to that  performed with equanimity of mind; take refuge in the evenness of mind; base are they who are seekers of results.’

 

‘As the unenlightened act from attachment to action, O Bharata, so should the enlightened act without attachment, desirous of guiding the multitude.’

 

‘When one has renounced all desire for fruits of action and no longer clings to  objects of the senses, then alone one is said to have attained to Yoga.’

 

‘Better indeed is knowledge than ritual practice; better than knowledge is meditation; better than meditation is the surrender of the fruits of action; peace immediately follows (such) renunciation.’

 

‘The yogi, abandoning attachment, performs action only with the body, the mind, the intellect and the senses, for purification of the soul.’

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Credit: backtothechoir.wordpress.com

Everything can be reckoned as a gift of God, from oxygen to flowers to oceans to planetary homeostasis, the tilt in the Earth’s axis, its spinning on it, and its circulation around the Sun, which together produce our congenial life supporting atmosphere, our days and nights and seasons. But there are some gifts that are more noteworthy than others, though there is no end to the gratitude we should feel and which is due to God.

I have often pondered on those gifts that may be really special and finally put together a handful of such extraordinary gifts which we tend to take for granted. Gravity is at the top of that list. The force which attaches us to the planet, prevents the oceans and the atmosphere from escaping, gives us weight and defines our physicality. We know what happens to astronauts in space denied gravity. Here of course you jump and land firmly back to earth and your substance begins to have meaning. All the labour-saving miracles of wheels are entirely on account of gravity. Often when I take a trolley full of purchases in a supermarket, I thank gravity ( and the Earth) for lifting the weight which otherwise I might have had to carry. We can go to the Moon and back because of that gravity, and now the Rosetta has landed a lander from its probe on a comet because of the gift of gravitational pulls. No wonder the word gravitas has been coined to indicate a charismatic personality with admirable qualities – a person having his own gravity. Poetically we can thank gravity for waterfalls, flowering, rainfall, flowing rivers, ball games, finding things where we left them, swallowing – the list is endless. But you are warned not to misuse, or be careless with the gift – no jumping from skyscrapers, no dropping of bombs.

Another rare gift is sexual procreation. There are organisms like the amoeba, bacteria and virus that can multiply without need of a partner through asexual reproduction. But the sexual kind is a gift of a higher order which creates empathy, attraction affection and love which otherwise may not have been necessary. It makes beings less hedonistic. If we could all procreate without a partner, happily producing clones identical to ourselves (a narcissistic act if ever there was one), we would be chasing one another not out of attraction but for elimination, out of hate not love. Imagine a world full of ego maniacs concerned only with their own survival, not even concerned for their cloned progeny. From asexual to bipolar love comes compassion, caring, sacrifice, art, culture, civilization and humanity, though its misuse as with jumping from a skyscraper can also be equally disastrous with crimes of self-serving passion. But that is not why it was created – equally true for sexuality as for gravity.

Another rare gift is the deeply embedded maternal instinct which creates the best examples of humanity and altruism we know of. The instinctive maternal compulsion to preserve, protect and nurture progeny is a vital implant and gift. It produces the rarest altruism in all species of living beings, even the extreme sacrifice of life itself for the sake of progeny and that wonderful word mother, which is perhaps the most beautiful noun in any language. It ensures that there are no natural orphans among living things – can you think of a better gift? The maternal instinct improves upon the sexual instinct in raising life to a higher order of altruism. From birds rearing their chicks to mothers suckling their young, it makes living beings fully worthy of existence as admirable and beautiful as opposed to hateful and disgusting, when hedonism alone is at play.

Life of course is the ultimate gift, the infusion of matter with soul. Imagine being a block of stone or metal. Even that is actually quite dynamic, if one looks at atomic structures whirring and being condensed into packets of energy with some form. A form that is neither able to be aware of its existence nor its environment. A form without consciousness. The gift of life enables material forms to experience, move and interact with its environment. Thus organic matter has a gift greater than the inorganic.

But the human form has the greatest gift, that of intelligence and not merely consciousness but self-consciousness. That gift enables it to know itself, not merely sense its environment but to harness it and finally to look beyond at the stars, the universe and creation itself, if not the creator. That gift enables it to seek the creator, much like a child is constantly assisted with skills by its parent to begin a relationship with the parent.

The final gift is the gift of death. Mortality is a subtle and less appreciated gift of finitude, which infinite and ethereal beings must envy.Startling change from moment to moment, from when you first crawled to when you first walked, from when you first grew pubescent hair to when it turned grey, from when you began to read to when you began to write, from love for a mother to love for a partner, from love of a child to love of a grandchild – yes, from infancy to youth to senility, constant experiential  changes from moment to moment, which neither a stone nor an ethereal entity  can experience. Mortality within a given time-frame becomes another rare gift to cherish. An ageless coming into being would be dour, full of endless routine and with a scary changelessness. Who wants to be a vampire. No wonder souls incarnate and reincarnate.

Thus the special gifts of God are, gravity, sexuality, maternal instinct, life and death. Please do share your thoughts about any other such rare gifts that may occur to you.

 

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When Matter tries to multiply, seeking to ape the Spirit, to become eternal, it appears most attractive and appealing. Generation after generation it revives afresh but  suffers degradation, for Time will not leave it alone. It dies and is born again, while the Spirit looks on amused as it vainly tries to drink from the mortal cup, the elixir of immortality. This cute effort gives rise to mortal love, bringing two material poles together to regenerate, revive and reproduce, defying its stern master Time, putting on a new fresh face, even as the older ones atrophy.  That is why mortal love has an ethereal quality as it replicates the beauty of the Spirit’s immortality and that is also why the Spirit appears as if it is perpetually in love.

The intense attraction, the passionate kiss, the deep embrace are the material urges to become eternal and therefore when consummated,  the poles fall apart and become ordinary matter again, losing their gloss but having in that moment assured eternal continuity, while the Spirit looks on amused at this extraordinary effort to follow in its footsteps. Thus Matter’s efforts to copy the Spirit becomes the very reason for living, and the very meaning of life – Love.

 

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Halls of ochre butcher as they chase

One drop.

Not one insect spared but splits

In parching,

Sound of dry grass crackling,

Eyes thaw in ochre dust.

 

Like a dwarf sits the cactus.

 

Awkward limbs but affection in the interior,

Soft pulpy green-walled translucency

Where the moisture drips.

But without,

Its challenged thorn-lusty prurience grapples

With the desert’s grip.

 

Hate is an outer armour,

Love’s moisture is in the stem

And there is proof for when

The desert awakens in the rain,

Bulbs of chlorophyll

Explode in monsoon blooms

The milk pulp making fissures on the ragged skin;

 

Blood red hues, hibiscus violet

Flowers fed on milk. Then

How large the hidden heart

Bandaged in bristling brutality

For survival.

And now is the time of seed’s revival;

Another need brings the dwarf’s art.

 

 

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