Saturday, September 5, 2009

Spirituality Vs Materialism

There was a hymn we used to sing in our school,

“If I were a butterfly,
I would thank you Lord for my good wings,
and if I were a robbin in the tree,
I would thank you Lord, that I could sing…

…but I just thank you Father,

And as I am growing up I am realizing that’s the summery of life. To be happy and content where we are. To be thankful for this wonderful existence and amidst this wondrous mystery for making me, ME.

We all have a certain way of looking at things, and life with the events each second changes and modifies…the richer is one’s perception, the deeper is one’s own company to oneself…and the deeper you can company ‘you’, the richer the life. Everything then is a meditation…everything then is a secret package with its bag-full of realizations. And one realization is worth a million knowledge. One knowledge is worth a million information. Its hence rightly said, “God goes further with debates”…words have come much later, the language of God is intuitive and primitive. One spark…and you could see God stand right next, and you could laugh out realizing…he was always there.

I have been living my life in a reverse format. People start with being materialistic and end up with spirituality…I had been extremely spiritual and now deviating to materials. Well, perhaps its too early to talk of the summery so far…but I am so glad to God for ‘making me, me’…for making me travel in both paths without which I could have never been ‘Me’.

The beauty of life is doubled, and tripled and tetra-pled when a journey is made and one comes back to the origin with a realization…whatever it may be. Ashoka going through the entire cycle of butchery to finally realize ahimsa…I am sure made him more compassionate than the compassionate who was always that way. Siddharth living his life in ultimate luxury when realized life’s got to be much more, I am sure realized it much deeper than a person born hermit, with always a portion of mind thinking ‘is luxury better?’

A story by Kahlil Gibran spoke of a curious ant. It was on the ground, saw something moving and climbed it, it was curious still and climbed further…it went over the shoulder, across the neck and when the ambition took him higher and higher, the hand of the person’s body it was climbing caught it and dropped to the ground. …The origin it started from?

The other way to explain the same is in ‘The Alchemist’. The best part of the book is the fact that the treasure the boy was looking for was in the spot he began his journey from. Then all that trouble he took to travel and come back…was that a waste? Oh no, its never the destination but the journey that is important in life. Because only a journey can spark realization!

My childhood was too influenced by my father, and all that he read and thought. Perhaps that was the time of his life he had began to question things seriously, woke up late at night suddenly for a meditation and scared me with his ‘Oms’, listened to songs of Tagore and spilled his eyes with tears, was fond of Vivekanand and needed a person to discuss… and got hold of poor me. And all these too soon made me a grandma in my eighties.

The induction was so strong it drove me towards spirituality like a magnet… amazed by the questions he put across my head, tattered by the metaphors through which Tagore narrated the same, I questioned and questioned the meaning of life. I wanted to know desperately and cried through nights. I was a believer in the beginning, I was suspicious too soon, I was an atheist then and argued every now and then, and then was the state of desperate madness…of wanting to know and no way to go. I sat up at nights for meditations and every meditation held my hand and took a little further but only to a point of darkness…towards the unknown, the unheard, the unseen.

My ‘dharana’ state was built by my questions, focusing on the pursuit for answers, a state much logical and argumentative, when this got intense I entered meditations…now the answers to my questions no more were in words, in that state I could receive in a language much different, its like you walk through a dark tunnel, knock here and there, some doors suddenly open and there are streaks of light and you automatically know what the room contains. But very few doors opened always and keeps trying your patience. Sometimes you wonder in the dark tunnel helplessly…and get so lost, so absorbed and detached that you return to cry in pain. It’s a maddening experience. The deeper the pain, the more the pleasure…something similar to love.

“What way of meditation do you follow” has always been the dreadful question for me. Well, for improving health through yoga there can be a fixed path, for developing concentrations there can be exercises given, but who would structurize a way to know God and dare to give that path a name? Patanjali has only classified, never shown the way. When dharana is done, what would build the link to dhyan and if dhyan is the state, will God show up for sure?

Its like asking a person who lost his keys, “Which way do you look for keys?” When you lose, and you know the worth of the object you lost, when you know you have to find, and know the worth of the object you have to find …you need not know a way. To know God, its not the ‘way’, but the knowledge of the worth of the ‘truth’ one has to find is what drives and the intensity of the urge will instinctively decide where, when and which ‘way’.

Well, and I am in a funny stage now. Now, I never engage myself in a spiritual argument, never go into a discussion that I loved so much earler. For this state of mine is though not a state of ‘I know it all’ but neither a state where I am lost. If I was asked earlier…‘Do you believe in God’, I would have had an answer, either an yes or a no. If I am asked now…I tend to start wondering…have a feel of the stretch across the entire space tied by one consciousness…so bounty, so huge, so enormous…the consciousness that stretches through every grain of sand, every planet, every galaxy, every soul and Me. And its always this mini-meditation that is evoked by this question and I tend to come back trying to measure the depth of it being speechless in wonder.

And a question like, “Do you believe in God…”?
‘Well, what else are we left to believe in?’

Forgive my courage if I say, I no more look for God. My meditations now would never be to find Him but to feel that enormousness and be lost. Its never that confused path…it’s an ever-known path now, calm and quiet…filled with wonder that leaves me speechless at the slight feel of its mystery. I know, if you are a seeker too, you must be laughing aloud, that the very beginning of the path, I have assumed to be the end. But well, through the little journey that I have made through the stages, this is most beautiful. And I am a dreamer…let me be. You may be a true traveler, all the while seeking for the ocean when you see it in front, you can take your boat and begin the sail to see its end. I would rather wait here, watch the waves splash, seagulls plunge, sun rise and set at the sight of this eternity.

Oh yes, and I am no more in my eighties, rather, growing younger day by day. I am no more the nerd denying all pleasures and seeking principles tying me in boundary. Life is so joyful in every state of it. All the different stages so beautifully assigned and crafted, all the emotions that rip my heart, all the mistakes I make and lessons I learn, all the little realizations, God, you send down upon me. And what a wonder that ‘I’ am ‘I’…that you made ‘me’, Me.

Materialism on its own must be a mad pursuit for pleasure, without a hold, tiring you soon, but when you traveled spirituality and adorn the material aspect with it, its an ever-pleasing journey…filled with awe, filled with glee. That’s the beauty of a journey…any journey. It may drop you to the same point you started from but never the same person you started as.

And let me love this life with my new vision…laugh at every silly thing, adorn my body--the gift this life has given me, dance and sing to every rustle in the leaf, awaken my senses to every whisper that the wind carries…well I would rather be a monk now who would soon buy a Ferrari.



A materialist is like a prey moving to the spider's web.Anyways gud writing skills u have. keep it up. Expecting more.. I like this

"Its hence rightly said, “God goes further with debates”…words have come much later, the language of God is intuitive and primitive. One spark…and you could see God stand right next, and you could laugh out realizing…he was always there."

Morya said...

Let me say as an individual if i had been given a chance to select from the two i would have selected formerly because it contains both while the later has only one ball in the basket.

But, at the same time i admit that i am not enough courage to maintain a perfect balance between too. And i strongly feel that there is no art as excellent as the art of timing... So, i suggest you to time well the doing ... and of course congratualtion in advance when i will be able to see the monk who brought a Ferrari ...

naNdaJan said...

brilliantly pointed out some salient aspects of Pathanjali and his astanga marga (eight ways to godliness , not god but godliness). I am also a person, once strogly belived in god and religion. Initially my faith was in Hinduism since I born in an orthodox hindu family. I learned bible and shifted to christian at the age of 12 later fond of indian philosophy and Marxism later became a materialist. This happened after learning Indian and western philosophy acadamically and systamatically still a student of philosophy and enquiries are still on and on. Many belive in god take it for granted without learning philosophy since believing god is easy than refuting

roshan said...

First congrats for ur writing skill-its like writer sway away with his writing.But i feel that u put spirituality to the only gamut of meditation.Spirituality has more thing to go.For me its science-science to live like this way"why this way? ".Its search .when i got it then its like enlightenment.For me its philosophy-to know what is reason behind everything"to know death,to know life" and when i got it then its again like enlightenment. Materialism has nothing to oppose spirituality.I have learnt until now that what we seek from materialism is given or taken ,but temporary.if u need that same thing eternally then why not heart quench like Buddha.
Being a science student,my pursuit for spirituality is only due to my rational mind.

Kismat said...

Your faith towards God in your early days is nothing but God’s wish. You are blessed by God to express thoughts through the pen (now keyboard), just like feather touch. Personally I feel, spirituality has nothing to do with any religion, it is beyond that, but almost it passes through being true religious, understanding religion, and at last understanding that all religion circles around same God, and that the same God makes you spiritual to understand that religions are ‘human made’ process to reach God, spirituality God’s gift to human being, after going through ‘human made’ process. Materialsm is also God’s gift to enjoy the life, without which your purpose to come to this world, server the world, and leave the world with fulfilling become meaningless. In your case, to my understanding materialsm is within you, your ‘writing skill’, you need to just keep on writing, rest will come to you, beyond your imagine. God bless you.

shilpa reddy said...

A materialist is like a prey moving to the spider's web.Anyways gud writing skills u have. keep it up. Expecting more.. I like this

Aarti Badamikar said...

At the end it is all for happiness, isnt it? be it buying or selling a Ferrari?? and being happy does not mean that everything is perfect, it means that one has decided to look and live beyond imperfections!

Nice writings Aparajita...
Good Luck!