Translation – Do not delay when planning to do something good, but when inclining towards the opposite, think twice.
Contemplation is good and needed. Action is better and a must.
Plans in a potli-mind take time to come out, yes, for they are grand ones, created meticulously, weaved with love.
Inspired thoughts build this glass minar with intricate designs, colours of hope and success and appreciation and a little bit of all that is magical in this universe. We fly high when planning in a potli-mind.
Now how to fabricate such a tall glass minar in reality? Where to start from? How do we know if the time is right?
And what about all the ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’? Oh, and our dominating ‘know-it-all self’ that loves to put a stamp on every new thought, issuing summons, calling the poor thought a fraud, out-of-our-league or an impossibility, come what may?
Or worse, comparing it with the giant called the OTHERS?
Maybe this is the moment to tell yourself, shubhasya shighram, why wait to do something good.
Maybe this is the time to take the first step towards that glass minar, an overwhelming act it may feel at the beginning, but by the end, whatever the result is, we get enriched, we understand the rotating world and our bumbling selves a little better.
What a brilliant mantra then, a pocket sized mantra!
So, my friend, go ahead with that plan… because shubhasya shighram, shighram shighram.
Thinking… the activity of using our mind to consider something; the process of using our mind to understand matters, make judgments and solve problems… that is what the dictionary says and says more and then sites many lovely examples:
“I had to do some quick thinking.”
“She explained the thinking behind the campaign.”
“Thinking, for me, is hard work!”
Our mind, coloured by a plethora of this and that, happy and sad, a sea of information, thinks in isolation, yet always a part of the collective unconscious. And how wonderful is it that this tinted mind, nevertheless, is fully capable to create something novel.
The thinking mind turns the wheel, knitting the society tighter. The juggernaut of sociocultural norms, in turn, fabricates the yarn for such a mind.
Avicenna or Ibn Sina (980 AD – 1037) was a physician, philosopher, astronomer, theologian, poet – a polymath – who greatly contributed to the Islamic Golden age. His book Al Qanun fi al Tibb or The Canon of Medicine, a medical encyclopedia, was studied as a textbook for medical education in many universities, also in Europe, up till the 17th Century.
Philosophical encyclopedias like Kitab al Shifa or The Book Healing and Kitab al-Isharat wa alTanbihat or The Book of Directive and Remarks presented Avicenna’s take on the Aristotelian and Platonian philosophy through the lens of an Islamic theologian.
A well-known physician, Avicenna got support from most of the rulers of his time – some made him a vizir or an advisor in their court – and the opportunity to access the royal library. Highly influenced by Aristotle, Avicenna also disagreed with the Greek polymath on many points.
One of us must suppose that he was just created at a stroke, fully developed and perfectly formed but with his vision shrouded from perceiving all external objects – created floating in the air or in the space, not buffeted by any perceptible current of the air that supports him, his limbs separated and kept out of contact with one another, so that they do not feel each other. Then let the subject consider whether he would affirm the existence of his self. There is no doubt that he would affirm his own existence, although not affirming the reality of any of his limbs or inner organs, his bowels, or heart or brain or any external thing. Indeed he would affirm the existence of this self of his while not affirming that it had any length, breadth or depth. And if it were possible for him in such a state to imagine a hand or any other organ, he would not imagine it to be a part of himself or a condition of his existence.
While this blogger will definitely take a lot of time to grasp these theories in entirety, she would like to appreciate the art of thinking that moulds the world in such a steady and grandiose manner.
The art of thinking, in which we participate daily and, most importantly, in the times of despair, is running the show as we then stand face to face our true being and raise questions, refute the botched theory and create a new one.
Avicenna wrote the floating/ flying man argument when imprisoned for around four months as a result of a political debacle – an argument that was later termed weak by the other thinkers.
But this is how the thinking mind works, it continues to question, argue and turn the wheel.
“The enjoyment of art is an act of recreation, or rather of creation in the reverse direction, towards the source of intuition, i.e., an act of absorption, in which we lose our small self in the creative experience of a greater universe.”
Anagarika B. Govinda
I happen to have a small sweet book titled Art & Meditation (actually a few years back I took it from my brother), written by Lama Anagarika B. Govinda – an artist, a Buddhist monk, traveller and writer.
Sharing his paintings, poems and thoughts with us, he talks about the ineffaceable, elusive yet real, sublimely beautiful link between art and meditation; how true art merges with true religion and vice-versa.
It is not digressive or sluggishly cumbersome, this thought, rather it is stimulating for the one who is not in a hurry.
The author wishes his essays and artwork to serve as koans i.e. ‘meditative problems’ for his readers that churn our thoughts and act as an impetus for continuing the search.
I have gone through this insightful book twice now. What struck me this time was its size, how come Lama Anagarika Govinda’s lectures on art and meditation along with his artwork were capsuled in such a tiny book?
Of course, there must be other collections of his essays and pictures, surely in not-so-tiny a book.
But here I would intentionally turn this coincidence into a grand undertaking and happily say something ambitious.
This beautiful book holds, yes-yes it does, the secret to enlightenment and simply because of its humble, calm and forgiving nature, affordable price, elucidations of the artwork and colour schemes given and the profound ideas shared.
With these balmy thoughts, I will read this book again in the near future for then it will reveal a new secret to me.
Leaving you with an edifying thought –
“Art in itself is a sort of a paradox, a Koan in the deepest sense of the word, and that is why the followers of Zen prefer it to all other mediums of expression. For only the paradox escapes the dilemma of logical limitation, of partiality and one-sidedness. It cannot be bound down to principles or conceptual definitions, because it exaggerates or abstracts intentionally in such a way that it is impossible to take it literally: its meaning is beyond the incongruity of the words.”
Playing the Raga Pranayama in my heart and soul I am sitting inside this quiet room for so many days now and slowly this world has stopped reeling.
The shrivelled old self shed off its glories and achievements and regrets all at once, it was painful and I did die a little. Then all I did was to look up and breathe, close my eyes and breathe again.
Now brighter, with no desire to compete with light or a sharper mind or the maestro musician, I sit simply playing the Raga Pranayama.
Yes, often my memory makes me feel overwhelmed, and yet something allows me to accept it all that too with a smile.
And softly the wind brings a message from the meadows that the dandelions are gushing with joy and beaming for one and all; that the butterflies are coming carrying colours for you and me; that the stream is singing, sparkling sibilantly, shy at first, vibrant then. Oh it is lovely!
It is a new beginning, I am sitting in my room and everything has changed as I play the Raga Pranayama.
Dispelling the emaciated fears that had spread and frolicked in my mind, dispelling with the truth of this life force running lightly within and without… the fears just succumbed in the end and this I will remember, always, so that I too can share and struck a happy peaceful note.
Voices together, singing this happy note, playing the Raga Pranayama will eventually rise above the gloomy cry of this malady.
Together we will rise and break that wall which was once built greedily by us. Hold on, hold on for it will pass.
Play with me the Raga Pranayama in your heart and soul and let the life energy guide you.
That hazy glow you see when you close your eyes and breathe, that dot, it is the one that surmounts, it has and it will, sometimes with and sometimes without the shell.
Raga (Sanskrit for “colour” or “passion”) is a melodic framework for improvisation and composition in Indian classical music. Read more here.
Pranayama (prana, Sanskrit for “life force” or “vital energy” and yama, Sanskrit for “restraint” or “control”), is a set of meditative practices designed to control pranawithin the human body by means of various breathing techniques. Read more here.
Also, listen to the magnificent Ragas that inspired me to write this post – Raga Rasia by Pandit Ravi Shankar
Raga Brindabani Sarang by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia
Learn more about Data Art by the fantastic Dr. Kirell Benzi, click here.
In a green velvety suitcase inside a wooden trunk she packed it nicely, neatly, firmly forever.
“I want it to be safe.” While the world rises and falls without any knowledge of it, she feels positive and shielded; her destiny is properly packed and locked.
Sitting cross legged she awaits the change, for the destiny to operate from underneath her crisp, fine, obvious thoughts, packed and placed in a corner.
“I keep in touch of course, why are you being so sarcastic?” She laughs loudly for she is confident of her victory and rightly so, what will stand in her way when she remembers to keep a check on the package, clean the dust off the wooden trunk and pray that the suitcase does not vanish away magically.
“Yes I remember, it is my destiny, I know…” She knows it all, yet she is afraid and waits for others’ approval and appreciation. Calculating the possibilities, probabilities, time and years she takes a step forward.
She did pack a piece of the truth in that suitcase, what is wrong in it?
She forgot to unpack it, she forgot that the truth evolves, our understanding evolves. What is destined for someone is destined and yet it changes, that is the rule.
The truth, the destiny unfolds when a mind lets it.
Charu and Amal didn’t understand their heart’s secret, but how could it be that their own heart hid something from them, well it did. Maybe, Charu’s binoculars didn’t work properly.
And Mr. Bhupati, a lost editor, busy sketching the details of a busy world, had no time for keeping secrets.
Why did they give their secrets to Time for safekeeping?
Time always travels light, thus, it naturally left their secrets behind, visible for them all to see, casting a spell. The spell didn’t kill, it broke hearts.
The Ghat’s Tale
Vasant… Grishm… Varsha… Sharad… Hemant… Shishir… Six seasons talked to the Ghat near the Ganga River. The seasons brought green moss at times and dry leaves at others, dipping the Ghat into sunlight and rain shower with love, the seasons spoke less, but heard sincerely.
What did the Ghat tell them? It shared stories… yours and mine.
Let her be, why torment her, why read her notebook without her consent? She is little, just a girl, a child bride, she has left her world behind, she has carried some in her notebook.
Love is all-powerful and yet it blooms slowly in every soul, taking time for the realisation to sink in and sync with it completely.
A shade of love wrote a letter to the Postmaster who, tricked by mind, read it too late. Oh! That feeling…
The Broken Nest is a novella, while the other three are short stories; each one holds a complete universe and touches you deeply.
Rabindranath Tagore beautifully writes in the language of love, his characters always express something which stays usually hidden within a heart, sidelined by the talkative world.
Every story of his is like a time machine, it unfolds the past keeping it alive and magical at the same time.
The birds sing sweetest of songs in his stories, the earth dances the best to his tunes, the colour red blushes flamboyantly in his paintings and tears take time to dry up when he narrates.
And I almost always forget. Sigh! Not that whether I am going forward or backward, is it the oblate spheroid earth or vertical me, the flowing time or the following life, the dream within dream or the dreamy me… but the funny fact that I have gone through all this before, in different measures, small degrees, little proportions and reflected on quite often.
Still, I simply, pleasingly forget.
Then things repeat, without my knowledge. Lucid ideas shine through and bring sense back to this life. Life! Surely very confident of itself, life is. Just look at the way it is happening.
Living an usherette’s life, I watch my story playing in every other story. A happy wallflower, that’s how confident I am. Dashingly, entering the stage in my mind, I take over. The glee moment, ideas collected elegantly.
Reality is not a plain horror story, it depends… just like senility is not only for aged, but it depends.
Oh! I mean, let us pick five memories and analyze all very humbly. Then watch a classic black and white movie and read a ‘must-read-before-you-die’ book, all very scrupulously.
Also, travel to a place never been before, pick it directly from your bucket list. Great!
After doing all this, surely vicariously for now, a tremendous clarity falls on the point I have been trying to make.
Life and the happenings, routine feelings and memories, hard hitting failures and mild successes, dreaming-trying-acting-dreaming and in the end, facing the underlying theme vibrant in every direction, almost deafening once observed, right?
No! What! No? Fine, am sorry, then forget it.
But, please, at least, try to deconstruct what is repeated in your life. That is all.
All that you see, all that is in your mind, all that you have experienced, all that which breathes within you, exists only because you are.
The inevitable change assures gently that illusion is reality and the rest a seeming.
The carousel of life goes on; from the darkest night to the brightest morning, from black and white to the rich spectrum, you pass by. Humming a single note, you pass by.
The end, the beginning. Remember?
You created the rainbow as you saw it, you replied to the mountain when you echoed, you walked ahead to make it happen, you looked behind to say goodbye, you stopped to realise and what was beyond came to you with an epiphany.
Illusion is a friend. Fathomable, it is the reality.
A roguish year, 2020, I believe was a twist in our LIVE story. Terrible, oh, terrible things happened. Let us nurture hope, let us learn from our mistakes, let us help each other and contribute honestly to this change.
Let the old charm of stories work, let stories heal your tired heart.
This colossal twist proves that the great writer is planning to finish a chapter, but the story is far from over. Dawn is about to break, the sun rays will fall on a new beginning soon.
Come to Chiming Stories, pocket old and new posts and watch, along with me, the horizon.
Gabbeh, the 1996 film, is a simple tale of a gipsy girl, her clan and the way their life goes on. Unfolding beautifully just like an artist painting a canvas, Gabbeh quietly touches the grand questions.
Arthdal Chronicles is a South Korean fantasy drama TV series that takes us back to the Bronze Age in a mythical land named Arth, where different human species and tribes struggle to be on the top of the power pyramid.
Yes fly! For walking on the second track is dull and usual, but dreaming high, high, high requires tools. Tools like the right pair of shoes, a chirpy, gritty soul that eats butter-jam dreams, a soul that drinks milky-milky creams.