Spirituality

Transient Permanence

Spirituality

Anicca (Impermanence).

That the dark clouds will pour heavily and ceaselessly, that the rainbow will nurture joyous moments, that a true feeling is there to stay forever, but only to forsake rudely with lessons to accept and time as a remedy, making a revelation that such is life, does this change what is transient into eternal?  

Incessant thoughts enjoying the make-believe forget what is real and adhere to what is smooth and comforting and familiar and dear and satisfying.  

Transience is a reality, but is this the reason for its permanence?

The world says a yes, the individual says a no.

This fleeting life knows the truth. It lives and dies to prove it.

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Buddha in meditation forever.
Image from Pixabay.

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Nataraja

The Nataraja!
[Image from Pixabay]

A static symbol of the dynamic universe, an illusion, Maya, moving rhythmically, revealing in an instant the unfathomable divine, the perfect balance that creates, preserves, destroys, incarnates and liberates, the Nataraja, performing the ultimate dance, is a magnificent work of art that reflects the cosmos – the beginning and the end of the cosmos, the music of the cosmos and the soul of the cosmos.

The Nataraja sculpture represents all – the destined journey, the tragic fall, the glorious victory, the dance in time and timelessness, the poise and elegance, overwhelming stillness, reverberating brightness, brilliance, power and enlightenment. In a single spectacle, it shows what was, what is and what will be.

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Blissful perfection.
[Image from Pixabay]

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Shiva Nataraja, the King of Dance, dances on Apasmara, a dwarf, crushing not him, but his ignorance, forgetfulness and limited vision of self, hence freeing his soul from bondage. Four armed – with Agni (flame) to demolish in one, with Damru (drum) playing the tune of time in second, making the Abhaya Mudra (the sign of fearlessness) in the third, thus bestowing power to be without fear, and the fourth in the Gahahasta (elephant trunk) Mudra signifying supremacy over ignorance – Nataraja is the embodiment of all the vigorous flux in the outer world and the serenity in the inner world as he dances the dance of bliss, Ananda Tandava, continuing the harmony of life and death in the cosmos.

Prahabhamandala, the arch of flames within which Nataraja dances, is the manifest universe, making the cycle of birth and death, burning with sufferings and illusions, apparent.

Also, a ring of consciousness that is in agony as it’s blinded by temporary ideas, unaware about the permanent dance of bliss. Oblivious of the Kundalini Shakti (the cosmic power) – that the cobra around Nataraja’s waist represents and is believed to reside in all – the unconscious mind walks cyclically.

Lotus flower, representing the creative power of the universe, forms the pedestal on which the Nataraja dances, celebrating in full zest the dance of true freedom.

Omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, the Nataraja does a dance that occurs ceaselessly in every atom, sending waves in the cosmos, waking everyone from the dream world to witness reality and truth, destroying the phantom world full of phantom pains.

Neutrality and peace on Nataraja’s face – the One dancing in frenzy – mirrors the magic of the master who dances within the universe of illusion, but stays beyond that universe. In a palpable language, the Nataraja declares the way the soul can rise from its bonded life and with equality seeping within, can see and participate in the cosmic dance.

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Wall relief of dancing Shiva at cave temple no.1 in Badami, Karnataka, India.
[Source – Wikimedia Commons]

This marvellous sculpture amalgamates supreme power and action with absolute bliss and beauty, radiates the delicate balance of the cosmos and magnifies the close connection between the One and the many.   Nataraja, Mahakala (the Lord of Time), with continuity and change flowing throughout becomes an opportunity to understand the sublimity of Maya and work a way out to reach the immutable Presence.

The Nataraja is excellence. Meditating on it is achieving its essence. Its essence is pure excellence.

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Shiva Nataraja, the Lord of Dance at CERN, the European Center for Research in Particle Physics in Geneva.
[Source – Wikimedia Commons]

Hundreds of years ago, Indian artists created visual images of dancing Shivas in a beautiful series of bronzes. In our time, physicists have used the most advanced technology to portray the patterns of the cosmic dance. The metaphor of the cosmic dance thus unifies ancient mythology, religious art and modern physics.    

Fritjof Capra

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Opposite the Nadir

Short Lyrical Prose
White cloudy raga plays… and I am still walking.
[Source – Pixabay]

The igneous surface I am walking on has a tremendous sound stored in it, but in a dense state so that the land appears dead.

The colour is thick black; it stains me anew with every step that I take, entering breath by breath within.

Smog-heavy mood, like heavy chains, has made me hunchbacked. Hollow quietude stays along, walking next to my faint shadow.

I utter nothing, nothing at all – all noise is of the wind; the wind ruffles around greasily, overwhelming me with dullness.

The mind is whimsical, I tell myself after some days’ journey; I continue ahead.

Where to, I ask, am I going?


That was the last I heard from myself.

But I am still walking, walking towards what lies opposite the nadir.


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A Dream of Twin Rainbows

Poem
One, two… lucky you!
[Image by Jagriti Rumi]

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My imagination is strong and hence I can see

The waterfalls, mesmerizing clouds and the ever working bees;

I am very much alive with a working clock

Hanging on the earthen, painted, plastic wall saying ‘tick-tock-tick-tock’;

My ears don’t bleed anymore and though my eyes are shy to blink,

I have learned to bar the command and hide behind a paused wink.

Master shouts and thunderbolts hit the wall,

Faking to cry and tremble, I try to make the cage fall.

Yes! I live in a cage! But I have a dream, a dream of twin rainbows.

I will one day fly towards it, crossing the ocean of dead vows,

There I will soulfully sing and freely dance and just be me…

My imagination is strong and hence I can see.

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She

Flash Fiction

She is just ten years old. Talkative and curious by nature, she wishes to know, but only about the magical, the dreamlike and the pleasing.

Her world is of all the shades of pink. With the warmth of an honest, caring canopy overhead, she looks at the stars and floats in the Milky Way.

There is ample clarity in everything she sees and time’s her friend – blistering fast or dragging slow. There is only one melody she is tuned to and it is called life.

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She is living in her own world, within and without.
Image from Pixabay.

She is young and brave. Quietly, she observes the world and the world within her, laughs at her.

Battling the questions and transforming the answers, she moves ahead with every failure and tries to fathom the success.

A mirror walks with her; she has broken it umpteen times but they are still in a relationship. Her cries, her sighs, her laughs, her smiles, her ways and one life… all packed in a rucksack is her pride and joy.


The doubtful star burns with her glare and the rhythm of change trespasses the old.

She is living for others now and has placed herself on the top shelf, in a green trunk, under an old book. Close to many and far from herself, she is standing on the border – this way or that way… her life is slipping away…

She just woke up and whatever was under the old book, in a green trunk, on the top shelf she burned that rusted world to dust.

Walking on ashes, she turns black and grey until the mirror returns. It is not going to be joyous all through, but she doesn’t mind the sound of a burned guitar.


They say she is weak and crouched, that she hears less and that her wrinkles make her a puzzle. A puzzle indeed and a child from within, no one knows what a good time she is having.

Her old eyes shine like a starry night and things magically appear and disappear with her touch. The words cannot express bliss; she is singing, hear this – ‘La-la, li-li, o, la-la, li-li’.

She is extraordinary. She is over there, can you see her? I know you can.


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So Far

Short Feature
Two Worlds.
Image by – Jagriti Rumi.

I feel I am all alone in the two worlds. 

Taking a step forward I see lightning as ‘the fast’ meets ‘the slow’. I am not injured; I can endure the lightning but not the confusion.  

A beautiful path lights up as far as the mind can reach. Back and forth between a one-way; crashing becomes a certainty.

Quietly, I sit alive in the present.  

I am understandably forgetful. Myriad revelations slip away like a childhood memory, leaving behind a warm aftertaste. The warmth turns into a glow and the rest I forget.  

Infinity captured in a cage seeps away slowly. It is destined to do so. The two worlds are pulsating with this thought and I, in both.  

But there is only one reality in me. The cube burns into a cylinder and the cylinder burns into a sphere.

The shapes finally unite and the two worlds are annihilated.


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The Thought

So that the brush strokes are fine, so that the rhythm is right, so that the planet follows its trajectory, so that the Universe meets the end, everything has to be done perfectly.

Not the type of perfection that binds you, but the one which leads you to Nirvana. For perfection, concentration is a must.    

One requires such a level of concentration that unites with the soul of the Universe. It then works wonders.

What is otherwise the glory of nature, the majesty of the mountains, the thunder in the sky? And evolution?  

Perfection is nature, nature is perfection.
Image – Pixabay.

Meditation is the key, the answer to everything.

In a quiet mind, the peaceful colours of the Universe shine and bring along the eternal power.

Just a touch of this energy makes the mind sublime and supreme, no matter if only for seconds, the experience is life-changing.  

If this is not Love, then what is? Loving oneself purely and believing that we all are one. The golden thread is common, it is absolute, it is present.  

I remember a folk tale about a fool who once stated that he could see a bright light in everything, in everyone around him. The fool found the brightness overwhelming, he danced until he died.

People did not bother much, after all, who believes a fool, though they later started worshipping the fool.  

Death of the fool became the foundation of a belief. The fool was a juggler, a perfectionist in his art. 


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The Answer

Flash Fiction
Seeing through…
[Source – Pixabay]

Your eyes are sweetly closed, you are smiling peacefully, and you are meditating…but how? How do you do it?

I am listening to my breath and the music my heart plays. My eyes are closed yet I see all the colours ever so vividly. I feel so light as if I am flying and thus I smile. I am meditating, I am living in the moment, in the second. I can feel the spirit inside me. You are asking me how to do it…but the answer lies within you.

Search for it, not once or twice or thrice, do it all the time, ceaselessly, until you find no further need to explore. When time and space vanish and you are present everywhere.

Is this the ultimate search? Will this solve everything?

When you start looking for something, it becomes the first step. It can take a long time for the search to end but it should not hamper your spirits. This is only possible if the question that you have asked is correct.

I am painting you in different colours…you somehow are choosing the colours for yourself. I don’t know how you are doing it but then it is only making the painting more alive. I don’t want to part yet I’ll have to; you’ll look good in the big palace, not in this old hut. You are almost complete now….

If you believe, truly, that I should stay here with you, you will see me here even if I leave.

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The painter after finishing the painting of the Buddha, sent it to its owner for which he was awarded a good sum of money. He stayed gloomy as he wanted to have the talking Buddha to himself.

He thought about the last words of the Buddha for a long time…days passed and then months.

Sitting quietly and pondering upon those words he felt calm and just then he realised that the mud wall of his hut had an impression on it that looked exactly like the painting of the Buddha… he was entranced!

All the walls of his hut had turned into the painting of the Buddha and slowly the roof and the floor as well.

The painter smiled and closed his eyes, feeling serene and unaware of the fact that his own body was turning into the painting of the Buddha.


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I Can See Mountains from the Window, I’ll take this Window Along

The mountains are so grand; I realised it that day when I climbed one. The green velvety zigzag stretch left me overwhelmed.

A thought caught my attention and told me how beautiful and majestic the mountains were, how incredibly small I was, how peacefully colourful the surroundings were and how sublime the music played by the wind was.

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Portable Window! [Image by AnnaliseArt from Pixabay]

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I saw the clouds and they saw me; I blushed quietly. With my feet in the wet green grass, I stood there enjoying the drizzle. I sat on a calm rock calmly and opened the notebook. I couldn’t write for some reason, so I drew the scene instead.    

Have you ever felt the same? Like when you feel something you cannot describe in words or otherwise? When the smell of an old book takes you back in a different century?

As if the leaf that fell near you was meant to fall there so that you could pick it up and observe it? And that the glamorous city lights were talking to each other and the moon was talking to you?

What about the smiley face drawn by a passer-by on a dusty car that reminds you of the one you had drawn? Have you ever felt the still mind?

The drawing that I made took the shape of the yin-yang without my knowledge. Opposites complement each other. I sat near the window and thought about it; the sun passed by and the moon came with white light very quickly and in the shadow, I saw the light and immediately, I agreed.

I again looked at that drawing, in gratitude but the drawing was no longer the same… there were dark green mountains and blue sky, white clouds and green grass and me, sitting on the calm rock calmly. And I looked through the window…

I can see mountains from the window, I’ll take this window along.


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Hum Along

That feeling of sadness when you realise that you could have done something else, something better but you cannot because time has defeated you, leaving you alone with the mighty Fate.

That moment when your heart is full of love and your mind full of confusion and you hesitate to take a step forward; sometimes you console yourself and sometimes you scold yourself…all you are left with is pain.  

Pain is known to everyone who knows love, hope, desire and ego.

Why don’t we get rid of this pain and live happily ever after?

Maybe because we need pain…just to understand the importance of everything around us, to learn to value every little thing.

Maybe because pain teaches us to move forward, it gives us only one choice which is to change with time.

If seen in this light, pain helps us to realise our transient nature but not to lament over it, rather cherish every second of it and to make the best of it.

Yes, this will mean to be ALIVE always but this is just how we should live, shouldn’t we?

Why be in grief when neither the reason for the grief nor you, the sufferer, will stay forever? What stays is the wish to live life to the fullest.  

Keep walking, keep humming.
Image from Pixabay.

I am walking on a mysterious road… what passes me enters me and then it vanishes, leaving a feeling within me, giving me pain and hope… I walk ahead in the search of love… I cannot see the path, just one step after the other… it is thrilling… the silky air around me is what I can feel and the music of the cosmos that whispers in my ears, telling me to hum along.

So be it! Hum…. 


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