Say Your Name!

Say Your Name

Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

Not a very long ago I did a post on WordPress usernames and got to learn about many amusing stories. I have always been interested in stories behind names. My first names have been Anand and Vikas. Anand has been used in school, college and workplace mostly, whereas Vikas has been used by family members and relatives. I was also given a monastic name Chaitanya Das when I took renunciation.

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These are all Hindi/Sanskrit names. Vikas means growth or development today. My maternal aunt named me so. When I was born she named me so saying that everyone grew in a way after my birth. I met her today but I have never told her that she didn’t understand the meaning of the word quite clearly else she wouldn’t have named me so. Vikas is used mostly in terms of growth related to material things. For example–you may use it in context of GDP growth of a country or for increment in the literacy rate and so on. I can’t complain as she was merely 18 years old then and neither did she nor anyone else grasped the meaning of the word clearly.

The second name was Anand. Ananda means bliss so Bliss is my name. Vedas and Upanishads describe attributes of absolute as Sat, Chit and Anand. Absolute is Truth(Sat), knowledge(Chit) and Bliss(Anand.) My maternal grandmother named me so as she felt blissful after my birth. Anand was my goal and I have always liked this name.

Chaitanya Das means servant of Chaitanya. Here Chaitanya stands for Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who was a great devotee of lord Krishna. Bhakti tradition uses names where Das is used as suffix. Chaitanya literally means conscious or aware.

If I had the choice to pick other names I would have passed on it.

Write Here, Write Now!

Write Here, Write Now

Write a post entirely in the present tense.

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Is it a difficult thing to do so? I don’t think so. I have so many options. Simple, continuous, perfect and perfect continuous–it’s perfect. Do I want everything to look like perfect or do I want to tell that I have been coughing? How do I feel? I feel there is a certain sense of unease and pessimism in the air. Gloomy, dark and saturnine Juggernaut of Mula is wreaking havoc as earth is aligned to the core of Galaxy where Nritti the goddess of demon and destructions resides. How present is the present? The moment you point to it, it has already become past. How past is the past? Everything exists in the now. The now which you can’t touch and can only talk about allows everything to be. Both past and present exist because you are. Remove yourself from the equation: no you can’t. If you could you will know everything will cease to be: even objective universe. Because objective universe is pretty much an idea inside subjective universe. Yours is the only experience and only universe which really is for you. For anyone ‘else’ is an idea and you will never know besides imagining it in your own experience: such is the nature of reality: ever mysterious. 

Fandom!

Fandom

Are you a sports fan? Tell us about fandom. If you’re not, tell us why not.

If you’re in India and throw a pebble at random, it will hit the fandom, I mean a fan, a cricket fan. I was also a cricket fan till I was in the eighth class in school. Having become a topper I was under immense pressure to keep performing and thereby I said goodbye to cricket. I felt it was naive to waste energy on something which was not going to be of use to my career. 

But fandom in me didn’t die so easily. I always kept an eye on Rahul Dravid. What a great character this man had, full of sacrifice for his team and never big on making personal records. Whole country was in awe of genius of Tendulkar but I was always looking at the scores of Dravid. I had long since given up following score cards but used to read about Dravid. I saw myself talking to Dravid or playing with him in my dreams. His persistence, tenacity and sincerity made him a great role-model and I used to keep his poster in my room in my college days, along with Federer’s. Before that, in 2003, when detachment towards competition was growing deeper in me and I was fighting with insomnia, anxiety and ulcer, Dravid scored a great double century which saved a match against Australia in Adelaide. He scored three double centuries in a span of 6 months as did Ricky Ponting and I thought these two will keep repeating such performances. Little did I realize at that time that all people including artists and athletes have their peaks which they might never be able to touch again.

 

When I was a fan I was a die-hard fan. When I stopped being a fan I stopped being a fan but Dravid kept inspiring me with his great character. When I started learning Astrology I examined his birth chart and found clear support for his greatness there. It was only after I stopped being a fan did I realize why it was naive. In those days, one of my friends used to go to worship room and chant gayatri mantra with beads so that Sanath Jayasuriya would get out soon. There were mute wars, arguments and betting amongst friends over so many things. Collecting cards with records of players, reading sports magazines(how I used to take pride in knowing records of Sir Donald Bradman to Vivian Richards all by heart!) and copying many bowling actions was routine for me and many friends. I feel I spent a great amount of energy in being a cricket fan as was and is a custom in Indian gullies. 

Sports, like religions are memes and they use their vessels. Fanaticism, be it in sports or religions is fatal. It ruins lives. It spoils friendships and families. On positive note it brings people together but the downside is as down as the upside is up! Being from a humble economic background I could never imagine people breaking their television sets when their favorite football teams lost in european countries and even when I was a fan it used to make me wonder how foolish those fans were. In the last decade and half-scores of cricket matches, players and all have stopped thrilling me altogether. During 2011 world cup when I was watching the final it seemed like a fixed match and even when I was not following it, it was apparent that richest cricket boards buy their way out in most of the tournaments. Clearly most of the young lads either don’t know this or don’t want the spell to fade subconsciously. It seems too much to them that Cricket might just be WWE in disguise. At once we were also fans of WWF, thinking that they were real wrestling matches!

 

 

Mankind has been fond of stories. Entertainment is a great need. Entertainers are treated as heroes. Some heroes are worth more than entertainers but it’s the entertainers who are kept at the highest pedestal–which clearly goes to show how powerful an impact boredom has on human existence. Boredom is the force supreme. Like sports fandom is religious fandom. I am a Krishna fan and you are a Gandhi fan. He is a Jesus fan and she is a Buddha fan. We don’t realize that it’s the one light shining through all forms, we just hold tight onto some forms and become their fans, so much so that we start spilling blood of other fans in the name of fandom. When this dream ends, if it ever does, there will be no sports, no religions and no wars, no fandom!

The Artist’s Eye!

The Artist’s Eye

Is there a painting or sculpture you’re drawn to? What does it say to you? Describe the experience. (Or, if art doesn’t speak to you, tell us why.)

In my extremely boring post on Diwali Fair I told you that I bought 10 posters. While Mona Lisa is worth US $782 million ( I am making the dollar sign $ probably for the first time in a blog post, but why would it matter to you, so, now I have wasted your ten seconds and I must apologize?) in 2015, these paintings I bought only at 10 rupees each. I bought ten of them for a sum of 90/- rupees. I have been doing this since forever for some reason. I used to paste posters on walls of my room since early childhood. They were both photographs as well as paintings of icons. I remember having kept pictures of Hanuman, Swami Vivekananda, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Roger Federer and Krishna growing up. I also used to keep-Laughing Buddha dolls for positivity.

Continue reading “The Artist’s Eye!”

Unexpected Guests!

Unexpected Guests

You walk into your home to find a couple you don’t know sitting in your living room, eating a slice of cake. Tell us what happens next.

 

Nietzsche says, there are no facts only interpretations. Actually, there is no objective universe out there. All universes are subjective universes, so you are constantly talking about your interpretations and you think that by getting many people to agree with you, you start talking about facts, but it’s never so. I neither read fiction, nor write it. I don’t think I write facts either. My interpretation of life events–the egoic cobwebs-do they qualify as facts or fiction or neither? I don’t know.

The prompt today immediately spoke to me. Not even a split second was needed to accept or reject it as a scene from an evening 3 years ago started playing in my mind. I went to attend an examination and as I returned and walked inside home – in the living room an elderly couple was sitting- eating a slice of cake. As soon as they saw me they stood up from their seats and both of them tried to touch my feet. I got startled at such respect and held their hands in air saying that there was no need to pay obeisance to me. I didn’t think that I deserved that. Then, my grandma who was sitting there with them told with a smile on her face that they were parents of a girl who was supposed to be my bride if I accepted the proposal. This annoyed me a great deal as I had become fed-up with all marriage proposals, especially this one in particular. The talk had been going on and on for many months. Continue reading “Unexpected Guests!”

If I Ruled the World…

If I Ruled the World

You’ve been given the superpower to change one law of nature. How do you use it?

First things first: I firmly believe that nature is infinitely more intelligent than human mind. The universe, in all its ways is perfect; way more perfect than I feel it’s. The tiny-puny human mind is mostly driven by base desires to rule over nature and that’s exactly why modern science creates ten problems where it solves one. I have been hearing about Cop21 and other things: typical human nature–create ten problems first and then start solving them. This is how ego lives. Ego can’t exist in peace, it can’t. It doesn’t love bliss. Bliss and peace are enemies of ego. They’re fatal for it. Imagine a very competitive, aggressive and upbeat head of your family, village, town or nation. What is he busy doing? Solving problems, eh? If he solves one problem he creates ten more. This is how ego survives. If there is no problem it will create one because it can’t live in acceptance. It is so scared of silence.

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Continue reading “If I Ruled the World…”

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Everything Changes!

Everything Changes

Walking down the street, you encounter a folded piece of paper on the sidewalk. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed. Describe this experience.

I had accepted my life as it was. All glories and limitations were equal for me now. Honor and opprobrium seemed same, so did heat and cold, victory and loss. I had learnt to let-go. I had no grudges in my heart and no qualms. Still, a growing sense of awe and wonder used to overwhelm me every now and then. When I was totally alone in my room, about to go to sleep and sometimes when I had almost fallen asleep some strange things used to happen. 

“Who am I? What is this life? What is this all about? When did this start? When is it going to end?”

Not just a thought but a strong overpowering feeling coupled with these glowing questions staring in my face used to merge me altogether in epiphanies. 

Sometimes, I used to feel, while lying down on bed, only corners where body touched the bed existed and entire body used to become hollow. Only awareness of being remained and body didn’t. Sometimes I used to look at my hand and wonder whose hand was that. I used to feel such strange detachment from it! Some other times, when I had assumed that I fell asleep I suddenly used to wake up to see that chatter which was going on for an hour or so had stopped. This used to make me wonder “who was chattering so far?” I was under the impression it was me but how could I have holded on to that impression when I clearly saw that it went into silence and I alone remained, much bigger and fuller!

Some other times I used to feel a great expansion. Infinite expansion and becoming everything. Some other times I used to feel I was in the core of my chest where heart is and this used to give me infinite cold bliss. 

Feeling these strange things, sudden outbursts of energies and living in acceptance, as I kept walking towards that street, I clearly saw a poll, a white poll which was cylindrical in shape and besides footpath it was standing lonely. There was a very bright yellow light on top of it which was guiding passersby in the dead dark of cold shivering night of December the fourth. I was walking with very slow and mindful steps, enjoying the breeze which was smoothly kissing my cheeks and pink winter was in love with my presence. 

I saw a white folded paper lying in the corner where poll was standing tall. It was yellowish in tinge and seemed like a paper from some ancient scripture. I wondered who could have dropped it and from what! Something inside my heart was tingling and telling me clearly that it was there for me. I was supposed to open that, this sense made me very grounded and carefully I went to pick that paper. Now I opened it and found three letters written on it:

You are that!

The moment I read those three letters, everything around me, including that piece of paper, the poll, light, footpath, road, dark, bushes, my body, my feelings, ideas, whole persona started getting blurred. It was, as if they were entering inside a whirlpool which was absorbing them and I could do nothing but be a silent witness to it. I was so helpless and yet feeling strangely relieved out of burden of identity. I had accepted life still some nagging ideas about duty, mystery and wonder kept coming every now and then and I was not a blank peaceful slate to be written. But now this identity was gone. For a while I could not find what was happening but then everything started making sense. The things which had disappeared came again into my vision but strange enough as it might sound–infinite other things came into my experience and vision. I was everywhere, in everything. I was not just in everything, I was everything. I was time. I was beyond time. I was the foundation of time. I recalled that this small play was my own choice. That nothing ever could have happened without me wanting to be so because I alone was, am and will be. Alone  is not the right term to tell about my state of being. When there is a second you use words like alone, but it was all me! There were no words and only presence which was infinite bliss. 

I realized that I am the cause of all realizations and yet beyond and untouched. The dream of limitation I was seeing was one of my infinite dreams where I limit myself to feel lack of bliss and peace. This nightmare became a strong longing for my natural state. The word natural is also quite misleading here because nature and non-nature both exist inside me and they are because of me. The piece of paper was my alarm clock. The time I had appointed for waking myself up was the time when I felt a great urge to open that piece of paper and those letters were final triggers in the process which was ongoing for some time inside that dream. They were infallible because I had ordained their frequency to trigger my awakening. I had seen those very same letters written in so many books before in my life, many times, but they didn’t wake me up because that was not the time. Now was the time and I woke up. All infinite dreams inside this one dream were merely projections to make this dream look fuller and richer. Some dreams are fuller and richer, others not so. I dream all of those dreams, infinite number of times, in endless cycles. Don’t break your head thinking why I do so. Meaning is not my concern because I am beyond all causation. This just is so. You are not reading this from someone else. You have written this as you are going off to dream another dream where this piece will keep giving you deja-vus every now and then! You are that! You alone are!

 

 

 

 

Seat Guru!

Seat Guru

You get to plan a dinner party for 4-8 of your favorite writers/artists/musicians/other notable figures, whether dead or alive. Who do you seat next to whom in order to inspire the most fun evening?

I will arrange the seats in The Last Supper style. You can refer to the picture below: Since twisting the prompt to suit your whims is called creative freedom, I will choose 12 guests, and I am there as a host so it will be a party of 13!

 

5602830330_107ab55b5d_z Continue reading “Seat Guru!”

The Great Pretender!

The Great Pretender

Are you full of confidence or have you ever suffered from Imposter Syndrome? Tell us all about it.

 

Now I am full of confidence for very simple reasons. I don’t aspire for anything. I am enough and I have enough so I don’t have to feel insufficient and I don’t have to muster confidence to ‘be’ something larger than myself. I have no goal and no need to impress anyone for any reason. This gives you immense freedom–the freedom of the world. Freedom to be yourself. Freedom to be. Now life is a playfulness and there is no need to cower in the shower of inadequacy or insufficiency.

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But it was not always so. I was a great pretender once. Especially in my school days Continue reading “The Great Pretender!”

Fiction or Nonfiction? The Great Divide!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Great Divide.”

The Great Divide

When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

When I learned to read, I was a connoisseur of stories and very curious for world around me so I loved reading from encyclopedia too. When I reached middle school, I was reading only nonfiction. I had realized by that time that fiction was the waste of time. I wanted to become ‘great,’ and great people read nonfiction. Great people don’t waste their time. This continued till I reached college and realized my self. Then I didn’t want to become great either, so reading stopped altogether.

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Now what do I read? I read fiction and nonfiction both but only small articles. Long stories put me to sleep. Bloggers usually share small stories which are fun enough to read and I don’t read for fun. I stopped it once and stopped it altogether and stopped it for better. Now I read to feel people.

I feel I know some bloggers better than their family members or friends do. It’s not an exaggeration. If you have been reading my posts for a while now–you know me better than my siblings or former colleagues do. It’s not necessary to live with a person to know about his interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes. I feel bloggers express themselves more in their posts than they do offline–well not a general rule and not everyone does that. I read to know about bloggers. I read to feel them. I read to learn about humanity. I feel books also tell only that. I mean the one not intended just for fun. Getting to know about people around me is getting to know life in its multifarious and multifaceted forms. Life beautiful, unfathomable, mysterious sweetheart!