Monday, August 25, 2008

Marvel of memory

"Great is the power of memory, exceedingly great, O my God, a spreading and limitless room within me. Who can reach its uttermost depth? Here are men going afar to marvel at the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the long courses of great rivers, the vastness of the ocean, the movement of the stars, yet they leave themselves unnoticed” …. St. Augustine

The picture you see on the left is the Colour-enhanced light microscopy of Pyramidal neurons forming a network in the brain. These are nerve cells from the cerebral cortex that have one large apical dendrite and several basal dendrites. (Image Credit: Dr Jonathan Clarke. Wellcome Images)
There are trillions of neurons in the human brain.
There was a news in the last week dailies about a man who could recall from memory a 81 digit number. The miracle of man unfolds everyday, whether it be in athletic performance or in the employment of his intellect in stupendous achievements in science and technology.
It is now scientifically acknowledged that the human brain can not only tap into information gathered through conscious activity but has the capacity to reach beyond into the field of universal consciousness. Dr. Karl Pribram's findings are validated in selective experiments in the research arena.
Meditation is the tool to employ for this journey beyond the 'conscious data' retrieval. When in deep meditation we pass through level after level of consciousness. These changes take place in a very subtle mode and the heightened self-awareness will lead us to a strong feeling of coming home.

Love to you all

Monday, August 18, 2008

Meditating monkey

“Health, a light body, freedom from cravings, a glowing skin, sonorous voice, fragrance of body: these signs indicate progress in the practice of meditation” ……Shvetashvatara Upanishad
I was fascinated when I saw the picture of the meditating monkey. There was grace in the posture and a glow in the face accentuated by the rich fur. A monkey spends a very active and alert life because it has to share the food source with many companions as well as with competitors. It has also to be on guard all the time against predators.
A monkey is the symbol of vigorous physical activity.
Our lives also have a similar pattern but on a different scale. We often mistake non attachment with a sense of detached complacency. It is not what the seers and spiritual masters taught by their example. Adi Sankara and Vivekananda travelled the length and breadth of India, teaching. The great Gautama travelled far and wide visiting sangas and villages teaching for nearly forty years. Jesus constantly travelled the entire region of Judea and its neighbouring regions teaching and healing. Physical activity is an imperative element of holistic life style.
In meditation we gradually reduce our obsessive identification with the body. The body will feel lighter, our step will be more buoyant and our senses will come more easily under our control. By getting plenty of physical exercise, we help the process along.

Love to you all

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Continuous creation

" In commemoration of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope completing its 100,000th orbit in its 18th year of exploration and discovery, scientists at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Md., have aimed Hubble to take a snapshot of a dazzling region of celestial birth and renewal. Hubble peered into a small portion of the nebula near the star cluster NGC 2074 (upper, left). The region is a firestorm of raw stellar creation, perhaps triggered by a nearby supernova explosion. It lies about 170,000 light-years away near the Tarantula nebula, one of the most active star-forming regions in our Local Group of galaxies. This representative colour image was taken on August 10, 2008, with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. Red shows emission from sulphur atoms, green from glowing hydrogen, and blue from glowing oxygen." (http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/)

The awesome picture of continuous creation blows one’s mind away. Hydrogen and Oxygen are the very constituents of water and water ultimately is the harbinger of life. This picture must instil in us a deep seated understanding of how infinitesimal we are in this creation yet empowered with such intelligence as to fathom the very depth of the infinite. Hence this intelligence can not an attribute nor be the creation of the finite but a blessing and gift from the infinite and timeless entity.

Love to you all

Monday, August 11, 2008

Born out of fire

I have posted today an article 'Initiation through Fire' which you can read at leisure. Nature teaches us many truths and the one that we experience when you see the picture on the right is the beautiful carpet of wild flowers which adorns the forest floor. What is so unique about this scene is that this very forest was devastated by a wild fire during the previous summer and you can still see the scarring on the tree trunks.
Nature uses fire as a cleansing medium and gets rid of all the deadwood and unyielding flora.

Bhagawad Gita ch 4-37 says:
"Like the well burning fire burns all the wood, in the same way the fire of knowledge (self-realization) burns all the Karmas (deeds)"

We find many references in Avesta and Pahlavi literature to show that Fire is venerated, and equated with the glow of Ahura Mazda. (Ahura Mazdā is the Avestan language name for a divinity exalted by Zoroaster as the one uncreated Creator, hence God.)
We also find that there is a close association of Fire and Asha in Zoroastrianism. Asha primarily means Cosmic Order, similar to what ancient Aryans call it "Rta" in Sanskrit.

It is only through the perception of this inner knowledge, where in one finds the seat of cosmic order that one can find the means of eradicating maya or illusion and ascend to divine nature.

Love to you all

Friday, August 1, 2008

Lessons from the Lotus

It is the rainy season.
There is a spurt of life and the backwaters of Kerala have a luscious growth of lotus this year.
Like the rain drops on the lotus leaf, all that one gathers in this life whether it be wealth, health or knowledge they should glide off the self to the source from where they came, which is the feet of the divine or the plenum of the cosmos.
But while they transit the custodian during the brief period of terrestrial life they should reflect the glory of divinity in each one and that is the purpose for which every blessing is bestowed upon all creation.
Meditate upon the rain drops as they act like a lens and amplify the very fine structure of the lotus leaf. So also the purpose of every blessing is to illumine the inner core, the Atman.

As the great Buddha says that all his teachings can be summarized in the following words:
"Nothing should be clung to as I, me or mine".
Does not the Lotus leaf teach us this profound wisdom?

Love to you all