Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Praying and Meditation are Waste of Time

(If yoga and meditation could bring god then you may practice something like this too)

Do we know anything that we do not know? Do we realize something that is not already in us? Does this concept called ‘search’ reveal something other than already you have in you? How can you search for a pen, which you have misplaced in your study room, if you have never possessed that pen? What is this fuss all about searching for the unknown or god? If it is unknown then it remains unknown. How do you realize the unknown when it manifests as known if you do not have any idea about this unknown? You are a searcher. You have been searching for Shiva. You go to Mount Kailash, you go to Gangotri, Mansarovar, Rudraprayag and many places where you believe Shiva resides. But you look for a Shiva who looks like the one that you have seen either in calendars or temple idols, books or television serials. Shiva comes to you perhaps in the form of a tea stall boy. But you do not recognize him because you don’t have a Shiva in you in the form of a tea stall boy. That is why the wisest of the wise, Yudhishtira could not recognize Shiva when he came in the form of a Chandala before him. Even Yudhistira was expecting Shiva to be like the one in a calendar of his times. Simple thing, you don’t realize or recognize or learn or understand anything or anybody, if that is not already in you. I am not telling anything new because there is nothing new in this world. What I am telling you is what is already in me. I may be seeing in perspective because something might have helped me to see it in perspective. Interestingly, even that something is known to me.

Let me take a simple example. While going for a morning walk in a South Kolkata park, I happened to see a piece of poster that was stuck on a round pillar. From the place where I was currently standing or walking I could see only a shiny black patch and a faint pink that reminded me of the arm of a woman. But within the fraction of a second I recognized that it is the poster of the recently released movie, Dhoom 3. Why? I did not see Amir Khan, Katrina Kaif, Abhishek Bacchan or Uday Chopra in that piece of poster because it was not visible to me from where I was approaching. What I saw was simply a shiny black patch and something resembled the arm of a woman. The immediate recognition of it as a Dhoom 3 poster comes from my previous knowledge about it. I have seen this poster thousand times during last one or two months. I have been visually assaulted by the presence of these four figures with their comically burning pieces of body and clothing. This is knowledge is already in me. I was not searching for a poster in that street. But that piece of shiny black patch made me aware that it was a poster that I already knew. Suppose, if I did not know anything about Dhoom 3, what could I have noticed in that? Could I have even noticed that? Out of the many pieces of posters stuck on the pillar why only my eyes caught the sight of Dhoom 3? The answer is simple. I knew about it. The piece of poster was just a clue to make my own conclusions. We always read about Vivekananda becoming enlightened by the touch of Shri Ramakrishna’s thumb. This enlightenment of Vivekananda is all about the realization of all what he had already known. When he was working towards it, he did not know he had it in him. Ramakrishna’s touch was a clue, a shocking clue. Same is the case of Buddha or Jesus, or Jiddu Krishnamurty or U.G.Krishnamurty. Even this is the case of Ramana Maharshi. They all understood what they already knew.

Michael Angelo, the Renaissance artist, once said that he does not sculpt anything. He chipped away all the unwanted particles from a bloke of marble so that the embedded sculpture is revealed. As a gifted artist, Michael Angelo knew and even saw the sculpture in a marble bloke. He just chipped away the things that did not belong to the sculptural form. This is the case with anybody; artists or scientists or common man. We hear a lot of voices and noises. But we don’t understand the music in it. A musician understands it because that music is already in him. Otherwise how does a blind musician create a symphony on Autumn or Spring? How does a blind musician sing of the beauties of the world, more convincingly than a person who has eyes? How does a painter paint images that do not exist in the world, if those images are not in him already? Picasso makes a bull head out of a cycle saddle and a handle bar. If, as a Spaniard, he does not have any clue about bulls or bull fighting, the national sport of Spain, how could he make a combination out of two machine parts and make the impression of a bull? The bull is already in him. So is the gorilla mother and the goat made out of a bamboo basket. There is a famous story about the artist, Benode Behari Mukherjee, who turned blind towards the middle age of his life. He and his senior, Nandalal Bose did not share a cordial relationship. But when Benode Behari Mukherjee heard that even in his old age Nandalal was painting, he wanted to ‘see’ those painting. When Bose came to know about it, he was baffled. How could a blind man ‘see’ his paintings? Someone took Mukherjee to Bose’s studio where he asked someone to run his fingers through the contours of Bose’s painting. At some point Mukherjee said to Bose that he could have used a different colour there. Had Mukherjee not known painting in him or realized it in his mind already, how could he have made such a suggestion?

I feel pity about people who are in search of the unknown as I understand that none realizes anything if it is not in him already. If it is not in you, it is not going to manifest. If it is in you, then you need not search at all. Whether you want it or not it is going to manifest in one or the other form the way the Dhoom 3 poster manifested before me. I was not searching for a Dhoom 3 poster in Kolkata. Perhaps, that would have been the remotest thing that I could do in a city like this where I have come for a different purpose. But as Dhoom 3 is in me, it manifests before me without my search. Same is the case with the so called God. He/she is already in you. If he is not there, let me tell you, you are not going to realize him/her. But is that a problem? That is not a problem at all. It is not necessary that people realize things. Why should we try to learn singing, when we do not have any talent in singing? However, you try you don’t become a singer because the ability to sing is not in you. You are wasting your time if you try to sing. If you are not a scientist, you cannot do what a scientist do. You may read a few scientific journals and try to grapple with the ideas expressed there. You may even think that you have understood and now you could be a scientist of your own right. But what is the use? Could you invent a radio or television which has already been invented? Could you bring out the traits of a creature behaviour which has already been explored? This is the same case with the so called spirituality. You are not going to realize anything if it is not in you. Sitting in various postures of meditation is a waste of time. It will give you physical inertia or exercise, it is not going to reveal you anything because you do not know.

What you could cherish in your life is silence. Perhaps, in silence, the way Michael Angelo had seen sculptures in marble blokes, in the marble bloke of your mind you may see things which you already know but fail to recognize. But you cannot be silent unless and until you have it in you. Give it a try is the worst kind of advice that anybody could give to anybody else. If you try you don’t get it. If you don’t try and if you have it already it will come out. What you have is like a flow. A flow cannot be barred. If it is barred it will come out somehow. You cannot create a flow because you do not have a stream in you. If you have a stream it is bound to flow. I am not asking you to become lethargic and non-doers. That does not help in anyway. All the biological organisms are bound to function within a pre-planned flow. We as biological beings actually do everything possible to prevent this pre-planned flow. After preventing it, we try to find out why it is not flowing. So what we need is a tremendous amount of de-conditioning. We need to destroy ourselves in order to realise the real potentials. The irony is even this destruction is natural. You don’t need to do anything. You just need to do you work with complete involvement, call it love or sincerity. When you do it, you flow. If your work is disturbing you, then understand, you are creating hurdles for your flow. If you are enjoying, then you are flowing. Things will happen to you. You just need to be. Do not do anything. Don’t ever think of praying or meditating. Nothing is going to come through praying or meditation. You just need to be in silence. Then silence starts speaking and that is the best form of conversation you can ever have in your life. And through this conversation you realize things in you. If you have it, you will have it and you don’t have it, please do not even try.

I will finish this self-conversation with one more reference to something that we all know; food. We all like to eat food. I have always felt that eating food for enjoyment is as good as eve teasing. You do it for the heck of it. You derive some pleasure. When you are hungry, you eat and it is not teasing. It is just quelling your hunger. But when you aestheticize your hunger and desire, you eat things for the sake of it. They titillate your taste buds and the sensations are conveyed to your brain and you realize that you are enjoying something. Many people say, while eating and after eating and perhaps, even after several months of that eating incident, that the food is so great. They make exclamatory noises and expressions like ‘vow’, ‘it is delicious’ and ‘yummy’ etc. People do this out of habit or peer pressure because they need to tell themselves that they are eating for enjoyment. However, I would say, compared to eve teasing, eating, if you could afford, is a harmless pleasure seeking. But even in that condition, do we eat something that we do not know already? People eat or choose eateries after discussing with their friends who have already experienced the tastes of a particular restaurant. So whatever you eat out of habit or suggestion is nothing new. You already know about it that is why you enjoy it or pretend to enjoy. In a buffet, you find a variety of food items. But you do not eat everything given. You choose and your choice is completely based on your pre-knowledge about it. You know it even if you are consuming it for the first time. You do not eat anything that you do not know. Then how can you consume a god that you don’t know?

In Kolkata streets, in the morning I see many people drinking a particular mix of liquid. I stood there and watched how the way side vendor made it. He takes a big steel tumbler and put so many ingredients in it from different packets and vessels arrayed before him. Then he adds water to it and it turns into a yellow liquid. Irrespective of age and gender, I watch, people drinking it with so much of relish. I know tea, I know neembu pani (lemon water), I know lassi, I know soft drinks, I know bottled water, I know jal jeera, I know ganne ka ras (sugar cane juice), I know fruit juices, I know so many other drinks sold at the wayside stalls. But this one drink that is made right in front of my eyes looks completely alien. I could drink it because people like me are drinking it and they are not dropping dead. They are drinking with such a flourish that one is reassured that it is harmless. But still I do not have the courage to drink it. Reason; I do not know this drink. In my acquired knowledge or mind, I do not have any reference about this drink. So I walk on wondering how it would taste. But I do not drink it because it is ‘not in’ me. Later I ask a friend in Kolkata about it and he informs me it as a ‘sattu’ which is a health drink that helps you to clear your bowels. Apparently unlike other laxatives sattu is tasty also. Now I have the knowledge about it. Still I do not dare to drink it. Why, because it is not in me. It is the same case with god and realizing the unknown. There are thousands of spiritual gurus and thousands of techniques in this world that you can read, practice and understand. But none of these would take you to god or realization of the unknown. It does not happen because it is not there in you. Like I understood sattu, it remains in the level of information. I can talk volumes about sattu with or without drinking it because for me it is just an information and it is extraneous to my being. If sattu is there in me, I need not talk about it at all. I can be silent on sattu. People who talk about God are those people who question god completely. Those people coax hoards of credulous and gullible people are just cheating them by showing some magical formulas.

So I tell you stop praying and meditating. If it is there in you, whatever you do is praying and meditation. If it is not in you, you are just wasting time.

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