After some weeks or a bit more, I went to see kundA dEvI yesterday.
It was school letting off time from primary school children so the streets and buses were full of happy smiling children.
Bus drivers were considerate and the conductors gave change!
It was raining heavily on my way back and I asked a vada-maker what I might get for 3Rs. He said the days of “getting” things was in my days. Now its the days of giving and taking. He said I could give him 2 Rs. and take a uddina vaDa (Black gram, Sabut Urad dal / Kaali dal, minapa gAre). It was a nice and crunchy and hot – good to eat in the rain! BTW, if you make a back pack a front pack – it gets less wet in the rain as it gets more umbrella shade.
Overall it was a lovely outing.
But that is not the only thing that Arjuni wants to hear about.
She is eager to know, what happened there.
Well, I did dhyAna with kundA dEvI!
- I have realised that my goal is Ananda (joy).
And I have realised that the world proceeds as per its karma and karmaphala, and that it is fundamentally unhelpable by me. I have tried to help people since I was a kid and they always went back to their old problems the minute I wasn’t around.
But I also know that people do help themselves and achieve their goals and solve their problems by themselves. I have confidence in people’s ability – along with confidence in sunshine, rain and that spring will come again. So I don’t worry about others.
I also have confidence in myself. And optimism to boot. Optimism is faith in the universe. So I have decided not to worry about myself.
- I told kundA dEvI that I accept that I cannot link my joy to the pre-condition that every being in the universe must be made happy first. If they want Ananda they will work it out for themselves. If they want something else that is what they will work for. I can’t force my goal on others. She smiled and agreed.
She told me that she had attained Ananda through yOga and gnyAna through vEdanta.
I told her that I can’t understand what half the people are saying – it sounds just like sounds and not like words and sentences. And sometimes I understand far more than just their words. Sometimes it is easier to send a thought across to someone than speak, and they get it. She said that special abilities must be used for lOka kalyAnA (the welfare of the world).
Then we went up to the meditation hall (temple/gurukula).
When I am in her presence, especially in the gurukula, my heart becomes very light and beats freely. I feel uplifted. I don’t really care much anymore what we talk about the connection is really at another plane.
- I asked her about caarvaakAs.
She explained that the word is derived from caaru vaak or “beautiful speech”. caaruvaakas say that its curtains when the body turns to ash – and there is nothing more – no rebirth and so on. You are welcome to take loans and eat ghee – you don’t have the vEdantic tensions of karma. They neither believe the vEdAs nor dharmas’AstrAs nor anything else. I said this sounds like many modern people. They claim to believe in God, but they behave as if there is no here-after and no karma – just today’s profit and pleasure!
She explained that the caarvaakaas always have the greatest number of believers because it is the easiest way to live!
- I asked whether the madhvAs (dwaitins) accept that paramAtma dwells in beings. She said she will check. Advaitins and vis’iSTAdvaitins believe that paramAtma dwells in beings. In addition vis’iSTAdvaitins believe that the body of the paramAtma is the jIvAtma and the body of the jIvAtma is what we see. Advaitins hold that the jIvAtma and paramAtma (brahman) are the same.
- I also explained that I seem to be in all cakrAs at once though more in the higher cakrAs than the lower ones. I said my growth seems to be all cakrAs developing simultaneusly and not the cakra by cakra description given in Harish Johari’s book on tantra kunDalini yOga. She said that this does happen to some sAdhakas.
As she knows I don’t meditate on cakrAs or do any yOgic or tAntrik practices. Only adhyayana (study), aalOcana (thinking) and abhyAsa (practice). She said I follow mostly gnyaana mArga but with a slight mixture of yOga in it.
- I asked about samAdhi. She said tripuTI nAs’a is samAdhi. ie destruction of the triads – eg gnyaanam, gnEyam, gnyaata – the knowledge, that to be known and the knower. and so on.
Then I pointed out that samAdhi as in the destruction of the triads – may even be attained by the chanting of viSNU sahasranAma when we daily chant that Vishnu is ”gnyaanam, gnEyam, gnyaata – the knowledge, that which is to be known and the knower” and other such triads. eg desire, that which is desired, the desire-r. If you chant something daily paying attention – it is bound to sink in!
She agreed. There are many ways to the mountain, it is a waste of time criticizing someone else’s way. Better focus on doing a good job of our own way!
- I asked her how she could tolerate so much talk from me!
She said she was like this when she was a student full of questions and hard to convince. Her guruji loved the way she would keep asking questions and draw out all his knowledge as opposed to those who just took things superficially. Her senior co-students said that they did not even know that their guruji knew so much and was such a scholar! They said that she was able to even ask so many questions since she was a yOgiNi!
Ha! This is the first time kundA dEvI has admitted to being – er at least being perceived as a yOgiNi! I have seen this – that she only accepts anything about herself only after you have fully recognized it first and call it out. She will never tell you herself! I guess most people wouldn’t understand any way!
- Then I said there are those who claim that brahmagnyAnIs and yOgIs are different – isn’t that against what kRSNa said?
She said the mArgAs (routes) are different but whichever route you take you end up in that final state. A vEdAntin who attains the final state is brahmagnyAni and when someone who practices asTAnga yOga attains samAdhi – they are called a yOgI.
- After this I had a my vEda pATa! We finished the first adhyaya of pavamAna sUkta.
- Then I asked her if she would meditate with me.
She agreed – since it would be beneficial to me. My idea is that in joint dhyAna I sit with my ‘heart’ open to my guru and some kind of internal balancing and consolidation take place – a kind of steadying. This is the opposite of what most others to which is a kind of ‘toppling’ or unbalancing. And yes! It was awesome to dhyAna together with her. Hope she does it again sometime.
- I was telling her that I had given away all three copies of Vivekananda’s “call to the nation” to young deserving ones (a bus girl, my niece Vasihnavi and my friend Lakshmi) – so she gave me another copy! But I do have to restock.
And I am going back for another vEda class today. Yay!