Sunday, March 17, 2013

Shiva

Click Here    Came across this fantastic talk by Amish Tripathi at the India Today Conclave- You seriously gotto watch this!... Must watch for all who believe in religion, for all who believe in God, for all who worship Lord Shiva and for all who have read and liked the Shiva Trilogy !!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Knower, Known and Knowing

The supreme is everywhere and in everything. It is the something that is closest to you and too far away from you too. Since it is subtle, you cannot comprehend it, though it is so close to you.
If at all there is anything you are striving hard to know in this world, it is this supreme alone that you need to know. Pursuit of all other knowledge is futile. Though it is uniformly present in everything, it appears as if it is divided in all inanimate and animate objects. If you are searching through the space in the night’s sky for the brightest of stars, you are never going to find it because the brightest of all the brightest stars is the supreme presence and that is within you and everyone else. That supreme is the knowledge with which we try to understand, the process of knowing and the thing to be known too. Sri Krishna tells Arjuna that the truth of the field of knowledge, knowing of that field and the object that is worth knowing ultimately has been taught and the devotee who knows this reaches that truth eventually. Knowledge of the truth is a sure way to reach that truth, because the knowledge, knowing and the knower here are only the truth. We often have this question, how did this world begin? When did people come? When did we begin feeling with our emotions- happiness or sadness? The Bhagavad Gita answers this question. When? There is no scope for this question because, it has always been existing Anadi- without a beginning and an end. What has been existing? The Purusha, a non-moving expanse which is the seed of all creation, and Prakriti, the nature that has been created out of this Purusha, have ever been there. All the modifications of the thoughts and the qualities that make nature were born out of this Prakriti. While Prakriti brings forth this world of cause and effect, the individual soul experiences the joys and sorrows that emerge out fo it.
The Puusha or the absolute experience teams up with the Prakriti, experiences the objects of nature that are created by the three qualities of Prakrit: Satwa, the quietude; Rajas, the dynamism; and Tamas, the inertia. What is present as the supreme being in this universe is also present in the individual entity. That supreme in you and me is the witness of all events, the guiding light that throws light on our choices, thoughts, words and actions and the one which sustains everything and experiences too. One who is aware of this Purusha, the supreme spirit, and Prakriti and the Three Gunas, is not born again even though he/she has to perform actions in this world.

Taken from
20th November, 2011
The New Sunday Express-Magazine
Gita Jnana// Swahilya Shambhavi
[swahilya.soulmate@gmail.com]










Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Truth





The Devil was waiting at the crossroads discussing the foibles of man( which, in fact, keep hell going) with his minions when he saw a man passing by. The Devil was pleased when the man bent down to pick up something that was lying on the road.
“What did he pick up?” asked one of the denizens of hell.
“It was a little piece of truth I gave him,” the Devil answered gleefully.
“But ,master, that might save his soul, and if you do such things, we would go out of business.”
“You won’t get it,” said the evil one. “All this man will do with his piece of truth is become a new prophet and create a new religion. He will get many devotees. He will preach his piece of the truth, and that will ensure that more and more people become distanced from the whole truth.”


Taken from
20th November, 2011
The New Sunday Express-Magazine
Pg 11- The Spirit
Parable- The Truth






Monday, December 19, 2011

Is Namaaz the same as Yoga?


This is a long due post.... I had written somewhere in my other blog 'Jalpari' that I'd be writing on why I dont like being told that Namaaz is just like Yoga....
I received a comment yesterday telling precisely that- This post was written as a comment in reply to that comment but is started gettin lengthy so, i thought of makin it into a blogpost......

I respect your views and agree to the 'cleanliness' aspect of it. But, i fear, i do not conform with most of what you have written with regard to the comparison of Namaz with Yoga.

The points you have mentioned have been told by many many many authors and TV channels that air Muslim stuff have shown many a Zakir Naik lectures on this topic. So, obviously a huge section of Muslims would tell what you wrote and i respect you guys for your intention.
But since i am talkin for myself, lemme say, I personally find this comparison to be degrading to both Namaz and Yoga.
It is very Dawah-centric.
And that too in a silly way.

First coming to Namaz, the very thot of equatin Namaz to any form of 'exercise' irks me big time.

It's almost like telling ppl a better bahana to read Namaz . You know, the kind of ppl who try to combine fasting in Ramzan and 'dieting'.
'ek teer do nishan' can definitely be a good 'outcome' of Namaz but when we PREACH that in the way Zakir Saab does, it's like diluting the intention behind Namaz.
Namaz is a 'conversation' with God. NOT a meditation.
When we read the Fatiha, we are actually 'saying' to Allah ki Allah Paak, saari tareef tumhare hi liye hai. Rabb ho tum pure aalam ke. Rehman ho, Raheem ho. Malik ho tum qiyamat ke roz ke. Hum tumhari ibadat karte hai aur tumse hi madad mangte hai. Hume sahi rah par chalao. Unki rah par jinse tum khush ho na ki unke jinpar tumhari narazgi hai.

And when we are saying THIS to Allah or asking Him to bless Mohammed S.A.W and his progeny as He had blessed Prophet Abraham A.S. and his progeny., THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING.

Speaking to Allah.

I seriously wonder why and how can ppl compare the conversation with the Almighty with 'exercise'. We are the closest to Allah during sijdah, kehte hai. . . and at that time if i am concerned bout the position of my knee joint and ankle joint, am i really conversing with God?

One of my biggest difficulties in Islam has been attaining concentration during prayer. I keep wandering to the work that has to be done, the cat nibbling at something behind my back etc etc. If Namaz is an exercise, why am i even bothered bout the 'concentration'?

Repetitive movements of the Namaz can be a form of 'yoga' ppl say. If we know yoga or any form of exercise, we'd know how the position sense and stretch sense in performing those exercises are important. Definitely not possible in Namaz. In Namaz, we keep track of the VERSES. . . The body floats through the movements that we have been performing a minimum of twenty times, every single day of our lives. I also dont understand the cardio comparison of Namaz. Cardio, i think, is from cardiac. Th little cardio that i have done defines the word properly, it increases our cardiac function. Increases the pumping of the heart. The least form of cardio that i can manage without utter exhaustion is brisk walking. And that too leaves my heart Pumping real hard. Where is 'praying' if we are in a 'high' after a work out?

If we say yoga is 'meditation' and then talk bout Namaz being meditation, again, how can a conversation be meditation as well? It's like now while i am talkin to you, i am 'meditating'. Namaz to me is a conversation. In fact, an obligatory conversation which we do to make our lives easier. Both here and in the hereafter. It is for 'gardens beneath which rivers flow'. It is for meeting Huzur S.A.W. at kausar.

My mummy has been praying since God knows when. She prayed standing when she was young. Then she prayed sitting on the floor. Now she prays sitting on a chair. In fact, her sijdahs are only half sijdahs. Had her intention behind prayin been even partly for exercise, wouldnt she be disappointed now ? And now that she can only sit on a chair and pray, what 'exercise' does the Namaz remain ? She prays to be heard by her God. She wants me to pray properly, pray on time coz God is Hearing. She SPEAKS to Allah and that is why Namaz is alive in her heart. Not coz of any 'yoga' in Namaz.

at times after namaz we find ourselves crying or smiling coz of the dua we made to Allah...

in Namaz, I, Almas, try to concentrate on speaking to Allah.
not on either 'meditating' or 'exercise'.

Now coming to Yoga.

I havent been a student of yoga, leave alone a master and since i have not even followed the Indian group of religions (that is the parent religion of yoga), i wouldnt consider myself in a stable position to really 'opine' on yoga.
still, based on the little i have read on the topic, helped by my fascination for the religion that is Hinduism, i can say that Yoga is beyond... WAY BEYOND exercise alone, meditation alone or even both exercise and meditation combined together.

yoga being used to keep ourselves fit and healthy and to lose weight is the monetary aspect of it... the commercialized side to the discipline that is yoga.
Yoga, keeps us fit...or attempts to keep us fit, beyond doubt, but is more than just that.

yoga is meditation, beyond doubt, but again, is more than just that.

yoga is CONTEMPLATION. yoga is 'BECOMING ONE'....literally....

Hinduism, like Islam, has many branches....and one of the philosophies in Hinduism (the one that is my favourite) is that of MONOISM... unlike the conventional Islamic MONOTHEISM....

Monoism preaches the existence of God and God alone. All that is, is God. Nothing else is.

based on this philosophy, 'Yoga' is the 'becoming one' with 'God' in that.. it is the realization of 'All that is, is God. Nothing else is.'

it is almost like the realization of "Aham Brahmasami".....

i think this is the Advaita Vedanta school of thought .... am not sure, i apologize.

but, i THINK it is the Advaita Vedanta...
ADVAITA meaning 'a' + 'dvaita'
no + second.
One single existence- God.


this concept is considered alien to Islam. The Salafi school of thought, in fact, calls it Kufr.The very first page of Dr. Bilal Philips' "Fundamentals of Islamic Studies" in its discussion of the Tawheed, refutes Monoism.

How then can a Salafi (*self proclaimed Salafis- I am against the branching of Islam)while reading the Namaz, be doing anything similar to 'yoga'????

The story of creation goes that Allah is a Noor and he wanted to share his beauty with a beloved and so he created the Noor Mohammedi S.A.W. ...out of HIS OWN NOOR.
and then everything that existed, exists and will exist was created out of this Noor Mohammedi S.A.W..
meaning we all have the Noor of Noor Mohammedi in us...and indirectly, the Noor of Allah.
this entire story of creation is not accepted in the literal sense by many Muslim authorities. (no wonder, Monoism is also not accepted. i cant see how someone who believes in THIS story of creation wud manage to disbelieve in Monoism)
however, the Sufi school of thought are pretty Monoistic in their beliefs.
(again, no wonder, that they are called kafirs by many 'other' branches of Islam).
The only single thing in Islam that I personally, very personally, think can be compared to Yoga is the Sufi whirling dance....

very different from the Yoga, definitely....
yet, the closest to yoga that Islam has 'officially' got to. This whirling signifies the Muslim mystics' dance of love....love for the Supreme.. the Supreme that is .... and the only thing that is.

In his love for God, the Sufi annihilates himself... and all that remains is God.


otherwise, i find no comparison of any single 'sanctioned' and 'recognized' Muslim act to be akin to Yoga.


of course, we can always say that Yoga belongs to Allah... coz everything belongs to Allah. Every Prophet came with the message of Islam... any knowledge that ever came to man is from Allah.
in THAT way, Islam has yoga???? ok.. it does!

otherwise, in the Shariah of the Prophet Mohammed S.A.W, the last Prophet of Islam, (excluding the return of Jesus A.S. ofcourse), there is no YOGA.

There is Namaz, which is very very monotheistic.

Yoga, on the other hand can range from monotheism to monoism... depending on how far you can go in the 'yog'.

The Bhagawad Geeta mentions 'Yoga' in ways which I have not been able to understand fully. I need to study that in depth.

however, the verses in Bhagawad Gita do make it clear that Yoga is,like i told, beyond exercise, meditation or both.

There are many verses dealing wid yoga in the Gita, you can search it up.

I again write the two verses which I like the most in the Gita:-

"When thy mind leaves behind its dark forest of delusion, thou shalt go beyond the scriptures of times past and still to come.

When thy mind, that may be wavering in the contradictions of many scriptures, shall rest unshaken in divine contemplation, then the goal of 'YOGA' is thine."

P.S- Readers are free to differ in opinion. We are all individuals, we all have our own minds. We can all have our own opinion.







Khidr A.S. and the Madness Water.

Once upon a time Khidr A.S, the teaches of Moses (A.S.), warned mankind that all the water in the world which had not been hoarded, would disappear. Then different water will appear, which would drive men mad. Only one man listened to Khidr A.S. He collected water and went to live in a cave. On the predicted date, all rivers and wells dried. Then after a While, the rivers filled up. The man drank his safe water and stayed sane. One day curiosity got the better of him, and he was also feeling lonely. He went to meet his fellow men and found that they were thinking and speaking strangely; yet they had no memory of what had happened. When he tried to talk to them, they called him mad, and stoned him. The man's choice was to go back to his solitary hut or drink the tainted water. He drank and became mad and lived happily ever after with his fellow lunatics.


From The New Sunday Express Magazine.
'Stories of Wisdom'





Saturday, December 17, 2011

Shikwa - Bad Girls Gone Good!!

Today my aapa and I had a little 'chat' about that same old thing bout life.

Why are the 'bad' people not punished?

well... at least some of them...


our conversation was mostly about those girls who live their lives 'fully'.... and by 'fully' I mean... fully in the truest sense of the word.... in the sense of the people who oppose hijab and other Islamic tenets in general.

These girls, about whom we were talking, have enjoyed the prime years of their lives....
dressed in the way the world requires...
not really given a second look to the Qur'an...
had boyfriends...lived in wid ppl...
etc etc etc....

they all did things which would make 'ppl' say- "Barbaad ho gayi ladki... koi nai poochhega!"

but, then.. these very girls, they get settled beautifully....
some of them, in fact, get married into very Islamic families.

two of the girls we spoke about are actually wearing the burqa. From shorts to burqa is a BIG transition.
I would be very thankful to Allah Paak had it happened out of a desire to please God.
But, as far as my mortal thinking goes, these girls became Islamic coz they got married into Islamic families.
Did I mention that both these grooms are also pretty rich?

in short, the gals who didnt give an eff to Allah and Islam, both found rich Islamic guys, donned the burqa, will now(be made to) pray five times a day, keep rozas and follow the Sunnat etc and thus have a beautiful Hereafter confirmed.
A beautiful Hereafter.... after a beautiful 'Here'- after pre-marital sex, discotheques, partying and everything that Islam prohibits.

and there are girls, some.. who do everything that God wants them to do, but end up having miserable lives.


If we even keep the 'Islam' out of it, we wud find instances where "Good Girls" get nothing and "Bad Girls" get it all.
of course, I am being judgmental in the "Good" and "Bad" difference. But, obviously I will be... I mean... We are all judgmental. No big deal in that.


I do not understand why God does this.


Some "Good girls"... REALLY GOOD GIRLS... are MADE to go astray. Yes am blaming God.... If I give Him the credit for all the good that exists in the world, cant I blame Him for 'One' of my tears???

We can call it destiny.
I would.
But isnt this just a toooooo fantastic destiny where girls for whom Islam meant nothing are brought to follow the Islamic tenets.

I also wonder if their acts of worship- includin the burqa- would actually bring them ajar, given that they didnt do it for God, but for getting the surname of a rich Muslim guy....given that they didnt do it for a 'Heavenly Hereafter' but a 'Heavenly Here'?

Whatever happened to ajar for Guidance????
Guidance is good.... but this???? Left handed guidance maybe!!! ok.. cool..


You know it's alrite if good things happen to ppl.... so, give these gals Heaven... alrite...

but, why make a good gal go bad?? (i sound so rihanna! :P)

Why deprive a good gal of happiness to such an extent that she ends up doing bad?
A test you'd say...
exactly go on giving tests to the people who have hope in you... and in front of their eyes make the wrong-doers flourish (in Islam!).....

My sister asks, WHEN would these gals be punished for their sins???


I dont know.
I'd be God if I did.


But I still believe that this is what is life all about....
Just goin on doin that which is required of us....

"Karm kar, fal ki apeksha mat kar." as Sri Krishna says in the Bhagawad Geeta.


How much can we ignore/defeat the delusions of this world is the trick....
It is mean of God. ACTUALLY.

But....we always have a choice.
Accept this meanness... or eff it off!

He HAS made us a Fitna to each other....

Just like someone is being a Fitna for us....we too might be Fitna for some others.....


I have no other answer for my sister or for my own doubting self except that we need to first 'feel' what we believe to be right, and then just go on doing it, irrespective of how gr8 the 'wrong' become....

If we cant overcome a Fitna as small as this, how do we think we'd survive the Fitna of the Dajjal???


Allama Iqbal,one of the best poets of our sub-continent, has written both- the SHIKWA as well as the JAWAAB-E-SHIKWA.
I cant say about others, but for me....SHIKWA surpasses JAWAAB-E-SHIKWA in its clarity and feel.
And I think that I know the reason for it. It's coz Iqbal Saab is not really in a position to give the JAWAAB-E-SHIKWA.
The SHIKWA is from the Muslim.
and the Muslim poet wrote it excellently.

Maybe, when we go to Heaven, IF we go to Heaven, we can talk to God Himself....
somewat like Aapa and I spoke today... lying prone on the bed, the TV muted, lost in our talks...
maybe we can talk to God like that someday... THEN we'd get the JAWAAB-E-SHIKWA.....


until then....all we can do is wait and do our 'karm' without 'apeksha'.... and when we cant avoid the apekshas and end up falling victim to the fitna around us...let us all keep our SHIKWA ready.

The JAWAAB-E-SHIKWA will definitely arrive.






Self

While goin thru a post on Sufism, I came across these beautiful lines---

the opening lines from a ghazal by Mathnavi;

Everyday I meditate upon this, and every night I groan
Why is my own existence to myself the least known?
Whence have I come, why this coming here?
Where to must I go, when will my home to me be shown?
I am in desperate awe, why was I ever created?
For this, my creation, whatsoever was the reason?


Read the complete post HERE.