Monday, October 13, 2008


Dark dull was the road
Then came a little hope on board
In the darkness , she was the light
As if she had my lost might

I called her a friend
Our friendship did transcend
All the courage, happiness and joy
She put in my hands shy

She was in my accord a person ideal
Burst of energy, passion and zeal
For everyone around, respect and care
Such a parcel with talent and sincerity is rare

Her tiny eyes, a spark of innocence
Her sweet voice, spoke immense
Her notorious smile, twinkling awe
She is sent by Him to disperse love

Pioneered with trust and belief
Our bond firm in pain and grief
Survived even in testing times
Each time our faith climbs

She taught me to cry, to write poetry
I pray our friendship lasts till eternity
For me, she is a treasure I would nurture
All my life, with pleasure.

From Speaking Tree (Times Of India)

When the Buddha was about to die — as a physical body — he worried that a number of his disciples would cry, and that they would suffer, because they had not seen his dharma body. They had only seen his physical body.
So he gave this teaching to all his disciples in the hope that they would somehow come to realise that what is physical is transient, so there was no need to feel sad over physical losses: "My dear friends, there is a beautiful island within, that you may take refuge in every time you suffer. Don't take refuge in anything, in anyone, except in the island inside".

At that time Buddha was in the city of Vaishali. When you cross the Ganga, you arrive at the city of Vaishali And there the Buddha met with groups of students, and he visited sanghas and met monks and nuns; he met with dozens of groups of friends and disciples and he spoke about taking refuge in the island within.
He said to them: "The island within is for you to discover. It's a safe place where you feel calm, you are not disturbed, and you feel happy and protected."
"Every time we feel we suffer, we feel we are attacked on every side, we feel that no one loves us, that everyone wants us to suffer, every time we fail in everything we do, then we have to remember there is a very fine, beautiful place that we can go home to, and that place, you have to discover... it is not located in space."
Why is it so easy to go to Paris or any other city or town whereas it is so difficult to go to a place that lies within oneself? It's easy to go to Paris, because Paris is located in space. You look at the map, you follow directions and you find Paris, but this island of Self, this refuge where you can feel safe, happy, connected, calm, that island of Self you have to discover by your practice.
There are days when you feel that it's not your day, everything goes wrong. In fact, there are days when you feel that whatever you do, it was sure to go wrong. And the more effort you make, the situation becomes worse. Of course you have gone through days like that in your life. You fail, you suffer, you get angry, people blame you, you are not happy, you are frustrated.
And you tell yourself that you have to make more effort, but the more effort you make, the worse the situation becomes, and then you know that it's time to stop ... it's time to stop everything, it's time to go home to yourself and take refuge. To go home and take refuge in the island within.
You have to close your windows, the eyes, the ears; you have to close the five windows. You should not be in touch with the outside any more; you have to close the windows of your hermitage. Because there is a hermitage within- that is the island of self that i want you to discover.
If you continue to be on the outside, then you continue to suffer. That is why in moments like that, you have to go home to the island of self. Everyone has a hermitage within, very safe, cozy, comfortable, calm. The expression that the Buddha used is "dmpa atta dmpa sarana". "Atta" means self, "dmpa" means island, and "sarana" means refuge. "Taking refuge in the island of self". Buddha gave this dharma talk when he was 80 to many groups of friends and disciples. If you rely on the outside, you get lost. That is why you have to go home and rely on something that is reliable, that is the island of self.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Think Before You Act

It was Monday morning. I arrived on the station platform and hurried towards the first class compartment to catch the train which had almost arrived. But to my surprise the train stopped few metres before its e.m.u. halt. “Why had it stopped abruptly!!” was the question all around. I did not even try to give it a thought while I hurried to make way to the compartment. Huhh!!! I made it. Confirmed that I had boarded the right train and relaxed on a seat.
Few minutes passed by but the train did not start. I could see people crowding on the platform just outside my window. I tried to penetrate through the human wall. But my attempts to find the cause of chaos were futile. ”I am getting late yaar. Why isn’t the train moving”, “Already the train arrived late” . Such comments diverted my attention. I was well before time and had no reason to worry. Not concerned about what is happening around , I began looking out of the opposite window.
Soon people rushed in the compartment and grabbed the seats. Two people who had just occupied the nearby seats were muttering something between them. I tried to overhear and sensed that it is about the chaos outside. But could not get a precise idea. “What happened outside?”, I asked one of them. He informed me that a person in the train had got fits and was being attended. Now I could figure out why the train had stopped abruptly and the buzz outside.
After a long halt train started moving and thoughts started crowding in my mind. I could recall the snapshots captured during my daily train journey since past few weeks .People rushing past each other to reach the platform, to get into the compartment to grab a seat. Crossing railway tracks. Jumping out of running train. Trying to board a running train. How many do really bother about people around them? Who cares if someone is hurt or if someone falls down.
Just grab hold of “anything” to get in. At times push/ pull whoever you are able to grab as support. Before you realise whether you are moving ahead or you are just pulling someone back, you are swept by the tsunami that follows chanting the mantra-“CHALA.CHALA PUDHE CHALA” . Doesn’t matter how, but just move in!!!
I too commute in the same way. Today I asked myself…..why? why? why?
The repetition is not meant to emphasize the question. But they are three different questions. Each with a purpose of “discovering” an answer.
I answer the first one - to reach my destination.
Now comes the second question –why do you want to reach destination?
To achieve my goal.
Now ask yourself the third question-why do you want to achieve your goal?
The third answer is left to be answered to yourself.
And after you find your answer and your ultimate goal just ask yourself-
Is it necessary to rush on your way everyday? Is it right to act before you think?
This would have been like any other normal day but for the change it has triggered in me. Would such an experience be just another passing day for you?