Sunday, December 13, 2015

What next?

pleasures titillate no more
goals motivate no more
relationships bind no more
fears threaten no more

The mind seeks
where is the next escape?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

You stop time

You stop time
like practice of deep exhalation
like solitude at elliots beach
like a night deep inside algonquin forest
like the colors of lake Louise
like the waters of Courtallam
like sight of the lord at Thirunelly
like coming face to face with Ramana
like connecting with valluvar at kanyakumari
like feeling the huge statues at nellaiyappar
like an epiphany into the yoga sutras
like unobstructed view of Uppiliyappan
like the blessed kodanada ramar
you stop time!

Monday, June 08, 2015

Life can be a song

When the digestive fire is strong,
and the breath long,
life can be a song!
If not, things will be wrong!

அரங்கமா நகருளானே

மாற்றத்தாலும் தாபத்தாலும்
மற்றும் அஞான பழக்கங்களாலும்
துக்கம் விடாமல் நித்தியம் துரத்துவதாலும்

தந்திரத்தாலும் யந்திரத்தாலும்
மற்றும் நிறையாத அவாவினாலும்
சொர்க்கம் தேடும் பைத்தியம் மிரட்டுவதாலும்

இவ்விரெண்டும் இல்லையெனில்
வாழ்வே இல்லையென ஆனதாலும்
இன்றைக்கும் என்றைக்கும்
பிறவி வேண்டேன்
அரங்கமா நகருளானே!

Sunday, May 24, 2015


An interesting insight after todays online yoga sutra! Kindly excuse if this is too yoga sutra technical :)

Prayatnam (effort), when used to unseat abhinivesa (one of the five klesas) will also empower the processes that keep abhinivesa in place! So, one will need more effort and this will empower it further. As the heat increases on both sides, there is a tremendous increase in rajas everywhere in the being. Obviously, they will leak via places in the being that are not strong enough to hold the rajas. This will lead to tremendous imbalances.

A more nuanced approach is clearly needed to deal with abhinivesa which is a bit like vali - the more you fight it, the more you empower it!

Extraordinary Insight

At a moment of extraordinary insight into oneself, there is clear serenity in the mind. Neither is there agitation with respect to the troublesome contents revealed, nor is there excitement that unknown components of oneself has been known. Such a clear seeing has co-dependent arisal (samgatana) with that extraordinary insight into oneself!


முயற்சி திருவினை ஆக்கும் அளவுக்கு
மிஞ்சினால் எதிர்வினை நிறையும்

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Satori and Samana

If you have satori, let it be seen in your samana vayu!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Your body and Ahimsa

अहिंसाप्रतिष्ठायं तत्सन्निधौ वैरत्याघः
ahiṁsā-pratiṣṭhāyaṁ tat-sannidhau vairatyāghaḥ ||Yoga Sutra 2.35||
When ones relationship with another being is based on ahimsa, the other being drops all resistance in the relationship and all cooperation will be effortlessly forthcoming!

This is a great guide for ones relationship with ones body. Consequently if ones relationship with ones body is based on ahimsa (perfect understanding of the body's grammar and all interactions being based on that), then the body's cooperation will be received! If one has not practiced ahimsa with ones own body, ahimsa in other relationships will be hard.

Correct asana and pranyama practice will let one discover the body's grammar.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Can you not be hurt sir

"Can you not be hurt sir. Can you develop yourself to be that way?", the speaker in a talk I attended today paraphrased JK and as she said that, looked directly into my eyes. Had a profound effect. Thanks!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Trikāla Drishti

The following is one of the famous soliloquies by Shakespeare that appears in the play Macbeth
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

The above soliloquy appears towards the end of the play Macbeth and is spoken by Macbeth when he hears about the death of his wife. He is lamenting how time gradually takes people towards the end (death) of (most often) confusing lives. This way of experiencing time (as an entity that continuously flows from past to future creating history in its flow) is the default way most humans experience time. The common term used is linear time and this is the first drishti (way of seeing) time. A similar sentiment is also expressed by Thiruvalluvar
நாளென ஒன்றுபோற் காட்டி உயிரீரும்
வாள துணர்வார்ப் பெறின். (குறள் எண்: 334)
Appears like a day, but the wise see it as a sword
that is cutting through ones life! (Kural 334)

One experiences this continuous flow of time by the changes that we see in the world around us. These changes affect us and give us both pain and pleasure. Consequently, anything that gives us the ability to influence these changes so as to maximize pleasure and minimize pain is keenly sought after. Naturally then, money, power and skill are keenly sought after entities for people operating with this view. This breeds competition and forces the individual to experience oneself as a completely separate entity from other human beings and the biosphere.

As young adults live life more and more out of the first drishti mentioned above, a sense of dreariness usually sets in (despite expensive foreign vacations and the like). Though many different jobs may be taken, essentially one may be doing the same thing of earning more money so as to spend them in increasingly more avenues! When the same patterns in life start repeating, one starts to suspect may be one is missing somethings. That's usually when the wise statements made by rishis and munis of India starts to make sense. If this second drishti never dawns, the dreariness of life will hit one as is exhibited by Macbeth.

Then, one starts to see the cyclical patterns of behavior all around - that pleasure and pain keep coming and going in waves. The jains describe this using the ideas of utsarpini and avasarpini! In other places, it is called the kalachakra, or the cycle of time. This is the second drishti of time - wherein one sees patterns of repeated behavior. Only then, one starts to understand the natural processes. Natural processes are completely dependent on periodic behavior. The zen masters say, 'Spring comes, grass grows!'

Traditionally in India, there were more people who were strongly rooted in the cyclical drishti of time. This does not preclude the first drishti. But, this shapes it such that the first drishti does not violate many key understandings that arise out of the cyclical drishti. Unfortunately, today the situation is not the same. The world (sadly including India) is dominated by people who look for market share and do not worry about externalities. Naturally, it has lead to utter destruction of the biosphere, severe poverty, intolerance and violence all over. People rooted in this cyclical drishti will naturally try to eschew violence as they know that violence will only cyclically breed violence. They will also be able to see clearly that though one may get short term profit by reducing a mountain to rubble, the price of loss of biosphere has to be paid subsequently.

Whole of life was seen as a cyclical pattern leading to ideas such as rebirth in India. Bhaja Govindam, the famous work by Adi Sankara, says

पुनरपि जनानां पुनरपि मरणं
पुनरपि जननी जठरे शयनं ह् .
Again and again one is born
Again and again one dies

Valluvar also opines the same

உறங்குவது போலுஞ் சாக்கா டுறங்கி
விழிப்பது போலும் பிறப்பு. (குறள் எண்: 339)
Life and death are like sleeping and waking up (Kural 339)

The above assertions by our revered ancestors may appear like childish assertions to the modern educated mind. Unfortunately the modern mind, relentlessly chased by to death by the physicists entropy increasing arrow of time, is not psychologically free to analyze these statements. IMHO, Indian civilization does not ask people to accept these assertions. Instead, the invitation is to be free from ones biases and to explore these with respect. These are deep assertions coming from beings deeply immersed in the cyclical nature of time and the third and even more elusive drishti of time. In the cyclical drishti, while one also experiences oneself as a separate entity, one also sees oneself as a part of continuum of various natural processes that have been going on from time immemorial.

The cyclical sense of time gives rise to ideas of equilibrium. Indians, IMHO, discovered ayurveda simply because of this view of time. Ayurveda is all about equilibrium. Health is understood as equilibrium and disease as the absence of the same. Hence, all intervention is about reinstating the equilibrium. This is starkly in contrast with allopathy that goes in hunt of the cause. Clearly, allopathy is rooted in linear time of cause and effect. Ayurveda does not denounce cause and effect - that is also accepted. Just that, IMO, it subsumes cause and effect as minor parameters of the cyclical sense of time. Restorative justice, unlike criminal justice, tries to reinstate lost balance in society also stems from this view of time.

This idea of cyclical time gives rise to the idea of a central equilibrium around which things move. The movement causes some disturbance but eventually things subside back into the center and then may be they will move in the other direction. This idea is also seen clearly in Indian art forms that talk about the sthayi (unchanging centre) and the sanchari (that which moves around the centre).

Lesser said, the better about the third drishti of time - the timeless sense of time. It cannot be communicated by words. It can only be communicated from one heart to another via silence of the mind. The great rishis of India have been doing the same for many thousands of years. Invitation is for one to explore their lives and anchor oneself at their feet (this again may cause discomfort to modern educated people who may find this idea obnoxious). For the linear sense of time is immensely powerful and will keep dragging one all over the place. All genuine practitioners of Yoga who try to anchor themselves in the cyclical sense of the same would attest for the same. Only anchoring oneselves in the immovable, the ultimate, will help one maintain the cyclical sense of time as ones home. For this anchoring oneself with the masters who have manifested the timeless in them becomes essential.

Questioner: What is the best time to meditate?
Ramana: What is time?

All details about timeless are ultimately futile to someone who has not even tried to discover the cyclical sense of time! Only when one has put in sufficient effort by oneself to stay there, one will start to seek out the help of these timeless masters and cultivate the same in oneself. The great masters say ones separate sense of identity is completely dissolved into the ultimate in this view. One has to explore this to figure out the details of this drishti.

The yogis are those who are equally at ease in all three drishtis of time - linear, cyclical and the timeless! India, and the world at large, is in serious shortage of such people. IMHO, only such people will have the needed ability to redirect the movement of humanity away from self destruction. Skilled in linear time, rooted in cyclical time and with a profound acknowledgement of the timeless, they will have the potential to impact the world in positive ways.

IMHO, the human breath is an entity that possesses a nature that is similar to the mystical nature of time. It is also linear, cyclical and timeless. Regular training of the same will make it deep and subtle. Such a breath will help the individual move between the various drishtis of time at will! Patanjali says in the sadhana pada of yoga sutras,
prayatna-śaithilya-ananta-samāpatti-bhyām ||2.47||
When the right effort becomes effortless, the individual becomes one with endless!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

காரடையார் நோன்பு நன்றி

பஞ்சவரின் கீர்த்திக்கும் பார்த்தனின் கேள்விக்கும்
ஆதி பாஞ்சாலியின் வேள்வி

Sunday, February 22, 2015


மனையாள் இல்லார்க்கில்லை இவ்வுலகம்
அவளிடம் யோகம் இல்லையெனில் இல்லை அவ்வுலகம்!

Ancestral identity

संस्कारसाक्षात्करणात् पूर्वजातिज्ञानम्
saṁskāra-sākṣātkaraṇāt pūrva-jāti-jñānam ||3.18||

As one pays deep attention to ones habit patterns, ones identity as a separate entity begins to segue into an entirely different identity where one experiences oneself as the present state of a continuum that goes back to ones ancestors!

Monday, February 02, 2015


A small note after that talk on the relationship between sthayi and sanchari by Jyotsna. For those who missed it, sthayi is the unchanging centre around which the sanchari flows and weaves a story.
Just felt a lot of sutras in the third chapter of the yoga sutra are an application of this simple logic. Samyama on the sthayi leads to understanding of the sanchari and vice versa.

Some of the sutras are:
  1. Samyama on the navel (sthayi) leads to understanding of the body (sanchari)
  2. Samyama on the sun (sthayi) leads to understanding of the world (sanchari)
  3. Samyama on the habit patterns (sanchari) leads to understanding of prior jati (sthayi)
  4. Samyama on the heart (sthayi) leads to understanding of the citta (sanchari)
The connections are amazing!

Locus of control

"Shift the locus of control from the ego to the breath." - Great piece of guideline on the core of the daily yoga practice from Saras!

First word

Interesting discussion about the first word usage in some of the key books in Indian thought in a workshop at YogaNidhi

1. Bhagawad gita stats with
"dharma-ksetre kuru-ksetre ..."
First word is dharma (complex questions on decision making in life) indicating what to expect from the Bhagawad gita.

2. Ramayana starts with
"tapaH svaadhyaaya nirataam tapasvii..."
First word is tapah (cleansing of personal impurities) indicating what to expect from Ramayana.

3. Yoga sutras start with
"atha yoganusasanam"
First word is atha (engaging with ones life afresh this / each / every moment) indicating what to expect from Yoga sutras.

அகக் கடல்

ஆழ் கடலே அமைதி கொண்டிருக்க
அகக் கடல் மட்டும் கொந்தளிப்பதேனோ?


योगः विपर्यय उत्कर्षः
Yoga is the steady and progressive improvement of ones perception of reality!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Schools these days!

1. Saw an ad of a school which showed a parent saying - 'I am filled with pride when other parents in my apartment look at my child with envy as he goes to XYZ school'.

Yoga sutras talk about five key impurities - ignorance, false identity, desire, hatred and desire for perpetuity! Seeing all five of them in this ad and that too of an educational institute.

2. Was reading the notes section of a school diary. It had tips for teenagers. One of them said - 'Make friends with studious companions'.
Good way to normalize the whole class into a batch of clerks huh!!