Tuesday, 8 February 2011

spell

i was listening to the Buddha speaking
about the five senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch
and about thought that can bring to reality all these senses from the void,
thereby tethering us to the self,
and about the freedom that is there to be gained
by cutting the chain that anchors us down,
the chain that is the total of thought and the five senses,
the cutting of which is death,
and i was sitting thus on the steps of my house
meditating
when he opened the gate and came in and stood before me
hot from the sun,
picking the post addressed to me from the bunch of letters in his left hand,
and a bird from the tree overhead shot its droppings
and the droppings fell splashing down his cheek to his shirt front
and i felt the whole of his discomfort,
a distress at the bird that had flown away
and the warmth of the droppings on his cheek
and together we went to the tap to the right of the house
and i helped him wash his face
and brush his shirt front clean sprinkling water
and we stood smiling at each other
full of love for the bird and everything
and then i looked at the letter he had handed over to me...
and the spell
broke.

*****

21 comments:

rknair said...

Wow! Never thought bird droppings could be described so elegantly :)

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

From the sublime to the mundane... lovely!

P. Venugopal said...

rk, arun,
i have tried to describe something indescribable. the feeling of 'otherness' of which, i believe, krishnamurti speaks. it was as though i did not exist; only love did exist.

james said...

I would rather prefer non-enlightenement to bird crap!
james

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

very evocative.can visualise the whole scene.
the spell-broken twice.but - - was it broken with the postman and the bird episode?

P. Venugopal said...

it is not enlightenment, James. just flashes of the peak, lit in brilliant sunlight, when the mist clears for a moment. then the mist drifts in and hides the view.

neither the postman, nor the bird incident actually broke the spell, i think, madam. it was more my name in the address given in the letter. then one comes down with a thud.
how are you, madam?

Kalpana said...

I had read the earlier version as well... was little difficult for me understand...but this is making a sense to me :-)it is interesting... its been long since I've read Krishramusrty..i must read

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

am fine sir. so far so good, would be more accurate i guess:-)
thanks.

P. Venugopal said...

madam, i am now reading '366 Readings from Buddhism,' edited by Robert Van De Weyer, published by Jaico Books. please get a copy, read...and meditate.

thank you, Kalpana. this is a bit difficult, isn't it. it is not meant as poetry. i was trying to describe something that cannot be described. in such cases, i have a feeling that using more words than the barest number will take the picture away from the real. add colour using words, and the picture is smeared with dirt... strange theory, isn't it? :)

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

what a coincidence. was about to browse to find out if there's some place in TVM where i can get trained in meditation!
yes. shall most certainly get it.must be easily available, being a jaico pblcn

P. Venugopal said...

i have attended two meditation classes, here in TVM.
madam, look at the engagement columns in the newspapers and you may come across convenient introduction courses listed some day or the other you can attend. what i have noticed is we tend to approach meditation in a mechanical way (even the people who teach us) while it is something that happens spontaneously.
i am a novice. i shall write to you separately of what i think i have learnt of meditation and of books that have helped me.

Prabhakar said...

Dear Venu, May you have more and more insights. I think I know what you are talking about.

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

thanks sir. would be grateful if you could do that

P. Venugopal said...

yes, Prabhakar, you know what i am talking about. but the thing is that i go in and out of it. today i had a bad day. the difference, nowadays, is that even when i float out i am aware of floating away. i watch myself floating away, without wanting it to be otherwise. one has to climb the steps step by step and often one slips down and then one picks oneself up and starts again up the steps... exhilerating journey!

Mithun Jayaram said...

hi Venu uncle,
do you find it's the distance between spells that make the love feeling intense?

P. Venugopal said...

hi Venu uncle,
do you find it's the distance between spells that make the love feeling intense?

humm...you are probably right, mithun. its cycle of day and night that makes the day seem bright and the night dark, isn't it?. how are you?

jayram said...

cycling through... sporadically ;)

P. Venugopal said...

excellent!
i am sorry, mithun, i prefaced my comment on your comment with your comment. the way i comment usually is to cut out and past the received comment and write my comment because then i would know what the coment i was replying to when i comment. just as i was going about writing the comment something came up forcing me to post whatever i had written and turn to something else. i could not delete the reference comment as i pressed the post button.

i am into the Buddha now and am fascinated by the way he has simplified life. it is a silence expanse in which we come and go. listen to the stillness of it all. each sound we hear is a ripple in this silence. when you notice this stillness, you disappear--you can't cause a ripple. you become that which is weightless and is not acted upon by any gravitational pull. you become a flame, just a naked thing of energy that can act anywhich way the situation asks of it, without drag from any side.

i am waiting for the big bang to happen!!! yet i don't wait either--i am free!!!

(how is this, mithun? this is cycling through ... sporadically, isn't it?)

Mithun Jayaram said...

it is =)

have you heard of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi's concept of 'Flow'?

I have a feeling you would have an interesting time breaking down Buddhas teachings into seeds of where attention and validation (or lack of) stems from..

have you come across UG Krishnamurthi (not related to J.) and Pandit Gopi Krishna?

they were of at different levels from Buddha but, what was interesting about them, was that they mentioned that this spiritual shift is also a mental, physical and biological shift that occurs..

an excruciating experience for them.. far from the romantic details of bliss as many before and after have mentioned

always linked with the idea of the rising Kundalini.

what do you think?

P. Venugopal said...

i have not read any of them, mithun. must get hold of them. it is interesting to be in a flow. though i have not mentioned it before, this whole blog is about the flow i have been in since i had begun it. i started this blog without any definite idea about what i would write. it was just after i had finished reading Krishnamurti's Notebook by JK, which i read two or three pages a day and finished slowly in about three months' time. it worked on me and i started looking outside differently and it started the journey, the slow process of unbundling, through more reading, meditation, dialogue with friends who are likely placed and, above all, watching myself dispassionately.
i have, during this journey, noticed that the flow is a natural one, something that carries all and everything, a movement in a gigantic flux. if you listen to it closely, you can realise from where the flow had coursed in and where to it is flowing out...with a fair degree of accuracy because there are unpredictable elements within the whole flux.
once we understand the general course of this flux and understand our place in it, we don't struggle one way or the other. we go with the flow, at times aiding our progress with a strategic paddling movement of feet or the hands. we course along weightless and find the journey full of joy.
(i shall write more on this topic later, because, now there is someone here waiting to see me.)

P. Venugopal said...

now, to come back to the topic, i too think this spiritual shift is also a mental, physical and biological shift. mental shift, because we use the power of the mind to train ourselves to look at life in a way different from the one we were hitherto trained in. we wear the coat inside out. to be more precise, we have been wearing the coat the wrong way out and now we consciously wear it the right side out. we become subjective from outside--feeling, at least in a general way, the pain and pleasure of those around us. on occasion, for instance, i feel intimately the pleasure the crow derives as it digs its beak among its feathers to scratch. a strange euphoric feeling floods in when we realise how life throbs around us. we start seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling and tasting life in an entirely different way. on occasions, i hear with my ears the cherry tree in my compound drawing in water through its roots up the trunk and the entire canopy of leaves unfurling as i water it. the knowledge that the same life that throbs in us throbs all around us brings in a new austerity in our bearing--this is a physical shift and a biological shift as well...a biological shift that brings with it a glowing feeling...which might be the one they mean by the awakening of kundalini. but i have only a vague and general idea of the possibilities and i do not know whether the state into which i fall 'sporadically' is the same as the one they mean by this phenomenon.
i would like you to read Osho's 'Commentaries on Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.'