I’m wondering what is it I want to get into; Who is it I want to get into?
There’s only me… and my fantasies, that generate dream upon dream upon dream.
Me loving only myself, me kissing myself, me stumbling upon Myself into Infinity….
Again & again & again…
Getting lost in all those muddled up self-directed dreams…. and occasionally waking up to see nothing, hear nothing, feel nothing except a peacful onward flowing & all encompassing Blankness.
Tracking into that blankness through the sound of mantras….the Rudram takes me to a state I cannot name….in which I don’t exist only that sharp, alert, ever awake blankness does.
I am wrapped in it.
Sometimes my head bobs up and then again I drown into it…..no thoughts, no dreams, just a very secure awareness without the scribble of images that usually drench my mind.
And when my eyes do open…like the minute unfurling of a flower…. each petal opening up ever so slowly beyond movement….they open to such Serenity!
The hall is vast & beautiful & airy….and a soft morning light filters through the large open windows. Everything is enclosed by a quiet eveness.
The mantras have that effect – emptying us of all emotions & mental chatter…taking us to a deep state that only seasoned yogis attain. And here, in the Art of Living we get it so easily, just drift into it so effortlessly. The resonance of live chanting, tunneling through our ears and into our hearts, cleansing , polishing, making us, as Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar puts it, ‘Hollow & Empty’!
I see the stage clustered with all the little Veda boys…from tiny tots to teenagers in their virgin dhotis & angavastrams…chanting away. Mouths opening and closing like fish. In the center the table with the shivalingam protected by a golden hooded Cobra and dressed with fragrant flower garlands, a vivacious mix of yellows, reds, whites and green. And topping the elaborate decoration – a large wispy pink & white lotus – delicate as a butterfly momentarily poised on a flower.
Om shanti, shanti , shantih. The puja comes to a close….and the first bhajan begins whirling it’s first notes across the room – Om Namah Shiva aaaaahyaaah…. and you feel the gradual switch from a meditative to celebratory mood. The senses awaken to Divine remembrance cloaked with sandal incense and lit by flower bedecked Diyas.
A number of aartis are offered – from oil lamps to camphor, from a single light to a trophy of lights. I don’t know their individual significance. But it is all a part of that which I Don’t Know. The puja included. Individual words shoot up from the familiarity of having heard so many recitations. Yet, their meaning I know not. It doesn’t matter.
The whole puja is being in a state of ‘I don’t know’ and getting wrapped in it’s blankness – a blank security, being covered by the blanket of the Unknown. And yet something opens up. Being in love with the Divine which is Unknown, surrendering to it, and falling deeply in love with it opens something within.
Something blossoms. Something does and makes itself felt in your expression, in your voice, in your gait, in the smile that shines through you! In a great flood of love. It takes you and carries you through your life with joy, abundance and a grateful heart!
That is puja for me… stepping into the Unknown…not minding the fall….and then being filled by great wonder.
I don’t know!