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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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Falsehood and Reality

by T.N. Dhar 'Kundan'

Sometimes when I sit reflecting in the cozy corner of my room, I find myself entangled in a strange situation. First of all I am confronted by the notion ‘I’. This dominates my mind and my thinking. I relate everything to this ‘I’. I evaluate everything with reference to this ‘I’. This is my ego that makes me haughty and arrogant. Then I get the notion that I do this and I do that. I think that what all is happening through me is done by me, at my will and at my command. This gives me a false notion of doer-ship. I feel that I have the authority and the capability to do anything as I will and wish. Thereafter I am ridden with another notion that I enjoy this and that bounty of nature. I feel that I am enjoying various fruits, foods and dishes. I take pleasure in donning various types of dresses and clothes. I feel secure in palatial buildings with a variety of things around for me to use with pleasure. I enjoy music, various other arts, items of recreation and pleasure, the beautiful and bountiful nature and the company of fellowmen as also birds and pets that I like and keep. This gives me the notion of enjoyer-ship. Then I have the feeling that I own a vast number of things, family, friends, wealth, houses, vehicles, various gadgets and innumerable other items of usage. This gives me pride of the possession. Thus I am enveloped by the ego, by the false notions of doer-ship, enjoyer-ship and the sense of possession. I feel I am on the top of the world. I can create and produce. I can protect and preserve and I can destroy what I do not like.

Whenever someone comes to me for some help, I either blankly turn him back saying that he will not get any favour from me, or feel flattered that some needy person has approached me for help. I do the needful, feel proud of the same and want him to remain obliged ever after for this act of kindness on my part. Little do I realize that he had not approached me for help on his volition but had been directed by the Divine to do so, since the Divine wanted me to be the medium for the fulfillment of his desire and give me the credit for this act of kindness. I should know that the Divine executes everything but remains behind the screen, in the background. He creates a cause for every end result that He plans and accomplishes the desired objective as an effect of the same. This cycle of cause and effect continues in the entire cosmos and we become actors in this celestial drama and thereby get credit or discredit for these end results. Had I realized this fact of the nature I would have never claimed to be a doer of any act and consequently I would have escaped credit or discredit for the happenings.

My need is limited but my greed is enormous. Nature has provided me with sufficient means to meet and satisfy my needs but I am not satisfied with that. I strive incessantly to add more and more to all that I have access to. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I do not. When I fail I feel frustrated and disappointed. When I succeed I want to add still more to it. This syndrome of unfulfilled desires and constant endeavour to satiate my greed keeps me on tender hooks and never allows me to rest on my laurels. The greed, like a mirage, keeps on shifting its posts and I go on living with unrest and turbulence in my mind. Peace, satisfaction and contentment elude me. If only I remembered a verse written by Kabir I would be ever satisfied, contented and consequently happy. He has written, ‘Chah gayi chinta miti manuva beparvah, jisko kuchh nahin chahiye soyi sahansah  -  Desire is gone, the worry is gone. Those who want nothing are the real emperors in this world.’

Enjoyment is another area where I feel cheated. I taste something which I devour and feel happy. Once it goes down the gullet there is no trace of any taste. I wear something which attracts me and next moment it is torn and I feel sad. I indulge in anything that pleases me but the pleasure is transient and momentary. I still crave for a lasting pleasure. Little do I realize that it is not I who enjoys but some power which is within me and within everything else that actually enjoys. Or at least I should understand that I am trying to derive pleasure from transient things and acts with the result that the pleasure itself is momentary. If I seek pleasure in immortal things the pleasure will certainly be lasting and enduring.

I give something to someone or even offer some fruits, flowers or any other items of offering to my deity. I take pride in this but forget what the best of devotees say while making a similar offering. They say, ‘twadiyam vastu Govinda tubhyam-eva samarpaye  -  it is your thing, O Lord and I hand it over to you only.’ Similarly when an oblation is offered to the holy fire it is specifically uttered, ‘Idam na mama  -  It is not mine, it is not mine.’ Thus it is incumbent on me to understand that I do not own or possess anything and everything belongs to Him. This understanding will enable me not to rejoice on acquiring anything and not to grieve on losing something. In other words I shall implement in letter and in spirit what has been written in the Bhagavad Gita that we should remain balanced in the face of all opposites like loss and gain, defeat and victory, grief and happiness.

All this will be possible only if I realize the true essence of the ‘Self’. This needs vigorous spiritual exercises. I have either to take to the path of knowledge, ‘Jnana-marga’, or I have to adopt practicing contemplation and meditation, ‘Raja-yoga’ or take to ‘Nishkama karma, the path of actions without an eye on its fruits. All this, I must admit, seems to me very difficult, easier said than done. Not that I have not tried to tread on these paths. In the bygone years of my life I have tried all these prescriptions many a time. Every time I found these practices onorous and difficult. I feel my acumen and capacity are limited enough to continue these exercises up to their logical end. So there is only one opening left for me and that is the path of devotion and surrender, ‘Bhakti-marga/Sharanagati’. This path is easy, workable and satisfying for me. All that I have to do is to leave everything to Him, who is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. He will take care of me, my needs and my ambitions and why not? Has he not promised this in so many words in this shloka, ‘Tesham satata-yukhtanam yogakshema vahami-aham – I take full responsibility of all those who are attached to me all the time; I protect what they have and provide them with what they do not have. Taking care of me and my needs is not at all complicated for all that I need is to remain fit and healthy bodily, mentally and intellectually and alert spiritually. As for my ambition it is simply to know Him and to take care of that should not be difficult for Him in the least. After all I am not asking for the moon. I am only asking Him to reveal Himself to me so that not only do I realize that we are one but also I become one with Him. My desire is that ‘I’ and ‘He’ should go and only ‘I’ should remain.     

T. N. Dhar Kundan's Articles

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