Surrender, the Book of Job, and William Blake

Today is the 260th birthday of William Blake, and on this special occasion, I wrote another reflection inspired by his illustrations of the book of Job. It is about the lessons on surrender.

When the Morning Stars Sang Together Butts set.jpg
By William BlakeThe Morgan Library, extracted from Zoomify by User:GGreer, Public Domain, Link

Surrender is one of the fundamental concepts of the meditative practice, and at the same time it is one of the most difficult concepts to understand, to accept and to enact in life. We often struggle with it, or even against it, again and again it puts us to test, and sometimes we pass it, while other times we fail. Surrender has to do with giving up something of our own and instead accepting the conditions of someone else. When we talk of meditation, or of spirituality, we often say that we need to surrender, and that calls for two questions. The first one: what it is that we need to surrender? The second one: when we surrendered, then to whom or to what?

The meditation I practice is about growth. It is about developing your capacities, about trying to become the best of what you can possibly be individually, and, as much as possible, improving your community and your society. In the process, we often develop a subtle ego, a feeling of moral or spiritual superiority, a false arrogance in believing that we know best how things should be done and what is the right thing to do, what is just and who deserves what. The first of our questions then would be relatively easy to answer (though not very easy to enact): we need to surrender, often, and repeatedly, all kinds of false ideas, false identities, false presumptions and habits, we have to try to gradually shed everything that prevents us from eventually manifesting our truest and purest Self and fully identifying with that Self.

Now, let’s talk about the Book of Job. It is one of the most puzzling stories from the Old Testament, perhaps because it is about surrender, perhaps also because it challenges one of the allies of our subtle ego, – a sort of retributive justice we often use to explain misfortunes (usually the ones that happen to others). It is a belief that suffering must always be the punishment for sin (and that whoever suffers must deserve it), and, correspondingly, that health, wealth, and happiness must always reward “goodness” and “righteousness”.

I’ve been inspired to ponder about the story of Job and to write this post (asecond one already), because a while ago I came across amazing illustrations by William Blake. He made two sets of watercolours and one set of engraved prints. Luckily for us, they are nicely collected and available in the public domain here [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake%27s_Illustrations_of_the_Book_of_Job], and so I invite you to explore these illustrations also while you are reading the post. It means a lot, that of all the themes of the Old Testament, Blake worked so much on the story of Job.

So, here is the story of Job. Job is a righteous man, well-respected, just and pious. God has a discussion with Satan about Job’s devotion to God, and Satan claims that Job is only pious because he is doing well, he has everything one might want in life, but were he to be deprived of his wellbeing, he would not remain faithful to God. God accepts the challenge and allows Satan to take away everything that Job has: his wealth, his children, and eventually his health, to see that Job will remain pious even when the blessings he is enjoying are stripped away from him. At first Job stays strong, but eventually, as things get worse and worse, and also as Job’s friends begin to say that Job must have committed some sins, to be so badly punished by God, Job loses his calm. He insists that he has not done anything wrong, he doesn’t know why God is punishing him, and eventually he feels that to die would be better than to suffer so miserably. It seems, justice is a huge issue for Job, he feels that his suffering is not just, and so he calls on God in despair. This is why the book of Job is so interesting, so challenging and so philosophical at the same time. It contrasts our human sense of justice with the divine justice, our human character with divine qualities, our limited human capacities with the infinite nature of God.

The Lord Answering Job Out of the Whirlwind Butts set.jpg
By William BlakeThe Morgan Library, extracted from Zoomify by User:GGreer, Public Domain, Link

Then something happens. The Lord answers Job from the whirlwind. The response of God is very interesting, for in beautiful details it tells Job that while Job knows very little it is the God who is present and is working though all aspects of nature, all elements, the whole creation. It doesn’t directly respond to Job’s plea, but it brings his existence into perspective. Job recognizes his own caliber, and then God restores him back into his wellbeing, gives him back his wealth and family, his respected position, but, most of all, his solid faith in God.

Now, what are the lessons to learn from the Book of Job with regard to a meditateve practice?

I remember, one of the things I still had in my teenage years, was the feeling of closeness with God, the feeling of God’s presence, the sense that I could talk to God. It was not just the belief that God existed, but also the feeling of trust that God takes care of things, and everything will eventually work out. As I was growing up, I lost this feeling, became close to being an agnostic, and that has dramatically changed the emotional quality of my life. One of the first things I rediscovered once I settled into the practice of meditation, was that sense of emotional security, the feeling that things are happening the way they supposed to happen, and everything will be alright in the end. It isn’t just a belief, rather, it is a tangible feeling of the flow of energy that is healing, calming and comforting.

Something that occurred to me recently, also with the help of the story of Job, that to be able to “surrender”, we have to have at least some sense of who or what it is that we are surrendering to. We need to have and to sustain the experience of some Power that “runs” the universe, in all those beautifully detailed aspects that we read about in God’s response to Job. We need to trust that Power, whether we call it Divine, or Nature, or Universe, that it cares and takes care of everything, including us. This experience of the established connection with the Energy of the Universe is what ultimately sustains us through the challenges that life might bring, and it is the condition of us remaining balanced within and stable, even when the outside conditions are turbulent. It is not enough to rationalize and to understand, it has to be experienced, and the experience has to be established, as Job says (quoted by Blake): “I have heard thee with the hearing of the Ear but now my Eye seeth thee”. It was not enough to “hear” God for Job to maintain his sense of what God was, he had to actually “see” God, and that has restored his connection which he was losing when challenged with suffering. This is why we keep insisting in our meditation classes, that no matter how much you read, and how much you know, you will only progress on this path through daily practice of meditation, for that is the only way to have an actual real experience of  being connected to the Energy, and to establish that experience within you.

The Vision of Christ Butts set.jpg
By William BlakeThe Morgan Library, extracted from Zoomify by User:GGreer, Public Domain, Link

Something that often came up in the old Christian and anti-Christian arguments about the existence and nature of God with regard to the problem of evil, was the whole sense of bafflement, that Job also experiences, that how can the benevolent and powerful God allow for the “suffering of the innocent” in the world? A way to approach the issue from a slightly different angle in this: in the story of Job, who actually has the need for that drama of loss and suffering to take place? Does God need to test Job through suffering? Obviously, not. When God appears to Job and responds to him, Job’s suffering is never addressed, neither is the notion of justice, that is not what is at stake here. It is Job himself, who needs to go through this experience, firstly to be able to see where he is at, and how strong is his state, how pure and how true is his understanding of himself, how adequate is his understanding of and trust in God. Secondly, through this experience Job can learn, he can grow a little further, he can shed that (already very thin, after all he is a good and pious man) layer of subtle ego and self-righteousness, which, when tested with loss, pain and nightmares, makes him think, that he is the one who knows what is just, that he can make a judgement, and he is right to be disturbed when that judgement is clashing with reality, thus bringing God into question.

So perhaps we can try out this approach. When things are not going according to our plan and our preference, we can take on a challenge and use the unpleasant (disturbing or even painful) situation to test ourselves, our state, our attitudes, our reactions, unlimitedly, the level of out surrender. We don’t need to go through suffering as horrible and painful as that of Job, regular small or bigger challenges of our lives will do.

Advertisements

India and auspiciousness

Facebook has this new feature now, reminding us what we posted a year, or two, or five ago on that particular day. So it is reminding me today, that three years ago I was getting ready for my third India trip, after a five year break. It was a good post, I thought, so why not translate it into English? The post was titled something like “India begins… for the third time”, and I was alluding to a poem of one of contemporary Ukrainian writers, the first line was “India begins with the dreams about the voyage eastward”. The poem was a sort of fantasy – a look at India from a perspective of a medieval European – part merchant, part knight, part adventurer, or maybe just a full-on knight :). It was beautifully charming, somewhat mystical, and of course, somewhat contradictory, it had as little to do with the real India, as the stories of Alexander the Great, so it was about the India-myth, but I really liked it, even though I did not agree (that is, if one can disagree with a poem). There was no point keeping that title in the English version of the post, so I ended up doing what philosophers do, rather than poets, – giving a title that is boring but to the point. 🙂 Here goes the old post, enjoy.

Actually, India “began” long ago, or, rather, the inner India never ended. I was there five years ago, and it’s hard to believe it was that long, especially now, when she is again so close. (Yes, India is feminine in Ukrainian, India is “she”.)

I though that I would come back there much sooner, to continue learning to sing, but my teacher died suddenly, so my “formal” musical education got postponed indefinitely. At that time the teacher said: when you go back home, one Sa (that’s the first note) will give you much more than it is giving you here. Unfortunately, that is not so. Here, to even get that one Sa out of oneself is not that easy. Perhaps, if one really commits to it, works on it and treats it in all possible ways, that Sa would give more, but how much work, discipline and humility that would require! Vaitarna was a place where the music seemed to be flowing freely on its own, and anyone who so desired could just drink it. Of course, the teacher also knew that about Vaitarna, and also spoke about it in his own way. Who knows, why he said that it would be easier to practice “in your own country”.

India, both actual and inner, is defined for me with a word, which I have never encountered in over ten years of me being in the English-speaking philosophical environment. The word is “auspiciousness”, it is crudely translated as “favorableness”, and is generally associated with old-fashioned superstition or with a notion of luck or good fortune (also old-fashioned). Perhaps that is why it is not respected much by “professional” philosophers, especially here in Canada with its ultra-liberal and anti-traditional tendencies and views. But this is an over-simplified understanding of this phenomenon, and yes, for me auspiciousness is indeed a phenomenon in the original sense of the word, that which shows itself, that which shines. My inner India says, that in truth the word auspiciousness is related to sanctity or holiness, though not in a formally-religious church sense, but rather in a live and real sense, as what we mean when we talk about the sanctity of life or the sacredness of mother’s love.

One of the seven hundred verses of Devi Mahatmyam, which glorifies the Mother-Goddess, begins with a description if the Devi as “sarva mangala mangalye” – “the auspiciousness of all that is auspicious”, that is, the holiness of everything that is holy, or, as philosophers would say, the essence of the holiness. Further the Goddess is revered as the One who takes care of Her children – fulfills their desires and grants the highest joy, takes care of their well-being and spiritual growth, protects and shelters, destroys all their sorrows and sufferings. So this auspiciousness has to do with a state which reflects our relationship with the motherly aspect of the Divine. It’s a state of being simple, confident and safe, or protected and peaceful. It’s not about being infantile, irresponsible or cowardly, rather, the opposite, it’s about that directness, generosity and ability to bring joy which we treasure in children, and that is why we enjoy their company.

I interpret this auspiciousness as holiness also because it reminds me of the German root “heil-“, the holiness that manifests as well-being or good health in full sense of all its dimensions, before we split our life into physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, professional, familial, material, social… That German “heilige und heile” conveys the wholesomeness that is protected from cracks and breaks, that belongs to itself confidently and securely, that originates and develops within itself and according to its own true essence. This kind of protectedness echoes for me the Sanskrit root “sharan-“, which appears at least twice in the description of the Goddess that I just mentioned. The first time it refers to the Goddess Herself “sharanye tryambake gauri” – the protectress, the three-eyed Gauri, and the other time as “sharanagata” – I guess, the ability of those She protects, that is, our ability to trust and fully surrender to Her sheltering protection.

So, these were the thoughts that were surfacing during my repeated attempts to acquire the Indian visa. At first I had a hint of a doubt about the “auspicesness” or “correctness” of the whole situation, when some small clerk in the visa centre decided that I should not get a visa. But then I though that maybe these “obstacles” were there so that I do not take India for granted, and instead attune myself to the wavelength of that holiness, which very soon will become tangible, when I will sit on the red earth of Maharashtra, and which could be totally missed if one stays in the rational-business-touristy mode, that does not go with auspiciousness at all.

What does all of that have to do with music? Well, that very description of the Goddess was perhaps the most inspiring thing that I was learning to sing five years ago in India, and the singing of it attunes you so well to the tonality of holiness, which is not surprising at all, for She is “sarva mangala mangalye”…

PS. The reference is to Devi Mahatmyam, ch.11, verse 8 and 10.

That time three years ago when I initially wrote this post, I did not get my visa until the morning of my flight when had to show up to the consulate with my ticket and demand my passport back. Turned out it was just lying around on a desk of some other clerk, with a visa being issued long ago. But it the end, all that “maya” was well worth it, for I just had to “surrender”, and get over the uncertainties and doubts, and it turned out to be an amazing India trip, full of special moments, special people, and very inspiring experiences of the Divine.

If you want to hear what “sarva mangala mangalye”sounds like, here it is in the last concert of this summer’s music tour that I already started telling you about (you can fast-forward to 1:22:14-ish if does not open there on it’s own):

 

Vrindavani Venu in Canajoharie Arts Academy

Within the last year I have posted several posts here with some of the Marathi songs that I find  rather special. You can find them by the tag marathi. The posts themselves are in Ukrainian, but the videos and audios within the posts are in Marathi, so you can watch/listen if you like.

The video clip above is one of the songs that we have learned in a bhajan class this summer in Canajoharie Arts Academy, sung by our teacher, Ranjan, during the class. You can find a better audio of this song from that recorder that Alan is holding next to Ranjan here: http://alanwherry.tumblr.com/post/131307102785/heres-my-favorite-singer-ranjan-sharma-of-new

I actually wrote about this song last May, and posted a clip of one the “original” versions as well as a Ukrainian rendition: https://msvarnyk.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/маратське-музичне-3-вріндавані-вену/ If you follow the link, you will see that the first clip has English subtitles, so you can see what the song is about if you are interested.

The poem is written by a Marathi saint, Bhanudas, who is connected to Pandharpur, one of the places that is on my Indian “to visit” list. It is said that he was an ancestor of Eknath, another poet saint from that tradition, about whom I also wrote before :). It is really quite special, what these Nath tradition saints were doing. Some of them are perhaps more known for developing hatha yoga, but they also developed a body of spiritual texts (philosophical or perhaps in the West we would consider them theological), as well as beautiful poetry. They were quite famous for not supporting, and sometimes actively opposing, the conventional systems or religious practices and rituals as well social institutions, like the casts divisions. They were scholars and studies the Vedas, but are know for writing and teaching in Marathi rather than Sanskrit, so that they could be understood by simple uneducated people also, they translated some key texts from Sanskrit to Marathi and provided commentary to them.

I will probably continue this Marathi songs theme, and maybe will share some stories about these poet-saints as they surface within my contexts. Last Sunday, for instance, we were celebrating another personality who also was part of that Nath tradition, Gnyaneshwara, or Gnyanadeva, who is considered to be a saint by some and an incarnation by others. Maybe I will tell you about him on another occasion.

Back to the song, Vrindavani Venu, I said in May that would love to learn thins song, but that learning it on my own would be too difficult, someone would have to teach it to me. We often joke that yogis words are mantras, that if spoken with pure desire, they materialize. I guess my desire was pure enough – I sort of know this song now, and with some polishing here and there and a little practice could probably get it to the singable condition, which feels great. 🙂

I also took a harmonium class, where for the first time someone (well, not someone, but Ranjan also), showed us the first steps of how to practice a song, we learned one classical composition and also the basic layout of one bhajan, and I am amazed about how much easier it is to play it now than it was before this two-week crash course in the summer. I knew that harmonium is helpful for giving a basis for singing, especially for people like us, who do not have much of an experience of Indian music and lack precisely that feel of the basis, the grounding that harmonium provides, but I did not quite realize the extent of its helpfulness. Now I do, so it is likely that once I finish the song I am working on right now, I will try to sit down and learn to play Vrindavani Venu on harmonium, and after that is achieved, singing it will be a breeze :).

Stay tuned…

Canajoharie Arts Academy – 2015

I already wrote one post here about Canajoharie few years ago, but that was in Ukrainian. Now that my blog is transitioning into the English mode, and also Canajoharie showed itself this time in quite a different light, a new post about it is definitely due.

Heidegger is quoting Hölderlin sharing his experience and insight in a letter to a friend that “all the holy places of the earth are gathered around one place”. This phrase resonates with me very much, I like to think of the common essence or fabric of both the actual physical places that have spiritual significance to me, and also of the places of the inner world. It is in the spiritual dimension that the outer and the inner places become interfused, the battle-fields, the temples, and the resting places, the places homely and dearly familiar, as well those wondrously alien and thus fascinating… Maybe one day I will write something about the inner musical places too, the places created by this or that raga, wouldn’t that be interesting?

Back to Canajoharie, one of my holy places. A week-end of the international meditation seminar was preceded by two weeks of the summer arts academy, and this was the first time that I was at the Canajoharie arts camp not as a volunteer, or just a visitor, but as a student. Perhaps this is why Canajoharie felt different, or maybe not, maybe it actually was different this time, no matter whether and how one was involved.

The type of meditation we do, Sahaja yoga, or Sahaja meditation, is simple, and it works quite well with even small commitment, provided it is consistent. And yet, it is really felt and enjoyed, when it becomes a worldview and a lifestyle, when it permeates the totality of our experiences, when it becomes an atmosphere, a sort of fragrance, which we breathe all the time. So we have this notion of sahaj culture – the aspects and ways of life that define the living within the atmosphere of this meditative state and make it easier for us to be in touch with, or, rather, to be immersed in, the ocean of Energy, and to feel at home within it.

Art is, and from the beginning has been, one of the key aspects of sahaj culture. Shri Mataji, the founder of our meditation technique, has promoted arts within our meditative community, especially, but not exclusively, Indian classical music. She created opportunities for us not only to be exposed to music and art with good energy, but also to study it and to become good at it. Somehow, the arts give us special access to meditation, as if they create the shortcuts to get there in the first place, and then also to explore the subtleties and depths of this meditative state once we are there.

And so these arts academies were established in India, where mainly us, the Westerners, could come and learn Indian music, dance and art within a meditative environment. The first one (?) was for a while in Nagpur, I’ve heard lot’s of good stories about it, but it was well before my time. Then it was in Vaitarna, and I was lucky to have stayed there for four months, quite early in my “sahaj life”, learning singing from Arun Apte.

When I was leaving Vaitarna, I was sure that I would come back, in a few years, and more than once, I even had a few ideas about what I could maybe do for Vaitarna. But then Arun Apte died suddenly, and Vaitarna went through a few cycles of closing down, then opening for some time, then closing again. I did go back to visit and stayed there for about ten days in 2013. I guess, I wanted to feel out and also to face, what this actual Vaitarna as well as my inner “Vaitarna” could be like without Arun Apte, and it was quite an intense experience.

In the meantime, the music doesn’t stop, we have all kinds of music (and art) workshops, shorter or longer, in different places, and in the last years we’ve had maybe three or four arts camps in Canajoharie, New York state, about 6 or 7 hours drive South East from Toronto. The last one was two years ago, right after my short Vaitarna visit, and I considered taking classes, but I just did not “feel it”. So I hung out there for about a week, caught the first big public concert, which the teachers gave in Albany, enjoyed very much and went home. This summer I decided it was time to come and take classes, no matter what. I was looking through the list of classes, considering the possibility of trying out something “new”, but ended up taking two vocal classes and harmonium class, all from the same teacher, and never regretted it, because the experience was so joyful, so elevating, and at the same time grounding, that it felt incredible, both satisfying and humbling, and also inspiring.

One of Vaitarna’s gifts was the amazing capacity to absorb music. You sit in class, and try to repeat these difficult musical phrases, and you know you are not getting it, and you feel like you will not be able to get it for a long time. And so in the evening you go through the class recording again, sleep on it and next morning find out that you actually got it. You just have it now, it’s in you, and you barely even cooperated. Something similar was experienced by many of us in Canajoharie this time, both the teachers and the students were commenting on how fast we all were learning, and how much we were achieving in such a short time. It would be an oversimplification, and the unfortunate one, to reduce this special quality to the efficiency of learning, to make it about goals and results. Rather, as Alan once mentioned, it is about the subtleties of this music or art, once you start getting it, you can appreciate and enjoy. What was important to me in these classes was not the result of learning this much, that fast and that well. It was the enjoyment of the process, the tasting of the art, and the atmosphere that was extremely friendly, becoming in tune, and not only musically, immersing into this exploration and feeling so good, that you would want to linger in it, and wished that it never ended… The classes, of course, were the best, but also outside of the classes each of is took or gave, the atmosphere felt very nourishing and inspiring. It was great to spend time with other teachers and students of all ages, to chat and to listen, to eat, and occasionally to cook, to laugh (and we did laugh a lot), and to meditate.

I think it was around the third or the forth day, that I started noticing Vaitarna’s presence in Canajoharie. It wasn’t just the classes and what was happening there, rather, the place itself was sounding different. Sitting at the pond with the feet in the water, enjoying an afternoon break, the barking of the dogs and the noise or tractors somewhere in the fields, and the light, and the wind, and the serene mood, all of it in totality felt so intensely similar to sitting on a roof in Vaitarna and waiting for the sunrise! I heard the bird calls so elaborate and unusual, which I have never heard in Canajoharie before. Of course, it wasn’t the koyal, it was probably some owl that was late enough in it’s nightly pursuits for me to still catch it when I woke up around 4 in morning. And yes, waking up between 4 and 5 without any alarms, and feeling completely awake – that was just like Vaitarna also. I have a feeling, those who have been to Nagpur academy, and there were quite a few people this year in Canajoharie, who spend some good times there, were also feeling the presence of Nagpur. I could feel a slight hint of Nagpur, even though I have never been there. Cabella was also somehow present, with its river, and the castle, and the simple rustic way of life. So all these holy musical places of our sahaj world became gathered around Canajoharie, fused with it, made this Canajoharie very different from the place I have known and also loved before. Different, but also the same. I felt the presence and continuity of this sahaj musical tradition, that somehow was connecting us to its beginnings in this era and the different forms it took relatively recently, as well as to the previous manifestations centuries ago – we sang Kabira, you know.

It is not that there is one single physical location, to which all holy places can be traced and from which they originate. It is rather a place in the spiritual realm, where meditation is painted by the beautiful colours or the art, where it explodes with the cooling fountains and where the rainbows are born in the meeting of sunshine and the water. When this place somehow starts manifesting locally, be in in Canajoharie, or somewhere else, it brings together all these other places, the holy places of art, where art is inspired by the Divine, and where we become attuned to the Divine through art, if we cooperate, even barely, and then it becomes global – magnificent and breathtaking.

When the arts academy was over after two weeks, I though it could not get any better, and it did not, but something else, equally beautiful and inspiring, though in a different way, kept me blissed out for another two weeks: some of our teachers joined by two other musicians went on a concert tour. I will definitely write more about that later, for now, here is the the video of the last concert of the tour in Dallas, enjoy!

You can see more videos and photos here: Festival of Inner Peace

Маратське музичне – 4 – Ґуру Тоца

Неможливо повірити, що вже майже рік минув після мого першого маратсько-музичного поста (оцього: https://msvarnyk.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/маратське-музичне-сат-ґуру-втілення-о/). Омкару сварупу я так тоді і не осилила, щоб самостійно співати, але несподівано у Ванкувері, де ми власне були підчас Ґуру Пурніми, матеріалізувався Анджан з Флоріди, і ото ми вже там наспівалися, в тому числі і Омкару Сварупу – він таке легко може, тим більше що він табліст і ритми для нього взагалі ніяка не проблема.

Цього року Ґуру Пурніма пізніше ніж зазвичай – аж 31 липня, ми будено святкувати в неділю перед тим, і мабуть що в моєму улюбленому Канаджохарі. Наші місцеві музичні індійські пані вирішили серйозноі і з розмахом підійти до справи, і вивчити цілу купу відносно нових пісень, крім Омкари Сварупи там в списку ще одна маратська пісня, яка була на одному з перших подарованих мені “йогівських” музичних дисків. Ну і мій вчитель теж її часом співав. Вона мабуть трохи простіша ніж Омкара Сварупа, може якраз піде (залежить, звичайно, наскільки вони серйозно братимуться і чи не розпорошаться на інші пісні в тому їхньому списку). Але вона теж в специфічному ритмі – 10-ти ударному. Це трохи простіше ніж 7 чи 12, але мені все одно довго звикати (буду тепер в метро його вистукувати на коліні). Ось вона, Ґуру Тоца:

Приблизний переклад перекладу:

Мій справжній Ґуру – це Той хто зробив мене моїм власним ґуру.

Мій багаторічний пошук закінчився

Я тепер досяг знання про суть універсальної релігії

Тепер мої сумніви і гнівливе его зникли

Я тепер вільний від спокус і матеріалізму

Бог – справжній Ґуру (як варіант, справжній Ґуру – Бог), йому нема рівних, і нема порівняння

Знання і мудрість подаровані моїм Ґуру – моє єдине багатство, іншого в мене нема

О Ґуру, ти всюдисущий, ти – Віттала, Гарі і Магадева

Біля твоїх лотосних стоп, о Ґуру, я досяг знання правди

Життя без Ґуру таке ж беззмістовне, як зерня, що лежить на кам’яному неродючому грунті

Хоч воно і лежить на матері-землі, але не може прорости (через поганий грунт)

Але таке зерня і такий грунти зрошуються зливою любові і опіки Ґуру

Сила і здатність тої зливи така велика, що зерня проростає, не зважаючи на поганий грунт

Знання, яке Ґуру виливає на учнів стає плідним і вартим Ґуру

Якось так… Хто зна, може цього року я таки встигну написати пост про принцип Ґуру, і як ми його сприймаємо, і що він для нас значить – я вже кілька років про такий пост міркую, але все руки не доходять – влітку я мало часу проводжу в метро чи автобусах – то й на написання постів його не дуже багато знаходиться. Буде видно, ще є час…

Маратське музичне – 3 – Вріндавані вену

Приблизний переклад пісні можете самі почитати – там є титри у відео. Пісня прославляє Шрі Крішни гру на флейті. Вірш написаний був маратський святим Бганудасом, який прославився тим, що приніс скульптуру бога Віттали (одна з форм Крішни) назад в Пандгарпур, куди вона належала. Пандгарпур є в моєму списку місць, куди б я дуже хотіла колись потрапити, бо одна з моїх най-най-улюбленіших пісень з тих, що співав мій вчитель – власне розказує щось про Пандгарпур. Тут точно відомо, що вірш цей написаний Бганудасом, бо він називає себе в останньому куплеті – це така була дуже поширена традиція, в багатьох піснях Кабіра є такі моменти. А ще той святий Бганудас був чи то дідом, чи то прадідом Екната, про якого я вже вам трохи розказувала в першому маратсько-музичному пості ось тут: https://msvarnyk.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/маратське-музичне-сат-ґуру-втілення-о/#comments

Вперше я почула про цю пісню на котромусь із семінарів, – мій єдиний тутешній маратський “брат” Санґрам (в якого я прогостювала минулий тиждень в Вотерлу) питав, чи я її знаю співати. Трохи переоцінив мої здібності – я її досі не знаю, хоча, в принципі, якби хтось навчив, то за кілька підходів по кілька годин можна би було вивчити, але самотужки то довгий процес, бо пісня технічно складна.

Минулий музичний пост почався насправді з тої пісні, бо це чи не єдина класичного рівня пісня, яку я чула вживу у виконанні Шанкара, ну але потім я відволіклася, почала гуглютюбити Шанкара, в результаті, написала пост про самого Шанкара, без цієї пісні.

Аджіт Кадкаде мабуть один з найвідоміших учнів Джітендри Абішекі (мій покійний вчитель музики теж був його учнем, але невідомим 🙂 ), і власне в тому як легко, ніби зовсім без зусиль він виспівує технічно непрості моменти, можна теж вловити і стиль старого Джітендри. (Колись може покажу вам його).

А тут ось, щоб ви не думали, що лише індійці, та ще румуни і австралійці можуть добре співати, ось та сама пісня у виконанні київської групи Ґанапаті Експрес:

Not gloomy Heidegger

2015/01/img_2086.jpg

The Heidegger I read and love (and read a lot – just look at my worn book), has never seemed gloomy or pessimistic, or fatefully-apocalyptic, the way some other people seem to see him. Quite to the contrary, “my” Heidegger is very sunny and hopeful, a real delight to read at times of challenge and difficulty. Perhaps the reason is that I do not read him from the beginning (and do not like the early Heidegger at all), I read him from the end. Beginning with the last “philosophical” lecture of his, The Poem (1968), and finishing usually more or less with  “Homecoming/ To Kindred Ones” (1943), which, in the middle of war, is the lecture about sunshine and heights of the sky and the holy appearing as most joyful, and attuning the poet to say joyfully what has to be said.

The Poem is, without doubt, my absolutely favourite text of Heidegger’s, it is short and crisp, and deep, and I could read it over and over, spend hours tasting it and whiling with it, like with a piece of art, which, in it’s own way, it comes very close to. Though never quite crosses the line – Heidegger kept poetry and thinking separate, as sort of parallel ways, without collapsing them, though, no doubt, experimenting, how closely they can near each other, while never crossing – well, that’s my calculus metaphor for you.

What really amazes me in this lecture is that the otherwise distant and elusive promise of the arrival of future Gods, here in this lecture is reversed and made into what is already there, already happened, while at the same time happening, and that sort of shifts the otherwise cautious recommendation to “wait” and “hold” into a quite inspiring “permission to dig in”. 🙂 I am joking, of course, but not really joking, here, look at this quotation from Hölderlin he is thinking through:

But because the present gods are so near
I must be as if they were far away, and dark in the clouds
Must their name be for me, only before the morning
Begins to glow, before life glows in its midday
I name them quietly to myself, so that the poet may have
His own, but whenever the heavenly light goes down
I gladly think about what is past, and say—go on blooming! (P212)

And in German for those who are like me and don’t trust translations:

Aber weil so nahe sie sind die gegenwärtigen Götter
Muß ich seyn, als wären sie fern, und dunkel in Wolken
Muß ihr Nahme mir seyn, nur ehe der Morgen
Aufglänzt, ehe das Leben im Mittag glühet
Nenn’ ich stille sie mir, damit der Dichter das seine
Habe, wenn aber hinab das himmliche Licht geht
Denk’ ich des vergangenen gern, und sage – blühet indeß. (G185)

And then look what Heidegger is saying about it:

How strange—one would like to assume that when the present gods are so near to the poet, then the naming of their names would result by itself and require no particular directions to the poet. But this “so near” does not signify “near enough,” but rather “too near.” …

Too near, too near-going in the direction of the poet are the arriving gods who are present to him. Apparently their arrival lasts a long time, and is, therefore, still more pressing, and thus, still more difficult to say, than is their completed presence. For man is also incapable of openly and directly perceiving their perfect presence, and thus of receiving the good bestowed by them. …

Until the words are found and blossom, it is a matter of bearing one’s burden. This burden necessitates the poetic saying. Such necessity com- pels. It comes from the “sphere of the god.” (P213-4)

And in German:

Seltsam – man möchte meinen, wenn die gegenwärtigen Götter dem Dichter so nahe sind, dann ergäbe sich das Nennen ihrer Namen von selbst und bedürfe keiner besonderen Weisungen an den Dichter. Allein das „so nahe“ bedeutet nicht „genügend nahe“, sondern „zu nahe“. … 

Zu nah, zu nahegehend sind die in der Richtung auf den Dichter zu, gegenwärts zu ihm, ankommenden Götter. Offenbar dauert dieses Ankommen lange Zeit, ist darum noch begrängender und deshalb noch schwerer zu sagen als die vollendete Anwesenheit. Denn auch diese vermag der Mensch nicht geradehin unmittelber zu vernehmen und das durch sie gespendete Gut zu empfangen. …

Bis das Wort gefunden ist und erblüht, gilt es, Schwehres auszutragen. Dieses Schwere bringt das dichterisch eSagen in die Not. Sie nötigt. Sie kommt aud der „Sphäre des Gottes“. (G186-7)

Well, difficult or not, but the way I take it, if the arriving and coming-to-present Gods are too near, that would mean that they are not really “outside”, like objects or other entities, rather, they are within. Within what? Perhaps, within everything – within us, within that fabric of being which, when permeated by the holy, like by the rays of light in the Homecoming poem, makes everything joyful and abundant, safe and sound, and secure in its own way of being? This is really what I have been finding working on this diss of mine: when being somehow is the holy, everything becomes right, and the gloom is gone. What I find so inspiring in Heidegger of 1968 is that he, following Hölderlin, could already see it being so near, too near, already here! How is it, that almost 50 years later, what it has opened out so much more, we keep losing sight of it and keep forgetting its warm touch (“the gentle embrace”, he calls it), which it here, everywhere?

So, note to self: do not forget that touch, meditate, melt into it, try every day, and every day anew…

And here are some more quotations from that last lecture of Heidegger’s, in Ukrainian and English, my old post:

https://msvarnyk.wordpress.com/2007/06/01/das-gedicht-1968/

2015/01/img_2087.jpg