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Loss of a Triple Rainbow

Inspiration from the movie Ijaazat

Ijaazat // Ganeshaya Namaha // Loss of a Triple Rainbow

(Guitar melody)
(Plains Flute melody)
(Orchestral Violin composition)
(Accordion melody)
Lala………… lalala…………..
Chhotisi kahaani se
// From a very small story // Upon a common over-bridge I was about to turn right on my way home
Baarishon ke pani se // From the waters of rainfalls // From a guilt-ridden voice of that dear number I had dialed to check her status
Sarein vadein bhar gayin // All the promises were fulfilled // All her faults lay revealed in her blistering attacks and blinding despair
Lalalalalalala………………
(Repeat)
Na jaane kyun
// Don’t know why // Don’t know how
Talala………
Dil bhar gayaa
// The heart overflowed // My heart overflowed with wisdom accumulating in its cavernous recesses
Na jaane kyun…. // Don’t know why // Don’t know how
Talala……………
Aankh bhar gayi
// The eyes brimmed over // My eyes brimmed over with insights collected over a lifetime of this friendship

(Accordion melody)

Shaakon mein patte the // On the branches were the leaves // On her evasions were some observations
Pattoan pe boonde thi // On the leaves were some drops // In the observations were some justifications
Boondoan mein pani thaa // In the drops was some water // On the justifications were some preferences
Paani mein aasun the // In that water were some tears // In the preferences were some actions
Aa……………. (1)(Beating and plucked string melody)
(Repeat)
Aa…………….(2)

(Accordion melody)

Chhotisi kahaani se // From a very small story // Upon a child’s common need-driven belief
Baarishon ke pani se // From the waters of rainfalls // She builds temples to her heroes
Sarein vadein bhar gayin // All the promises were fulfilled // All she sacrifices to their eternal hunger
Lalalalalalala…………….
Na jaane kyun
// Don’t know why // Don’t know how
Talala……………..
Dil bhar gayaa
// The heart overflowed // Her heart will cleanse the resulting fluids
Na jaane kyun // Don’t know why // Don’t know how
Talala………………..
Aankh bhar gayi
// The eyes brimmed over // Her eyes will tell the difference between them all

(Accordion melody)
(Multiple instruments melody, each in sequence)

Dil mein gile bhi the // In the heart were some complaints // In her heart grows complaints from evidence she collects
Pehle mile bhi the // In the past we had met // In the past she lives and draws sustenance for her new religion
Milke paraye the // Having met we had parted // In this religion she plants new doctrines for the faithful to pursue
Do humsaye the // Become two parallel shadows // And so creates a growing cornucopia of parallel shadows
Aa………………..(1)(Beating and plucked string melody)
(Repeat)
Aa……………….(2)

(Accordion melody)Aa-Aa………..(Accordion melody)Lalala……………..

Chhotisi kahaani se // From a very small story // Upon a girl’s common need for status
Baarishon ke pani se // From the waters of rainfall // She discards people, keeps their connections
Sarein vadein bhar gayin // All the promises were fulfilled // All she uses to build herself a vast kingdom
Lalalalalalala………………
Na jaane kyun
// Don’t know why // Don’t know how
Talala……………
Dil bhar gayaa
// The heart overflowed // Her heart will pump blood through its expanding network
Na jaane kyun // Don’t know why // Don’t know how
Talala………………..
Aankh bhar gayi
// The eyes brimmed over // Her eyes will know lymph from blood to help her burgeoning heart

(Accordion melody)
(Orchestral Violin composition)
(Mountain Flute melody)

Rukti hai thamti hai // It stops it halts // Her heart stops, her heart halts
Kabhi barasthi hai // Sometimes it rains // Sometimes her heart pumps blood fast
Baadal pe pauv rakh ke // Upon clouds as it steps // From tangled cobwebs as her heart tries to separate green from red
Baarish machalti hai // The rain shivers // Her eyes lost in the past, her blood shivers in completing its sacred task
Aa…………………. (1)(Beating and plucked string melody)
(Repeat)
Aa………………….(2)

(Accordion melody)Aa-Aa………… (Accordion melody)Lalala………….

Chhotisi kahaani se // From a very small story // Upon a woman’s common need for power
Baarishon ke pani se // From the waters of rainfalls // She discards knowledge, keeps their systems and products
Sarein vadein bhar gayin // All the promises were fulfilled // All she applies to keep her global domination nourished
Lalalalalalala………………..
(Repeat)
Na jaane kyun
// Don’t know why // Don’t know how
Talala……………
Dil bhar gayaa
// The heart overflowed // Her mind will convey food from an adapted heart full of a variegated green-red blackening blood
Na jaane kyun……….. // Don’t know why // Don’t know how
Talala……………..
Aankh bhar gayi
// The eyes brimmed over // Her eyes will recognize the growing uniformity in its far-flung empire without self-serving declarations.

(Accordion melody)
(Accordion melody slows down and ends the song)

The Sun Also Sets (Sooryasth)

PROLOGUE (ADDED NOVEMBER 17, 2014)

WE KNOW THAT YOU RAISED
YOUR MANY SISTERS
BEING THEIR ONLY BROTHER

WE UNDERSTAND THAT YOU
MAY THINK YOU UNDERSTAND
WOMEN DUE TO THIS EXPERIENCE

IS THAT WHY YOU IGNORED
YOUR WIFE’S COMPLAINTS
AS MERE JEALOUSY AND IGNORANCE?

IS THAT WHY …

WHEN SHE COMPLAINED
OF SEARING HEADACHES
WHAT DID YOU DO?

WHEN SHE GAVE EVIDENCE
OF YOUR SISTER’S MACHINATIONS
WHAT DID YOU DO?

WHEN SHE THREATENED TO
REPORT YOU TO YOUR BROTHER
DEAR SISTER, WHAT DID YOU DO?

WHEN SHE EXPRESSED AN OPINION
REGARDING HER DAUGHTER’S UPBRINGING
WHAT DID YOU SAY?

WHEN SHE SUGGESTED BALLET LESSONS
FOR HER LITTLE GIRL (NOT YET YOURS)
DID YOU LAUGH?

AND WHEN SHE SLEPT ON THE SOFA
BEFORE GOING BACK TO SECOND SHIFT
WHY DIDN’T YOU AWAKE HER IN TIME?
DID YOU KNOW SHE WOULDN’T?

NOW LISTEN CAREFULLY BEFORE REPLYING,
DID YOU THEN ASK YOUR DAUGHTER
NOT TO DISTURB HER MOTHER
BUT TO LET HER LIE AND REST?

DO YOU REMEMBER TO TELL YOUR DAUGHTER
SHE WASN’T TOLD OF HER MOTHER’S DEMISE
FOR SEVEN DAYS AFTER, TO SPARE HER TEARS?

DO YOU REMEMBER THAT SHE BLAMED YOU
FOR HER MOTHER’S DEMISE FOR YEARS
LATER, UNTIL WHEN I SAW HER AGAIN?

WHAT DID YOU TELL HER ABOUT ME?
I FORGOT ABOUT IT ALL ALREADY
UNTIL SHE REMINDED ME; ALL OVER AGAIN!

DID YOUR SISTER EVER HAVE TO DRAW WATER
FROM A DEEP WELL AND CLIMB BACK HOME?
LIKE YOUR DEAD WIFE DID EVERY DAY?
IS YOUR SISTER A BETTER HOUSEKEEPER TO BE EMULATED?

DID YOUR SISTER ADJUST TO A VILLAGE LIFE AS A TEENAGER
AFTER LIVING AN URBAN LIFE LIKE YOUR DEAD WIFE DID?
IS YOUR SISTER A BETTER EXAMPLE THAN YOUR DEAD WIFE THEN?

DID YOUR SISTER STUDY BY AN OIL LAMP FOR EXAMS?
FIGHT AUTHORITIES FOR NECESSITIES IN THE BACK-OF-BEYOND?
YOUR DEAD WIFE DID! SHOULD SHE NOT BE TEACHING YOUR SISTER THEN?

WILL ONE THOUSAND PEOPLE SHOW UP AT YOUR SISTER’S FUNERAL?
LIKE THEY DID FOR YOUR DEAD WIFE? MISS HER NOURISHING,
STORIES AND INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO LIVE ANYWHERE IN FULFILLMENT?

THE SUN HAS SET ON YOUR WORLD OF WILLFUL BLINDNESS
IT WILL NOT RISE TO SHINE USELESSLY FOR YOUR SHIFTY EYES
IT WILL NOT LIGHT THE VAST CAVERNS OF YOUR ENTOMBED MIND!

THE PRACTICE OF LOVE – IN PIECES

Last year the vampires got a bite out of me – a deep bite. The guilty among them were dear friends, relations, faith. The innocent among them was my practice and my mind. Yes! The mind exists but not for examination and research. Yes! The practice exists, but not for solution seeking and future planning. In the first impressions and the second thoughts notice how faith seeps into the language, gentle and inviting, yet something prevented me from publishing them late last year. It seemed too canned a solution. The biggest obstacle to their publishing was the sheer effrontery of merely matching the number of postures of Bikram yoga and thinking that it was enough to prove existence of a practitioner’s mind in the composers. A numerological obsession!

While the mind will continue to become stronger and wiser, the practice will change to accommodate the growing clarion call. I have noticed that I have become willing to modify my practice to fight faith. It is after all the most powerful antidote to reason. Where reason resides there lives the mind. May not be happy. But it will be content that it did what it was meant to do.

Last year I decided to try Future World Music and their album “A Hero Will Rise”. Here are my thoughts on the whole experience. Note that throughout this post I’ll be using titles from the album mentioned, Bikram Choudhury’s “Bikram Yoga – The Guru Behind Hot Yoga Shows the Way to Radiant Health and Personal Fulfillment (The Original Hot Yoga)” and Marcia Davenport’s “Mozart”.

Chapter Six: First Breathing Exercise Postures 1 – 4 Plus: Yoga for Stress

First Breathing Exercise – Standing Deep Breathing
First Song Title: Passion of Victory

First Impression: Fill up lungs slowly to a count of six and so demonstrate my passion for victory.

Second Thought: Victory has not yet been achieved. Calling it a Passion of Victory is extremely premature. Change title to Passion for Victory and work your ass for it. Still it may elude your grasp.

Third Conclusion: Om chants should precede songs of the album. It will enlarge lung capacity to handle the composing of an album as an imitation or piece of flattery to any by Two Steps From Hell.
Revised First Song Title should be: Om Namah Shiva-e

“…That day was Christmas. The bishop of Kaisershelm had invited Wolfgang to travel the short distance to Munich with him, and the coach clattered into the snowy streets of the capital as the bells were ringing Adeste Fideles. Though every other sound were drowned by the clamorous repetition of “Aloysia” in his ears, Wolfgang made quiet and polite replies to the bishop, without an idea of what he was saying. He gave no sign of the rioting pulse that pounded his temples. He clasped his hands tight to hide their trembling, and vacantly turned his eyes to his host when this seemed to be expected. Would they never arrive? He had thought it but a short distance! …”

Posture #1: Half Moon – Ardha-Chandrasana
Second Song Title: Anthem of the World

First Impression: As it includes the back bend it is truly the desire of all to be able to bend backward and see the gods upright with chest raised as an offering!

Second Thought: My very own church steeple I build with my head and arms is my anthem to the world. Change the title to My Anthem to the World.

Third Conclusion: Presumptuous to think that my anthem is the anthem of the world. This is not even the end of the posture and already we are singing personal anthems to the world. The upcoming potential bombast coated hollowness made me uneasy. Then I realized that Bikram calls this the Posture #1 and that stopped me dead. So I looked again – this should be assigned Passion of Victory or Passion for Victory while the First Breathing Exercise should be a mere Om invocation. That makes sense! Especially as they hope for a hero to rise!

“… He thought he had sat in that coach, pulling one watch and then the other from his waistcoat pockets, as long as he could remember. If one of the horses slipped or stumbled, he started up terrified; he was not afraid, but what if they should be late? The Webers were expecting him. He had written Fridolin. Why, he could not be late! But all things end, and at last the moment came when Wolfgang could grasp the bishop’s hands, thank him warmly and hastily, and overcome with excitement, fall out of the coach into Fridolin’s arms. They embraced tenderly. Lieber, lieber Wolfgang! Liebster, bester Fridolin! Wolfgang heard himself murmur:
‘Aloysia?——‘ …”

Posture #2: Hands to Feet – Pada-Hasthasana
Third Song Title: Gods and Demons

First Impression: For a long time this was a demon for me, so much heat to remove from within. But now its a god with its release of weight from the lower spine – There you go. We’ll hold you up, now. Relax!

Second Thought: Torso upside down is like the demons are above me and my gods are below looking up to them.

Third Conclusion: Song title should be Demons and Gods instead of Gods and Demons. Then realized that the title should actually be Anthem of the World or Anthem to the World or … ad nauseum.

“… ‘Upstairs,’ Fridolin indicated with his head, and Wolfgang flew. He stopped in the anteroom to leave his greatcoat and tricorne and heavy mittens, to smooth his hair, inspect his hands, and brush specks of powder from his coat. Then, admonishing himself not to be a fool, he turned the handle of the salon door.
There was a crowd inside; court musicians, singers, orchestra players, come to pay their holiday compliments and drink the Webers’ health. Many Mannheimers were there. Wolfgang stood quietly by the door, looking for Aloysia. There! Why – she was taller! He peered at her. And the girl, his girl? – who was this – this stranger? She was so poised – so sure of herself – A tremulous moist-eyed face floated through his mind and vanished as he gazed stupidly at his Aloysia, cool, sharp, cutting the chorus of repartee with a high, glassy laugh that he had never heard before, accenting the talk with knowing gestures of her thin hands. Wolfgang stared hard at the hands. His brain twisted, uncomfortably remembering; he frowned, and presently he knew. Those were French gestures, invidious, familiar. He knew them all. They were so recent; had he seen them yesterday? Last week? Of course! Madame d’Epinay had such hands, and used them so. Wolfgang felt cold. Marchand’s lessons had not been wasted on Aloysia. …”

Overall First Impressions: The parallel between the number of songs and the number of postures was promising of something worth investigating.
Overall Second Thoughts: Melodies fell short of expectation – they were indicative of a non-practitioner approach to life, to creativity, as if it were just enough to have reached the beginning of the next posture to start composing an appropriate piece for it, sight and feel unsensed.
Overall Third Conclusions: Not worthy of deeper examination. Pieces were too attached to desired outcomes and therefore unable to move ahead to the next game, the next chance to win.

Mechanisms of Fear / Meditations on Apostasy

Looking back I am not sure that my experiences in the second** and third*** studio were not somehow generated by frequenters at that first* suburban studio. I must say that the complexion of these last two kept changing in puzzling and unpredictable ways. Did the first studio miss me? Nah! Perish the thought! Just plain old jealousy rearing its ugly head yet again! Apostasy is unforgivable!

But this is how it went down! So here goes nothing!

Lies* help when
Offered at times
Of vulnerability
But only as a band-aid
To open wounds!

How does Fear work?
Why! Just create conditions
Where failure looms
At every step forward
At every corner to turn
While success is allowed
To peek between clouds of faith
Of lies about our nature
And the only door a promise,
No more, to end pain, if you will
Run that rigged race to succeed
And so test the path’s veracity.

Threats* help when
Made at times
Of hyper stimulation
But only as a strait jacket
To a unraveling soul!

A chill-to-the-marrow cold shiver
Lying in savasana in deep privacy,
On connecting the shards of intimidation!
A pitch dark swift shapeless attack
Opening a door to a closet,
On rejecting gift of a child god!
A choking shot-in-the-head heartburn
Deep in the midst of sleep,
On rejecting an elastic cheesy faith solution!
Such are the expressions of Fear

Lies* help when
Offered at times
Of vulnerability
But only as a band-aid
To recurring wounds!

Walk into that room**
See a floor unfinished,
Rough surface, rougher edges,
No softness, no smoothness,
Just a ground prepared
For failure, for injury
Something to remember
Your brave venture by
As you try to tentatively kick
Into scary one-legged poses!

Threats* help when
Made at times
Of hyper stimulation
But only as a strait jacket
To an evaporating soul!

Walk into this room***
Deliberate undesirable
Spots left to occupy
Not wanted are you there
Fear is the other side of love
If you prevail in spite of
Their best calculations
Then you feel their love
An overwhelmingly blind love
That unrequited, turns to hate!

Lies* help when
Offered at times
Of vulnerability
But only as a band-aid
To unstanchable bleeding!

Walk into that home**
Welcomes and flowers of affection
A prison guard in a mother’s guise
Changes her hairstyle to retain attention
Lies awaiting, an obese faux-buddha
Turning all who enter into children
To speak only when spoken to
To greet only when commanded to
Devotion is the other side of comprehension
If you prevail in spite of
Her clever cogitations
Then you get her devotion
A useless unquestioning devotee
That unacknowledged, turns into a destroyer!

Threats* help when
Made at times
Of hyper stimulation
But only as a sealed glass jar
To a sublimating soul!

To answer the question
How does fear work?
With lies and threats
Band aids and strait jackets
Breakable sealed glass jars
And wounds never heal
And souls never form nor grow
We remain a collection of parts
We remain a committee of modules
For anyone to steal
And manipulate.

NOTES:

*A specific yoga studio in a suburban location, naturally attracting people with religious leanings. Needless to say I spent the most time here; religious manipulation is the most difficult kind to unravel and explain. I am not sure I still can, but then I don’t frequent social media sites nor do I hang out with religious types. Their minds are strange to someone like me who seeks clarity and truth, not status and power. Naturally enough it also seems to generate a lot of stillness seekers. What else can you expect with all that religious hot air and useless noise!

**A specific yoga studio at a different location

***A different yoga studio at yet another location

Stillness Seekers

To stay still
Is such an ideal
Weak or strong
All wish for stillness
Some to kill their prey
Some to capture their thoughts

Or so they say …

To learn self-control
So easy if only
There were some authority
To complain to
For one’s difficulties
In the practice
Of staying still

Or so they complain …

To stay still
Such a high climb
Why bother when
An authority will elevate
You above others
Less well connected

To learn self-control
So hard in that
Hot and humid room
Where true Hatha yoga
Is practiced
; but here
Hey! It’s easy
Just find a patsy
And presto
Your esteem
Is redeemed
In other eyes
That are your eyes.

For you seek blindness
Not self-control
For you seek power
Not stillness within
To secure that
Wavering flame
That you call your life.

To stay still
Is such an ideal
But weak or strong
Only few wish for stillness
The rest want fresh kill
For their endless games
Let’s climb-out-this-oven
Put-another-in-it-quick,
Round ad nauseum.

For you seek respite
Cheap and noble
For you seek comrades
Of like disposition
From a fresh batch
Of fresher kill
Trapped by
Your released poisons.

To stay still
Is such an ideal;
For the few
Weak or strong
Will achieve it,
Here or elsewhere,
Sooner or later,
Only a matter of time
And quiet practice
Without interdictions
Or benedictions
Gratis.

The above free verse is about my experience at the local Vipassana center. I allude to it in The Sensitivity of an Artist.

The Artist and Truth

In 2003, when I visited my folks in India I went to see Kanheri Caves for the first time. There was so much to see that I cajoled my brother to take me back there when he could make time. He did and I took several pictures – what can you expect from an architect! I used them on my return to present a show-and-tell to colleagues as a simple recounting with no deeper understanding of what guided my hand to take certain shots and not others.

In 2008 I used this site to explore certain design ideas of converting it to a hotel, but could not determine who might be likely customers at such a resort. Its historical, social and religious value was such that I could see how such a development would put it out of reach of ordinary folks. There were still indigenous tribes living nearby whose lifestyle depended on its peculiar isolation in a hyper-urban milieu.
75 Cave 3 Donor Panel South Side
Lately I was reviewing these pictures in response to a question from one of my young nieces, “Why is the female figure mutilated so badly?”

Below is an investigation into this question. Text in blockquotes are excerpted from the Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency. Note that photographs included between block quotes are not to be understood to be part of the Gazetteer. They are mine.

… Passing under the west cliff, up a deeply wooded ravine, a flight of worn steps leads, across a broad brushwood-covered terrace, to the slightly overhanging scarp in whose west face is cut the Great or Cathedral Cave (No. 3) … the most important of the Kanheri caves … owing to its softness, the rock is much destroyed. …

Cave 3, Chaitya Hall, aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves. Interior View

Cave 3, Chaitya Hall, aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves. Interior View

… Between the two side and the central doorways, the front of the cave is adorned with life-size statues in bas-relief of men and women … The men wear the same curious head-dress, and the women the same heavy earrings, bracelets, and anklets. Above these are rows of seated Buddhas, and above the Buddhas again is the great arched window, through which light passes into the cave. …

Cave #3, Chaitya Hall, aka, Cathedral Cave, Exterior View

Cave #3, Chaitya Hall, aka, Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves. Exterior View

… There are nine inscriptions in and about this cave. In the right gate-post is a deeply cut and distinct but rather defaced inscription of 22 1/2 lines. … The original length of the lines was three feet eight inches, which by the removal of the stones has been reduced to two feet in the upper part and three feet one inch in the middle. This is a valuable inscription, but much of importance has been lost in the upper lines. As it now stands, all that can be gathered from it, is that the cave was made in the time of king Yajnashri Shatakarni Gotamiputra (A.D. 177-198), by two merchant brothers Gajsen and Gajvir from Datamiti (?) (Sk. Dattamitri) in Upper India, and that the temple was dedicated to the Bhadrayani school of Buddhism. …

In the footnotes Bhadrayani school is explained as follows:

The Bhadrayani school rose in the third century after Gautama from the sect of Vataiputra, an offshoot from the Sarvastivadina, a subdivision of the Sthavira school. They seemed to have believed in a first cause, and that the soul or I is immortal. … The chief Nasik cave (No. 26) is also dedicated to the Bhadrayani school, which seems to have been in high favour with the rulers of Western India during the second and third centuries after Christ.

In addition, after listing several places still well-known, it states that,

…All of these, except Dattamitri are well known. Dattamitri, writes Prof. Bhandarkar … was the name of a town in Sauvira near Sind. It may also be Demetria …

King Yajnashri Shatakarni Gotamiputra (A.D. 177-198) was a Satavahana king. Sind is in present-day Pakistan. Sauvira can be looked upon as Sau-vira or One hundred-Braves.

More from the Gazetteer:

…when the Portuguese conquered Salsette, the Kanheri caves were still the home of a large colony of ascetics. The leaders were converted to Christianity, and the life of the monastery was brought to an end. The Portuguese speak of the ascetics as Yogis and they may have been Brahmanic ascetics. But several details recorded by the first Portuguese writers (1538 – 1603) make it probable that they were Buddhist monks, and that the great Buddhist monastery of Kanheri remained in life until its leaders were made Christians by the Portuguese. …

Cave No.3, Chaitya Hall aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves.   Left or North End of Vestibule with a smiling Buddha. Note the donor figures on bottom-right corner - all heads are intact. They are surmounted by meditating Buddhas, all roughly uniform in size.

Cave No.3, Chaitya Hall aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves.
Left or North End of Vestibule with a smiling Buddha. Note the donor figures on bottom-right corner – all heads are intact. They are surmounted by meditating Buddhas, all roughly uniform in size.

…The twelve hundred years of Buddhist ascendancy (B.C. 450 – A.D. 750) may be roughly divided into four periods, each period marked by the development of a new theory, or gospel, of the way to enlightenment and rest. The gospel of the first was conduct, of the second metaphysics, of the third mysticism, of the fourth magic. Conduct dates from Gautama (B.C. 500), metaphysics from about B.C. 200, mystery from about A.D. 100, and magic from about A.D. 500. Though the elder systems were to some extent eclipsed by the younger, they seem to have continued side by side till the fall of Buddhism. …

Cave No.3, Chaitya Hall aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves. The right or South End of Vestibule.  Note the donor figures on the lower-left corner - the first two heads are missing. They are surmounted by meditating Buddhas of similar size except for one larger Buddha seated on an elevated seat.

Cave No.3, Chaitya Hall aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves. The right or South End of Vestibule.
Note the donor figures on the lower-left corner – the first two heads are missing. They are surmounted by meditating Buddhas of similar size except for one larger Buddha seated on an elevated seat.

…Gautama’s maxims have been so changed and so overlaid by later teachers, that it is hard to say how much of Buddhism comes from the founder of the faith. In any case, whether it was started by Gautama or was a later development, the original Buddhist philosophy seems to have been taken from earlier Hindu thinkers. The Buddhists were originally a sect of Hindus, and the Brahmans seem to have in no way interfered with the efforts of the early Buddhists to spread their doctrines. …

Cave No.3, Chaitya Hall, aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves. Closeup view of smiling Buddha on the North End of Vestibule

Cave No.3, Chaitya Hall, aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves. Closeup view of smiling Buddha on the North End of Vestibule

Cave No.3, Chaitya Hall, aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves. Closeup view of serious Buddha on the South End of Vestibule.

Cave No.3, Chaitya Hall, aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves. Closeup view of serious Buddha on the South End of Vestibule.

…Gautama’s followers seem from the first to have been divided into lay and ascetic. For long the ascetics were hermits living by themselves under trees, in huts, or in natural caves, probably in no case living together or forming organised bodies of monks. … From early times marks of Gautama’s feet, his head-dress, girdle, alms-bowl, bathing robe, drinking vessel, and seat or throne were also worshipped. The only figure that occurs as an object of worship in the early sculptures is Shri or Lakshmi the goddess of wealth. Buddhist temples are probably of late origin. …

Donor Couple surmounted by meditating Buddhas of similar size, on North side of main entry into Cave No.3. Bas-relief is intact.

Donor Couple surmounted by meditating Buddhas of similar size, on North side of main entry into Cave No.3. Bas-relief is intact.

…The rule of the Shatakarni kings (B.C. 200 – A.D. 350), especially the reign of Gotamiputra II (A.D. 177-196), seems to have been a time of prosperity at Kanheri. To about this time belong twenty of the fifty inscriptions, recording grants by kings ministers and traders of caves, cisterns, lands, and money. Among the caves that belong to this period are the entire third tier, including the great Cathedral Cave No. 3. … Additions both of fresh caves and of new ornaments in old caves seem to have continued through the fifth and sixth centuries, ten of the fifty inscriptions dating from that period. These additions belong to the late or Mahayana school and are much more ornate than the older caves. To this period belong the Darbar Cave (No. 10) and others at the end of the first row, the two large statues of Gautama at the ends of the veranda of the Cathedral Cave (No. 3), and several chapels. …

I guess if they were new ornaments in old caves then they wouldn’t go about mutilating donor images. Potential donors may not be encouraged to donate to continued upkeep and embellishment if this were the case.

Let’s look at the lifestyle description given in the Gazetteer.

…Kanheri, when rich and famous, differed greatly from its present state of wild loneliness. The relic mounds were bright with festoons of flags and streamers; the flights of clear-cut steps were furnished with hand-rails, and the neat well-kept cells were fitted with doors and windows and shaded with canopies; sellers of incense and fruit crowded the gates; groups of worshippers entered and left; and the bands of yellow-robed even-pacing monks and nuns moved over the hill top and across the hill side. On festive days the space in front of the great chapel was decked with flags and silken canopies; the chapels thronged with well-dressed worshippers and full of the scent of incense; the images smothered in flowers; and the relic shrines festooned more richly than usual with silken flags and variegated streamers. By night the whole hill-side cells, stairs, chapels, and relic shrines would be ablaze with lamps. …

Cave No.3, Chaitya Hall, aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves.  The donor panel on the left or North side of the main entrance is intact. It is surmounted by meditating monks, all represented in roughly the same size, indicative of the earlier phases of Buddhism that emphasized conduct and metaphysics.

Cave No.3, Chaitya Hall, aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves.
The donor panel on the left or North side of the main entrance is intact. It is surmounted by meditating monks, all represented in roughly the same size, indicative of the earlier phases of Buddhism that emphasized conduct and metaphysics.

…This was the abode of several thousand monks, of pure blameless lives, so talented and learned that the five Indies took them as models. From morning till evening the young and the old were busy, teaching and learning, and, from all sides, strangers flocked to find from the elders the solutions of their doubts. The bulk of the monks belonged to the Great Vehicle, or later school, but all the eighteen sects were represented. A thousand of them could explain twenty books, 500 thirty books, ten fifty books, and one, the head of the convent, had mastered all the sacred writings. …

…The members of the Kanheri community belonged to four classes, laymen upasikas, lay-women upayis, monks bhikshus, and nuns bhikshunis. …

Cave No.3, Chaitya Hall, aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves.  The top part of the donor panel to the right or South side of the main entrance, shows complete mutilation of one female figure down to her waist. Her partner/spouse has his arms and hands mutilated also.

Cave No.3, Chaitya Hall, aka Cathedral Cave, Kanheri Caves.
The top part of the donor panel to the right or South side of the main entrance, shows complete mutilation of one female figure down to her waist. Her partner/spouse has his arms and hands mutilated also.

…Gautama was averse from allowing women to become ascetics, and agreed to admit them only under promise that they would keep certain special rules. The nun’s dress was the same as the monk’s dress, the nuns ate together apart from the monks, and worshipped the relic shrine of Ananda, Gautama’s cousin, who had pleaded with him for their admission. In Upper India nuns were numerous enough to attract the notice of Megasthenes (B.C. 300). They were most liberal in their gifts to Kanheri as they were to other monasteries. They play a leading part in some of the old dramas. But they do not seem to have ever risen to be an important class. …

What were these special rules? From the footnotes we have the following to ponder:

The rules were that a nun, even of 100 years old, must respect all monks; she must never insult or abuse them; must examine herself; confess her faults; learn from the monks, specially in the three summer months when she must rest neither by night nor by day in her efforts to learn the law; at all times she must watch the monks and profit by their example. Remusat’s Foe Koue Ki, 112. One nun, the daughter of Sagara king of the Nagas, rose to be a Bodhisattva (St. Hilaire, 109). It is probably this lady who appears at Elura in the dress of Padmapani (Fergusson and Burgess’ Caves, 374). …

AS FOR THE MUTILATION MAYBE IT WAS NOTHING MORE THAN PERSONAL ANIMOSITY TO THE PARTICULAR DONOR COUPLE? AND NO, THE COUPLE IMAGES ARE NOT SYMMETRICAL ABOUT THE MAIN ENTRANCE – NOTICE THE LEG POSITIONS OF THE INNERMOST COUPLE IN EACH SET.

To put it in a more humorous vein, here’s a disquisition on fear and its uses from Cold Comfort Farm.

NOTES & REFERENCES:
1. Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, Volume XIV. Tha’na. Places of Interest. Under Government Orders. Bombay. Author and Compiler: James M. Campbell. Printed at the Government Central Press. 1882.

Sensitivity of an Artist

2002 – PANIC ATTACKS, TRIED CALMING EXERCISE ROUTINES

2003 –
STARTED BIKRAM YOGA PRACTICE

2003 – 2004
DRESS SIZE CHANGE FROM 12 TO 8

2004 – 2005
DRESS SIZE CHANGE FROM 8 TO 4;
ACNE BREAKOUT ON BACK & CHEEKS;
BEGAN AYURVEDIC DIET;
PARTICIPATED IN TEXAS YOGA COMPETITION IN AUSTIN;
PARTICIPATED IN COMPETITION FOR FLIGHT 93 CRASH SITE IN PITTSBURGH, PA;

2006 –
CHANGED JOBS FOR HIGHER PAY AND GREATER RESPONSIBILITY;
FEAR LEVELS ROSE BEFORE DAYS BEFORE THE CHANGE DUE TO LACK OF FAITH IN MY OWN ABILITIES, SO STARTED ATTENDING HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE;
DISCOURAGED HUSBAND FROM JOINING DUE TO MY NEED TO EXPLORE THE ROOTS OF FEAR.

2007 –
FIRST MISCARRIAGE;
VISIT TO MUMBAI IN DECEMBER – HEAT RELATED ILLNESS FOR HUSBAND AND MYSELF, INCLUDING FEARFUL HEARTBURN FOR HUSBAND, AND SUNDRY FIGHTS BETWEEN US WHILE WE STAYED AT RELATIONS WHO ATTENDED HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE FREQUENTLY.

Lakshmi seated on fully opened lotus, eyes gazing straight ahead, oozing wealth, bearing weapons and being blessed by elephants showering garlands at her, sketched in January 2008.

Lakshmi seated on fully opened lotus, eyes gazing straight ahead, oozing wealth, bearing weapons and being blessed by elephants showering garlands at her, sketched in January 2008.

Lakshmi seated on a partially opened lotus with a half-moon on a more tight-fitting crown that secures hair better, eyes slightly lowered and torso elevated due to Padmasana posture, no wealth nor weapons, sketched in February 2008.

Lakshmi seated on a partially opened lotus with a half moon on a more tight-fitting crown that secures hair better, eyes slightly lowered and torso elevated due to Padmasana posture, no wealth nor weapons, sketched in February 2008.


2008 –
JANUARY – GAJALAKSHMI SKETCH;

FEBRUARY – HUSBAND ASKED FOR AND OBTAINED VOW TO OBEY FROM ME, WITNESSED AT HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE ON 14 FEBRUARY;
I DRAW A MODIFIED LAKSHMI SKETCH OMITTING THE CHILD ON HER KNEES;

MAY – PARENTS WILLED ALL THEIR PROPERTY TO MY HUSBAND AND MYSELF;

JULY – QUIT JOB TO START CONSULTING BUSINESS IN HOTEL DESIGN;

AUGUST – DREW ARJUNA’S SEARCH FOR TRUTH SKETCH; TULUM TRIP REVEALED MORE FEARS;

SEPTEMBER –
PARENTS CREATE OPTIONAL WILL DIVIDING PROPERTY IN RESPONSE TO PRESSURES FROM MULTIPLE DIRECTIONS, LEAVING IT TO ME ON THE PATH TO TAKE;

I BEGIN NON-STOP BIKRAM YOGA CHALLENGE IN STUDIO SETTING SEEKING CLARITY.

Arjuna with his bow and arrow seeking the truth, sketched in August 2008. Sadly it didn't generate any useful suggestions.

Arjuna with his bow and arrow seeking the truth, sketched in August 2008. Sadly it didn’t generate any useful suggestions.

2009 –
MEMORIES OF ALL THE TORTURE, ALL THE BETRAYALS, ALL THE LIES, ALL THE OBSTACLES START EMERGING INTO CONSCIOUSNESS WITH EMOTIONAL DEPTH, IN THE CONTEXT OF THOSE SUFFERED BY MY IMMEDIATE FAMILY;
BEGIN WORK WITH A HARE KRISHNA COUPLE ON HOME REMODELING.

2010 –
JANUARY/FEBRUARY – MOTHER SUFFERED A STROKE BUT SURVIVED;
AUGUST – SILENT MEDITATION FOR TEN DAYS AT LOCAL VIPASSANA CENTER WAS SPIRITUALLY FRUITFUL;
OCTOBER – QUIT WORK ON HARE KRISHNA COUPLE’S HOME IN RESPONSE TO PRESSURE TO BEGIN REMODELING WITHOUT PERMITS, ESPECIALLY WITH KEY STRUCTURAL ISSUES NEEDING ENGINEERING RESOLUTION. SCRUPULOUSLY MAINTAINED NO CONTACT WITH COUPLE FROM THAT TIME. JOINED HUSBAND ON HIS BUSINESS CONCEPT EXPLORATION CERTAIN IT WOULD REMOVE FEAR.

2011 –
FEBRUARY – SERVED AT SILENT MEDITATION FOR TEN DAYS AT LOCAL VIPASSANA CENTER – THE MOST AWFUL EXPERIENCE I’VE HAD VOLUNTEERING AT ANYTHING.
WORKING PARTNERSHIP WITH HUSBAND IMPROVES BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS;
DECEMBER – VISIT MUMBAI VIA NEW YORK STAYING WITH PARENTS, VISITING FRIENDS FOR A WEEK; NO HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES; PARENTS REWRITE WILL LEAVING ALL TO MY HUSBAND AND MYSELF UPON MY DEPARTURE.

2012 –
FEBRUARY – LAUNCHED THE VAIN YOGI WEBSITE;
AUGUST – PARTICIPATED IN TEXAS YOGA COMPETITION IN AUSTIN;
NOVEMBER – SLIPPED AND TWISTED MY ANKLE ON SPILLED LOTION IN LOCAL MALL;
DECEMBER – COMPULSION TO REVISIT HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE ARISES.

The Judas Tree , first attempt, fast and quick with no individuality, sketched in November 2013. The full sketch features a diaphanous fabric generated by the ballerina that covers the lead's face.

The Judas Tree , first attempt, fast and quick with no individuality, sketched in November 2013. The full sketch features a diaphanous fabric generated by the ballerina that covers the lead’s face.

The Judas Tree, second attempt, sketched in May and June 2014. While the sketch is complete, multiple erasing create a hole in the paper, visible as a dark blemish on the ballerina's chin and neck area.

The Judas Tree, second attempt, sketched in May and June 2014. While the sketch is complete, multiple erasing create a hole in the paper, visible as a dark blemish on the ballerina’s chin and neck area.


2013 –
JANUARY – QUIT HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE VISITS AS I FELT UNWELCOME AND MANIPULATED: CERTAIN INSTRUCTIONS WERE DIRECTED IN RESPONSE TO MY BLOG POSTS WITHOUT THE COURAGE OF OWNERSHIP; STORIES AND PARTS OF SCRIPTURE READ AVOIDED KRISHNA’S ROLE AS A STRATEGIC THINKER AND PLANNER, BUT EMPHASIZED HIS GODLINESS IN GENERIC, PLATONIC TERMS.

SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER – NON-STOP CHALLENGE CONTINUES IN PRIVATE;

NOVEMBER – THE JUDAS TREE SKETCH, FIRST ATTEMPT – INCOMPLETE, FACELESS, ANONYMOUS, TO THE TUNE OF SONGS FROM THE BOLLYWOOD MOVIE BAZAAR (ABOUT IMPOVERISHED YOUNG MUSLIM GIRLS BEING MARRIED OFF TO AGING MUSLIM MEN); PRIVATE READING ON HISTORICAL TOPICS BEGINS, YET INTERFERENCE, OBSTACLES, USELESS QUESTIONS PERSIST; DISCOVER THE REVISED 2011 PARENTAL WILL.

2014 -
APRIL – RESTART STUDIO PRACTICE INFREQUENTLY, USING PRIVATE PRACTICE TO MAINTAIN NON-STOP CHALLENGE;

MAY / JUNE – THE JUDAS TREE SKETCH, SECOND ATTEMPT – PERFECT AT THE COST OF MULTIPLE ERASURES AS IF THE ARTIST WAS PUSHED AROUND BY IMPATIENT VOICES OF FRIENDS AND RELATIONS WITH SUNDRY BARNACLES TO THROW THEIR TWO CENTS WORTH OF ARTISTIC VOICES – PAGE DEVELOPS HOLE – SEE DARK PATCH NEAR HER CHIN AND MOUTH.

The Judas Tree, third attempt, sketched in August 2014. Disproportionate face-to-body in case of both dancers is visible. I include it here as evidence of how a practice reveals hidden, subtle flaws that can ordinarily be passed over as of no consequence.

The Judas Tree, third attempt, sketched in August 2014. Disproportionate face-to-body in case of both dancers is visible. The expression on the ballerina’s face is also very unsatisfactory, missing the expression of betrayal and confused anger in the original photograph. I include it here as evidence of how a practice reveals hidden, subtle flaws that can ordinarily be passed over as of no consequence.


AUGUST – THE JUDAS TREE SKETCH, THIRD ATTEMPT – SEEMINGLY FLAWLESS BUT ON SECOND REVIEW NOTICE THE SKETCH’S POWER TO REVEAL SUBTLE DISTORTIONS AND LIES – THE MARTIAN COLONIZATION DREAM FALLACY, THE DISTORTED FACE-TO-BODY PROPORTIONS – THE MAN WITH A DISPROPORTIONATELY LARGE FACE AND AN UNDANCER’S BODY, SQUAT AND RESTRAINED; THE WOMAN WITH A DISPROPORTIONATELY SMALL, NARROW FACE AND LARGE HIPS AND THIGHS.

SEPTEMBER – PUBLISHED TWO BLOG POSTS ON SIMILAR THEMES, NAMELY ‘FIGHTING ISLAMIC TENDENCIES’ AND ‘FIGHTING CHRISTIAN TENDENCIES’, AND ONE SUGGESTING A SOLUTION, ‘SPARKING PRACTITIONER TENDENCIES’.

The Judas Tree, second attempt, healed in November 2014, using Photoshop.

The Judas Tree, second attempt, healed in November 2014, using Photoshop.


OCTOBER – PUBLISHED ONE BLOG POST ON THE SAME THEME TITLED, ‘FIGHTING EVANGELICAL TENDENCIES’.

NOVEMBER – PUBLISHED ‘THAT HIDDEN SKETCH’ OUTLINING THE THEMES IN THE RELIGIOUS TENDENCIES BLOG POSTS.

THE JUDAS TREE SKETCH, SECOND ATTEMPT, HEALED VIA PHOTOSHOP.

It seems as if even after one has resolved one’s personal issues, others around you exhibit and exercise a deep compulsion to keep you mired in a state of confusion and stasis. They seek proof upon proof without wanting to ask for it. My struggles with the The Judas Tree sketch demonstrates it clearly. The absurdity of the third attempt with rockets taking off for parts unknown is emphasized by the mismatched body parts of the two dancers.

I THINK THE ABOVE TIME LINE OF EVENTS VERY INTERESTING, DON’T YOU?

That Hidden Sketch

The two sketches below are from the time when I was in my early teens, the watercolor was a drawing class assignment in VIII grade and the pencil sketch was drawn in the following summer vacations for personal amusement. At the time I had no intent of any kind to draw any parallels between the two. I was merely pleased at nailing the flower/bract in watercolor and being acknowledged for it. As for the damsel, her piteous expression probably intrigued me.

Bougainvillea copy

FROM AN EARLIER POST TITLED, FIGHTING EVANGELICAL TENDENCIES, REMEMBER THESE LINES AT THE VERY END …

Learning, comparing, connecting
The dots behind the religions
Over a year in the quiet
Remembering …

A pencil drawing of a piteous damsel
Did her copious tears lead to the birth of religion?
Drawn unconsciously behind a bougainvillea watercolor
Did my action indicate a source of a problem?
She drawing away from the honesty of a flower
Leaving its lesson of continuous course correction
On its path to a union of the physical and the spiritual
Towards the imaginary heavenly arms of some defender.
Some incentive to start a new religion!

Draupadi

NOTE WELL, BOYS AND GIRLS
YOU TOO, GRRLS

THIS IS WHAT YOU ALL HAVE BEEN PROTECTING
HER EYES CRYING FOR HELP
HER HANDS CLASPED IN PRAYER
HER EYES LOOKING AWAY FROM THE BRIGHT SHADOW
OF A FLOWER, NAH, A BRACT
A GREEN LEAF TURNING TO A YELLOW-ORANGE-PINK BRACT
YET
HER EYES LOOK AWAY
NOW TO THE THIRD RELIGION
WITH THAT TRACK RECORD OF LONG SUCCESS
OF MAINTAINING LEARNING, CIVILIZATION,
SECURITY AND POWER

THE EARLY DAMSELS LAP UP
LEARNING & CIVILIZATION LIKE GREEDY DOGS
THIRSTY AND HUNGRY,
GRATEFUL FOR NOURISHMENT,
BUT NOTA BENE: SHE LEARNS FAST
VERY FAST!

TO REGURGITATE IT ALL
BACK AT HER MASTER’S FEET
IN RETURN FOR
SECURITY AND POWER

WHAT DOES SHE HIDE?

I DON’T KNOW.
I HONESTLY
DON’T KNOW.

Time for School, Boys and Girls

Listen,
Watch,
and
Learn!

Hopefully!

Fighting Evangelical Tendencies

Practicing Bikram Yoga in the nude every day

For almost a year I practice every day
Bikram of course, in the nude, on the nude
For almost a year I look myself in the raw
My eyes find myself beautiful in my own eyes
Physical honing catching up with my spiritual perfection
Precisely because I seek my own improvement above others

Learning, comparing, connecting
The dots behind the religions
Over a year in the quiet
Remembering …

I saw her in Krishna’s kitchen, an ordinary woman
Running her maidens hither and thither, spicier and spicier
I saw her by Krishna’s altar, beside her husband
Both elders, both leaders, leading a false temple in His name
With all others of their spiritual kind, an international breed
Dissimilar though they all may be in race and creed.

Preaching subservience to her husband,
She practiced domination;
Addressing every man as a lord or brother
She treated them worse than dirt;
And they in turn passed it on gladly to others
What goes around kept going around
In ever widening spiraling circles
Of half-empty packages, half-digested information!

But the worst of their sins lay in none of the above,
It lay in their preaching, it lay in their teaching;
I listened to their distortions,
To their rampant wishful fantasies;
Turning Krishna, dear to millions
Into a little boy to be a plaything of older lascivious women;
Ignoring His magnificently heartbreaking work
In destroying evil for a little while
To give the world a fresh start.

An evangelical heart seeking easy bites
They could only regurgitate chants
Simple visions, pranks of a child,
Gerber morsels of behavior
Quickly digested by rootless followers.

Forgotten sight from abandoned eyes
Paints people with weightless limbs
Unhampered by shadows or perspectives
Offered to strangers and acolytes alike
As evidence of Krishna’s life and art

No history, no causality,
Just a long chain of ill-heard hearsay
But hearing no evil only purifies its potency
No gravity, no anatomy,
Mere shapeless wraiths covered head-to-toe
But seeing no evil merely intensifies its power

Blind and deaf beautiful girls
Only birth a religion for fearful boys
Some incentive to join a mangled religion!
That spreads fear amongst its devout!

For a lifetime I have looked at others covered
Cloaked in dignity, cloaked in knowledge,
Covered in scripture, oozing spirituality,
Dressed in worldly wisdom,
They’ve never been in that room of practice
Putting to practice what they believe
Within the discomfort of their own sweat
They trade their untested offerings to each other
In an ever widening circle of half-empty packages
And half-digested information

Learning, comparing, connecting
The dots behind the religions
Over a year in the quiet
Remembering …

A pencil drawing of a piteous damsel
Did her copious tears lead to the birth of religion?
Drawn unconsciously behind a bougainvillea watercolor
Did my action indicate a source of a problem?
She drawing away from the honesty of a flower
Leaving its lesson of continuous course correction
On its path to a union of the physical and the spiritual
Towards the imaginary heavenly arms of some defender.
Some incentive to start a new religion!