Friday, May 29, 2009

Back in Canada

I have been here for five days now. The weather has been dull and uninviting. Clouds, cold, rainy, windy.

I met with Satya Narayan Dasji in Faridabad on Saturday before leaving. We went over the last batch of text I sent him. Now there is only one more batch to do before finishing, although I will have to enter more corrections in the first few batches also.

I wanted to go to Gurgaon and meet with Baijnath Aryan and see his museum, but a big storm with hail and high winds struck and made driving almost impossible. Worried that this would cause difficulties getting to the airport I cancelled. But, finally, Gurgaon to the airport is a very short drive with the new highway. 15 minutes max. We could have done it, because the rain only lasted 30-40 minutes.

The flight was tight on Lufthansa. Air Canada from Frankfort was more comfortable. Watched movies in the plane. The Reader was pretty good. Pretty much everything else I saw was indifferent to pure drivel. I always learn something about rasa when I watch a film though, both material and spiritual.

Since coming here, I have been typing out the S.N. Shastri commentary to DKK as well as looking over the materials that I have here for the planned Dana-keli book I am working on. I also reread a short book, The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis, which I had read before, but of which I retained little. It is, however, a significant and influential work, which compares and contrasts the "natural" loves with love of God from a Christian perspective.

From the comparative point of view, it has (as always) points of contact and points of diversion from my understanding, and of course that very "alien" undercurrent of Christological belief. But in view of the stated goals of this blog, an analysis of Lewis's ideas will be quite enriching, I am sure. So I will try to do that here as soon as I get a chance. It will probably take more than one entry.

On the whole, Canada feels quite alien to tell the truth. I wrote on Facebook, without quite thinking what I meant. "The protective barriers of sattva-guna: myth and ritual." Shiva Talwar wrote: "Paradoxical! How can the protective sheath of something sattva be myth?"

Myth means the symbolic universe by which we frame our life's meaning. It is sustained by ritual activities. If that is not strong, then the steady maintenance of a progressive consciousness (i.e., sattva-guna) becomes impossible.


2 comments:

dr.jaya said...

On the whole, Canada feels quite alien to tell the truth.I felt exactly the same after returning to Florida last year, spending many, many months in Braj!
Welcome!
If you ever visit South Florida, let me know. I'd like to meet you in person, if possible.
Continue your good devotional work where ever you are!

Jaya Sri Radhe!

Neil said...

Jagat wrote: "Myth means the symbolic universe by which we frame our life's meaning. It is sustained by ritual activities. If that is not strong, then the steady maintenance of a progressive consciousness (i.e., sattva-guna) becomes impossible."

Thanks for sharing your insight. I tend to agree.

Rather than a rigid fundamentalism, the power of myth can awaken a deeper aspect of who we truly are...as you say a progressive consciousness, and a frame work to discover within. Ofcourse some will need the fundamental approach for faith to be alive. I don't so much.

Sometimes Jagat, I think personally, this understanding of myth keeps the 'internal perspective'; otherwise the books, the statues etc, become a dry idol. An idol that all must follow, 'a projection'; and I find that a huge affliction within the soul, that tramples with ideology. So evident in extreme forms of faith. For example I heard one Jewish settler lady say on news last night (with a huge glow in her eyes), 'God has given us this land, it belongs to us, not to Palestinians'. That kind of God sounds a bit of tack and delusional to me...

On a light note, if we are talking of myth, then maybe we cannot have claim to any property or rights, except for self-discovery...a personal encounter.

I don't see myth as negative at all, infact it is living and breathing, and intrinsic to human encounter of soul. I would suggest much more real than some would understand. Something that modern man after the 17th and 18th century enlightenments would do well to re-discover. Humankind has found harmony within myth, even back to the roots of who we are and how we developed. Even in understanding the other, just like Radha and Krsna, myth can awaken us internally to true beauty (the other - a Personality of Godhead).

It is truly sad if we become dis-enchanted, either by loss of faith, or a worn out idol, or afflictions and trampling (offences). Some can perish without the foundation of fundamentalism, some can perish without the scope of myth (and wonder)...and some just love God no matter what plane of consciousness they exist in (even hell).

So as you would know, the main concern is - love in what ever plane we exist. Once again, the theme of 'diversity and inconceivable oneness and difference'. Delusional projections can spoil that fundamental truth.