5 Brothers And A Common Wife

wife of , not happy to carry beverages to Keec...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that could lead to problems.

An understatement … It would.

Massive. Intractable too.

But they were wise, loving.

Yeah. Accomodative. Self-controlled.

They pre-empted conflict forever by setting a rule.

When one of them would be with Draupadi, the wife,

any of the other four who would enter his chamber

and see them together, whether in the act or not,

must retire into the forest for twelve years,

and pass his days as a Brahmacharin.

In celibacy.

The rule was violated only once, by Arjun,

while the eldest was consorting.

Because a Brahmana appealed to him

against robbers, who were driving his kine away.

And the man he was, Arjuna undertook the penance.

For twelve years.

Despite entreaties from the eldest, Yudhisthir,

that he was not offended,

that the rule applied

only when violated by an elder,

not by one younger to the man in his chamber.

Arjun said : ‘I have heard, even from thee,

that quibbling is not permitted in the discharge of duty.

I cannot waver from truth.

Truth is my weapon.’

English: Arjuna statue at an intersection just...


Truth : The Subtle Body

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




It is indisputable that each one of us live life in the experience … that sight, taste, sound, touch and smell raise within us. How we feel with the sensation defines our experience of the world, the body, the vitality and the mind, in that moment. The experience is ours; we are the agent, the ego, who lives and categorise it as good or bad, happy or miserable and, by extension, judge that phenomenal object that we physically interacted with; or which stimulated our vital being, firing up an emotion; or that thought which sets our mental being up or down; or the realisation that clarifies our perspective or casts it in doubt. 


Every experience is felt in the vitality. It either adds to the subconscious memory, if without an intellectual content, or gives a churn to our knowledge base that we are subsequently aware. There is a gradation of experience along the gross to subtle axis, between the material or the physical and the mental or spiritual. Human beings are denied a purely physical experience, like rain drops falling on the tree or a stone being eroded with flowing waters, because we have a developed nerve-brain system that offers passage for a two-way interaction between the physical and the mental. We feel the material in our vital being and have emotions expressive of our judgement and will about the felt experience.


Most emotions come into our mental frame and pass away. Happy feelings are without our greed for more. Ones that are pleasant or joyous obtain our preference, and the will to retain and add more of them in our lives. That will is in our vital being, if not always in our articulated thought, and has a future : happy or sad. Misery and unhappiness affect us in accord with our capacity to bear, skills actually that our emotion quotient reflects. Some raise a revulsion, and a will, that turns us into rebels, a lifelong activist, acause celebere. It is preceded by intense interaction within our subtle being, between our knowledge self and the vital-mental flared up being.


That how we are, as life goes. We are at the head of this subtle being inclusive of vital-mental and the intellectual self. It is subtle, invisible to others and often to ourself. Properly speaking, its constituents are : the five senses, not organs; the five-fold vitality – prana, apana, vyama, samana and udana; the four-fold mind – chitta, manas, buddhi and ahankara.


We are the subtle being, mostly unknown to others and usually in our own unawareness. Our relationship with other things and living beings brings out our subtle content the most, especially with ones we value or love. In the distance that time or our skill puts, they reveal us to ourself.


Our subtle being is our heaven and our hell. It is verily the “kshetra,” the action-experience field of individual consciousness that Bhagvad Gita describes. It is full of compulsions, on a massive viscous momentum from before. The force of inevitability it carries is best observed in animals, as indeed most of us humans are most of the time.


The subtle being never dies. It can only be transcended. That is scarce because the effort reuired to go against the flow, that momemntum from before, is herculean. The good news is that the effort can be summoned by everyone. But the commitment is ours : to choose a life of electable choice, starting with one.


Bhagavad gita english




Know Thy Self : But Why ?


Self (Photo credit: DijoLola)

“The knowledge of the Self shoud be heard of, queried about and meditated upon, until we are absorbed in it.”

But why ? Not many are drawn to the quest. The obvious immediacy of it being our very self seldom touches us enough to pull us back for even a short while from our heaving, sticky and viscous engagements in the world : livelihood, gratification, relationship, status and money-making. Let us look over the what of the subject than why.

The self is what we are; except that what and how the I-the-Self is only available in terms of thoughts and ideas we have of ourself … that form the beliefs we have of us, often, nay, invariably, on account of our association with material things, trees, animals or people that reflects our self through how they affect us, how in our interaction they daunt or encourage, attract or repel, accept or judge and reject us. It these experiences then in our memory and mind that overall spell the qualifying or defining features of the entity we are — the one our I identifies with, as distinct from others but very amenable to comparison and competition with those about us.

The experience and memory based method however yields a kowledge of our self that is very fluid; it is valid in the instant but no longer. Both the quantum of experience, live or recalled, and our perceived value of each is extremely limited and streaming. The entire set and the conclusion it offers changes in a momemt, and certainly over hours. It instantly mutates with the next affecting thought, action, exposure or experience. Which, in the context of our query, leaves us non-plussed : who or what or how indeed am I ? What criterion shall I invoke to tell myself : Yes, this is what I am !

One way to light at the end of the tunnel is to embrace the fact : one, I am I, and, two, every quality and definition I conclude about my self is mutable and hence has a very finite validity.

To overcome the inevitability, we need to take recourse to an exactly contrary method : remove all qualities and definitions one has about the self; in other words, look for the unconditioned and unqualified self !

With this resolve, we are ready to embark upon the path to Yoga. That summum bono is described as nothing most practitioners understand by the term, both in East and the west.

” Then, one attains his true self.”

And the immutable knowledge of the Self.

To be continued …


Meanwhile, the picture above schematically shows the four-fold path to recovery of our true being : Karma or action, Bhakti or love and devotion, Yoga or meditative experience, and Gyan or reason and inquiry. Some suggest that they are four separate ways, not four-fold as validated in my own limited experience. There is nothing to contradict here. The evidence rests with ourself.

Exiles : James Joyce


It is a play, the only, by Joyce.

One of the tautest at honesty, freedom and truth.


James Joyce, 1 photographic print, b&w, cartes...

James Joyce (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


” I wrote all night. And thought. In there.

” Before dawn I went out and walked the strand from end to end…

” Hearing voices about me.

” Voices of those who say they love me…

” They told me to despair… ”


Read the whole of it here.



James Joyce

James Joyce (Photo credit: Context Travel)

Truth : Word. Meaning. Knowledge.

Words, words and words

Words, words and words (Photo credit: Arslan)

The word is expressed as sound.

But the word is expressive of being, the presence that precedes the word.

The word is synonymous with what it signifies.

Sounding of the word varies from the elements, animals and humans. The air, water and fire make a range of sound, as do animals and human beings. Men in one time make sound for same word that is different from that which men of another time make. Similarly with location : people in one location have a sound for “water” that is different from that which people in another location have.

A convened, consensual form and arrangement of sounds, understandable by all in the community, is called a language. That system of sound and its association with what it signifies is reinforced through our schooling process in our respective location and time. It educates us and imparts to us the wherewithal to understand what we hear and express what we know – feelings, emotions, thought, idea, suggestion, opposition, call or realisation – in that language.

Revisiting the origin … the being, the presence signified by the word, is eternal, unalterable, ever a priori. As is the primordial word.

There is deluge of words in the world, our daily life, on the web, in our handsets, television and dailies, books and magazines, CDs and radios. They all come with meanings in the intent of the issuer, the speaker, singer or writer. And they lead to rise of meanings, essentially different more or less, in the receiving person, the reader or listener.

Our lives today are inundated with meanings, almost all of which are not our own, which trigger in us meanings that are specifically ours alone in almost every instance, different more or less from how it means to others.

Revisit the origin … the being, the presence signified by the word, which is eternal, unalterable, ever a priori. As is the primordial word.

That is the truth. This much is knowledge.

Meanings and origin of word Chekavan

Meanings and origin of word Chekavan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rig Veda – The Syllabic Marvel


First Syllable,  First Verse…

The first syllable of the Rig Veda, “Ak,” could be seen as containing the whole Rig Veda within itself. It represents the collapse of the continuum of flow of infinite wholeness to its own point. The “A” sound represents flow or continuum, and the “k” sound represents the stop, or collapse of the flow. This sound is actually the process of the infinite whole of consciousness collapsing to its point values. The line however continues …


अग्निमीळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवं रत्वीजम |  होतारं रत्नधातमम ||

aghnimīḷe purohitaṃ yajñasya devaṃ ṛtvījam | 

hotāraṃ ratnadhātamam || 


Griffith translates it as :

I Laud Agni,

The chosen Priest,

God, minister of sacrifice,

The Hotar, lavisher of wealth.


The traslation above is purely “Adhiyajñika“, in accord with Sayana’s commentary of 14th Century AD. It interprets the Vedic rik at ritual level, in terms of performance of works accompanying its utterance.

This however entirely misses the Ādhyātmika sense that the mantra includes at the spiritual and psychological level — in terms of being individual and universal, commonly signified with use of terms such as God, Heaven, etc.

And, lastly, there is always the Ādhidaivika, naturalistic or cosmological sense the reader or hearer obtains, pertaining to phenomenal creation and its laws observed in nature.


The unstrung Adhyatmika sense of the First Verse of Rig Veda, as included in the syllables, is furnished herebelow :

Agnim [Arc : to illuminate + Nī : to lead]

Īle [Īḍ : to praise, to glorify]

Purohitaṃ [Pṝ : full, complete, first

+ Hu : to sacrifice, to conduct]

Yajñasya [Yaj : to exalt, to offer]

Devam [Div(u) : to shine with power]

Ṛtvijaṃ [Ṛ : to guide rightly, to steer

+ Vij : to arouse, to strengthen]

Hotāraṃ [(1) Hve : to call;

(2) Hu : to sacrifice, conduct]

Ratna [Ram : to be or make content, to please]

Dhātamaṃ [(1) Dhā: to put, to order, to set in place;

(2) Dhṛ: to hold, to sustain]

Source : http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/hinduism-dir/143750-rigveda-mandala-1-sukta-1-mantra.html


Left unstrung, the sense which arises with utterance of the syllables, alongwith their signified meaning, would fill the heart and intellect in accord with one’s own age, exposure and acquired sagacity, leaving the individual with his own nebulous experience overall. It would clarify with practice, as the mind would string the parts up and comprehend their second order phonelogical and etymological origins.


One such Adhyatmika translation would perhaps read thus :

Let us Praise the Prime Illuminator

Who lights up all and enlightens;


The Supreme who offers all

Whose exalted act

At first offered all in creation;


Who gloriously shines of own power

Who vests strength in each to arise;


Who rightly guides and steers all

With the call to our being

To be, to be blissful and content;


And sets us each to order

In our own respective place.


The material or naturalistic is not attempted here for want of context.

In line with the spiritual sense offered above, the first syllable of the Rig Veda is elaborated and commented on in the first 24 richa (verses), which are further elaborated in the corresponding 24 pada (phrases) of the next eight richa, giving 192 meaning of the syllable Ak or [Arc]. These all emerge from the 24 sandhi(gaps) of the first richa. From the 192 gaps between the 192 akshara (syllables) of richa 2-9, emerge the 192 suktas of the First Mandala of the Rig Veda.

The 192 sandhi between the 192 suktas of the first Mandala give rise to the 192 suktas of the Tenth Mandala, a circular structure that precisely fills the gaps of the First Mandala. Similarly, the gaps between the nine richas of the first sukta are elaborated in Mandala 2-9 of Rig Veda, unfolding the total Rig Veda with all its ten Mandalas.

The whole of the Rig Veda has therefore a marvelous and intricately interwoven structure that is beyond the capacity of the human mind to create. It was not created, but cognised by the seers of ancient India. This is part of the reason that seers recognise the tradition and agree that the Veda and the Vedic literature is “eternal” or uncreated.