The Plan ~~ A Novel by Tinaheals

MIZPAH

The smell of death, the touch of suffering,

The hungry mouths, the tired bodies,

This is reality, wait, its buffering.

This is what it embodies.

The sleep, the dream, the dream in the dream!

 

I force my memory to return to that day, that fateful night.

I feel so divorced from reality that everything seems to be from a film, some experimental film, where the maker is purposely using disjointed close ups, to display the brokenness of the characters, to make visible the dehumanising of them.

It’s like when I look at advertisements- dismembered body parts of women are made to mimic products, a torso becomes a bottle of alcohol, and two legs become scissors. The woman is not only sexualized, objectified, but her body is not even allowed to remain whole, it is sliced up. What violence!

But here in this scene the filmmaker has perceived of slicing the characters to convey to me that they are somehow not whole, they are somehow disintegrating, they are fading away. The film I see, has a burnt out texture, the whole shot seems to be fragmented; there is an emptiness evident in the mise scene; the atoms are 9.999999999999% empty, so reality is essentially emptiness and I am more not here than here.

The camera is fluid, the shots keep going out of focus and then the subject gets refocused on. Wait, is this some film festival? Nah, it’s my life, more like a snapshot of my life.

That day!

I see her face; her mascara is running down her face, she looks like some character from a horror flick. Dressed in torn jeans and a white tee, her feet bare, her  messy make up, the alcohol on her breath and her cigarette smoke, they all surface at different times in my mind, like abstract close ups. They help me conjure up that very moment and I am there again.

A few weeks ago we had gone to the Police Station to file an FIR against this bastard. Not much was said that day or the following weeks of what had transpired because my sister was pretty much catatonic and has been since them, but this evening I get a call from her, drunk out of her head asking me to drop by. I ask Frank not to come as she might open up easier without a male presence, so hopping into a rick, I went straight to her Andheri apartment that she shared with Mel.

Anxiously I waited for her to get the door, and the sight that greeted my eyes shocked the living hell out of me.

Zeenia is wearing the same clothes in which she was raped and has painted her face very dramatically, presumably depicting the way she feels. I’m fucking scared. All these past few weeks what seemed like an eternity to me, she had suffered terribly from rape trauma syndrome and it has devastated us. We have all pretty much given up smiling or talking about anything normal, we just eat when hunger threatens to burn a hole through our stomach. Between Mel and me, we supervise her day and night, never allowing that one moment of weakness to overcome her. Slowly, slowly, she began to sleep for a few minutes, which has become a few hours. She’s stopped screaming in her sleep and the hallucinations about the rape have also lessened.

Only on days when we went to court, she’d be pretty much devastated to see the perpetrator sitting across the room, all smug and confident; lying through his teeth. Today the session at court was traumatic and this night is the reaction to that.

The night begins…

There are red Sula bottles strewn round the floor. I’m in Zeenia’s apartment at Yari Road, at least that’s where I think I am, my senses and understanding have abandoned me; we’re smoking spliffs and cigarettes like it’s going out of fashion.

The tiny apartment is smoky, it reeks of that cheap, sweet Sula smell that I detest; never been much of a drinker, in fact I do not care for alcohol at all, but today’s different.

Zeenia is drunk with a capital D and she keeps thrusting the bottle in my hand while petting Bhola, a stray puppy she rescued from the alleys of four bunglows. I keep sipping, knowing that she has something to say, but it is one of those things which can be mouthed out when one is sufficiently inebriated.

So I keep quiet, I drink on; we’re getting sloshed, Zeenia appears to be crying, hugging Bhola who stares at her surprised.

I see her face, a close up shot, her smeared mascara, and her face pale. What’s happened to you, my dearest friend, my sister? Why’re you wearing the same clothes? Why would you wear such ghoulish makeup?

Zeenia breaks down, she’s sobbing her eyes out. Bhola drags himself and sniffs her; he cannot walk as his hind is paralyzed, he carries his whole body weight on his front paws. There is a cello playing in the background, “Nothing else matters”, the celebrated Mettalica tune plays; there are no words, just the haunting tune spoken by the cello. It is spooky, it is surreal; eerily it plays on, the cello is hell bend on making me nauseous.

This nausea is different; it is filled with anxiety, with trepidation, with a doomsday feeling. Something bad is happening, no, no, it has happened and she is trying to tell me about it.

Birds fly high,

Heart as heavy as sinking iron.

The dusky twilight of today.

My haiku for the day, as I wait for her.

She is trying to work up the courage to speak about it, yes, something horrific has happened and she’s kept it bottled up for so long. Life as we knew it has ended, even Bhola can sense it.

Zeenia is on all-fours, on the floor, pulling her hair, screaming out in pain; all this while she was holding it in. I want to comfort her, but nausea is all I have. Where is Dadu? Where am I? Obviously not here, this body is here, pissed out of her mind, but where am I?

Am I in her scream? Am I in her pain? Am I even there? Do I even exist?

I just want to type away all this pain, yes, that’s what writers do, don’t they? A fucking fucked up cliché.

He raped me Nina, she’s saying. For the first time, I hear the words, the sinking feeling gets worse, as if it could get any worse. Since that day at the police station, she’d remained mute and unresponsive to everything, but today the flood gates have broken. I think I handled it better when she was silent, seeing her like this, with such a painful rawness is actually very scary.

Chills ran down my spine to actually hear these words- RAPE, RAPE, RAPE, it kept making a din in my consciousness. No, I did not hear it, but why is this word making so much noise, drowning everything else.

You read about rape in the newspapers, you watch it on tele, you see actors getting raped in films, you come across it in novels or short stories; but where do you encounter that word in the comfort of your own surroundings?

Such words do not perpetrate their violence in my mind when it comes to my sister.

As a writer you explore rape through different characters, you feel it deeply, but not like this.

Focus Nina, I hear a voice in my brain. Focus on what she is saying. “That bastard, he’s a fucking doctor, I trusted him…” All these words came to my ears disjointed, like a fragment from a whole dialogue but in the time they travelled to my ears these sound waves had lost most of their substance.

“How do people in positions of power abuse others so badly, I fucking don’t understand, especially women; these cunts create feminazis” shouts Zeenia. Her hands trembles as she tries to cut some white powder into straight lines. She snorts it through a crisp note, her eyes begin to water. She offers me the note; rolled up, ready to aid me in devouring some white powder.

No fucking way man, I did not yet care to fry my brain this instant, and of course the nausea is threatening to take charge. I have to keep it down. How did she get this stuff?

“Tell me all about it Zeenu, forget about the crap his lawyers are throwing at you, just tell me everything, from the beginning; he was about to operate on you, what happened?” I hear a small voice ask.

“Doctors are cunts; they probably rape patients on an everyday basis, who knows? Oh! And so are lawyers, fucking fuckballs…” she vacillates as if in a trance.

“But how, how,” I hear an insipid murmur. “How did it happen?”

“Fuck Nina, you’re just regurgitating the same shit over and over again, I was thinking about the story you wrote remember, about the rape…in the stables,” she reminds me.

I am quietened, I have no words. Yes I am dying to know how it happened, but I must not seem insensitive, as if at this point I can even feel anything. I think I officially know the meaning of hollow inside. I am guilty of writing that rape story in the stables, I am guilty, guilty…just hang me!

Once reminded of my creation of pain, I keep quiet; I know I have to pacify her, to give her some warmth. Why the fuck did I write that story? Oh Dadu, where are you now?

My mind is such a mess that right now even if Dadu appeared and spoke to me I could only materialize a vacuous stare.

Pull yourself together, that voice inside my head would just not shut up.

The scene playing in my mind, this movie I’m watching is boody nerve wracking. I want to shake this character Nina, the idiotic poet, phoo. What on Earth is her problem? Why can’t the bitch just hug her sister?

It’s as if the character in the film heard my cue. I see this Nina person slowly go up to her sister. She hugs her, it’s not a hug; it’s more of surrender. Zeenia had not expected this move, her rigid body turns limp, she surrenders to the power of human touch. The two sisters sob in each other’s arms, it’s perfect. The observer and the observed became one, for a second, I became Nina.

Nina, the writer; no big deal in a country where Chetan Bhagat is a best seller, it’s absolutely mundane now, being a writer that is. It’s officially the death of the intellectual. Besides what does this girl really write? Most would label her work as b.s, too grim, too existential (as if that’s a profanity), basically useless! Entertainment kahan gaya paaji? Fuck, fuck, fuck!

Yes I am a morose writer, a fucking retard, oh, and depressed retard!

Scream of infinite solitude,

Enmeshed in traffic of the soul,

A faint smile.

This kind of shit is running through my head, fuckity fuck!

The night drags on. It’s funny how when I have a pleasurable time, it’s gone before I can even quantify all the sensations I had felt; but when things go downhill, it’s like karma coming full-force to bite me in the ass.

Finally, we both stop sobbing!

Her voice is small, it’s in fact tiny!

I can barely hear it, although we’re so close.

“You know how fucked up this shit is, I went to consult him for that boob job, my producer finally gave me the cash…so I found him online and went ahead, those D cups were all I had in my head, I’m so fucked up, don’t shshhh me, I’m a dumb bitch. You told me not to go for it, but what was I to do. I needed bigger tits, for that fucking part. Fuck, shit’s really hit the roof. I’m fucked, fucked…” She says.

I have no response, my eyes are closed. I am not watching her face, just imagining her reactions.

I could see every single micro expression, every single movement of her jaws, of her eyes, how the lines creased in her face, I saw all the details without actually looking.

I taste Zeenia’s tears in my mouth or were they my own? I have no answers, I have just feelings. The nausea, the confusion is overwhelming and the emotions are transmigrating as words in my mind palace. I wish to document the pain of the dark night, there was an abundant amount of it and my psyche could not hold all.

I wait with bated breath for her to continue and it looks like Bhola did the same.

Her voice has a far off quality to it, like it echoes from some distant world. I listen as she continues.

“Don’t they have the bloody Hippocratic oath, practise medicine honestly, screw practising medicine, isn’t it absolutely unethical on so many grounds to sodomize your patient,” as she says this I realize she has stopped sobbing, so have I.

My eyes are still closed, I’m watching this scene as the abstract, fragmented film, all those extreme close ups to help the exposition along.

She moves away slowly, I just wait. Our embrace is broken, now we sit facing each other. I open my eyes, I see her eyes.

The pain in them is excruciating, it rips my heart apart. Looking into her eyes I know that no matter how hard I try I will never be able to pen down that emotion, that look will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Zeenia’s my baby sister, I came to the world five seconds earlier, so I’m the older sister; in any case I’ve acted like she was my choto bon.

Shey amar choto bon, boro adorer choto bon…yes, I would piss her off to no end when this song came out of my lips. Damn you Nina, cut out the didi complex, what’s with Bongs and didigiri?

And kobigiri? Kobi kobi bhab, chonder obhak. True that. What’s with all the poetry in my heart, it’d be better off being more prosaic, that’s what the world needs.

Anyway, I protected her, I supported her, I guided her; overall I performed all functions of an older sister as well as that of my mother. Dadu was always there, he was our guardian angel.

Sanity is returning slowly to me, I guess it’s the warmth from my sister’s hug. I’m inclined to ramble on, “Your tits are fine, and why did you even need to go to that asshole? I told you not to, you don’t need silicon in your tits to become an actor. You’re not a bimbo, you’re way better than that.”

Zeenu starts shrieking, “I know what you’re thinking, tell me, tell me. You think it’s my fault right?? You’re probably thinking of some fucking haiku right?”

“Nah re baba, how can it be your fault and no I’m not thinking of a fucking haiku?? Nah re shona, it is my fault. I should have insisted and when you didn’t listen I should have done something severe.”

“What severe? Tied me up?” Her voice takes on a lighter note.

“Probably, fuck knows.” A hint of a smile in my voice.

“I have made Dadu proud, gone and got myself raped.” She laughs cynically. Bhola gets excited to hear her laugh and barks loudly wagging his tail, she grabs him roughly and begins kissing him. What violent love!

“Dadu would have never judged you know that, although your desire for the film led to all this…” I murmur.

A slap is what I deserve; blurting this out was definitely not the right move.

“Desire is the root of all suffering he would say,” she smiles.

I think this night will never end and I don’t know when we passed out on the floor listening to Bob Marley- No woman no cry.

The mind is a funny mechanism, it does not remember everything, yet everything is tucked away neatly in some kind of mind palace. We remember things selectively, otherwise we’d go stark raving mad!

The scene begins to fade away, like a slow fade out. And I remember typing lines on to my laptop…

The smell of death, the touch of suffering,

The hungry mouths, the tired bodies,

This is reality, wait, its buffering.

This is what it embodies.

The sleep, the dream, the dream in the dream!

The lines disappear…

Another more menacing scene replaces this one. It has an ominous overture; the sound of water fills my ears.

You know the sound of water running in a shower.

Zeenia is inside and she is scrubbing herself furiously. We’ve lost the court case, after months of painful hours spent in court, the verdict is out. Dr. V is officially not guilty. It’s somehow proven that my sister’s the slut, apparently they had consensual sex. So the case is blown to dust, like a lamp extinguished with a puff.

That night will be embedded in my psyche forever. We’ve returned home after another god-awful day at court, and today was the last day. We have lost in the Mumbai high court. We may decide to challenge the verdict in Supreme Court, but that’s something we’ve got to decide together. For tonight, it is just silence I seek.

Melissa is Zeenia’s partner, they seem to be in love. I quite like her, the girl seems to have her head on her shoulders.

We were talking softly about nothing exceptional, in fact I did not even want to talk, but had to, Mel needed to talk and I was there.

So we spoke, sipping coffee and taking turns to pet Bhola.

I had insisted that Zeenia leave her bathroom door open, she had one too many episodes recently. The breakdown of her psyche bit by bit was becoming more evident and today in court I saw the look in her eyes- the look of defeat. It broke my heart.

I heard the water run in the shower and the words to her favourite song floated out. We kept on talking, the water kept running, the beats marched on. It was as if time was set in a loop. I registered nothing from the conversation with Melissa, I’m sure she didn’t either; we were both trying to keep from breaking down.

Then she politely asked us to leave her alone and went for a bath which seemed like ages. We also wrapped up and I went to see her to kiss her goodnight. Yes she was in bed, smelling wonderful, hugging Bhola. Kissing her I left, Mel went into the shower, finished up and crawled into bed.

That night I saw baba and ma in a dream, it was prophetic. I ran after being woken up by my dream and the thoughts that followed. I went into her room.

 

The air had turned chilly, if that was even possible in a city like Bombay; and I miss you like the deserts miss the rain, said the song.

We ran. I saw this happening in slow motion. My life in film- we ran to the bed, and what I had expected greeted my eyes.

She lay on the bed, all snugly hugging her Bhola who was not making any noise.

Mel shrieked Frank ran in; I don’t know what happened after that. Some sort of primeval hardwiring in my brain took care of things.

Zeenia’s mouth was wiped dry, she had to be changed into jeans and a sweatshirt; after cleaning her up, her clothes sat snugly on her body as we put her down in the couch.

I remember seeing her face, all the troubles had vanished, and she seemed to be in deep sleep. I remember Dadu singing “Amaro shone chandero kona, bhubone tulona nai re…”

He sang this song sometimes; it was apparently our mother’s favourite, her mother would sing it to her when she was a child.

Where is she? I barely remember her now, but she’s there somewhere in my psyche; sometimes I hear her sing, her smell, her touch, for a micro second I remember.

Today she had come to see me, in my dream. She had told me something which made absolutely sense- you are her, she is you…

The reality was beginning to fragment again, my head was spinning and I could hardly focus as parts of my dream danced around my mind.

I imagined her last moments; she kept her pills hidden somewhere, maybe in the cistern. I see her take out a fistful, while her tears and water all get mixed up, you’d know she’s crying if only you watched the agony on her face.

She stuffs the pills in her mouth, chokes on them but swallows them down. Reflex action, she feels like throwing up. But she clutches her mouth, forcing them down.

I cut back in my mind to another scene, we’re sitting in the bathroom floor, she’s fallen flat on her face, she’s hurt, purple blue bruises adorn her face.

“Please Zeenu, stop taking this shit. Are you trying to leave me alone, do you want to kill yourself?” I tell her.

Suddenly a smile breaks free from all this torment; she whispers softly, her voice like silk.

“Nina to be something I am not is also a form of suicide, listen I want to hand in my resignation from this fucked up life, before I get fired.”

I hear her laugh softly as if this idea had amused her.

“Quite the philosopher, to be or not to be,” I say.

“Has always been the question,” she says definitively.

“Don’t do anything stupid ok, remember what Dadu would say, all this shit is unreal.” She sensed the urgency; the request in my voice touched her somewhere I know.

She looked at me long and hard, “I’m the fucking poster girl for stupid at this moment,” She thinks, probably about Dadu as her face softens. “I doubt Dadu would quite put it like that, but I get the gist.”

We sit in silence on the cold, wet tiles, we embraced our tears instead of suppressing them and calm washed over us.

“Some fucked up illusion this is…why can’t something good happen to me for a change? She blurts out; I feel her heartache. “At least your Muffin has nine lives right, can’t he give me a couple?”

I smile. Do cats have nine lives?

Mel is touching my hands, she is trying to bring me back to the present moment. I cut back to the scene in front- my sister’s body is stone cold, she finally did the “stupid” thing.

Was it so stupid after all? My grandmother also handed her resignation and so had her father; after all we share the same mitochondrial DNA.

Somehow this incident had made Zeenia hate herself, it made her hopeless; I did not understand what could make her as full of despair as to end her life, not just hers, but end our lives.

After Dadu’s passing, she is, I mean was all I had. I’m still not used to referring to her in the past.

I can still feel her vibrations; our feelings exist as vibration along the nervous system and we feel what another feels. I feel my sister.

I hear the sound of an approaching ambulance; she will be taken away soon. Bhola is whining, his tail stiff and he just keeps licking Zeenu’s hands.

Mel was ready when they walked in, thankfully she sorted everything out. She tugged at my hands and nodded, signalling it was time to move.

I got up zombified, it was time.

The journey to the hospital is hazy, a blur in my mind.

I remember her body being carried in a stretcher, with tubes all over her nostrils and face.

What the hell were they doing to her?

It looked to me like some scene from a D-grade horror; hospitals sicken me to the core. It’s a bloody phobia-

Nosocomephobia!

I had this phobia all along which is why I had googled it; it was at least a comfort to know I am not alone.

They say that the fear essentially arises from the fact that one has no control over their lives once admitted.

A control freak, I’m not! It didn’t take me long to realize that nothing is under control and in fact nothing can ever be.

All I can recollect is sitting on a steel bench in the corridor; it’s flooded with lights, the walls are white, and everything smells disgusting! The Doctors in their garbs, mouths covered, the nurses in their uniforms, hair tied severely in a bun, they all looked scary and ugly; all the action was happening in slow motion and it looked like they were experimenting on humans. Maybe they’re aliens, who even knows?

Something about the smell in a hospital, a mix of Dettol, bleach, blood, sweat, puke and faeces; you can also smell the fear, the anxiety, the devastation disease and bodily suffering brings.

And then it just goes blank- fade to black.

Nothing else exists- not matter which is just a form of energy in a matrix of probability.

I see Dadu, his big, white beard swaying in the dark; a fire seems to burn in front of him, I can hear the wood crackle, I can see the fire dance in his eyes. He begins to look like someone not quite like Dadu, but he is him.

Dadu’s face began to morph into the face of Sanyal Mahasaya, his gurudeva. I knew that face only too well; it had been a part of my life as seeing it as the first thing in the morning cemented that face forever in my brain.

Sanyal Mahasaya looked wrathful, fearsome and terrifying. His voice was booing in my head, “Actions or karma can cause bondage, it can also liberate, in the one BEING, the ONE ALL, everything is connected to every other thing. Good and evil are subjective…the Universe is both positive and negative, like the atoms bouncing in your body…it is the whole series of contrasted qualities- NOTHING IS PURE GOOD OR PURE EVIL.”

I saw her face again; the song is playing louder now that the monologue is over, like the sound designer turned it up a notch!

“Now you’ve disappeared somewhere,

Like outer space,

You’ve found some better place

And I miss you…

Like the deserts miss the rain

Could you be dead…

By now the words had begun to scream at me- could you be dead??

It hit me hard- she is dead!!!

I will never hold her again, I will never laugh with her again, never share my life with her again; the same way I can never see Ma or baba or dadu.

It’s over, finito, kaput!!!

I see her again, frothing from the mouth, her body all twisted and blue from the poison, I feel the nausea swimming in my head.

I think about the observer’s paradox, this concept that the observer decides what to observe. What if I am observing all the wrong things??? There are infinite probabilities, so why is this option playing itself out??

Am I in some bizarre twisted way responsible for this? Can I take the blame for this?

I am ready to do pretty much anything at this point to suppress this immense pain; absolutely anything! Muffin where are you?

I’ve got to write, the words are coming, but not as fast as I’d like them to.

I shout, I see it, I hear it,

The pain, the atrocity, it exists….

In me…

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The Plan ~~ A Novel by Tinaheals

Notes from the underground
The home of my dreams-

Soft fleeting tears.

Marigolds in bloom.

 

I do not know how I began to tell this story. Why did I begin? It is nothingness, a deformity in my subconscious. It is just a pointless pursuit. It began where I don’t know, but right now, I am sitting in front of a Policeman and a State sponsored Psychiatrist.

I know him- Rustom Mistry, yes, that’s his name, I can see the Faravahar glittering in the light. “It’s to remind me of my true purpose, at least that’s what my mom hopes.” He’d told her when she’d asked about it. The winged disk and the bearded human motif looked very appealing to me, but today it seems scary. The purpose of my life, it’s fucking over! Not even the Faravar can save me!

He is asking me all these questions, with a very stern face. But believe me; I cannot understand what he says. For the life of me, his words are a jumble. I am trying to answer, but nothing. My jaw muscles have gone on strike. It’s like I never knew the powers of speech. I am unable to communicate and totally enervated. Have you ever heard a singing bowl? The sound of it keeps reverberating in my mind, suddenly out pops the Tom and Jerry tune in my mind, some heavy programming by Disney!

I have been forced to shut down, just like when you hold the power switch of a computer and just manually shut it down, you do not take the trouble of performing a proper shut down. My consciousness is the black screen, the product of a forced shut down.

My wretched eyes see everything. Rustam’s impassive face. Yet, the trace of anxiety makes itself known, which he suppresses with dutiful vigour. I sense that I’m watching him as different Ninas. Complicated emotions are tormenting me.
Ting tong! The bell rang. I was dressed in this gorgeous little black number from Yves Saint Laurent, also boasted of wedged heels from the same make- black luxurious suede. I was waiting for him.
I opened the door. Dr. Misty stood there. Ah yes, he was complete with the clichéd bunch of roses in his hands-blood red ones. He was speaking as clear as a bell, trying to implore me with his eyes. He also said something to the effect that he had wanted me for very long, but never had the guts to speak up. He told me he thought about me and was becoming obsessive, like I was under his skin. A chance is what he wanted. He throws caution to the winds and hugs me. The next minute I am in his arms, his lips are on mine, trying to get inside my mouth, as if snaking in to touch my soul.
One of the Nina’s (I have many Nina’s inside of me, fuck!) look at his lips, those same one who were trying to part her lips, to explore her very being. Those lips were now moving, creating geometric shapes, like the shapes formed when a kid blows bubbles from that god-awful soapy liquid.
Evanescent worlds,

Like dews of dawn.

Ghosts in time.

So the shapes his mouth is now making also disintegrates like the transient bubbles. Nothing elucidates impermanence as this act of blowing spherical shapes in the air which disintegrate in a few seconds. Poof! They are gone. New worlds created and destroyed, at the blink of an eye-lid. The bubbles form words. He’s asking me why I am here.

Why is anybody here? There is seriousness to his voice as he asks me why I had gone to Lilavati last night? Obviously I did not reply. I could not. I was physically unable to. Trauma I think is what did it. “Can you tell me why you stabbed this man repeatedly?? You killed him…” he was shoving a picture of a smiling face in my hands.
I have on tight mini-skirts and leather boots that are a few inches above my knees, very dark and Gothic make-up and I have on a wig, a short trendy wig. I try to touch it. Someone watching me from afar would notice a shaky hand moving to touch the hairline with no definitive purpose. But the purpose was known to this man- Rustam. “Why do you have that on?” He asks pointing to the wig.
I sit silently, looking down at the blood drying on this super expensive pair of boots that I bought online from some German fantasy leather footwear company, as a gift for my sister. They were splendid in their craftsmanship- the Germans definitely know how to design and make things. Other words from his mouth also manage to surface briefly in my consciousness. Word association! I normally think of a word when I hear a word. One word brings about the memory of another and so on so forth. The story is never ending. This has been a most fascinating way to tend to burgeoning ideas. Words like “life-support system” made its way to my subconscious. A sting of incredible pain jolted me into nausea. I’m throwing up all over the table, my clothes my shoes, my heart rate through the ceiling, my body drenched in sweat.
Rustam signals to the police behind the mirror to send in lady constables. Two stout Marathi female cops burst into the scene with some medical aid. “Kai zala?” They lift me up, try to stuff water down my throat, wipe me up and revive me. But I almost faint, the pain is too oppressive. I would have preferred to be Mary Antoinette, marching to the guillotine.

Muffin, your softness is what I seek; where are you baby? Come to me, there’s nothing I need more than your purrs and rubs.
And then I saw his face.

 

The face of cobwebs,

Disintegrating like the quarks in an atom,

Of nothingness.
Rustam is looking at me and I think I know what’s going through his head. My beaming face, obviously enamoured by his intellect and sophistication, sitting in the first bench, listening to him talk about Jungian Collective Unconscious, yes that memory is surfacing in his mind. It was a less complicated time. We were infatuated with each other.
But now, everything has changed. Today he stands in front of me as an inquisitor and it’s a witch hunt. A murder! He is supposed to uncover the darkest depths of my mind to know how I could commit such a hideous crime. No sorry- Hideous crimes and now I sit as dead as a doornail.
Dr. Rustam Mistry will be questioned about his diagnosis. He will go with the catatonic stupor characterized by motoric immobility, mutism and catalepsy, followed by the rare bout of nausea, blah fucking bloo.
Frank came to meet me and my mind kept repeating, A hope which is now forever past…A love so sweet it could not last,
Was Time long past…it just broke my already broken heart.

The police officer informed Rustam about his arrival and was asked his professional advice on whether Frank and I could meet. He did consent to our meeting and was there right behind the mirror to observe every subtle emotion that was there or wasn’t there or the ones he just thought existed.
Jail or any form of detention centre is hardly the place for lovers to meet. But Frank just held my hands, kissed them so very tenderly and whispered something about star stuff contemplating the stars…it was a Sagan expression we both loved. Gorgeousity! Star stuff, contemplating star stuff…Malana cream and Sagan. Ah!
When I hear these words I am reminded of another life, in another world where

I remember saying that we are made up of star stuff and he took my chain of thought and elaborated on it. “We’re star stuff, contemplating star stuff…” “As above”, said I and before I could complete my sentence, he covered my mouth and completed, “So below”…for me. We kissed, long and deep, like a Russian Kiss which explored not just my physical body but ignited a fire in my soul, it lasted the whole night. That night was like an eternity!
Frank sobs softly. “I will not give up on you or us…” My heart sobs with him, but I am catatonic. I want to ask him about my cat, Muffin, a majestic British Blue male, two years old and my baby. I want to hold him in my arms, his purring body close to my heart as he nibbles my nose with affection. He is missing me. Two most important males in my life, both from the Great Britain. An irony? The Angrez have not lost their hold on us. Anglophiles formed the part of Bengali society I called my family.

The vilayat, complete with toilet papers to wipe your arse. Who cleans their arse with water? What savages? Don’t forget the knives and forks, eat with your hand and in a jiffy you’re the outcast, chi chi, eating with your hand, as if somehow the toxicity of the hands were confirmed and verified by science.

I’d seen this documentary on Satyajit Ray, where he speaks of how the Western world took to Pather Panchali. He spoke of how some American women had been forced to throw up after watching Indir Thakrun eating with her hands on screen. What a bunch of barbarians, thought the pretty, sophisticated mems.

Okay I might have even fought super hard to be this sexy, sophisticated Angrezi lassie, if so many people around me had not made it their lives’ mission.

They are everywhere, singing Psalms in Convents at the crack of dawn, wearing micro mini, chote chote mini skirts with tank tops, as if showing skin is a sign of emancipation from old oppressive customs; these creatures were allergic to anything that screamed desi, like vampires to sunlight.

Imported goods, imported bathroom fittings, imported brains?
It’s not that I refuse to answer Frank. Believe me, I want to. But my mouth just refuses to speak, my eyes just sank deep into their crevices, my tongue just hangs there like a limp rag; I feel my brain is losing control, like a general who loses his soldiers due to some internal mutiny. The general, my brain has lost power, its reign is over and each of the organs has taken control. But this time, they are not working in harmonious synchronization, they have developed individuality. Screw individuality! Each behaved in the way it wanted to. All they seem to want is to not respond. So there you go, there was no response to Frank’s entreaties. Was this real??? Frank’s face, his tears, Rustam’s face, his stern look- it feels like cardboard scenery, in fact I have the taste of saw dust in my mouth.

I want to thank Frank for caring after my boy Muffin; in a sense he is the be all and end all of my existence when it comes to matters of the heart, and the only male in my life for so long. Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians worshipped the cat in the form of Bastet, killing a cat was punished by death and if a cat died, it’s family would shave off their eyebrows; well, seems like cats have not forgotten that and my Muffin certainly deserves worship.
Anyway Rustam is watching!
Little does he know that a woman is looking to meet me, her name SAPNA VERMA, the wife of the man I had brutally stabbed to death. He had multiple lacerations, a punctured abdomen and his testicles were chopped off. Such gruesome acts were only seen on telly in serials, where you get to see how evidence is collected which ultimately points to the guilty, no matter how much camouflaged the identity of the killer is. My DNA was everywhere in the crime scene, the CSI guys would not break a sweat in proving that it was I who did it.
Anyway Sapna has walked up the Police Officer who’s called Rustam. I have to meet her, she said. Rustam’s apprehensive, but then he sees Frank exit my cell. Sapna follows his glance and instantly approaches Frank demanding to see me, this bloody witch who she would have gladly burnt at the stake.
She enters my cell. Her eyes confront the pale corpse in front, my practically lifeless body. I must say, a shocked expression registers on her face as she looks at me from head to toe. What is this phantasmal entity, she must be thinking. How did this weakling kill my husband? Little did she know that when your mind is set, you can achieve anything- nothing is out of reach? I could have killed him over and over again, a hundred, fuck it, a billion times if I had to. It was like the most important exam I had to take, an exam which would ensure my demotion in the karmic law.

Lines from my poem are swimming in my consciousness; as a writer, one has the ability to randomly switch off and travel to other realms. Yes, it’s officially true, we have super powers.
Dadu would not approve. He was the type of man who would not take a shot at the enemy even if his range was clear and the bullet would definitely find its mark. He was an obsolete man in this world, an outdated DOS operating system. He was more interested in questions like who am I? Where did I come from? He preferred to ponder on such things. Self enquiry, he called it. Dadu I was screaming, who am I? The answer rang loud and clear- a killer. I had killed a man.
Sapna is pale-faced looking at me. “Are you her friend?” She asks Frank hesitantly. Frank nods. I’m not looking at them, but I know exactly what’s happening. At that precise moment I’m observing a spider spin its web. Is it spinning the web to catch a prey? All webs are not spun only for nutritious titbits; some webs are spun as hobbies, as works of art. To create something without any utilitarian purpose, but to create just for the sake of creation! What’s the point of that?? Some common-sense lover would say. Nothing honestly. Right? Wait, I think I see a tiny movement in the web. Is there an insect? Or is it the wind? Or is it my fucking imagination.

Ah! Imagination! It’s what always got me in trouble at school.
I was reprimanded for having too much imagination! My skin crawls to think of the parent’s-teacher’s meetings that Dadu had been subjected to over the years. Sheer torture for both of us and of course for the teachers!

They were just trying to help me through life and look what happened! I went ahead and killed a man. How horrified they would be. I imagine my Algebra teacher, Miss. Kalpana, a hard martinet in her late 50’s on the witness box, telling the judge how she knew I will be in trouble some day. It’s her fault, it’s her imagination.
Imagination is the culprit.

Lines from my poems kept ringing in my ears. STOP!

Back from these lines assaulting my consciousness, poetry is truly my life breath. Only if reality could be poetry, then I might have had a chance to do it differently.
Anyway, by now the shock has transformed into anger. It’s quite amazing to note how humans can translate any emotion into a show of anger. I think it’s a shield they hide behind- ANGER! Anytime you are unsure of how to express yourself, just display anger. It’s safe and effective! You can block off the more painful introspective thought processes.
So Sapna Verma takes the easy way out, she opts for anger. She musters all her strength and strides up to me. After a stare at my impassive, immobile face for a few minutes, she can control herself no longer. The oppressive silence envelopes the room like a thick cloak as all wait with bated breath. Then a slap almost knocks me off balance, but somehow my body refuses to be floored. I have no clue how and why. I just sit there. The sound of the slap is unnerving to Frank and Rustam behind the supposed glass, watching everything. But I feel nothing. Then funnily enough I hear the chorus, “I feel numb,” yes U2, and I understood what numb means.
You go through life, learning new words, understanding their meanings, but actually you understand nothing. The words are nothing but words unless you have the pertinent experience stored away in the depths of your being, which leave permanent imprints on your brain and yes, then you understand the word. Not till then.

Rape, murder, death- all these are words which are very much a part of our regular vocabulary. But how far do we understand them? We honestly don’t. Ask the young college student what rape means; presuming she has never been violated, she will have only a vague understanding of the term, maybe from movies or books.

Mine was from Monika Belluci’s incredible performance in Irreversible. But ask a rape victim what that word means and you will be shocked at the difference of understanding. The same word, but completely different levels of comprehension! Experience is what makes us learn new words, not just simply by glancing at a Thesaurus, but by learning through life. I understand the words Death, rape and murder, they have closely associated themselves with me, like the hanger-on friend you simply want to avoid.
Sapna is breaking down, her anger dissipating as quickly as it had arrived. She comes really close to me; I can smell her Chanel 5 perfume and minty breath. “Why did you kill him?” She asks. Very predictable question! You already knew that was coming right? But get this; she then murmurs something totally unexpected. After a moment’s hesitation, she whispers, “I’m sorry…I know what happened…with your sister…” now this should have definitely instigated some reaction from me, she thinks. It did, in the subconscious. But consciously I’m fucked up, incapable of any expression. I sat like a chopped up tree log, destroyed and cut down. If you apply the crescograph on a chopped up log, it’ll be interesting to see what level of consciousness remains.
I felt like writing but my physical body was pretty much worthless.

Poetry will not erase this woman’s troubles and nor will it answer her questions. Will it? Is poetry even useful? Or is it as worthless as me?

Sapna is troubled about an image that plagued her mind. Her thoughts travel to a certain day when she had looked through a crack on the door panelling. She’d seen her husband on the floor, howling with immense pain. A newspaper lay crumpled by his side, which displayed a beautiful girl. But creases had formed on her face as the newspaper sat wrinkled, but the smile was infectious.

It’s bewildering for her to see the physical similarly between the haggard girl in front and the face in the newspaper, but there was a slight difference. Not to mention that the girl in the newspaper was smiling, brimming with life and this girl in front was as lifeless as a cadaver. Still that was not it. There’s something else and I might have been able to help her, if not for the mutiny of my organs. Ridiculous!
I think the stark imagery of her husband’s painful explosion that night is a bit too much for Sapna to handle. Her head begins to swim and she’s about to collapse. But Frank provides support, the rock solid man that he is. Sapna is thankful for this support and the warmth his huge frame provides that she just holds onto him, his aftershave wafting in the air, tinkling her nose. For a moment she forgets where she is, holding onto him seemed the most natural thing. And then the tears came, they breake the floodgates and storm in like huge tsunamis. Sapna’s outcry sounds like a hurt animal and then she says these words. “But why kill him??? You can’t take what you can’t give…only God can take a life…”
Naive humanity! Who is this anthropomorphized God? What kind of a God will intervene- he will create and then destroy! This idea never agreed with me, in fact it nauseated me, every time people spoke about God like “He” was their personal problem solver. Of course I indulged in that odd prayer or two before my results; they were like placebo. And remember God has to always be referred to as HE!
Dadu used to say that Bengalis are a matri-bhakta culture; to them the mother figure is as important as the father, if not more. God to me could not be a He or a She. This was crystal clear in my mind even as a child. I gave it a lot of thought, but nothing made sense.

Gradually I began to avoid the word God. God in the sense society spoke of the idea. Man cheapened this transcendental concept. It is beyond human understanding. With our dwarfed intellects we can never grasp this idea; it’s a waste to try. “Nothing in life is a waste,” another one of Dadu’s lines! Dadu, Dadu where are you? How come our times together ended? You would say, “Nothing ever ends and similarly nothing begins, it’s just your perception which keeps you chained to such ideas of beginnings and ends. You are eternity in yourself…”. I would do anything to lie in Dadu’s lap or cuddle Muffin.

I hear Dadu’s voice- it’s crystal clear, his smell wafts in my consciousness- Asatoma sadgamaya, tamo soma yotir gamaya, mrityrma amritam gamaya!!

These words they play with my consciousness, Dadu enunciates them so well, so crisp, and so effortless, it sounds divine. He said that Sanskrit was the language of the Gods and there was never a doubt in my mind when he spoke it. He made the language godly.

He spent much time explaining this shloka to me- from Unreal take me to the Real, from darkness take me to light, from death take me to immortality!

Everything about this situation my friend is unreal. No you do not understand, a murder, by my hands? It is unreal. I respect life; harming even a fly hurts me. It’s no charlatanism! I do not care if you don’t believe me, it’s not important, not trying to get you to come to my side, I’m just telling you of how things are, no embellishments, no B.S.

It was basenter dupur bela, a spring afternoon; we sat near Dadu, in our living room. It was a Sunday, a lazy Sunday. Dadu had a ritual with us; he’d read to us, from the Vedas, from the Tantra texts, the Upanishads and the Bhagavadgita and explained certain parts. Zeenia was less open to this idea as she grew older; she preferred to be on her phone or laptop.

Dadu did not scold her, forcing his opinions on people was not what he sought to do when he read to us from these ancient texts; he wanted us to be connected to our roots, discover what our ancestors had left behind.

I enjoyed his company immensely, his stories interested me on many levels and he brought out the different characters so vividly; this led me to form a fascination for the human psyche. Come to think of it, it shaped my future; I decided to take up psychology honours. My parents has both studied English in college; when I was a kid, I knew that I would probably end up studying it too, but eventually studying the human mind became an obsession.

Anyway, that afternoon it was the Bhagavadgita.

The lines ring loudly in my ears, but in it the concept of Arjuna having to kill all his relatives is what bothered me. But dadu, how can Arjuna kill all these people? Especially Bhishm, his gurudeva, and all his cousins? The thing that plays in my mind today is a question little Nina asked him, Dadu but how can anyone kill?

This question, it’s mocking me, this question’s alluring me, and it begins to take many forms, grotesque, grave, gruesome, until it begins to drive me crazy. All this angst in my mind, but if you look at me from afar, I’m carved in stone, an effigy created to be burned.

TO BE CONTINUED…

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the_twins-1382139739m

The Plan~~A Novel by Tinaheals

 

Help me Publish!!! Email ~ tina@tinaheals.com

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Rajani and the twins moved from their gigantic ancestral home to a modest apartment,

He continued working, but had lost interest. Only two clients remained with him, the rest hired his son who now also usurped his office. So with a very modest salary he began to educate and care for his granddaughters. He became father and mother, friend and teacher; he became their anchor in the stormy sea of life.

It would be time for weekly nail cutting, ear cleaning, hair oiling sessions; amidst squeals and protests, he would pacify them singing, shohe na, shohe na, kande poranooo with dramatic eye movements and wild gestures, especially when they tried to tell him to stop, that had them rolling on the floor laughing.

Slowly but surely, the trio began to put the past behind them and move on. The girls taught him to laugh again, to live again; life had given him a second chance to bring up his two girls again, he just wished Sita could experience this life with him.
He took them to Benaras, BodhGaya, Hrishikesh and Haridwar; they went to so many places in their country, even remote ones where tourists don’t usually set foot.
They’d be lost in the world of Hanuman as he destroyed Lanka, they’d be crying as Ravana abducted Sita, they’d be deeply moved when Karna would be going to battle against Arjuna knowing he’d lose, they’d be fuming with anger when Duryodhana insulted Panchali and time would fly as dadu would read to them the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the Bhagvadgita and other sacred texts. The way he could tell the story, the simplicity, yet, the profundity in them, deeply touched the girls. Even while imparting knowledge from the Upanishads, he tried to make it as palatable as possible for the children, tell me how do you explain Tat Tvam Asi to seven year olds, yet not only did he try, it’d be fair to say, he succeeded too.

He could see his daughter Mita in the girls, different attributes of her visible in each girl.

He loved Nina’s poetry, she had rawness to her emotions, something primordial to the way she described reality even in that young age; surely poetry was to be her meditation and so it was.

The chotto ektakar shingara and the radhaballi,

Breathing furiously.

Inhabiting my Sundays, my frenemies.

She’d written this haiku, barely aged seven and it made him laugh. She’d captured something of Kolkata in those lines; she’d grabbed a slice of their times together as they strolled down Sarat Bose Road on sultry lazy Sundays.

It’s absolutely true that nowhere except Kolkata do you get that tiny shingara or samosa for one rupee, it has peas in it and the Bongs cannot have enough of it. And what of the Radhabollobi? Try it, you’ll see. You may get acidity, but it’ll be worth it, vouches every Bengali.

Rajani loved these girls like he had loved their mother, but being a very enlightened soul he treated them all alike, even Arunava, but at times he was left wondering as to where he went wrong with that one. But Mita was his pet; he had a special soft corner in his heart for his eldest.

None had his spiritual depth except Mita and this bonded them immensely, every time he saw her, his heart wanted to embrace her. Khuku, he called her, his little girl and she was so much like him.

“Aye khuku aye…” he would play this song in the gramophone and Hemanta’s voice would flood the house.

She had his striking peaches and cream skin and almond shaped eyes like the goddess Durga, with abundant tresses swimming down to her knees and an hour-glass body which was as ageless as Time itself and looked like some Kumartuli’s sculptor was sculpting Maa Durga from clay. Shakkhat Maa Durga, people would comment.

Yes, she was breathtaking! Her intellect was sharp; she was thoughtful, critically questioning and deeply analytical. Many an afternoon was spent in discussing literature, philosophy, poetry and the scriptures of all religions. Her father enjoyed immensely the display of perspicacity while she explained some particular issue, idea or philosophy, her face shining red with passion and emotion. What radiance! Then she fell in love with Shubho at Scottish Church English honours class.
It was an exam. John Osborne’s play, “Look Back in Anger”, was the monster in question and 100 marks were at stake. Mita had not studied this play and her paper sat blank. She spotted Shubho in front scribbling away with immense concentration. She poked him a few times. He looked back and couldn’t take his eyes off her. In a state of suspended bliss, he handed her the paper. She took it with a squeal of laughter which thrilled him to the bone, and began to rewrite it in her words.
Now let’s fast forward, SHUBHO and MITA are married in Kartik purnima, the full moon beckoned a life of abundance and plenitude for them.

As Mita adorns Shubho’s neck with the baramala and the shubhodristi happens where they gaze into each other’s eyes, it’s like a dejavu. The breeze outside caresses his hair while he stands there looking at her, she’s carried on a piri by her brothers, uncles and cousins and her eyes are between two paan leaves and in that moment they both knew that no matter what life would bring it would be worth nothing without the other.

Mita gets pregnant which turns out to be pretty complicated with twins sharing the same amniotic sac and placenta, throughout the seven and a half months, she’s under strict supervision and spends much of her time reading, writing and talking to her daughters. During the course of her seven month pregnancy she almost dies twice and the lives of the twins are threatened, but she manages to trick fate into submission.

These girls, they had to see the sky wearing the bright blue cloak of a spring day, they had to experience the rain on their faces, caressing sometimes or slapping away, soft some days and as pokey as thorns on others. They had to see the cheetah run, they had to eat tangra macher jhol, oh, life in its complexity and multitudes had to be experienced by them, she thought.
Karma my dear friends had other plans. Mita and Shubho die tragically young, leaving behind only Rajani to take care of the twins. Their disappearance happened in Kedarnath temple during an annual pilgrimage they always undertook.
Rajani had to don the parent costume once again, this time for Nina and Zeenia and he was determined to play the role to perfection this time. As perfect as it could be! So now to get back to the story. Dadu is what Nina calls Rajani, the Bengali appellation for grandfather.
As she sits in front of this dead body, she thinks of her dadu. He would know what to do; he always knew what to do. Such were Nina’s thoughts. Delusion arises from anger, Dadu told her one day as she was furious with Joida, the Oriya driver who had not given her a minute to stand and chat with her friends after her Rabindra-sangeet class at Dakshini, to top it off he had the gall to speak rudely in front of them.

The dominoes fell,

The words like torrents

It was inevitable.

She’d written this haiku she remembered for the occasion.

Joida loved her as his own daughter and that was the excuse for the harsh treatment. She had almost wanted to slap Joida. But Dadu intervened. “Little one your mind is bewildered by delusion. You think that Joi is being pushy, but actually he is just trying to protect you. See, you lost your reasoning as your mind was bewildered…and one falls down, when reasoning is destroyed.” Dadu fell on the floor dramatically.
That made Nina smile even in her malaise as she sat in limbo, with dried blood on her hands. She deliberated with the thought of saying, “Out, damned spot,” but then decided against it. The dead body just lay there. Her hallucinations where he wakes up as some terrible ZOMBIE in a B-Grade film and chews her down bone by bone is funny, she observes. I can have funny thoughts, even in this scenario.
Then she notices that there were many parts of her, or no, there are many Nina’s inside of her, ambiguous and confused, each thinking that random thought while observing the others and then she notices that there is a Nina who’s also observing, but she has no thought as the others did, no opinion. She just watches. Not for the first time Nina could distinctly hear the separate voices- how diverge, how contradictory, how ironic were they, but this time there was a force to them that was lacking in the past. She tries to swallow, but her tongue sticks to her insides, parched and dry, it desperately needs some water.
The young housekeeping attendant is right outside Nina’s room and would have turned away, but a trickle of blood manages to seep outside. The attendant examines it carefully, and then thinks of what to do. Should he go and inform his supervisor? No he decides against it and taking a master key from his supply trolley, he puts it in the key hole and turns it.

The scene which greets his eyes chills him to the bone and a blood curdling scream escapes his lips shattering the quiet of the early morn. He looks ridiculous, scared out of his wits, barely coherent in his thoughts, he looked like a two year old who had seen a ghost in a Paranormal series on telly.
It’s Nina who surprises me. She didn’t even bat an eyelid at the shrill shriek. She just sits there, stares at her abyss. What did she see?? The abyss staring back??

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Image is not mine. Not my copyright.

THE PLAN

I am publishing a bit of my novel here…If you want to support the project, contact me to offer patronage. tina@tinaheals.com

But let’s go back to 1965, Rajani who had also lost a child, was trying to cope in his own way. He was invited by a colleague to visit a small village called Palashpur where a saint was coming. Rajani did not believe in such holy sadhus; to him, they were just a greedy, money-grabbing bunch, charlatans! No, no, said Akhileshwar Dutta, his friend. Do not speak like that. He is Shrimat Bhupendranath Sanyal of Nadia, initiated by none other than the avatar Lahiri Mahasaya.

Arre baba, haven’t you read Paramhamsa Yogananda’s famous book?

Yes he had and he knew these names, but he was actually “hearing” them for the first time, which was to become a permanent part of his psyche and which already always existed in him.
Climbing up a rickety set of stairs, Rajani was bathed in sweat, or so he thought, his heart was beating funnily as he followed Akhileshwar closely, to the room where Sanyal Mahasaya was meeting with devotees. He slipped into the room quietly as the master was busy talking to some troubled soul; they’re always the troubled ones who hog the seat before a sadhubaba, always asking for something or the other.

Rajani just stood there and watched the holy man and nothing that words can describe was raging through his heart. It was as if his whole being had waited to see this very face, for eternity. He kept looking at the master, his heart singing with rapturous love. Sanyal Mahasaya was talking about Shri Rabindra Nath Tagore, his very close friend, with whom he had worked tirelessly in creating Shantiniketan; the seven years he had spent there.
Abruptly shaken out of his reverie by a confused Akhileshwar, Rajani realized that the whole room was staring at him, waiting for him to respond to the Master’s question. Sanyal Mahasaya had singled out Rajani in the crowd and had asked him his name. “Arre, tomar namta bolo, your name…” an irate voice told him. It was Akhileshwar who was a bit miffed at not being singled out like that.
“Angey, Rajonikanto,” replied his anxious voice which sounded fake and hollow to his own ears, in a second his life flashed before his eyes. Was that really his name??? Who am I?? He seriously began to ponder delving deep into the fabric of his subconscious which began to dance around like tiny strings of a harp playing an intricate symphony.
The holy man was smiling and beckoning to him to come forward. “esho, esho…” the crowd parted like the seas had for Moses as he took the chosen people to safety and Rajani, with an eager Akhileshwar following close behind walked in absolute silent reverence. That day seemed like yesterday. It was the happiest day of his life and it was also the saddest (more on this later). Ah! The bitter-sweetness of life!!

Rajani was initiated after two days into the age-old system of Kriya yoga brought to mankind by Mahavatar Babaji. Babaji is a superman to people like you, he can bend me, twist me, even eradicate me! Mahavatar Babaji!

Life continued as a bitter sweet symphony! It was his kriya that enabled him to continue swimming in the treacherous seas of samsara keeping him afloat, like a flimsy tiny paper boat that children make on the pond in a rainy day.

Finally things got so bad that Sita just couldn’t handle it anymore. Their finances were drained, Rajani had made some bad financial decisions which sieved away a lot of money, their daughter was suffering from cancer in front of their eyes and was getting steadily worse, which caused irreversible damage in Sita’s psyche and finally one night came the phone call, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Mita and her husband were dead during the chardham yatra and by some divine blessing their twin girls were not with them.

Mita and her husband’s bodies were never identified, so they waited with bated breath for some time, eventually days turned to weeks, weeks to months and months to years. Rajani realized that they were not coming back, but Sita refused to accept it.

Sita hardly ate slept or spoke after that, not even to her bereft granddaughters. Stone faced, gave up everything- eating, drinking and dosed up on her meds; not even the hint of a smile escaped from her lips. Nor did the sunrise interest her, nor was her heart healed by mellow full moon.

Rajani knew that one day life would come to a screeching halt, the way things were going, but what could he do? Nothing was ever in his hands.

He tried to speak to his wife, whom he had married when she was barely fifteen, but she was damaged beyond repair and did not desire to be healed; her eyes were glazed and she remained mute. He had promised to protect and cherish her, but look what he’d done.

Rajani had gone to Khulna, for a gathering in one of his guru bhai’s house, Sanyal Mahasaya was reading from the Bhagavadgita and explaining its meaning.

“Na jayate mriyate va kadacin
nayam bhutva bhavita va na bhuyah
ajo nityah sasvato ’yam purano
na hanyate hanyamane sarire” 

“Sri Krishna said: The soul is never born nor dies at any time. Soul has not come into being, does not come into being, and will not come into being. Soul is unborn, eternal, ever-existing and primeval. Soul is not slain when the body is slain.”

Sanyal Mahasaya looked straight at Rajani; he knew what was troubling him. He got a reassuring look from the master and knew in his heart that all is well, no matter what happens.

After the discussion, his Guru asked him about Sita; Rajani could not speak, but the silence communicated more than a thousand words; he looked down as tears came to his eyes and fervently hoped that the end would be gentle on her. He silently prayed that she receives Sanyal Mahasaya’s lotus feet after death; she had suffered too much for one lifetime.

Sanyal Mahasaya embraced him, and that embrace took all the pain away, it cleared all the doubts and he saw his wife smile!

Rajani went home to find Sita hanging from the ceiling with a rope round her neck. He did not cry, knowing that this was obviously inevitable; he stoically brought her down from that height, cleaned her up, dressed her like a bride and took her to the crematorium. In his mind’s eye, he saw a picture of her smiling, he smiled back. It was her time and she was gone, he knew Sanyal Mahasaya would guide her to the next destination. What is life but a series of stops and journeys, there is no permanent destination, just levels to clear. Like a computer game?

Rajani did not judge her, she had taken her life and to some that was abhorrent, but to him it was just the way it was- karmic; it had happened with Sanyal Mahasaya’s blessing and he knew Sita would be guided to continue her karma.

Thethe_twins-1382139739m granddaughters Nina and Zeenia were told that their beloved Didu had died in her sleep due to a massive heart attack. All except Nina, elder by five seconds, knew the truth; she had seen her grandmother’s hanging dead-body.

#redshame

 I have always suffered like crazy during my periods. I mean CRAZY. Batshit crazy. The pain, the ache, the nausea, the migraine. I cannot explain to you how much I suffered. I grew up eating meat, fish and eggs. All the pain and messiness associated with my monthlies made me dread the. Sometimes they were erratic. Sometimes they were on time and all of the times my chums knocked me the fuck out.

After I turned eighteen and I was seriously practising  yoga, I began to seek explanations for my continued menstrual problems. It automatically happened. Me giving up meat, fish, eggs. I still took dairy. Now all my life I was getting afflicted with headaches. If you ask me, that is the only thing that troubles me. My migraine. 

So giving up all the shit and sticking to a vegetarian diet was the first step towards healing some of that period pain. But still it did not go away. Homeopathic no. Ayurveda no. Nothing worked. After much research and studying, after understanding how sexuality has been so perverted and femininity has been so badly suppressed and exploited that I realised that my period pains were nothing but physical manifestation of my spiritual issues. Like not being in touch and connected to my sacred feminine self.

I abhorred periods and everything to do with it. I shunned it and cursed it. How could there not be pain? Pain is an external manifestation of the psycho-spiritual issues. So the journey began with trying to make that connection.

I began to speak to my uterus as soon as the ache began. I began to invite the blood to gush out. I requested my internal mechanism to flush out the unnecessary. It took years, patience and dedication and a sacred intent to pay homage to my blood and my uterus for making me a woman, a mother. Since I believe in doing my healing through journaling and then meditation, I began to write about the experience of being a woman.

I began to see patterns, thought waves, attitudes, misogyny, patronising condescension..I saw it all. How society has made a mockery of womanhood. How we have become reduced to only shadows of our former selves. We are mothers and women yes, but essentially we are humans. The world sees us through the lens of lust and possession. How then can we have an authentic connection to our femininity?

It is that very thing that will make us slaves…to the structure. How do we embrace it? I know the complexities are numerous and each step I took, I thought I’d never be able to break away from this oppressive patriarchy. Judging, condemning, stifling…there is no way out.

I think mind explorations with psylocybin made me see myself as more than a woman. I saw myself as a part of the great SPIRIT. Yes the lifebreath of us all. Using meditation and mental techniques, psychedelics and Mandala making, I think I could break away from the feeling of being a woman. Because boy, it is stressful! I try to look at people as humans too, not men or women. I give them equal opportunity and space to discover them. No gender bias. It took years and years of self work. On myself and my projection of energy.

Connecting to my sacred feminine blood was such an inspiring journey. It changed my life. There have been ancient secret rites and rituals with menstrual blood. In Sumer, in Egypt, in Babylon. In India too. Yoni tantra. It speaks of the sacred power of the  yoni. It is a symbol of the GREAT MOTHER and if invoked correctly, she is a storehouse of LIFE and POWER.

I don’t talk to you from the POV of Tantra. As a tantric. I speak to you as a fellow human who has done some research on this taboo topic from which we all could benefit. So since menstrual blood, sex and all the connected things are so frowned upon, but its something that society is obsessed with to the point of sickness. Sex is such an important part of our lives yet it is so suppressed. But I knew that this pain had to do with an unhealthy relationship to the vagina and the uterus. So what does that mean?

I had an unhealthy relationship to my being female. Years and years of social conditioning and being with people who enable patriarchy, knowingly or unknowingly, I have begun to feel shame and pain because I am a woman. And that has translated to this intense pain and suffering.

I know how many of you are suffering. This is a mental exercise you can do. Try it. Before you start menstruating, write a welcome note to it. Invite the periods to flow. Preparation.

When you get it, touch your vagina softly, knead it and then take some blood in your hands and say I love you and thank you…you are the very life blood of society. You are sacred. You are life itself. I invite the cosmic creative spirit to endow me with fertility and creativity. Be open to receive psychic messages. Your yoni will be energised.

Basically make up something that works for you. Send love vibes to your uterus. It works. There are numbers that I also worked with and switchwords. I also use energy circles. But the maximum healing took place when I embraced my pain. I know that sounds crazy. I embrace the pain every time and let it teach me what I need to learn. I do not take any meds. Use aromatherapy too. Keep a lapis lazuli near you or wear a pendant as you start menstruating. Essential oils also work wonders. Get your partner to give you a full body massage with a carrier oil mixed with some lavender. This could be amazing and what follows could open you up to so much…surreal shit! 

In fact the root cause of not being able to have a baby is spiritual and can be healed by creating an authentic relationship with your vagina. The menstrual blood is used in many tantric practises as a symbol of creation. If everything is energy, then your intent to befriend your vagina will create ripples in the hologram. THE PAIN IS A GHOST OF OUR HATES AND ISSUES. You can repeatedly touch your vagina and express thanks. Just watch where you are at…lol!

 This will give you the power and determination and cosmic shove to become a better version of yourself. This reconnect with the vag is tremendously healing to the psyche.

 Men too can connect to their phallus. We are all humans and we work on the same principle. Both the vagina and the penis have been vilified. They represent abusive words. That’s where our sacred sexuality has been degraded to. Cunt is not an abuse. Dick is not an abuse. Let’s shift anger and loathing away from our body parts. They are parts of us, sacred and divine.

 

I began to feel this way. I began to truly imbibe these ideas in my real life. Not think of my vagina as something repulsive, but as a powerhouse of creativity. AND MY PAIN WENT AWAY…I mean I still feel slightly sick and if I’m out and working, I feel very drained. It takes me a few hours to recover. I do feel sleepy. But I keep on the work through yogasanas, essays, a little self acceptance ritual I do. I also use a no shame dance…that helps me shed all my inhibitions and truly connect to the divine feminine within. That is how I channel her.

 My libido was scarily absent after I gave birth and had a no show going for two years. My child is breastfed and I had no periods for twenty seven months. Yes the dance of horniness was erased from my memory. It took self love, self pleasure, meditation and a whole lot of chilling the fuck out and I began to feel the flow. I know how hard it is for some mothers to get back a hundred percent in the sack, so I suggest you try some of the methods I mentioned. Always feel free to contact me as your life coach if you feel the need.

 This ritual in its totality is ever evolving, so I can show you the basics only. You will have to use your creativity and intuition to keep adapting it to suit your needs. You can use journaling, flashcards, write poetry or essays, meditate, use crystals, in fact use multiple tools and modalities available to do this.

 Use Jade and Moonstone to clear problems associated with it. For example if you have some other issue and menstruation is only a part of it. Use Lapis Lazuli for pain relief. Rose quartz also works. But I use Lapis Lazuli as I channel and meditate on MEDICINE BUDDHA, SANGYE MENLA. WORKS WONDERS!!! Oh, oh of course watch your diet. I am unable to do this sometimes. The craving gets too intense due to hormonal fluctuations…

Of course you can work with herbs. They are magical I tell you. Medical Marijuana is the miracle cure for cramps. Yay to that. Whoopee Goldberg has made tampons with cannabis. I have never used them, but they must be amazing. They deal with the pain without any offensive side effects. Of course Ginger caked in some Himalayan pink salt is very effective. Raspberry and chamomile tea always work for me. And then of course the fennel water. Cinnamon always works for me with everything, so….

The way I have managed to RELEASE so much pain is through more self awareness of myself as a sexual being who is feminine. I am a woman. I have a uterus. So I will bleed. Why should I hate it? I know its messy, but its a part of ME.

 It’s your creative force building and then purging…so sublime!!! Humanity and its systems are seriously mysterious and mesmerising. Periods are a biological process, but why are we humans if we reduce it to just that. It is our job to make connections, to see patterns, to cut and mould and we keep at it.

yoni-relationshipSo do you agree that we need to embrace sacred sexuality and develop a healthy relation to our menstrual cycle?

 

THE PLAN

I am publishing parts of my novel to get my style and content across to a wide diaspora. If you wish to be my patron, email me on tina@tinaheals.com to support my work.the_twins-1382139739m

She was thinking of reality being an illusion. She read some article about it recently. But then Dadu’s voice echoed in her mind and she thought of him saying something very similar.
Uff shotti shotti! Dadu was always talking about things that made most people uncomfortable- karma, tapas, dhyana and such ideas. “As a man soweth, so shall he also reap…”, now the words took shape in her consciousness and made themselves visible, like actors illuminated by spot-lights on a dark stage. They looked a bit fearful as they bowed to her, but she welcomed them with a grimace.
Dadu also spoke about past lives and the future.

People thought he was a bit strange. The lady next door, Tarun’s keokarpin makha grandmother called it vairagya and thought of him as some sort of sadhubaba, some people thought of Dadu as a vestige from the past, a useless piece of rusty machinery in this technological world of twenty peta-flops, for what good is a man of conscience? What is his need, his relevance?

Do what thou wilt and that is the whole law, this is the mantra of the new world. Who cares about others, the environment, the Earth? Oh, you must be some stinky hippy to live in that ideology, those days are gone, right? Now it’s all about hoarding, all about where technology is leading us, to Venus, yes? Let the computer decide, humans and their corrupted laziness!! Growth, industrial and technological is the alienation where human touch or compassion, community-based life are flawed old school ways to be flushed down the toilet; where the ego of a select few has become the size of the Solar System is the way mankind seems to be moving.

Dadu had lost interest in everything that the world around him had to offer. He was no Don Juan Demarko, but was he ever interested in anything at all? He would spend hours locked up in a tiny hole in the attic. Everybody thought he was painting or carving into pieces of wood he sourced on his trips to his village or in Khandala or in some forest or the other. An averagely successful Chartered Accountant by day and painter, sculptor by night, he lived his life in silent spiritual contemplation, reading, going for long walks and practising kriya yoga.

His gurudeva was his whole life, always has been and always will be, even in death. His param guru was Lahiri Mahasaya and his gurudeva was Mahavatar Babaji, holy sadhus from the ancient tradition which is much older than I am.

Nights were devoted to painting and meditation, his paintings developed into energy vortices, spiritual radiance emanating from them. He carved out such intense faces into the pieces of wood that there were no words that could describe them. They were not human as you’d understand them; they were of different worlds, faces and forms glimpsed by Dali and the Surrealists.

Dadu always said that the pieces of wood spoke to him and suggested what to carve into them, as if they knew what they were meant to become. He just followed the shape that the wood showed him and thus these faces were born, gargoylish, demonic, angelic, chrubic. There were a few Earthly faces too; Dadu did a great carving of Rabindranath Tagore. It looked as if the Kobiguru had manifested into that wood, so real it seemed.

While he sculpted that face, one of his favourite songs always played in the background, “Aguner porosh moni choyayo prane, aye jibon purno koro, aye jibon, purno koro, aye jibon purno koro…” and although not much of a singer, he sang along softly, his fingers moving deftly to create new ideas and bring shape to new beings.

Rajanikanta, just by merit of being Rajanikanto, not equipped with the arsenal of sneaky cut-throatism, ego the size of Arcturus, unable to belch behenchod, chutiya when required, was just useless in the world of successful men; he did not manage to generate any finances through his creative endeavours, most of them rotting away to early graves in his studio.
Let me elaborate on what I mean by this.. He lost his wife to a heart-crippling incident. She hanged herself, in his deepest spiritual recesses he knew that she had to leave. He never blamed her, not even for a moment, only loved her more and more in his solitude. The rest of the world said it drove Sita insane to lose her nine months old toddler son in a terribly unfortunate accident, her daughter Supriya to cancer and finally Mita and Shubho to the floods that killed over five thousand people during the chardham Yatra.

After Sita’s death and after losing his two daughters, he left the practise of lies, deceit and black money dealings, of course all his fortune to his son, retreated into a private world with his granddaughters. His son lapped it up, like a hungry mongrel; the girls leaving with Rajani couldn’t have been more perfect. Good riddance to bad rubbish, he thought. After all what good is a man like that? Banaprasthya is the way to go. Not once did he think of the two twins, his sister’s daughters.
It’s 1965; the scene takes place in the afternoon in some tiny village called Arambagh in some remote corner of Bengal. Rajani and Sita had four healthy lovely children. The youngest was barely nine months. After a heavy and sumptuous meal of macher matha diye dal, Shorshe illish and gobindobhog chal, force-fed repeatedly by Sita’s mother, they retired gorged in the shanty hut by the lake.
Gogo, the toddler was asleep in his mother’s arms. It was an idyllic setting. The panoramic rural Bengal of those days, untainted by industrialization, so green, so very pastoral; it makes of man a poet, a philosopher, “Banglar mukh ami dekhechi, tai ami prithibir rup khunjite jai na arr…”
My mother’s smile-

Pastoral Bengal.

A pain, a pleasure.

This haiku had aroused conflicting emotions in our poetess.

 

I must say I stood still- Time stood still. Little Gogo was waking up, stirring slowly. Sita was still asleep. He sat up and extricating himself from his mother’s light embrace, he toddled off. I watched. He went near the river. The breeze was soft, the afternoon mellow, as if the picture of arcadian bliss. Gogo smiled to see his reflection, he stooped down to touch it.
A bolt of electricity passed through Sita’s subconscious, she cried out as she awoke. Her heart jumped into her mouth to see her arms empty. Where was Gogo? Where was her son? She shook Rajani. He was lost in dreams and awoke with a start. Childhood visions of some jatra he had seen with his father were swimming in his dreams that afternoon. The echo of Ravana’s laughter rang out in his ears creating an ominous premonition. They ran out together as if a thousand swords compelled them to.

TO BE CONTINUED

Shri Shri Navamundi Mahasana

Dhyanamulang Gurur Murthi,

Pujahmulang Guruh Padam,

Mantramulang Guror Vakyang,

Mokshamulang Guroh Kripa!!!

 

Mahasiddhas and Mahayogis are well aware of the Panchamundi Mahasana; it is known and revered in upper tiers of occult sadhana.

Paramhamsa Ramakrishna, Raja, Ramkrishna, Sadhak Ramprasad, Sadhak Kamalakanto, all these Mahatmas have practised the occult sadhana of the Panchamundi and have established themselves on it and have partaken the ethereal siddhis that constitute the culmination of this cycle of the esoteric Panchamundi.

Even to this day, in certain parts of Bharatavarsha and Bangabhumi, there exist these consecrated Panchamundi Mahasanas brought into manifestation by the ardous tapas of the yogis and the siddhas.

However, there is not much written about the Panchamundi in the Tantra Shastra, all its teachings are highly gujhya or occult and are handed down from guru to shishya in complete secrecy.

In the sadhak community, there is also a mention of Ekmundi and Trimundi Mahasanas.

In the exoteric sense, a Panchamundi Asana comprises of an altar inside which are interred five skulls–that of a snake, frog, rabbit, fox, and man, but each of these five mundis signify not only these physical skulls, but particularities, they are symbols, of celestials and cosmic origin.

Certain substances, not Earthly, are considered to be the five heads.

But in today’s day and age, this very occult knowledge is ALMOST lost to us, it exists buried in a few pages of a few obscure books in some Indian Languages, and is known to the adepts, but what of us poor, urban spiritually starved people? And what of the rest of the world? They have no way of accessing this information.

I am online and I have witnessed an upsurge in the want of information around the world about Gyanganj, about Shambala as Madame Blavatsky called it. Her guru Master Koot Humi is none other than Paramhamsa Kutupananda of Gyanganj. I created a group on Blavatsky and Theosophy around 2007 or so on Facebbok and it keeps growing every day. People en masse want to know more about Gyanganj, people from all over the world, from all walks of life. So here lies the necessity in trying to create this body of work. But I warn you I am no scholar, just a fellow pilgrim, just a human seeking the truth!

It may not be of any great relevance to us, but for the Yogi, the mysterious tattwa of the Asana is of great importance to him, because depending upon the asana he receives from Sadguru and the Universe, will typify the levels of siddhis and wisdom he will reach.

Researches of Tantra Sastra have heard of the occult Panchamundi, but for the first time in this Historic cycle, the mention of the sacred Navamundi Mahasana was in a Bengali article by Mahamahopadhyay Gopinath Kaviraj in a book called Vishuddhabani. I am infinitely indebted to him as he has been my guiding voice in writing this piece.

Kavirajji tells us repeatedly how abstract this great metaphysical theory is, in fact it will sound absurd to a “rational” man who pivots the world with mere common sense.

Voltaire made sense when he said “Common sense is not so common”. But through years of History, psychological conditioning and social structures, we revere common sense; it is the very death of Metaphysics and Mysticism.

Let’s forget left-brained analytical thought when we’re entering the sacred domain of the Navamundi, let’s go beyond our mind, let’s not think as men and women, as mere personalities, instead let’s feel this piece, let awareness be aware of what is being written here.

Do not try to think outside of the box, in fact, think there is no box. Remember the scene from the epic film Matrix, when Neo goes to visit the Oracle, he sees a boy, reminiscent of a Buddhist monk, bending the spoon with his mind. Neo is flabbergasted, how is this even possible? The boy tells him, “Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth. Neo: What truth?
Boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”

There you have it, bend your consciousness towards the mystical, think of it all as deep, abstract space and you will begin to feel the glow emanating from the Navamundi, it will illumine your existence.

Be pure awareness, aware, just aware!!!

In fact, after saying all I said, I realize that this mahatattwa of the Navamundi may not be for all the ensemble of the kaliyuga, but for me it has a very special significance in my life.

I cannot quite relate to you who is Paramhamsa Vishuddhanada in my life. He is the heat emanating from the fire in my spirit, he is the vision of my eyes, he is the song of my existence, he is the truth of all lies. Anyway, where words fail, I shall keep quiet and you will understand the depths of my emotions in that silence as that silence does speak a million words of such profundity!

Simply speaking he is my karana(causal) Gurudeva, the voice of my conscience, the anchor of my spirituality, the guiding light to which I swam from the abyss of despair, death and devastation.

Shri Shri Baba took my grandfather Shri Anath Nath Mukerji under his wing and gave him deeksha at a very tender age when most men are interested in the worldly things. Anath was always a vairagi and preferred to surrender to his gurudeva unconditionally, the ties of samsara could not keep his restrained. He spent months on end with his gurudeva and guru-bhratas, travelling and serving Paramhamsa Vishuddhananda with unreserved love and devotion.

Shri Shri Baba saved Ananth from drowning in the Ganges. My grandfather told me,”It was late afternoon, I was staying at the ashram at Benaras. It was my ritual to visit the ghats every morning till before lunch-time. I went for my usual afternoon dip, just before lunch. I don’t know what happened, but suddenly I realized I was drowning, my legs felt like two iron pillars and I had not the strength in me to swim. It was later on that I realized how far I had swum into the river, the currents were ripping my skin like barb-wire. Unable to swim, I was sinking into the very depths of maa Ganga wondering if this was the end, I was calm in my surrender to her, but suddenly out of the blue, there appeared a gigantic flock of hair right i front of me, it looked white and I knew it was my gurudevas beard. Hold on to it Anath he told me, I just reached out and held onto it. I felt my whole weight was being pushed up, to the shore, I lost consciousness; I felt that I had still unfinished business in the world. People found me lying on the ghat. I revived shortly and headed back to the ashram. As I entered, Baba told me, so Anath how was your swimming today? Did you swim far? I saw the twinkle in his eye and knew that he was alluding to the little incident that had transpired. I just smiled and prostrated at his feet. I had learned later from my guru-brhatas that during lunch time Baba had told them that I will be arriving late today from the Ghats, as it was customary to make an appearance before lunch; he asked them to keep my food aside. This was my gurudeva, the knower, the known and the knowing, all rolled into one.”

Of course my grandfather had work to do, my father was not yet born, so the person which in the future is to be me had no fixed reference point for this incarnation. This piece remains unwritten, my world remains barren, my life a blank sheet in the reality where my grandfather succumbs to the holy waters of Maa Ganga.

So my connection with Baba Vishuddhananda began way before even my father was born. In fact it is his holy plan to bring us together as one family- the Mukkhujey bari of Janai.

My parents, who have been rock-solid pillars of my life and have made me who I am are both shishyas of Shri Tunu baba who is the holy grandson of Baba Vishuddhananda. Tunu Baba’s father was Durga Baba who rose to great heights in his tapas and is one of the siddhas of Gyanganj. Tunu Baba was more like my granfather than my mother’s guru. I loved him from the day I knew him and I was merely six or seven when my mother was initiated. Shortly my father was also initiated by Tunu Baba and therein began a lifetime of pilgrimage in wondrous lands of spiritual awareness for all three of us.

It was difficult at times as life always is, the great dance of duality, but we made it and here I sit before you typing away furiously on my computer. I feel deeply privileged to be writing about these Mahatmas, researching and developing their life and work.

Before I begin to unravel the secrets of the Navamundi, I want you to understand that I am no scholar, I am in fact a Nobody, yet, today this Nobody has somehow been given the exalted task of writing this piece about the Navamundi for the benefit of everybody, hoping it will inspire somebody to look deeply at this mesmerizing enigma.

I do not know how successful I will be at the execution of this, but if I am seated at my table, at this fixed moment in History, trying to bring to light this esoteric subject then it follows that the Universe has conspired to make it happen.

So here I am and here you are reading this, at this very moment, NOW, nothing else exists, it is just this very moment.

Capacity of self-articulation and self knowledge as a rationale for incorporating the personal into this text, the body, the emotions, the lived experiences, your whole life, become comingled with this piece. So read on.

The Navamundi Mahasana was established by Paramhamsa Vishuddhananda, its divine glow enriched the lives of a very selected few. Due to its secrecy, the masses never got to venerate it and for years it remained a tightly guarded secret which it still remains.

Much of what is known to the world about Baba Vishuddhananda comes to us from Paramhamsa Yogananda’s groundbreaking novel titled “An Autobiography of a Yogi.”

In Chapter-5, titled “A PERFUME SAINT DISPLAYS HIS WONDERS”, we are introduced to Gandhababaji.

Definitely intrigued, I entered the house and was ushered into a commodious parlor. A crowd of people were sitting, Orient-wise, here and there on a thick orange-colored carpet. An awed whisper reached my ear:

“Behold Gandha Baba on the leopard skin. He can give the natural perfume of any flower to a scentless one, or revive a wilted blossom, or make a person’s skin exude delightful fragrance.”

I looked directly at the saint; his quick gaze rested on mine. He was plump and bearded, with dark skin and large, gleaming eyes.

“Son, I am glad to see you. Say what you want. Would you like some perfume?”

“What for?” I thought his remark rather childish.

This childishness was the very hall-mark of Baba Vishuddhananda, he was often the little bal-Gopala to his matrika.

“To experience the miraculous way of enjoying perfumes.”

“Harnessing God to make odors?”

“What of it? God makes perfume anyway.”

Exactly! God is in everything, in the foulest stench to the most beautiful smell of a sunset by the sea.

“Yes, but He fashions frail bottles of petals for fresh use and discard. Can you materialize flowers?”

“I materialize perfumes, little friend.”

“Then scent factories will go out of business.”

“I will permit them to keep their trade! My own purpose is to demonstrate the power of God.”

“Sir, is it necessary to prove God? Isn’t He performing miracles in everything, everywhere?”

“Yes, but we too should manifest some of His infinite creative variety.”

“How long did it take to master your art?”

“Twelve years.”

“For manufacturing scents by astral means! It seems, my honored saint, you have been wasting a dozen years for fragrances which you can obtain with a few rupees from a florist’s shop.”

Yogananda seems a bit brash as it is well known that Shri Shri Baba not only made perfumes, he also manifested sweets, fruits and flowers. One he made my grandmother Anupama Devi listen to the music of the flowers, she told me herself, it was pure magic. Like an animated flick!

“Perfumes fade with flowers.”

Impermanence!!! The only truth we can see on a daily basis.

“Perfumes fade with death. Why should I desire that which pleases the body only?”

“Mr. Philosopher, you please my mind. Now, stretch forth your right hand.” He made a gesture of blessing.

I was a few feet away from Gandha Baba; no one else was near enough to contact my body. I extended my hand, which the yogi did not touch.

“What perfume do you want?”

“Rose.”

“Be it so.”

To my great surprise, the charming fragrance of rose was wafted strongly from the center of my palm. I smilingly took a large white scentless flower from a near-by vase.

“Can this odorless blossom be permeated with jasmine?”

“Be it so.”

A jasmine fragrance instantly shot from the petals. I thanked the wonder-worker and seated myself by one of his students. He informed me that Gandha Baba, whose proper name was Vishudhananda, had learned many astonishing yoga secrets from a master in Tibet. The Tibetan yogi, I was assured, had attained the age of over a thousand years.

“His disciple Gandha Baba does not always perform his perfume-feats in the simple verbal manner you have just witnessed.” The student spoke with obvious pride in his master. “His procedure differs widely, to accord with diversity in temperaments. He is marvelous! Many members of the Calcutta intelligentsia are among his followers.”

I inwardly resolved not to add myself to their number. A guru too literally “marvelous” was not to my liking. With polite thanks to Gandha Baba, I departed. Sauntering home, I reflected on the three varied encounters the day had brought forth.

The last paragraph displays Gandhaba as a rather flambyuyant personality, it does not have a multi-faceted interpretation. People who have known and spent time with Gandhababa can verify that as evening seeped in, Baba became SILENT! He seemed to be in another dimension, lost in a deep trance. When Shri Shri Baba wanted to be serious, he was, but essentially his approach to life and problems was humourous. He infused daily drudgeries with witty dialogue, poetry, music and some entertainment. All work and no play makes Lalloo a dull boy, who has not ascertained the verity of this statement. Baba was sombre, he was funny, he was strict, also lenient. He was what you needed when. He did not just create perfumes but also wanted to impart the knowledge of SURYA VIGYAN to the world, his heart cried out for the suffering humanity. He was in fact Sadashiv in person.

My sister Uma met me as I entered our Gurpar Road door.

“You are getting quite stylish, using perfumes!”

Without a word, I motioned her to smell my hand.

“What an attractive rose fragrance! It is unusually strong!”

Thinking it was “strongly unusual,” I silently placed the astrally scented blossom under her nostrils.

“Oh, I love jasmine!” She seized the flower. A ludicrous bafflement passed over her face as she repeatedly sniffed the odor of jasmine from a type of flower she well knew to be scentless. Her reactions disarmed my suspicion that Gandha Baba had induced an auto-suggestive state whereby I alone could detect the fragrances.

Later I heard from a friend, Alakananda, that the “Perfume Saint” had a power which I wish were possessed by the starving millions of Asia and, today, of Europe as well.

“I was present with a hundred other guests at Gandha Baba’s home in Burdwan,” Alakananda told me. “It was a gala occasion. Because the yogi was reputed to have the power of extracting objects out of thin air, I laughingly requested him to materialize some out-of-season tangerines. Immediately the luchis  which were present on all the banana-leaf plates became puffed up. Each of the bread-envelopes proved to contain a peeled tangerine. I bit into my own with some trepidation, but found it delicious.”

Years later I understood by inner realization how Gandha Baba accomplished his materializations. The method, alas! is beyond the reach of the world’s hungry hordes.

The different sensory stimuli to which man reacts—tactual, visual, gustatory, auditory, and olfactory—are produced by vibratory variations in electrons and protons. The vibrations in turn are regulated by “lifetrons,” subtle life forces or finer-than-atomic energies intelligently charged with the five distinctive sensory idea-substances.

Gandha Baba, tuning himself with the cosmic force by certain yogic practices, was able to guide the lifetrons to rearrange their vibratory structure and objectivize the desired result. His perfume, fruit and other miracles were actual materializations of mundane vibrations, and not inner sensations hypnotically produced.

Performances of miracles such as shown by the “Perfume Saint” are spectacular but spiritually useless. Having little purpose beyond entertainment, they are digressions from a serious search for God.

The above paragraph is definitely uncalled for. Little did Yogananda realize who Gandhababa was. Nothing Baba did could ever be spiritually useless, in fact NOTHING any Mahatmas has done or does is spiritually useless and I do not understand how being a realized Yogi he could have written something like this. But maybe, Yogananda was writing for a predominant Western audience and he moght have had other agendas at work. I am not question Yogananda, but merely reading from line to line, inferring what I can. Anybody who has been blessed by Shri Shri Baba’s presence in their lives will know that the word USELESS cannot in any way be linked to a maha yogi of his calibre.

Sadly the book which has popularized Eastern Mysticism to the world has not done justice to Paramhamsa Vishuddhananda, it does not convey the grandeur, the awesomeness, the simplicity, the innocence, the dedication, the steadfastness, the inherent devotion and strength of his character. It is only been our loss.

PART- 2

In the year 1341 of the Bengali calendar which is about 78 years ago, in 1935, on Doshra Falgun, the sacred Navamundi was created and established by the immense psychic energy of Gandhababaji.

My grandfather was present there during that timeframe, staying and travelling for long periods with Shri Shri Baba.

He told my father that the energy radiated from the Navamundi was so powerful that STILLNESS enveloped his Being every single time he came near its presence. His awareness was heightened and during such moments he was a blessed witness to many Lilas of Paramhamsa Vishuddhanandaji.

Shri Shri Baba had told his disciples, “It took me over forty years of intense devotion, dedication and sheer hard work to be able to beget the Navamundi for the benefit of Mankind.

Om Kashidham is Gyankshetra, which is why the auspicious Navamundi was established here. Some people feel the tremendous power of Paramhamsa Vishuddhananda, while for some, that spot has not retained any of its former glory, it sits in decrepitude for lack of proper safekeeping.

I think that the psycho-spiritual power of Gandhababaji is still there, but it needs to be felt. So here I am, kind of embarking on a failed mission, with my limited understanding and restricted spiritual vocabulary.

Words are so futile, so punitive that it can never express the innumerable emotions I feel as I narrate this story to you.

As I close my eyes, I see Shri Shri Baba’s smile, the same as in the photograph my Grandfather left to my father and about three years ago, he parted with this treasure so that it may enrich my existence.

So I am the humble care-taker of this treasure, three generations have now been the holders to this original, B/W, slightly faded image, but with age, the vibrancy of his expression has not faded, his smile still illumines a million Suns, his face still radiates that adhyatmic shakti.

I am surely a close person to Gandhababaji, one does not get to possess such an image otherwise, I am astrally seated right at his lotus feet, but in this dense reality, as this incarnated person I know not what or where.

I have splashes of intuition, surges of serotonin, oxytocin and dopamine; I feel completely in awe and bliss, I feel like I am a child again, seated on his lap. I feel safe, it’s my “Happy Place”.

I hold on to the photograph, as the last vestiges of my sanity in this insane world.

It is so ancient, not only is it Shri Shri Baba’s original images and one can feel him in it, this photo also has my grandfather’s energy, bhakti and shraddha in it.

It is a sort of thread, a sutra which ties me to my ancestors and Paramhamsa Vishuddhananda is the pearl in it. It is a story of surrender, the surrender of three generations.

Shri Shri Baba had told everybody that the Navamundi will provide deep awareness to the whole world, nay, all of existence. It will be the source of immense realization and for this purpose, he had seeded the future. Certain individuals will awaken to his Lila, his call and will successfully provide spiritual warmth in this cold, dark age of pure materialism.

Paramhamsa Vishuddhananda’s life has been kept away from the masses, tucked away in abscure books and in the memories of his shishyas and their progeny. His real life and work has been shrouded in mystery, but as in when the correct time comes, small bits of information about this Mahatma will be released to the world, via the seedlings he had planted. Those seedlings have now become trees, ready to provide fruits, shelter and security to numerous pilgrims.

The two words Asana and Asin are used in the parlance of sadhana. One must begin and continue sadhana on this asana to become an asin, an individual who has provided psycho-spiritual internal power to the externalized seat, in a sense this asana gets activated.

The Asana is an external tool and can be made of very many things like kusa, kambal, tiger’s skin, lion’s skin or deer’s skin.

If one sits and meditates regularly on his asana, then it becomes an extension of their BEING, this in turn makes pranayama and dhyana easier, the deep silence of the self is felt without any significant effort. This is why the asana is so invaluable in sadhana.

The Guru will give a disciple the particular asana which he has earned and deserves, this will greatly benefit the shishya in his spiritual practices. This decision is based on karmas performed in this life and others and on the nature or prakriti of the sadhak being initiated.

Ancient Tantric scriptures mention Yogic postures or asanas, the Padmasana and Siddhasana are highly acclaimed, but for tantric sadhana, Shavasan is the most effective asana.

Shavasana is used by the highest adepts.

A shava or a dead body of a human is often used as an asana in Vamachara Tantra Vidya, but in the very true form of shavasana, the sadhak must convert his own physical body into a cadaver, and the Consciousness or Awareness must establish itself over this corpse and perform sadhana. This is the true esoteric shavasana and not the body relaxation you are taught at yoga class.

The living, breathing body has been transformed into a nonliving corpse and the sense of ME, the sadhak’s personality or individuality or EGO uses this cadaver as an asana and this ME-NESS or sense of identity becomes the asin, and consciousness spirals upwards.

To a true practitioner of Tantra Shastra, this is the fundamental key to shavasana.

In the language of the Agamas, it is understood that this whole Universe consists of 36 tattvas. The goal of sadhana is to penetrate these tattwas and soar upwards; if a sadhak is unable to do so, he can never travel to the next realm. There are numerous realms in this manifested reality.

…”Hence it only stands to reason that the globes which overshadow our Earth must be on a different and superior planes. In short, as Globes they are they are in COADUNATION but not in CONSUBSTATIALITY WITH OUR EARTH and thus pertain to quite another state of consciousness. Our planet(like all those we see) is adapted to the peculiar state of its human stock, that state which enables us to see with our naked eye the sidereal bodies which are coessential with terrene plane and substance, just as their respective inhabitants, the Jovians, the Martians and others can perceive our little world.” – Madame Blavatsky.

HPB discusses these realms in some detail in the SD and it is a must read to get certain concepts clearer.

These realms manifest as shapes of sacred geometry to the yogi. Each such Universe has multiple Universes in them, they grow and self replicate as fractals. They are infinite and endless.

All Universes are not made up of the same elements, in fact they differ greatly.

Earth has free oxygen in its atmosphere, likely as a result of photosynthetic life making her somewhat unique. This atmosphere is imperative in preventing harmful electromagnetic rays emitted from the Sun from reaching surface creatures in excessive amounts, necessary for the sustenance of life and no other planet in the solar system has this feature.

In fact the strange windy worlds of Saturn and Jupiter are so bizarre that we cannot fathom them.

Each world or realm has its own uniqueness, worlds so strange, so complex, so bizarre that it will dwarf our imagination.

This Universe we experience is called Bramhanda in Samskrit and it with all its intricate web-worlds has been created by Bramha with Prithvi Tattwa.

Pauranik rishis have labelled this Universe as the Chaturdosh plane of the whole structure of the Multiverses.

Quantum Mechanics has done the rishis proud by finally tackling the many realities which are being played out simultaneously. Deeply metaphysical times for Science!

The many-worlds interpretation is an interpretation of quantum mechanics that asserts the objective reality of the universal wavefunction and denies the actuality of wavefunction collapse. Many-worlds implies that all possible alternative histories and futures are real, each representing an actual “world” (or “universe”).

How absolutely poetic!!! What more needs be said!!!

How vast is this totality, if our Universe is just a speck on it.

Will not a tiny speck very close to our vision blot out the glory of the world, and leave only a margin by which we see the blot? I know no speck so troublesome as self.
George Eliot

I don’t think we can even grasp this. Infinity is the greatest abstraction for the human mind, we can only feel awe and wonder for a few moments before we revert back by a default setting to our mechanistic, robotic lives- slaves to the man-made system, oblivious of divine intelligence and grandeur.

How insignificant is man in the greater scheme of things, unless he has awakened the kundalini.

Patala and Naraka are two netherworlds spoken of in the ancient Indian scriptures, they may both be underworlds but there is a subtle difference. They are both parts of Adhorajya.

Naraka has many variations and so does Patala in the many planes of existence.

Each individual plane of existence has its own ADHISHTHATA, or ruler.

There is a plane called AVICHI, in the realm of Naraka, which is surrounded by abysmal darkness, not even a ray of light is seen here.

It is pitch black!

But in the higher planes of Patala, there is a radiant glow, although they are parts of the netherworld. This is the glow of Manimukta and fire.

Above patala there is Bhuprishtha, above which is Antariksha and above that is Swarga.

Swarga or Heaven, as Christians understand it, is not one but many.

There are uncountable such heavens, and on one of its lower rungs Devaraj Indra is seated on his golden throne ruling it.

The higher planes of Swargas do not have any specific rulers; they are all bhogloks, but one must have performed spiritual karma and have been of a higher vibrational frequency to become a resident in these heavens. Beings of higher wisdom who have come to enjoy the labours of their karma are seen in such places.

These planes may even take a pilgrim to moksha if karma is continued.

Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka are the higher planes of our swarga; they are also known as Dyulokh.

Trigunadhari Tridev Ishwara resides in the upper realms and he is the Holy Trinity- Bramha, Vishnu, Maheshwara, coalesced into one.

So from the highest to the lowest, all realms fall under one Universe and each Universe has its own.

Bramha has created it, Vishnu preserves it and finally when the clouds of Pralaya gather in the cosmos, Shiva will destroy it.

Bramhanda is names after its creater Bramha.

As numerous Universes exist, infinite actually, so do tiny Universes exist in our human body.

Our body is a Universe, we are not drops in an ocean, but an expression of the entire ocean in a drop. Therefore the maxim- AS ABOVE SO BELOW!!!

We are all made of stardust. Yes, it sounds rather poetic, but there is some solid science behind this statement : almost every element on Earth was formed at the heart of a star.

The iron in our blood and the calcium in our bones were all forged in such stars. We are made of stardust, say Scientists.

Certain Yogis have actually realized that their bodies are Universes- this dharana is known as VAIRAJ DHARANA, and through this meditation their consciousness merges with Bramha, the creator. In this state the Yogi becomes Bramha, the creator of the Bramhanda.

But there is a certain type of Yogi who can separate his I-NESS from that of the Creator. He does not merge his awareness, his individual EGO with Bramha and can retain his own cognizance. When this state is reached, the Yogi can penetrate the Bramhanda and rise above. If he merges himself with Bramha he cannot rise above the Bramhanda.

But interestingly such yogis who have risen above the Bramhanda do not sever their connection to this Universe, but keep it connected. It becomes like an umbilical cord- the yogi is the mother, the Universe is the Foetus. Such high level adepts are indeed scarce today!

When the Yogis awareness has traversed beyond this Universe, he keeps maintaining the connection to it, gradually the life-breath out of the Universe fades away and it becomes a gigantic corpse!

I have already explained in some detail the esoteric shavasana. Now look intuitively, the Yogi is now the ASIN and the Bramhanda is the ASANA, a shava, a representation of his own corporeal self.

He plants himself on this asana and such a Yogi is even superior to Bramha.

The entire Universe is personified in the Yogi’s sthula sharira which is a corpse now, his consciousness, the asin sits to meditate on the asana which is the lifeless corpse of a Universe; Bramha is then in his PRETA(SPIRIT) form, HIS BODY is then the Yogis ASANA!!!

 

 

 

 

PART- 111

“Let rather the planetary chains and other super and sub-cosmic mysteries remain a dreamland for those who can neither see, nor yet believe that others can.”  -HPB

This Bramhanda is just another horizon, a different level, a plane and it consists of Prithvitattwa, so the word Prithvi or Earth has a different connotation to a yogi.

By those words we understand the huge spherical orb we reside in, the one which we are depleting and abusing, the one which we call home, but it has a total different implication to the Yogi.

We cannot comprehend a minute fragment of what the wise sages can.

Now listen to what the Ancients say. Apart from the Bramhanda there are, there are more colossal structures in creation.

The one higher and larger than the Bramhanda is called PRAKRITANDA, and in this structure, infinite Bramhandas are hanging like pieces of crystal in a chandelier; Universes are floating around like skies in the gigantic sky termed Prakritanda.

After a yogi has converted the Bramhanda to a corpse-like ghost and has performed the esoteric shavasana on it, he the asin, the Bramhanda, the Asana; then he must do the same with the Prakritanda.

Then as before, he continues his connection to the cadaverous being of a prakritanda, rises above it and claims a higher asana for himself.

All these structures are embedded in the consciousness of Mulaprakriti. In our gross understanding, she is NATURE- the “BREATH THAT IS COOL, WHO CONCEIVES, FORMS, BRINGS FORTH, AND RECEIVES THEM BACK INTO HER BOSOM…” according to HPB.

“Life is the Universe, experiencing itself in endless variety”, says Alan Watts and we will see how true this is as our discussion progresses.

HPB sums it up so eloquently- “The eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane; periodically the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing, called the manifesting stars and the sparks of eternity.”

Creation, destruction- an infinite cycle!

Fluids are generated out of solids, fixed things out of volatile gases, subtile out of gross- such is the miracle of our existence!

The Bramhanda has its specificities, its uniqueness and so does Prakritanda, but essentially they are created with Jalattatwa and Prithvittatwa.

Remember the time when Science assumed that water is only peculiar to our Earth? How wrong they were!

Now for some 21 st Century Scientific studies which prove the Ancients correct- WATER OR JALA IS EVERYWHERE, EVERYTHING IS WATER AND IT HAS MEMORY!!!

Professor Matt Griffin of Cardiff University, who is the SPIRE Principal investigator, said: “Some trial observations have been made during initial testing of the spectrometer, and it is clear that the data are of excellent quality, and even these initial results are very exciting scientifically, especially our ability to trace the presence of water throughout the Universe.”

In a galaxy 12 billion light-years away resides the most distant and most massive cloud of water yet seen in the universe, astronomers say.

Weighing in at 40 billion times the mass of Earth, the giant cloud of mist swaddles a type of actively feeding supermassive black hole known as a quasar.

Among the brightest and most energetic objects in the universe, quasars are black holes at the centers of galaxies that are gravitationally consuming surrounding disks of material while burping back out powerful energy jets.

 

“As this disk of material is consumed by the central black hole, it releases energy in the form of x-ray and infrared radiation, which in turn can heat the surrounding material, resulting in the observed water vapor,” said study co-author Eric Murphy, an astronomer with the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California.

The vapor around this particular quasar represents enough water “to fill all the oceans on the Earth over 140 trillion times—that’s a lot of water.”

Primordial Water Was Universal Coolant?

Murphy and colleagues found the wet black hole using a spectrograph attached to the ten-meter Caltech Submillimeter Observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The team also revealed that the unusually warm water cloud is bathing other gases and dust around the black hole.

In fact, there’s enough gas and dust present that the black hole could grow to be 6 times its current size—or more than 120 billion times the mass of our sun, Murphy said.

Perhaps even more surprising is that the colossal cosmic reservoir formed when the universe was a mere 1.6 billion years old. “To me, the most exciting aspect of this discovery is that it demonstrates how pervasive water is even at a tenth the current age of the universe,” Murphy said.

“The fact that we have detected such a large amount [of water] at this early stage in the universe is another indication that molecules and chemical enrichment of galaxies were able to occur so rapidly after the big bang.”

Astronomers are hoping to use the find to study how large quantities of water in the young universe may have acted as efficient coolants of the interstellar medium—the thin gas and dust that exists between stars—possibly affecting star formation and the evolution of galaxies such as our Milky Way.

I read somewhere- Seven hundred and fifty light-years from Earth, a young, sunlike star has been found with jets that blast epic quantities of water into interstellar space, shooting out droplets that move faster than a speeding bullet.

The discovery suggests that protostars may be seeding the universe with water. These stellar embryos shoot jets of material from their north and south poles as their growth is fed by infalling dust that circles the bodies in vast disks.

 

Water Vanishes, Only to Reappear

Located in the northern constellation Perseus, the protostar is no more than a hundred thousand years old and remains swaddled in a large cloud—gas and dust from which the star was born.

Using an infrared instrument on the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, researchers were able to peer through the cloud and detect telltale light signatures of hydrogen and oxygen atoms—the building blocks of water—moving on and around the star.

After tracing the paths of these atoms, the team concluded that water forms on the star, where temperatures are a few thousand degrees Celsius. But once the droplets enter the outward-spewing jets of gas, 180,000-degree-Fahrenheit (100,000-degree-Celsius) temperatures blast the water back into gaseous form.

Once the hot gases hit the much cooler surrounding material—at about 5,000 times the distance from the sun to Earth—they decelerate, creating a shock front where the gases cool down rapidly, condense, and reform as water, Kristensen said.

Stellar Sprinkler Nourishes Galactic “Garden”

What’s really exciting about the discovery is that it appears to be a stellar rite of passage, the researchers say, which may shed new light on the earliest stages of our own sun’s life—and how water fits into that picture.

“We are only now beginning to understand that sunlike stars probably all undergo a very energetic phase when they are young,” Kristensen said. “It’s at this point in their lives when they spew out a lot of high-velocity material—part of which we now know is water.”

Like a celestial sprinkler system, the star may be enriching the interstellar medium—thin gases that float in the voids between stars. And because the hydrogen and oxygen in water are key components of the dusty disks in which stars form, such protostar sprinklers may be encouraging the growth of further stars, the study says.

More info on how water is fundamental to Bramhanda and the Prakritanda- they are created by JALATATTWA.

And what are we doing here, at least what we should be doing here- Float like the clouds and flow like water!!! To simply BE!!!

The ADHISHTHATA of the Prakritanda is VISHNU, but do not mistake him for the preserver of the Bramhanda. These two VISHNUS are totally different beings.

Then why the identical name?

I have not found any answer to that. I have searched and searched the Agamas and other writings which touch upon this subject but honestly I have found nothing.

If you do happen to know why these beings have synonymous names, is it a xerox, then do let me know.

I think the Pauranic Rishis gave them corresponding names for some occult reason; for making things plainer for the sadhaks, the humans who need not know any more. Who knows?

VISHNU definitely contains some secret beej.

The Yogi must now take on this PRAKRITANDA as his own corporeal self, he must convert it to a vacant corpse, perform shavasana, maintain connection, but retain his awareness as separate from VISHNU, THE ADHISHTHATA, then penetrate this structure; he is superior to the Yogi who has in the process has amalgamated his consciousness with Vishnu.

But this is not the end, not even close to it. It’s just a level and a true seeker will want to rise higher to the great TRUTH!

So the Yogi must continue severe tapas, perform the shavasana on the shava of the Prakritanda.

What boundless bliss, what a profound experience!

Can our punitive mind ever understand this giant expression of sadhana? Can we feel a part of this gigantic phenomena a Yogi goes through- yes, someday, through relentless sadhana.

Imagine what Yog-kriya the Yogi must perform at this stage! What must be the state of consciousness in that adept?

I remember a quote of Carl Jung, “There is no coming to Consciousness without PAIN.” The word PAIN here takes on so many meanings when we are talking about infinite Bramhanda, infinite Prakritandas and Yog-sadhana- what exactly is then the definition of PAIN???

Such a Yogi is called a DIMUNDI YOGI.

The Yogi who has pierced the Prakritanda is of course superior to the Bramhanda conquering Yogi.

At this elevated stage, the Yogi realizes the CHATURVINGSHATI TATTWA or the PRITHVITTATWA & JALATTATWA and he can utilize and manipulate them.

PART- IV

Only one word ‘OM’
I studied
The same word ‘OM’
I reared in my heart,
The same ‘OM’ I learned
And smoothened on a stone:
A bit of grass I was, yet
I changed into gold.

– LALLESHWARI, a revered saint of Kashmir Shaivism.

In all these grandiose cosmic structures discussed, the PRAKRITANDA is not the final arrangement of “INTELLIGENT DESIGN” and is not simply ONE, but INFINITE, exactly like Bramhanda and Prakritanda and OM is the secret frequency which brings spirit into matter.

Think of an analogy to make this clearer, or else it becomes too abstruse. Think you are walking through an apple orchard in Kashmir, the snow has gathered on the numerous red, luscious apples that lay suspended from the trees, similarly such numerous colossal PRAKRITANDAS hang from a mother structure called MAYANDA, the very bosom of Mahamaya.

Maya is none other than the Divine Mother. The mighty weaver, says Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, and the Divine Mother or Mahashakti lays a very severe test for the Yogi.

The Mayanda is a very illusive structure, Maya is a very mysterious force which is the root cause and effect of all these structures discussed.

The Mayanda is very complex and too vast, it is not to be pierced or penetrated easily by even the most advanced Yogis.

To elucidate this point, think of Maya as a massive labyrinthine configuration, with no end and no beginning. Once you have entered this maze, you can keep going, keep trying to find a way out, but it is not to happen, unless you have a special GPRS Devise which can map the labyrinth and calibrate your route towards an exit. Even then you cannot get out- this maze is infinite!!! You have to encompass infinity in your SELF!

To the Avadhuta, this maze, this Mayanda comprised of Maya is a jailhouse, because he knows what exists outside of it- PURE SUBLIME MUKTI!

Imagine you never walked out of you room and someday you are whisked off to the beach. Look around, this is the first time you have seen the ocean, the waves crashing on the shore, the smells, the sounds- all of this will wreak havoc on your senses. Your sensory perceptions are now experiencing what you have never seen, felt, experienced before. And then you are stuffed back into your tiny room and never allowed to go out. Will you not miss the open skies, the gushing winds, the clouds forming shapes in the blue sky? You are bound to crave for the outdoors once you have seen it, similarly the Avadhuta has seen what lies beyond!

“Like the full moon is ATMAN. See IT in ALL. Duality is the product of defective vision. As there is only one moon so there is only ONE ATMAN”, says Bhagawan Dattatreya.

Dattatreya performed Tara Sadhana, just like Vashishta and Sakyamuni Buddha after which they could pierce the Mayanda.

Maya’s primary quality is contrast and separateness, and “We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness,” says Zen Master THICH NHAT HANH.

Yet, Ramakrishna did not shun Maya like the ADVAITIS, he acknowledged her power in life. He was all love and reverence for maya, perceiving in it a mysterious and majestic expression of Divinity. To him maya was his Maa Kali.

 

“Maya . . . is the Mother of the Universe, identical with the Brahman of Vedanta and with the Atman of Yoga, said Thakurmahasaya, it was DAKSHINA KALI standing on Bhairav, her dark form, like dark rain clouds, encasing deep space.

 

Through it he also recognized divine immanence. Even those who realize the absolute in nirvikalpa samdhi are under its jurisdiction as long as they live on the relative plane.

 

“Like the effulgent sun, bringing into existence clouds of different colours and shapes, shining through and standing behind them and thus conjuring up wonderful forms in the blue autumn heaven”, sang Ramakrishna Paramhamsa.

So in a Mayanda infinite Prakritandas float about and in each Prakritanda, infinite Bramhandas exist.

So the main point of understanding is that in all these structures contrast and separateness are inherent, like positive and negative charges, like night and day, and like sleeping and awakening.

The Beings who cohabit these structures have quite an understanding of their I-NESS.

The ego represents what we call reason and sanity, in contrast to the id which contains the passions. SIGMUND FREUD the man who revolutionised Western thought and heralded the period of Modernism studied the psyche of man in great detail. To conclude in his terms, we are a bundle of nerves and slave to chemicals coursing through our bodies. The ego which says- I am a boy, I am black, I am an Indian, this identifying traits makes up the personality.

But we are so much more than just that!

Carl Sagan, the most poetic astrophysicist tells us, “We are a way, for the Cosmos to know itself.” The Ancients are smiling! The Ancient wisdom venerated by the materialistic Western society.

If one does not realize the Unity of ALL THINGS, if this SEPARATENESS of YOU AND I does not cease, if this body identification does not end, then this Mayanda can never be traversed.

This beautiful Mayanda is the creation, participation and implementation of two principle in creation- PURUSHA and PRAKRITI.

Through the inter-play of gunas, Prakriti which is pure creative energy, it binds the Purusha which is the Creative Consciousness which sets in motion this whole reality and all others. Purusha is Unconscious without Prakriti, as Shiva is Shava without Shakti.

As Poe said: “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream”–namely, prakriti, the creative energy in Purusha, the unconscious force of it all.

 

LALLESHWARI, a revered saint of Kashmir Shaivism puts it most eloquently-

“Lalla wilfully entered the garden door (of self).
There.
I saw Shiva and Shakti
Merged in one:
Absorbed in that VISION, I
Dissolved in Him alive.
Realised the essence and,
Tasted the sweetness of
The Divine secret,

I would die while alive
How can He stop me ?

Purusha is the transcendental self or pure consciousness. It is absolute, independent, free, imperceptible, unknowable through other agencies, above any experience by mind or senses and beyond any words or explanations. It remains pure, “nonattributive consciousness”. Purusha is neither produced nor does it produce.

Prakriti is the first cause of the manifest material universe — of everything except the Puruṣa. Prakriti accounts for whatever is physical, both mind and matter-cum-energy or force. Since it is the first principle (tattva) of the universe, it is called the Pradhāna, but, as it is the unconscious and unintelligent principle, it is also called the jaDa. It is composed of three essential characteristics (trigunas). These are:

  • Sattva– poise, fineness, lightness, illumination, and joy;
  • Rajas– dynamism, activity, excitation, and pain;
  • Tamas– inertia, coarseness, heaviness, obstruction, and sloth.

In the beginning this (world) was only the self, in the shape of a person. Looking around he saw nothing else than the self. He first said, ‘I am’ (aham asmi).

—Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.1

 

The above quote clearly illustrates how Purusha

is the life force of the Mayanda.

 

Maya tends to veil this electric life force.

 

The Atman which is none other than Shiva’s swaroop, or self, has five shaktis embedded in it, and they are but an aspect of the INFINITE power of the Atman.

 

These five shaktis are present in the atman of all JIVA; with their realization, the Atman holds the quality of eternity, it becomes evident as forever, indestructive.

The Atman is All- pervasive, All-knowing, The swatantra ruler of ALL, and complete in ITSELF.

When Atman, the eternal aspect of the Jiva decides to incarnate into a being of flesh and blood, it is similar to an actor who dons new costumes for each role he plays.

Shakespeare did hint at an occult truth when he wrote, ” All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”

A bit of reflection. The Shivarupi Atman must renounce or veil its perfect knowledge, it must forget the eternal flow of neumenon to phenomenon, of cause and effect, it must enter a new state of awareness, which is restricted.

But to play about in this lilamancha, stage, the Atman has to forget.

Says Sri Krishna in the Bhagavadgita,  “The Paramatman [Supreme Self], the Great Lord [Maheshwara], also called the Supreme Spirit [Parampurusha], is the witness, consenter, supporter, and experiencer in the body” (13:22).

As a result of this intricate game plan, the eternal must resort to the transient.

As a true actor completely forgets his own identity at the time of performance, so must the atman forget it is Shiva.

In the words of Kashmir Shaivism-

asmad rupa samāviṣṭa
svātmanātmanivāraṇe  /
 
śivaḥ karotu nijayā
namaḥ śaktyā tatātmane //
(1st Verse, Śivadṛiṣṭi)

“Let Shiva, who is my Self, let Shiva do  pranam (bow down) to his real nature – to Universal Shiva, by his own Shakti, for removing the bondage and limitation, which is Shiva.”

Now Shiva who has incarnated into you and me, just remembers mundane details. What’s my name, where I live, what ideas I adhere to, whether I thrive in war or peace- that’s all Shiva remembers now.

I know I am Tina, I write, shoot and edit my indie films, I meditate, I love my cats and my beloved, my parents are my support system- blah, blah, blah, this is all just a cacophony drowning the true nada, sweeping away my true identity.

This body- it’s not me, these fingers typing away furiously , nah they are not me, my foot tapping the ground, it’s just a foot, not me!

I am not my heart which pumps blood, I am not my breath which keeps me alive, I am not the words which stream from my consciousness.

I JUST AM- ATMAN!!!

Honestly in this left brained, materialistic, rat-racy world, this truth has no bearing what-so-ever! It’s an empty echo, it’ll make for a good joke. I am not me, tell that to my credit card companies. I do not owe them anything, I am not this limited personality, I am the Atman. Trust me, locked up you shall be, in some psychiatric institution, heavily medicated.

So how can we make sense of this?

Bills have to be paid, the growling stomach has to be fed, the mind has to be stimulated, be it porn or Foucault’s Pendulum, whichever does the trick- and each day rolls by, like a blink of an eyelid of eternity.

Occult knowledge is so very poetic, the metaphysical munchies are so very sumptuous that once you have dipped into its infinite reservoir, there is no going back.

Once you have begun to swim this deep, deep sea, you will never be the same.

I stand under the golden canopy of thine evening sky
and I lift my eager eyes to thy face.

I have come to the brink of eternity from which nothing can vanish
—-no hope, no happiness, no vision of a face seen through tears.

Oh, dip my emptied life into that ocean,
plunge it into the deepest fullness.
Let me for once feel that lost sweet touch
in the allness of the universe. -Tagore.

 

Who cannot be touched by these lines?

Clouds are hills in vapour,
hills are clouds in stone, –
a phantasy in time’s dream.

While God waits for His temple to be built of love,
men bring stones.

I touch God in my song
as the hill touches the far-away sea
with its waterfall.

Light finds her treasure of colours
through the antagonism of clouds.

My heart to-day smiles at its past night of tears
like a wet tree glistening in the sun
after the rain is over.

 

Somehow Tagore manages to touch such a deep part of my soul, that for a second, I forget, I forget I am this body and I celebrate the eternity of the Atman!!!

To keep up this “little” drama and the constant change of costumes, Maya utilizes her Shakti, without which nothing can be created and this shakti is termed as KAAL-SHAKTI.

The Atman is beyond KAAL which can be thought of as SAMAY or time, but the Atman must remain under the dictates and confinements of time while playing the role. The character will only be given a restricted amount of time on stage, it cannot be infinite, after all it is a performance!

Imagine Anthony Hopkins in his role as Hannibal Lecter. He reads the script, he gets into character, he does workshops for it, then the final day of shooting arrives. The lights are set, the stage is set, the mikes are in place, his attire, the costume, the makeup, all is in its place; the director shouts, ACTION.

From that moment on till the director says cut, he is Hannibal, not Anthony Hopkins. But once the director has said cut, he retires from the persona of Hannibal and slowly resumes his own identity.

When actors do immensely emotional roles, they can never snap out of character, it takes them several minutes. This is known fact. But at home Anthony Hopkins is not Hannibal, he is himself.

The atman has a particular timeframe to incarnate as a particular individual, and when the lights are out and the show is over, the atman throws away the body, or the costume it was dressed in. The actor has finished shooting, and until he signs another film, he can go on to being JUST HIMSELF!

“You are the Universe, expressing itself as a human for a little while.”- MASTER ECKHART TOLLE

The Atman knows no eccentricities, no dissimilarities, it only knows the Universal Unity.

Pashupatinath Shiva, the all-knowing, becomes Pashurupi Jiva, who has limited knowledge.

The power which is internal to Maya, and which in turns veils this infinite knowledge is known as ASHUDHYA VIDYA.

Atman controls KRIYASHAKTI, but Jiva, or us, in most cases are not even aware of Kriyashakti, least of all be in control of it.

But some are aware and they call it FREE WILL, but in this day and age, we are all slaves to the system- THERE IS NO FREE WILL- ALL IS KARMA.

The same way a compact disk isn’t responsible for what’s recorded on it, that’s how we are. You’re about as free to act as a programmed computer. You’re about as one-of-a-kind as a dollar bill.

CHUCK PALAHNIUK

I have found truth in these lines by Palahniuk, his writing has a certain brand of gritty realism and dark abstraction that appeals to me, he has definitely dabbled in esoteric truths.

KALA is that aspect of Maya by the sense of differentiation occurs. I am me and you are you.

The Atman in its core stage is holding AKHANDA or undivided BLISS, it is established in LOVE and ABUNDANCE, it has no wants, needs or desires.

It is APTAKAM- absolute in itself.

It is quite simple actually- although it may seem repetitive.

The ATMAN has lived infinite lives, it has no thirst for anything, it seeks nothing; when it desires to be housed in flesh, it longs for life, it yearns for experiences.

 

It begins to seek out so many things, new horizons, new experiences, new ideas; which is why the Jivatman is inherently dissatisfied.

It wants, it needs, it craves!

This desire that is evident in the Jiva is created out of an aspect of Maya; it is called RAGA.

So the eternal Shiva, now encased in flesh and bones, blood pumping through his veins, this Shiva is now a mortal man or a woman.

Therefore after this most elaborate discussion we can safely conclude that ATMAN or BHAGAWAN cloaks himself in this mortal garb to become JIVATMAN!

This is the GREAT TRUTH, the penultimate realization of our identity!

The Yogi has come a long way, he still “has miles to go before he SLEEPS”, this achievement will definitely bring its own anti-climax, but for now he has visualized this great Mayanda as his corporeal self; he has become RUDRA.

According to the Agamas, Rudra is the sovereign of the Mayanda.

The Mahayogi who has traversed the Bramhanda, has penetrated the Prakritanda which is Vishnubhumi and has converted them to a corpus delicti, is NOW himself RUDRA.

Finally the yogi through kriya, tapas and sadhana must in turn convert this Mayanda into a relic, a carcass and establish himself on the asana which is the Mayanda!!!

Such a Yogi performing such a shavasana is indeed rare, he is a gem of gems, a true kohinoor.

This Mahayogi is a holder of the TRIMURTI ASANA, and he can control the whole of Maya.

 

PART- V

As consciousness soars higher, there is only purity, bliss, timelessness; it is Vishuddha and is the land of Mahamaya.

This awesome land of Mahamaya, is further divided into three planes.

The realm in question is so vast, that it is really beyond our comprehension.

Earlier we have discussed about Mayanda and how vast it is; it is infinitely huge, but when compared to this realm the Mayanda begins to appear like a tiny speck of sand.

This infinitely colossal structure is termed SHAKTANDA in scriptural literature.

The Mayanda is situated in a far-off, insignificant corner in the SHAKTANDA, just like our solar system, once thought to be the centre of the Milky Way, is actually situated in a far-out, tiny corner of it. When presented with a diagram of the Milky Way and our presence in it, we look insignificant, by “we” I mean our dear Sun and its companions.

If you check out a video which compares the sizes of the celestial bodies, you will see how tiny our Sun looks when compared to Sirius, Arcturus, Aldeberan, Rigel all the way to VY CANIS MAJORIS.

You will be baffled. The computer simulation will make it clearer for your brain to grasp at the magnitude of celestial greatness!

Ah the beauty of the computer era, without which we would never have computed infinity in fractals.

The etymology of the word Shaktanda is from Shakti, the sublime creatrix and Anda, meaning sphere. So to loosely translate, it means the realm of pure consciousness, of unalloyed bliss.

Although in actuality, the Shaktanda has no such divisions, the Pauranic rishis, for the sake of better understanding, have divided this structure into two parts.

The ADHISHTHATA of one half is ISHWARA and of the other is SADASHIV.

Ishwara and Sadashiv are both direct emanation of the PARAMATMAN, yet they both hold dualistic powers.

Ishwara is the symbol of the illusory power or shakti of Paramatman, whereas Sadashiv represents his anugraha or the power of compassion.

Take a moment. Do you now see that the ONE CONSCIOUSNESS plays around with duality in this sphere. Do you see Nigraha and Anugraha- the interplay of these forces take shape here.

Infinite beings, all part of that ATMAN, are troubled and suffering in the mire of samsara.

“Your suffering is my suffering and your happiness is my happiness.” – Buddha

That is why great beings are incarnated to guide us.

It is through the play of all the forces that suffering arises in samsara.

Creation is held together by contrasted forces, so like PRANA and APANA, our reality is balanced by YIN and YAN, duality.

Just like positive and negative charges vibrate inside an atom and matter is formed, so is reality manifested by contrasted forces.

The SHAKTANDA becomes a prison of the mind for some Yogis, even after having come so far.

ISHWARA’S energy is extroverted, while that of SADASHIV is introverted.

By the left hand, the divine ruler pushes atmas into the soup of samsara, and then the right hand grabs these tortured souls to bring them back to the light of self realization, a return to the eternal realm.

Therefore ISHWARA and SADASHIV are two integral aspects of the SHAKTANDA- the external and the internal.

The Yogi enters the Shaktanda, and through diligent tapas begins to transform to Ishwara and Sadashiv, and at that point, the entire Shaktanda becomes his corporeal body; in his body shines infinite Bramhandas, Prakritandas, Mayandas.

The Yogi is both Nigraha and Anugraha rupa- he is both Ishwara and Sadashiv.

BUT the Yogi has still not witnessed all there is to see in this divine creation, in the realm of Maa Mahashakti.

Yes Sadashiv and Ishwara are the so-called highest aspects of the mayavik realm, but they are NOT ENTIRELY INDEPENDENT!!!

So again, the long journey of infinite steps must begin with one, the Yogi must now traverse the Shaktanda.

Ishwara and Sadashiv, although supreme GODS, are only representatives of the will and power of PARAMESHWARA, who invites them to take command of these posts, to perform their designated karma, to continue the game, watch over it. Of course their karmic equations must be at par with holding these “posts”.

The Yogi will have to metamorphose his body, the Shaktanda, into a shava, a cadaver, and like before, establish his awareness on this asana, which is the bodies of Ishwara and Sadashiv. This is the explanation of the esoteric PANCHAMUNDI ASANA.

Bramha, Vishnu, Rudra, Ishwara and Sadashiv are now PANCHAPRETAS, the five great spirits of yoke, and the yogi domiciliates his consciousness over this sacred asana of the panchapretas.

Now the yogi is illuminated and radiant like a trillion, trillion Suns.

The Panchamundi asana is in fact the asana of Sadashiv; Bramha and the rest are all just parts of him. Sadashiv must be a shava in this sadhana, and on his chest stands the form of the divine MOTHER- she is Mahakali and it is actually she, who is seated on the Panchamundi.

The Yogi finds himself in the lotus feet of Mahakali and gains infinite wisdom.

The rishis have termed Panchamundi as a Krishna-paksha sadhana.

Here, let’s take a detour to delve into the immense ocean of SAMKHYA philosophy; let us acquaint ourselves with SAGE KAPILA’S teachings.

Kapila denies the existence of GOD AS CREATOR; there is no need for a personal GOD, as PRAKRITI in her magnificence performs all creation.

The sage, just like Buddha and numerous enlightened beings, realized that all we are trying to do is swim across the miry soup of existence, the illusory samsara, to realize our SWATANTRATA, our independence.

Numerous beings remain trapped in this holographic reality, not knowing what to do or what keeps hitting them, they are lost, in pursuit of useless things.

But the Yogi through his kriya, enters a Manvantara and after Mahapralaya, when the cycle begins anew, he is ready to be a Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva; but he may decide to be born as a mere mortal, as that way he does not remain restricted as these high beings with such supernal responsibilities, but through kriya and tapas, he can rise higher.

In fact we all will be GODS in different cycles of creation.

Kapila says, “GODS” are all temporal, there can be no eternal GOD who is the adhishthata of all; there is only existence of all these Bramhandas, Prakritandas, Mayandas and Shaktandas in the mahat of the Yogi.

Sage Kapila says everything exists in us, the visible exists in the seer, the knowledge in the knower.

So without a creator, preserver and destroyer, the acts of creation, preservation and destruction could not be possible; and each cycle must then have a new Bramha, Vishnu and Shiva, they are not permanent, but just “posts”.

But the Navamundi yogi has no desire for posts, he wants to be seated in Maa Kali’s lap and see the drama unfolding, the sublime drama of the creatrix.

 

Shokoli tomari iccha, iccha moyi tara tumi, tomar kormo tumi koro maa, loke bole kori aami…Sadhak Ramprasad, Panchamundi Yogi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,

For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,

Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee. …..

One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,

And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

John Donne