Inner View · Personal reflections · Reminders to self · Spirituality beyond Religion · Words of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo

Monsoon Musings

 

The Northeast Monsoon has been pouring out its gifts at the Bay of Bengal — sometimes a bit too excessively.  On this day as the rain gods seem to be taking a bit of a break, I find myself recalling and reflecting on some lines from Savitri, which I happened to read last evening. 

For though a dress of blind and devious chance
Is laid upon the work of all-wise Fate,
Our acts interpret an omniscient Force
That dwells in the compelling stuff of things,
And nothing happens in the cosmic play
But at its time and in its foreseen place.

(Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book V, Canto I, p. 389)

Our acts interpret an omniscient Force….nothing happens in the cosmic play, but at its time and in its foreseen place.

I find myself unable to express why I felt such a deep relief — or was it a release? — after reading these lines. Maybe the mind doesn’t know the reason or maybe it does, but does it really matter? What matters is what was experienced, what was felt. 

Even if such experiences of release are for a few moments, perhaps their value lies in the way they leave their imprint drop by drop on our mental-emotional selves gradually preparing these parts for seeking greater calmness and equanimity.

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I find myself reflecting on life — its straight lines and curves, its ups and downs, the good and the bad that often come together in life. In its ignorance the mind naturally attributes these things to mere Fate or Chance, not only failing to see the good in what appears as the bad — or vice versa, but also failing to recognize the working of an omniscient Force behind all this play of Life, this cosmic play. 

But when there is the Guru’s assurance, the Divine’s assurance, such as this one — “Our acts interpret an omniscient Force,” wouldn’t the mind naturally relax, experience a deep release? An experience of letting go, because there IS an assurance that an omniscient Force “dwells in the compelling stuff of things.” If only the ignorant ego-mind’s insistence that it knows better can be replaced with a deep trust in That omniscient Force, that unfailing Power which operates in the ignorant domains of a million conflicting possibilities, possibilities which seek their realization through the acts we choose — consciously or unconsciously. 

As I sit here on my desk recalling many happenings and events from the years gone by, things which I could hardly control in any way — or anyone else could — I continue to discover the much needed strength and comfort in the line, “Nothing happens in the cosmic play, but at its time and in its foreseen place.” Oh, how in our ignorance and impatience we go on imposing our timelines on the Universe, forgetting that such restlessness of our nature only prolongs the suffering! 

With the passing of time and the additional knowledge by the hindsight (and hopefully some wisdom gained through experience), we slowly recognize that all life-experiences come to help us learn some much-needed lessons. Lessons we need to grow and progress in our inner life, our real life — lessons in detachment from our own narrow ideas and preferences of what should happen in our lives and when; lessons in acceptance of what does happen and when; lessons on how to go with the flow of things and stay as calm as possible despite and underneath all the turmoil on the surface.

Lessons in being like the ocean.

The ocean, because all the surf is only on its shore; as our vision moves farther and farther from the shore there is only a calm vastness. The mighty waves come one after another, hitting the shore and receding one by one, but all this activity is on the surface; in its deepest depths the ocean remains untouched, calm, detached. 

What does it take to be like the ocean? To be that still, deep within?

Maybe the path of healing, the path of recovering what is lost on the meandering, zig-zag, up-down curves of life, goes through such a seeking, such an effort to move beyond the surface waves to a deeper quietude within. Because “nothing happens in the cosmic play but at its time and in its foreseen place.”

 

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Monsoon Musings

  1. “Lessons in being like the ocean.

    The ocean, because all the surf is only on its shore; as our vision moves farther and farther from the shore there is only a calm vastness. The mighty waves come one after another, hitting the shore and receding one by one, but all this activity is on the surface; in its deepest depths the ocean remains untouched, calm, detached. ”

    Beloo…. your post has made me draw deep breaths. What a full, poignant post. Thought provoking and calm. The ego-mind and its silly delusions. As Kabir too has said,

    धीरे-धीरे रे मना, धीरे सब कुछ होय ।
    माली सींचे सौ घड़ा, ॠतु आए फल होय ॥

    ~ संतकबीर

    Meanwhile, all we need do is to remain still within. Like the ocean.

    1. To tell you the truth, several times after I wrote this post I have realised I haven’t lived up to what I aspire through the words shared here. I have allowed the turmoil to take over me, haven’t been able to touch that inner calmness. So yes, writing is easy, reminding oneself is easy, living – now that’s the challenge! Don’t you agree? But I will keep aspiring, keep renewing my effort, over and over, because how else would I get there?!

      Thanks Dagny for the beautiful doha of Sant Kabir. It gives so much hope, so much courage to keep at it…because धीरे-धीरे रे मना, धीरे सब कुछ होय.

      Hugs, my friend!

  2. …. lessons in detachment from our own narrow ideas and preferences of what should happen in our lives and when; lessons in acceptance of what does happen and when…

    No matter how many times we keep reminding ourselves these valuable lessons, we tend to forget them. Thanks for this reminder, Beloo. We need to be patient and have faith in that Force that knows when it is time for us to get something. And even then we don’t know what we should be getting, for we think we know what we want. How presumptuous the human mind is! Shraddha aur saburi, are the keys to happiness, as Shirdi Sai Baba said.

    1. Yes, sraddha and sabr….thanks dear Zephyr for reinforcing that we all need such lessons again and again….until we learn. And that inner learning, inner living of this comes by Grace, and comes only when we are ready. Till then, everything is a lesson, we may kick and scream through some of the more difficult ones but we have to live through them. Let us keep aspiring and praying that we become fast learners 🙂

  3. This is beautiful, Beloo. Everything that happens in our lives comes with a lesson. In fact, I’ve noticed it keeps happening to us over and over again until we learn our lessons.

    A Sufi had once explained the difference between Sufis and everyday people. While playing chess, when God makes a move, the Sufi throws his arms up in joy and shouts, “I surrender! I surrender!” On the other hand, most of us spend all our time calculating thousands of moves, all of which will eventually account to nothing.

    Don’t lead life. Let life lead. Go with the flow.

    1. Thanks Vishal for sharing that beautiful Sufi story. Surrender is such a misunderstood word. In fact I had written a post on that too, sometime back 🙂 But if we seriously and objectively think about it, what other choice do we have really. We have to surrender in the face of all that Life offers us, that doesn’t mean we are passively or tamasically surrendering, the true surrender is a conscious surrender, one with a deep awareness. And that isn’t easy, is it?!
      Glad you liked the post.

  4. That is so true. Things happen only when it’s the right time. To be still like the ocean is probably something that few can achieve. I haven’t met anyone that calm. There’s always a some kind of turbulence going in our mind.

    1. I agree totally about the turbulence going on in the mind. But I believe achieving an inner calm is possible….it takes intense sadhana, intense inner work upon oneself, and perhaps it takes years and years, decades and decades. But I have seen people eventually gaining greater and greater calmness and stillness within, greater sense of equanimity toward all that happens in life. When I think about them it gives me hope that it is not only possible but that I must make a sincere effort toward it, no matter how many times I fail or fall off the path.
      Thanks for sharing your thought on this, Raj!

  5. This post had so much to mull upon. It is often difficult in the hustle bustle of life to pause and stay calm. To absorb what life has strewn in our path. Often, we just go blindly from one day to another. It is a good lesson to be mindful, to experience and learn.

    1. Thanks Rachna. I agree it is not easy to attain that calmness that we so desperately need. But I suppose if we sincerely keep trying and working toward it, we may someday evolve in our inner lives to a point where we can begin to experience drops of that quietude, that calmness, even if they are for a few moments….I sincerely hope so.

  6. You know, I have come to believe that whenever you seek answers to your questions, the answers come to you, like they did, through your post! I have also come to believe that everything happens when it has been destined to happen. But there are times, when the Patience loses its patience and the Calmness loses its calm. You want some things to happen fast, for you have waited long and yet there’s no miracle in sight. And, that is when you need answers to calm your harried mind, and those are just what I found in your post, Beloo.
    Thank you, for assuring me that “nothing happens in the cosmic play but at its time and in its foreseen place.”

    1. Thanks Shilpa for sharing your thought. I like how you say – “when Patience loses its patience and Calmness loses its calm”. I think I can relate to that…we know, mentally at least, that things happen in their own way, in their own time, but somehow in other parts of us we continue to experience impatience and anxiety, restlessness and chaos…I suppose it happens because we are not unified in our being, different parts within us continue to cling to their own ignorances and demands and desires. Maybe that’s why we all need constant reminders and lessons and reassurances in strengthening our patience. I am happy this post was able to give you some answers you were seeking 🙂

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