MELTDOWN BEFORE RAMANA

c04882f649c6e4d6bfe4fc61b45a5306Those who know me well are aware that I have an abysmally low threshold for pain of any kind. I feel terrible, not just when I suffer, but when I see other beings going through hell, whether human, animal, avian or insect. This makes mundane life extremely difficult to handle. Bad enough we are thrust into a baffling matrix without our permission, and then, if we make it through childhood and adolescence despite our ten thousand scars and wounds, we are confronted by the callous and relentless monsters of old age and death. Ghastly situation to be thrust into, eh?

Buddha’s first noble truth (life is suffering) persuades most seekers to enter the inner path. But there is a way out, the great sage went on to say, and if we cannot find it in the seeming pleasures of the external world, then the answer must lie within us. This is how it was for me—I tried everything to gain peace and joy via external means, but was finally whipped into making a sharp turnaround into my own heart. Finally I began to realize that everything the sages said about the true source of happiness being within is indeed a great truth—which does not mean all the blinders fall off our mortal eyes instantly and we float in an ocean of bliss. The process can be rapid at times, but one often hits sharp bumps in the road and learns to pick oneself off the ground and get a move on, even if we can only hobble forward. Continue reading

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Genesis: Whip of the Wild God – Part IV

burning-manMy childhood in south India imprinted me with a hatred for suffering. I once saw a man—who had doused himself with kerosene and set himself on fire—walk right past the gate of our suburban home. I still don’t know why he did what he did; servants were buzzing about it for weeks afterward, but I could not bear to hear the details. What could be so terrible that a man would set his own precious body ablaze?

That Burning Man never left my consciousness; what still baffles me is that the flames scorching his body did not seem to affect him—he had staggered past our home defiantly, this blazing human torch, and I swear I don’t recall hearing him scream.

Pain, as we all discover sooner or later, comes in a range of gross and subtle flavors. Some are cursed with having to endure physical pain. My own suffering has always been emotional; to escape from the sometimes relentless inner torment of my earlier days, I confess I would do almost anything.  Continue reading