Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back from India

I am just back from India. What a wonderful time!

Order among chaos. Small joys within ordinary existence. Contentment amidst great difficulty.

Driving down a chaotic high-traffic road is a reminder of what holds us up. For it surely is not the the efficient roadway or the great traffic control system at work. The mind, used to American infrastructure, can panic and freeze, - aghast at the myriad possible ways in which accidents could occur! Miraculously the moment passes safely for the entire street of cars and people and life, as far as the eye can see. And another safe moment and another and another.....Miracles abound!

A dirty urchin, not more than 10 years old, polishes shoes for a living. Speaking in good English, learned in a few years at school, he boasts about the daily earnings that keep his siblings fed, after the death of their father. His refusal to take money without delivering its worth in services shatters automatic conclusions about the relationship of poverty to a lack of dignity. His mother will beat him for begging, he tells me with a grin on his face.

Not that any of these aspects of India are new to me - I grew up in India. But going back provides a new perspective each time.

And no perspective by itself is the truth. The same one is looking from all the perspectives. The same one is different in different situations. The same one is experiencing life in so many amazing ways. The same one is beyond everything and in it at the same time.

1 comment:

linty said...

India has been my fascination since I was young. Maybe I lived there in another life or something but I have feel some kind of connection to that 'place'..maybe not geographical location, maybe it's something else. I don't know. I don't romantisize or make it into it being mystical but I feel something that's not describable in my connection to India.
Maybe some places just carry a 'vibe' that can be picked up even w/o having visited there.

My friend from delhi tells me that if and when I visit there when I step off the plane I will either die from the extreme heat or have a heart attack from the culture shock. lol. No doubt an american will be in for a surprise.

She tells me that among the throngs of people and noise and pollution and starving animals and crazy drivers, etc. the place has a deep feeling of history and strong vibe about it. And that even the numerous poor people there is happiness that most people here don't feel.

I recall Gangaji talkng about walking around with Papaji in Lucknow and she described the contradictions of India. That among the disorder and chaos and noise and smells there was a beauty and order to it all. And of course the silence that surrounds and holds each perfect unfolding moment.

One day I really hope to visit India.

I sometimes wonder about the one you spoke of. All experiencing life expressing itself and experiencing life in different forms and ways. I do wonder if and why some places(groups of people) have more 'density' than others and why certain places(countries, towns, etc.) are 'lighter' or more conscious than others. Places in the middle east where nothing seems to change. Especially for women. Mindsets that could be from the middle ages.

Well, I'm not really asking anything..just rambling and pondering. Thank you, Ameeta.