Guru’s position – a disciple’s perspective.

5 09 2014

Prologue : A teacher is one who wants to teach you, a ‘Guru’ is one who makes you learn. A students idea is ‘to be’, whereas a disciple (shishya) is the one who wants ‘to become’. In other words a student is looking for change while a disciple is aspiring to transform.

Whatever I say is with this context in mind.

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Many years back, must be my secondary school days, if i remember it well, around my wonder years,  back in time when I was studying in 8th or 9th grade, I happened to read a story. This story has had a lasting impact on my thought process. I do not clearly remember that story and its context, but it is this one scene from the story which has stayed with me and shaped my understanding. It goes like this.

A young disciple, completely devoted to his guru, was someone who was committed to follow on the path shown by his guru. He had this habit of always going to his guru whenever in some critical decision making situation. And the Guru would readily guide him out during each such instance; in the process the guru would enlighten the disciple. One fine day, in a similar situation as the disciple reaches out to his Guru, the Guru doesn’t offer him any guidance. The disciple is astonished and couldn’t believe this fact. The Guru sends him back by saying “Son, I have given you enough, I leave you now to imbibe all of that, find your own path, and make your own experiences. Its time you take your decisions without me.”

Now this incident from the story found its way deep within myself. Over different periods of my existence this story has provided me different lessons. It started with me believing that a ‘guru’ can only take one this far. One cannot have a guide to eternity. At some later stages i realized the importance of ‘swadhyay’ or ‘learning by self’. Further ahead I understood that it will all be fruitless if one does not learn to take his/her own decisions.

Over many summers of my existence I was fortunate to come across many learned people and many loving teachers. It was quite later in my young life that i discovered a ‘Guru’. It was destined for me to get my greatest lessons from this one person. However the above story was always a part of me, and hence in spite of total surrender I never actually became dependent. That infinite love and reverence can thrive and still one remains boundless was a unique experience and a learning for me. Secondly I knew that the physical proximity and one-to-one transfer of knowledge with the ‘Guru’ can only happen till a limited period of time. This understanding fueled my urge to learn and make the most of those transactions. Many individuals close to me, around that period, sensed a transformation in me, they sensed an urgency in me; I could not explain it to them, than, but deep down i knew that i need to build myself to a level from where I can be on my own. Also I never wanted to come to a point, like the boy in that story had to, where my Guru feels that his disciple has not learned to be on his own.

Many Guru – Disciple relations end in agony and bitterness or in sheer blinded dependence. The crux of this eventuality is the non-realization of the fact that – a guru can only take you this far. With this dawned another important learning from that story and a whole new dimension of learning opened up for me. A disciple is the one who is aspiring to move to a higher destination, in every which way. A ‘guru’ is the form who takes the disciple to that destination. However if one remains focused on the destination and not the form, than ‘guru’ dissolves his form and becomes a part of your being. Somewhere within you the ‘guru’ is installed, and without any one-to-one interaction the transaction continues. Whenever in doubts or in crisis  I am able to talk with my ‘guru’ without even talking with him. In certain extraordinary situations i would have resorted to the one-to-one interactions, but largely I have come this far with the help of the ‘guru’ within. Many times while I ponder on all that I have received from my ‘guru’, I end up tearful. The enormity of the receipt is so huge that all the ego inside me is pushed out by way of tears.

And so I learn that the ‘guru’ in the story while denying his disciple the guidance, has actually given him the greatest lesson anyone can learn. That ‘without’ can be turned into ‘within’.

This has been my experience since a decade now, whereby the ‘Guru’ has found a position ‘within’. In his distinct  style he had shared something, which for me is the articulation of the above learning. He said to a few of us, “I do not want you to be learned, I want you to be learners’.

In whatever limited capacity, with pride, I can tell myself, that I have not stopped learning and I know, the ‘Guru’ within would not let me decay ever.





‘hgang in dharamshala’ the film – now on Youtube!

5 08 2014

Director’s note.

Can you trek your way to Nirvana?

The above question is the result of an experience that we, as a lot, had during our trip to Dharamshala. Twelve friends, twelve entrepreneurs who set out for a petite get-together in this hilly town, returned as if they were reborn. And I am not exaggerating. It’s been almost 6 months since, and each one is showing a sustained attitudinal shift in their lives. What made this possible?

It all started with a letter we sent to His Holiness Dalai Lama’s office requesting a private audience with him. We shared the dilemmas bothering us and wished he sheds some light on it. Unfortunately(or fortunately!!) the meeting did not happen as HHDL was traveling during that period. But the fact of the matter is, we did get those answers without seeing HHDL; the events of the trip made us realize the answers to those dilemmas!!

The entire lot, each one of us, while returning, felt as if we were called to this place. We all believed,until this point, that the trip is our plan, but in the end we realized that we are all a part of a bigger plan.

This was felt in particular, at the trek of Triund. The trek that we took up just for kicks, made us sweat and battle like never before. With scarce resources as we ventured into the un-chartered, it took us to some mind-altering discoveries. Lasting for 9 hours, the trek tested our individual capacities and brought us face-to-face with values of togetherness and kinship along with courage and conviction. From being entrepreneurs fixated to the word ‘achievement’, we came back discovering a powerful agent called ‘letting go’.

As I came back home, I felt in me an uncontrollable desire to attempt to articulate this experience of ours in a visual medium. What I had with me were some thousand images and couple of hours of random video footage. I tried to put them all together in a manner that it makes some sense to the one who engages. I used voice over technique to narrate our mind state and have relied extensively on the songs to convey what we had felt. There is not much footage of the Triund trek which is of greater significance, but than that’s fine.

It may not make any sense to an unknown viewer, maybe. But anyone who knows this lot or any one from this lot, will definitely see some value in this effort. The discerning viewer will enjoy some breathtaking panoramic shots of the magnificent Dhauladhar range, taken right from the top of Triund.

Having said this I put forth the following disclaimer :
‘hgang in dharamshala’ is not a narrative film, nor it claims to be a document of a certain trip. It is a visual memoir of what we friends felt, experienced and realized during this 4 day period. To put it humbly it is just a home video, albeit with a difference.

The film is already shared with family and friends, but we have received lot of requests from many other friends, relatives and well-wishers who wished to engage themselves with this effort.

For them and for any one who ends up here, the film is made available on youtube. FYI the film is uploaded in two parts. Find below the links.

And yeah, watch it till the end the credits roll, it ends with an original poem recital by …

Yours truly,
Mihir Gajrwala





” I wish to die, now ” – available on amazon Kindle

18 04 2014

 

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I took a while to prepare myself for this. It took a basket full of encouraging words from  patrons, reading enthusiasts and academicians for me to finally put my compilation out there in the market. Yes the kindle edition of “I wish to die, now” is up and available across all major amazon online stores across the globe. All you need is a kindle or a kindle reader on your device.

I genuinely look forward to this organic expansion of my thought realm by way of connecting to thousands of readers all across the globe. I am keen to see whether my thoughts are able to find a resonance in the worlds which I have never been exposed to.

Below is a brief description of the book for you to take a buy call.

happy exploring !

MIhir Gajrawala

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“I wish to die, now”, is an individual’s tryst with himself; a passionate attempt to set the self free – a self that is holed in conventions, a self that is trapped in conditions and a self that is bound by compulsions. The author uses the medium of words to let the trapped energy of within, manifest itself. These are not mere essays or articles; these are the reflections of a sensitive soul, which is craving to break out.

The reader will encounter a variety of thoughts that will make him/her get closer to his/her deeper persona. From belief systems to communal behavior, from entrepreneurship to gratefulness, from politics to friendship, from philosophical prose to romantic poetry, from essays to opinions – it is a really broad canvas, which is a potent space for an exploratory reader to dwell in.

As Nietzsche puts it, “one must have chaos inside oneself to give birth to a dancing star”; the passages in the book will take the reader closer to the chaos that exists within him/her. It will make you question, it will make you wonder, and it will shake away all your inertia and bring you closer to your true being.

Irrespective of your interest in the specifics of subject matter, the book will connect you to the thoughts presented. The book will give a fillip to your sense of exploration and wonder.

And all of these come out as scintillating word sketches from a first time author, who describes himself as an expressionist.

“I wish to die, now” will make you want to live, even more!

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here’s the link to the amazon page.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JQYK2YK

If you happen to buy the book, I request you to take time out to give your review on the amazon page. That shall really help me to know how my thoughts are being perceived.





hgang in dharamshala

30 01 2014

The dharamshala experience has been so overwhelming that words alone are not able to do justice to the effort to communicate it. Working on a Visual articulation of the entire experience by way of a film.

below are the links to the teaser and preview of the film :

 





Fan Mail to Devdutt Pattanaik

9 10 2013

Respected Sir,

I have been following your articles, blogs and quite a few books since last 3 years now. And it is having a profound impact on me as an individual. From what i could analyse myself, i think the qualities and empathy and sensitivity have increased substantially in me.

Along side the way I see/perceive mythology and everyday rituals have gone through a complete change. In that sense I credit you in instilling belief in me. We may not know what is the ‘correct’ way, and that is actually not the idea; but having a belief system is a mandatory anchor for a content life.

Being born in a Jain family a lot of Jain traditions and rituals have always intrigued me; I read and enriched myself about some of them, but mostly I was indifferent. But over time I am able to form better response to those rituals. Not just myself I also am able to help family and some friends in comprehending the same and making them aware of their indifference. This aspect is having a very positive impact on my character.

I have interacted with you earleir too, over your blog on here on fb or on mails; but today I write particularly to thank you for the role you are playing in the TV series Mahabharata. I have studied Jaya, but going through it visually, with Krishna as the ‘sutradhar’ or ‘summariser’…is a wonderful and enriching experience.

I see how wonderfully it is engaging a lot of my friends, family and colleagues in a positive manner. I have witnessed some other mythology series being turned into soap operaish narratives. Frankly when Mahabharata was announced i was skeptical about the same effect. But the result is pleasantly different. And i see a lot of your perceptions being presented both in dialogues and in what Krishna discusses every day.

Along with the entire team of the series, and specifically you, I take this opportunity to thank you for bringing such wisdom on Television.

I am hopeful of this having a positive impact on the societal mindset at large.

Regards,

MIhir





કેમ ના મળે ? / why not?

9 06 2013
The ones who are most precious to us, we are the most inconsiderate to them – our children; our kids. Yes we love them the most, more than our own lives may be, and plan our lives so as to provide them the best. But in this process I feel, we end up turning a blind eye towards them. That little toddler, that little girl of yours, who hasn’t learnt to say a word, who hasn’t learnt to voice her opinion, we make her do and not do things merely based on our perceptions and choices. We do not really know whether they want to play when we are free only on a sunday. We do not really know what she wants when we decide whom she should be friends with; we do not really know her feelings when, for whatever reasons, we decide to shift her from school to school, we really do not know. As parents we claim that we know, but the question is do we really know. All that we do in the name of parenting – making them study, training them to be independent, coaching them to be successful, preparing them to be greedy – do we really consider the child’s feelings??
What do you see when you see in her eyes ? – do you see her agreement, do you understand her disagreement, do you really , truly ever look into her eyes before subjecting your ‘parenting’ on her?? I doubt.
I hate the idea of being a ‘grown up’. I detest the idea of ‘being on my own’. I yearn to be taken care. All my life, always. From here germinates this supposedly ‘childish’ inquiries. The verses that follow are a poetic depiction of such innocent inquiry.
That little toddler if could talk and express, would ask these questions to you the ‘parent’….
કેમ તારી છાતી થી તારે મને છેટો કરવો પડે ,
આખો દિવસ તને વળગી રેહવા કેમ ના મળે ?
કેમ તારે મને પલંગ પર સુતા શીખવવું પડે ,
તારા ખોળા માં મને  જગ્યા શું ના મળે ?
કેમ મારે સ્ટીલ ની ચમચી ને મોમાં નાખવી પડે ,
તારા હાથે કોળીયો  ખાવા મને શું ના મળે ?
કેમ તારે મને રમવા પ્લેગ્રૂપ માં મોકલવો પડે ,
ઘર ના પ્રાંગણ માં ઊછળકૂદ કરવા કેમ ના મળે ?
કેમ મારે હાથ લુછવા નેપકીન લેવો પડે ,
તારા પાલવ નો છેડો હવે મને શું ના મળે ?
કેમ તારે મને પાઠ ભણવા શાળા માં મોકલવો પડે ,
બાની એ વાર્તા ને દ્રષ્ટાંત હવે  સંભાળવા કેમ ના મળે ?
કેમ તારે મને એકલા રેહતા શીખવવું પડે
સંયુક્ત વાતાવરણ  માં મને ઉછેર કેમ ના મળે ?
કેમ હવે ‘માંગ્યા વગર તો માં એ ના પીરસે’ એવું સંભાળવું પડે
મને શું જોઈએ  એનો તને જરાય અણસાર  કેમ ના મળે ?
કેમ તારે મને ‘હવે મોટો થયો’ એવું સમજાવવું પડે ,
તારા હ્રિદય નો અંશ થઇ રેહવા મને કેમ ના મળે ?
તારું બાળક  થઇ એવો તો મૈ  શું ગુનો કર્યો
કે મારી એક પણ હઠ ‘નિર્દોષ’ તારા કાને ના પડે
મારી એક પણ હઠ તારા કાને કેમ ના પડે ?




Hey rains, i really need you to be with me today!

1 05 2013

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There is a unique relation between man and nature. Science is struggling to comprehend it, religion has baptized it and commoners are neglecting it. It is left to us poets to explore this beautiful relation. For me nature exists, every aspect of it is a being for me. I often talk with it, walk with it; sometimes just watch it and sometimes listen to it. I had a little chat with rains yesterday. A hopelessly romantic individual that i am, I made the chat a little dramatic. Sharing that little chat I had with rain, in the form of a poem.
વરસાદ આજે તારી ખુબ જરૂર છે
વૈશાખ ની હજી તો માત્ર  બે – ચાર સાંજ પસાર થઇ છે,
તારા આગમન ને એમતો હજી ઘણી વાર છે ,
જાણું છું છતાય મારી આ જીદ છે ,
વરસાદ તારી મને આજે ખુબ જરૂર છે।
ધરતીને ઉનાળા ના તાપ ની જરૂર છે
ખેતર ને તું ભીંજવે એ પેહલા એને પણ સેકાવાની ઘણી જરૂર છે ,
સ્વાર્થી બની રહ્યો છું હે એની મને ખબર છે,
વરસાદ તારી મને આજે ખુબ જરૂર છે।
સૌ ને હોય એમ મને પણ એક સથવારા ની જરૂર છે,
કહી દઉં છું તને જે સર્વેથી મૈ  છુપાયેલું છે
હાસ્ય ની પાછળ મારા, એક મજાનું દર્દ પ્રસરાઇ ગયું  છે,
વરસાદ તારી મને આજે ખુબ જરૂર છે।
વરસ, તારા આલિંગન માં મને આવરવા વરસ,
વરસ, ઊભરાયેલા મારા રુદન ને લુછવા વરસ,
વરસ, આ ખાલીપાને ભરી નાખવા વરસ,
વરસ, કોઈ ના જુવે એમ, છાનું છપનું,  મને સ્પર્શી  જવા વરસ।
જાણું છું હું નિર્દોશ કે મને સમજે છે તું ,
છતાય સ્પષ્ટ કરું છું,
વરસાદ તારી આંજે મને ખુબ જરૂર છે
વરસાદ તારી આજે મને ખુબ જરૂર છે।