Sunday, March 09, 2008

A River Sutra

Another 4 hours spent straight reading through this wonderful book called "A River Sutra". The river of concern here being Narmada which like the Mississippi cuts the country into two halves with the time being different on each coast.As per the scriptures, just its sight is enough to wash away all sins ( I didnt know till I read this book that it is the holiest river in India, more so than the Ganga which requires atleast a dip in it).This is a fabulous work which has enough warmth that made my wintry day so wonderful. The forests along the river are older than the Himalayas and the river has never changed its course in the last few thousand years (only slow current rivers change their course, fast moving ones cut across the rock and impose their will like the Naramada).

I want to narrate here a passage from the book which my friends would find familiar as I am prone to use the term "sthula,sukshma and para" in my conversations and this passage echoes that sentiment the best:
"The first sound of Om is the manifest world,
The sound of waking consciousness,
The sound of gross experience"

"The second sound of Om is the unmanifest world.
The sound of dreaming consciousness
The sound of subtle experience"

"The thirs sound of Om is the nonmanifest world,
The sound of dreamless sleep,
The sound of potential experience"

"The half-syllable of Om is silence
The sound of the unmanifest world.
It is the ultimate goal
The incomparable target"

That, is in essence, the distillation of Mandukya Upanishad (the blog's title is derived from that) and if you are curious about the last state (which is another way of saying in a given musical composition the silence between notes is more important than the notes themselves) is called Turiya (a term, that I never use lightly) .

There, lies the object of some lives at least..

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