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Song: Eki e Sundaro

This is an original composition by Tagore. I recorded it when I was in in Kolkata with Guha during the Corona lockdown in August 2020.

Music arrangement, keys and percussion by Venky @ SUR Productions studio, Bangalore.

***

Meaning:

What a glorious sight! 
What a face I behold!
Today the Lord of my heart has come to my abode,
The source of love itself is overflowing!

Tell me o’ Lord of my heart
What treasures can I gift you?
What can I ask you to take?
Whatever I possess, please take it all!

***

Excerpts from my diary

9-Sep-21:

The actual mechanics of this biological process that triggered in the presence of Guha, is unknown to me. Its effect, however, was and remains undeniable. It has resulted in a fundamental realignment of both the mental and the physical aspects of the organism, that includes the “me” and the body. It is the birth and flowering of sensitivity, talent and balance, the death of boredom, self-pity and pleasure-seeking. I discovered for myself, that only one object, a living person, whose system is in equilibrium, if it happens to become the obsession of another human being, can bring about a life saving change in that individual. I believe it is the body’s powerful, innate demand for its own well-being, that gives rise to this obsession, when it happens to find the signature of innate harmony in another living person. It cannot be manufactured by the mind. It is a process of Nature, like the formation of milk in the breast of a lactating mother. A desperate demand to break out of the cycle of misery can perhaps, push an individual to the brink of surrender, the surrender of all the ideas and knowledge that couldn’t do a thing to heal one’s pain and agony. Only then, who knows, may be, the natural obsession for well-being can gain momentum, and a novel movement can begin inside the body, that can dam this dangerously aggressive and self destructive mental masquerade. To give up, is to give ourselves a fighting chance. To be born anew while living.

***

11-Sep-21:

Whatever is operating inside this body is taking exemplary care of the mind and keeping it free, light, joyful and steady as a rock. I bow down to this purity, this auspicious and incorruptible thing that G has enabled to flower. Without him, without his boundless love and care, I would be wallowing in misery all my life. I bow down to him. For me there is nothing higher than him, nothing more precious. He is the culmination of all I ever desired deeply. He is the fullness that has filled my pitcher to the brim. 

***

10-Oct-21:

I feel so amazing. There is no fear, insecurity, anxiety, projecting the future, comparisons, demand for any experience or desire for any company. I am living the most ordinary day-to-day life yet I feel fantastic. There’s no poverty of any kind in my mind. This freedom does not depend on me and my understanding of it. I don’t know a thing about it, so I can’t manipulate it, use it, or make any claims about it. It is totally beyond me. That’s why I feel so free, because I don’t have to do a thing about it. This is real freedom for me. There is a different kind of solidity and conviction that comes with this functionality. I don’t need to borrow anybody’s authority to say how I feel about my current disposition. My dependence of external authority when it comes to my living, has ended. The body has somehow found and restored its dynamic equilibrium and that is the most powerful thing for itself. Its burning demand to restore this balance has been fulfilled by the auspicious presence of G. I feel integrated, simple and normal.

***

13-Oct-21:

I am living alone. All by myself. No definitions of “aloneness” or anything else can be used to describe this. A great sense of freedom and lack of mental burden is making me joyful. I don’t miss anything or anyone, I don’t desire anybody’s company, most of the times, I don’t even feel that G is away, such thoughts are absent.  There is no demand for anything other than simple food, sleep, shower and walks. I sing everyday and watch movies often. Sometimes I read my own writings. I can’t read anything else.

Coming to food. I cook one day and eat for 3 days. Boiled vegetables, rice with quinoa, yoghurt and sometimes I make daal with vegetables in it. If there’s bread, I like to eat a toast with evening coffee. I use very less salt, sometimes no salt at all in the boiled vegetables, and no sugar in anything. A few drops of oil, black pepper and very little spice. I don’t feel any demand for the usual “tasty” food. In fact what I cook for myself is the tastiest food for me. I keep my dinner very light. I have observed over time that my body feels heavy and slightly uncomfortable upon waking up in the morning, if I eat even slightly more or anything heavy the previous night.  This happens every single time. If I keep it light at night, I feel great when I wake up the next morning. Anyway, the body’s functioning is taking such magnificent care of the mental movements. There are no weird dreams, no stressful thoughts, absolutely nothing inside the head that can disrupt my fantastic disposition, or make me feel low – absolutely nothing. So, the least I can do is to be attentive to the signals of this body, the miracle of Mother Nature, and attend to its needs like a devoted servant, I have no right to mess with it. I am helplessly dependent on it. 

***

16-Oct-21:

Yesterday I slept a lot, was withdrawn, didn’t cook for 2 days, ate the leftover daal and bitter gourd I had made earlier. Low appetite, only very low salt, spice-free food and absolutely no sugar agrees with me presently. I sing a lot. Don’t miss anything in the world. 

*

There’s no glory in poverty. Every human being should be able to enjoy the benefits of the collective human advancements in technology, medicine and education. Who are we to deprive another human being of decent food, clothing, education and shelter? The wealthy always want the poor to remain poor so that they can satisfy their vain ego in the name of serving them, helping them and emancipating them. We are so petty and needy! As for myself, I will never talk about what it is to experience poverty because I have never been poor. It would be a great disrespect to the people who are struggling to survive out there. How can I ever understand their pain? Who am I to comment on them? It would be so vain. But I wouldn’t wish poverty on anyone. Nobody should be poor. It’s a horrible imbalance in our society.

***

17-Oct-21:

There’s no drive to socialise or go see places. I sing everyday and listen to G’s songs. Can’t read even G’s books. Reading seems totally impossible. Don’t look at the internet either. For what? Sometimes I open the browser and there’s not one thing that comes to my mind that I should look for. No movement. But strangely, there’s no restlessness, no boredom, no worry about what I am going to do.

I don’t know anything about the body. The mind has been in a great state of balance and grounding, hardly any ripples or inconvenience, sometimes minor, which go away in no time. Totally at the mercy of this body. All alone by myself, not bothered, not bored, not escaping, not seeking highs, serious, kind of air-tight, self-contained, wonderstruck.

Excerpts from my diary

18-Oct-21:

I am discovering something strange in my aloneness … The absence of drive is not the absence of energy. It is quite the reverse.

***

19-Oct-21:

We never look at the root. We are only busy trimming the unruly branches. Trying to alter behaviours to fit individuals into the generally accepted social patterns. Even kids are not spared. Anything that does not conform to our definition of “normal or proper”, is a challenge, a threat to our status quo. Hence we try to “fix” people so that we can feel safe. We are afraid to look at ourselves, afraid to question our beliefs and biases. We are afraid of exposing our conditioned and convoluted intentions to ourselves, of shaking our carefully crafted self-image and esteem, which are under the tight control of the highly unstable social value system. That’s too dangerous. Fear is the fuel for keeping the so-called stability in the human society going. The common man and all the doctors, therapists, specialists, priests, gurus, celebrities and scientists are actually in the same boat. Only nobody wants to acknowledge that. 

***

21-Oct-21:

It’s a rather narrow window and my system is not interested in distractions. It doesn’t want to waver from its functional reality which has found a solid ground and powerful stability through G’s company, through a constant interest in him, through relentless observation and awareness of the way he lives, the way his functionality makes him conduct himself. And Mother Nature has always made the most astonishing arrangements for me since I met him in 2016, to have his unbroken company. That is the greatest personal discovery I have made for myself. This is the discovery he has been telling his friends about since he started talking to people after UG’s death. His constant effort is to make us aware of the possibility that an individual can discover their own functional reality, that can establish an equilibrium inside and with the outside world and nature. A stability that is free from social slavery and internal conflicts, that does not need external approval or acceptance in order to function, a state of graceful existence that cannot oppress and hence cannot be oppressed either. 

***

22-Oct-21:

The destruction of all references inside an individual arrests the relentless movement of thought. Without reference there can be no comparison. Without comparison there can be no knowledge, no assessment about oneself. This is the crumbling of the self image, the center of our existence. Life needs no reference, it is complete in itself, it moves according to its innate rhythm and generates everything it needs in the course of its movement. The human capacities of thought and imagination are a byproduct of this movement. Compared to the vastness and complexity of life, human thought is like a drop in the ocean. 

*

Constant distraction, anticipation and psychological fear are unnatural in an organism. Why should an individual feel lonely, scared or bored all its life when everything that it really needs is already naturally available to it through the symbiotic workings of the physical body and the environment? Life is acting every moment to keep us alive and functioning. There must be something terribly and fundamentally wrong in what we understand as our “need”. Seeds of misery are sown when we don’t get what we want.

***

25-Oct-21:

Choice is a conflict and it will perhaps be there as long as the information processing doesn’t fall into an optimal rhythm. Choice, as I have observed, is generated automatically because of continuous information processing, continuous measurement.

*

There’s no feeling of stagnation, I am not waiting for anything, not looking for variety or entertainment, just doing things without being under any kind of internal pressure or conflicts. The absence of any kind of goal is this feeling of freedom, of unburdening. How come my thoughts don’t disturb me? How come I don’t feel lonely? How come I am not restless or distracted? It’s a miracle. I don’t know what is operating within me that is making it possible for me to live like this. It is definitely not my doing. I am not capable of causing such a remarkable transformation in myself. If I could, I would have done it long back and ended my misery swiftly. My own efforts were sinking me and I was at the end of my tether when I happened to meet G. Then what happened is a rare phenomenon. Rare because it is independent of my thought driven intentions and actions. In the scorching presence of G, the biological necessity gained an upper hand over my socially conditioned drives and demands. It appears to be some kind of a harmonious working of the brain (considered to be the seat of thoughts) which doesn’t allow thoughts to interfere relentlessly. This prevents the energy drain. Then the vital energy is available to be used by the body for itself and it is not wasted in sustaining an imaginary parallel world of thoughts. 

***

26-Oct-21:

I was at the terrace early morning to see the sunrise. Full of vigour and vitality, life, new everyday, nothing is ever old. ‘Old’ is a figment of imagination, it is the repetitive nature of thought that makes the experience of living stagnant. It is the oppressive nature of constant information processing that creates boredom. The insatiable drive for information and pleasure is an attempt to escape from this stagnation. It is a dead end. Reinventing the escape pathways using new terminologies, ideas and beliefs, newer modes of pleasure, or by recycling tradition – all of it is a perversion, corruption. This distorted way of living creates fear, constant fear. Ironically “fear” is fearful of coming to an end. Such is the powerful momentum of illusion fuelled by words and images in the self-reflecting chamber of thoughts, which we understand perhaps to be the mind.

***

27-Oct-21:

Because I am not demanding anything, everything I need is already there. Demand seems to create the gap, the lack. There is no poverty in reality. It is self contained. It is a fact. The way life moves is stranger than fiction. It is my own discovery that when the distorted view of oneself and the world is straightened, when the system has gained the strength to self-correct and align, the struggle to live ceases. The magic of symbiosis, which is a property of Nature, unfolds in every aspect of living. There is nothing to understand about it.

Struggle

The struggle to think or not to think
To accept or reject
To act or withhold 
To want or renounce
To believe or to doubt
To indulge or abstain
To defend or surrender
To know or to imbibe the unknown

A game of images
In a house of mirrors.

Unworthy

Translation of Guha’s Bengali poem

The one who does not have
The guts to stand on his own feet,
Who in an effort to hide the despair of failure
Takes refuge in social endeavours
For the salvation of the masses,
Is unworthy of being free!

The one who is unable to face
The challenges thrown by the society,
Remains deluded in the desire for self-realization,
Is unworthy of being free!

You Don’t Want Freedom, My Friend

Translation of Guha’s Bengali poem

Even if God is by your side
Walking hand in hand with you
The taste of freedom 
Will yet remain a dream.
You don’t want freedom, my friend!

Painting an image of freedom
Pretending to drink the nectar of knowledge
In the name of serving humanity and for the greater good
Forever postponing the very thing
You fail to see the deception of slavery

Whatever inspires you today
To fulfil the hopes of one or many
One day it will chain you
Cut into your limbs and make you weak
The pain of the struggle for freedom
Can be known if ever one’s being cries out 
Unable to bear the terrible bondage

This agony you will never know
You don’t have the guts for it
You don’t want freedom, my friend!
This I know all too well

The Final Question

Translation of Guha’s Bengali poem

You will never get the answer to your final question
I know you really don’t want it
If you did, the question would vanish

What is the use of thought?
You and your thoughts
Are one and the same
Stuck in the human body
“You” are facing an extraordinary termination
Like time standing still
At the juncture of life and death

The thoughtless, objectless field of emptiness
Is the reservoir of boundless power
With great force Nature’s creative energy rushes towards it
Bringing about a transformation
Then begins a new Life, vibrant and purposeful

When it comes to Reality, nobody can help

In this brief talk Guha focuses a scorching light on our gullibility that makes us believe there is a Reality, it is possible to know it, and that knowledge will set us free. 

“You don’t know anything, but you can’t accept that. You think you are going to understand something someday, so you keep playing the same game that perpetuates information gathering. You think I am joking? When I don’t need a building, of what use is an architect for me? Why do I need a lawyer if I haven’t done anything wrong? What is my equation with them? When it comes to reality, nobody can help. There is nothing to know, nothing to understand. Only when you are cornered, you will have to admit you really don’t know. Don’t believe anyone who says they know. Nobody knows anything. Philosophers will give you many definitions to make you understand the nature of reality, psychologists will explain the nature of your mind. You don’t have any clue about yourself, so you believe all those who claim to know. 

We have no choice but to operate within the legal boundaries set up by the society. You can’t walk naked. But the holy men and the sadhus can. They can get away with anything. They lock up and chain their penis to control it! What control? You have been told these things are bad. Eating meat and having sex are bad. 

Just because you write a little bit of poetry describing Nature and Reality, it means nothing, it’s only in your head, it has got nothing to do with the way things are actually operating. First you fool yourself, then you fool others. It’s uncomfortable to say “I don’t know”. But that’s the only reality. Somebody here was talking about a ghost buster, a guy who looks for ghosts. How can you look for something that doesn’t exist? Your situation is exactly like that.”

October 13, 2021
Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Photo: Radhika Venugopal

Order Has The Power To Optimize

Guha: After whatever happened to me, I found myself in a situation wherein everything in my life started turning minimalistic. I could eat very little and I could not think about the future. I had no thought about how much savings I should have, or what I should do to earn more money. I would do exactly what my responsibility was at work, and no more. I would go to the store and buy only what was needed. If I bought anything more, it didn’t feel good. Then I noticed I didn’t need most of the things that were there in my room. I wanted to have only that much, which my energy would permit to maintain properly. If I had to do anything more than what was my need, it used to feel like a torture.

March 26, 2020
Handmade Home, Kolkata, India

Part of the “Corona Series Talks” recorded during Guha’s five months of isolated stay in India.

Read full talk

Guha’s poem


The reservoir of Life’s tremendous power,
When used appropriately to flower, 
Is the fruition of Life’s innate desire;
Its misuse will destroy creation’s supreme blueprint.

When the focus of your deepest inspiration,
Gets a taste of the congeniality of your talent, 
Currents of joy will spring out like nuclear radiation.

If you desire to express yourself,
Using the gifts of Nature
Turn all haphazard effort into one steady current,
And move on fearlessly like a powerful river,
Flowing without caring about the obstructions;
The sea is eagerly waiting for you
No power on this planet can ever stop you!


Translation of excerpts from the Bengali poem Suzanne Ke Abhinandan (Congratulations to Suzanne)