The sun’s rays had already crept through my window & drenched my room with light. Sleep taste sweetest when you resist it. It is but with a heavy heart that I relinquish my sleep & pull myself together. But not today! It was a weekend that brought me few more drops of honey as I extended my sleep while a statue of abstemious Buddha, which I recently bought, wandered at the petty cumberworld outgrowing in both time & stupidity.
It seems like yesterday when I hit a wall & made a crazy resolution to indulge in meditation. Before some of the readers’ protest, I dispose with an earnestness that mediation is a very useful transcendental exercise. But being Indian, along with genes to eat pani puri & digest spicy food, I also have some false preconceptions about myself. Like billion Indians, I believe that meditation, like cricket, dancing, acting, etc comes naturally to Indians. I once joked with my American friend on how I would have played for Indian cricket team if not for the engineering. Also, I told him that India produces 1.5 million engineers a year which is twice the population of Iceland1, which left him gaping at me.
Before I digress more, I should come back to the bed. Yes, the bed, the abode of eternal happiness. But the tranquility was perturbed by one mistake. The crazy resolution had pumped up ideas in my mind. Yesterday I had fallen to one such idea, to set up my alarm clock. It’s a sin, decreed by the Gods, against setting up an alarm in the weekend. Inspired by ilks of Zakir Naik, I hereby proclaim that chapter 1, verse 24 of the sleeping scripture warns against any temptation to use of unholy alarm clocks. But sometimes infectious discipline creeps in & making us falter to the temptation of using alarm clocks.
Meditation is often advised in the wee hours of the day. My parents have a despicable habit of waking up at 5 AM. But I never caught the influenza of discipline. I was saved by the vaccination of “laziness” which I received in four years of my college. I urge the government to promulgate such vaccination to all and sundry.
Both arms of the clock had stopped graciously at 10 before the sound filled the room. A slip of hand on “snooze” and clock raced faster, a minute became a score, while I pressed another “snooze”. Before I regain consciousness & pulled myself out of slumber, it was already 11 AM. Half of the world was already busy doing chores and I decided it was time to practice meditation.
I pulled up a meditation lesson by “Ravi Ravi Shankar”. His photo with long hair while smiling profusely, instilled unparalleled motivation in me. “I could be next Vivekananda”, I quipped, though the Buddha statue in my room chuckled mischievously. I have seen American do challenging “yoga” while as an Indian I felt the embarrassment on failing to properly sit cross legs. Since I needed a scapegoat to blame for my flaws, I blame western culture & modernity. (A common phrase used India to blame for our woes2, though such reasons are as much genuine as my rambling).
The meditation started with nice Sitars. And I really felt energized in midst of the meditation. It was all beautiful and I could feel the experience transcendence while inhaling & the exhaling. After a long time, I sheepishly opened my eye to keep track of the time. To my horror, it had only elapsed five minutes yet it appeared as eternity as if time froze. The clocks were taking revenge on me by dragging their feet slowly like a toy train, even slower than one which I took from Shimla to Kalka, jerking at regular intervals at the every junction of the seconds. With every minute I grew more uncomfortable. It seems my body had lost the capacity to comprehend stillness. And like a sponge I sat, marinating in my mediocrity.
The restless of meditation was soon crumbling down under the weight of tranquility. The car reminded me of the chariot of Arjuna, the protagonist of the ancient Indian epic in Mahabharata. The fatigue of driving against the loved one distraught Arjuna. Krishna explained the necessity and inevitability of the war to Arjuna. Krishna becomes a charioteer for Arjuna in the battle. Similarly, I felt my soul has become a charioteer for my human body as she races 299,792,4583 miles per second.
कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन।
मा कर्मफलहेतुर्भूर्मा ते सङ्गोऽस्त्वकर्मणि॥ 4
Though it was the longest half hour meditation for me, I have committed to indulging more in it. It means I might have to pick up some vices like waking up quite early with a dab of discipline. But I believe my next experience with meditation will be more consistent & fruitful.