Being straight and not straightened

Here is something I found on You tube.

I do not subscribe to the views expressed in the video and this is being put up by me just for the sake of reference as many others I have interacted with have similar notions.

Personally,whenever I have tried to explore Islam , I have found it to be a very repressive philosophy -arcane in its expression and orthodox in its approach.Going through the verses of Quran , it feels like you are going through a manual of Do’s and Dont’s  which tells you how to act in times of strife.It seems quite opposed to my idea of a religion.

Even though what Churchill says is not free from his own prejudices , his point about Islam being more of a cult rather than a religion as it does not allow self exploration and inquiry strikes a chord in an interesting way. Hinduism and Budhhism both give a lot of emphasis on looking inward and challenging yourself to find the truth in you.Islam on the other hand offers a philosophy in which others and their view of you seems to be central to your existence.I am really aghast sometimes the way women and their freedom is dealt with.Are they not children of the same God??

As a Hindu religion is personal to me and I find it hard to subscribe to a point of view which forces discipline on others around you while discouraging knowledge of your own self.

I believe in Being straight and not straightened as Marcus Aurelius has said.

I am reading more to understand one thing – if a billion people believe in Islam so ardently ,there has to be more to it than what I know. Coming from a very tolerant Hindu background I find the ways of Islam quite bitter and aggressive but then I find myself being drawn to Sufism time and again.

A word of Caution on Churchill’s speech: We must remember that it’s the same Churchill who uttered all kinds of statements about India and Hindus , Brahmins in particular.Here’s what noted Historian Ramachandra Guha writes in the Hindu :

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mag/2005/06/05/stories/2005060500170300.htm

And being a drunkard and a womanizer himself it is understandable that he found the tenets of Islam particularly annoying.

Anyway being honest to the spirit of inquiry is what will finally  remove all doubts – for or against and that’s exactly what my pursuit is going to be.

Nirvana Shatkam – Adi Shankara

I learned the Nirvana Shatakam as part of my education in Chinmaya Mission.Since then it has remained etched in my mind.I really treasure each word of this blissful text by Adi Shankaracharya.Attached video has tranlation by Swami Vivekannanda and is also sung beautifully in classical Indian style.

It is also known as Atma Shatkam and describes the enlightened state of mind or “samadhi”

मनोबुध्यहंकार चिताने नाहं । न च श्रोतजिव्हे न च घ्राणनेत्रे ।
न च व्योमभूमी न तेजू न वायु । चिदानंदरुप शिवोहं शिवोहं ॥ १ ॥

I am neither the mind, nor the intellect, nor the ego, nor the mind-stuff;
I am neither the body, nor the changes of the body;
I am neither the senses of hearing, taste, smell, or sight,
Nor am I the ether, the earth, the fire, the air;
I am Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute

I am He, I am He. (Shivoham, Shivoham).

न च प्राण संज्ञो न वै पंचवायुः । न वा सप्तधातुर्न वा पंचकोश ।
न वाक् पाणी पादौ न चोपस्य पायु । चिदानंदरुप शिवोहं शिवोहं ॥ २ ॥

I am neither the Prana, nor the five vital airs;
I am neither the materials of the body, nor the five sheaths;
Neither am I the organs of action, nor object of the senses;
I am Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute –

I am He, I am He. (Shivoham, Shivoham).

न मे द्वेष रागो न मे लोभ मोहौ । मदे नैव मे नैव मात्सर्यभाव ।
न धर्मो न चार्थो न कामो न मोक्ष । चिदानंदरुप शिवोहं शिवोहं ॥ ३ ॥

I have neither aversion nor attachment, neither greed nor delusion;
Neither egotism nor envy, neither Dharma nor Moksha;
I am neither desire nor objects of desire;
I am Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute –

I am He, I am He. (Shivoham, Shivoham).

न पुण्यं न पापं न सौख्यं न दुःखम् । न मंत्रो न तीर्थ न वेदा न यज्ञाः ।
अहं भोजनं नैव भोज्यं न भोक्ता । चिदानंदरुप शिवोहं शिवोहं ॥ ४ ॥

I am neither sin nor virtue, neither pleasure nor pain;
Nor temple nor worship, nor pilgrimage nor scriptures,
Neither the act of enjoying, the enjoyable nor the enjoyer;
I am Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute –

I am He, I am He. (Shivoham, Shivoham).

न मे मृत्यू न मे जातीभेदः । पिता नैव मे नैव माता न जन्मः ।
न बंधुर्न मित्रं गुरू नैव शिष्यः । चिदानंदरुप शिवोहं शिवोहं ॥ ५॥

I have neither death nor fear of death, nor caste;
Nor was I ever born, nor had I parents, friends, and relations;
I have neither Guru, nor disciple;
I am Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute –

I am He, I am He. (Shivoham, Shivoham).

अहं निर्विकल्पो निराकार रूपो । विभुत्वाच्च सर्वत्र सर्वेंद्रियाणां ।
सदा मे समत्वं न मुक्तिर्न बंध । चिदानंदरुप शिवोहं शिवोहं ॥ ६ ॥

I am untouched by the senses, I am neither Mukti nor knowable;
I am without form, without limit, beyond space, beyond time;
I am in everything; I am the basis of the universe; everywhere am I.
I am Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute –
I am He, I am He. (Shivoham, Shivoham).