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Home / Columns / A struggle with the Indian concept of meditation

A struggle with the Indian concept of meditation

For quite sometime I have been grappling with the Indian concept of meditation. I have evolved my own theory. Khushwant Singh writes.

columns Updated: Jul 07, 2012 23:13 IST
Khushwant Singh
Khushwant Singh
Hindustan Times

For quite sometime I have been grappling with the Indian concept of meditation. I have evolved my own theory. In fact I have two theories which contradict each other but are valid in their own ways. One is that meditation is intense concentration on a particular problem till you find the right answer. The other is to empty the mind in expectation. It will yield what I can best describe as nothingness in the hope that the vacuum thus created will produce a stillness and not let it jump about like a monkey. When it comes to citing an example, I can think of nothing better than a composer Zehra Nigah. I quote one of her better known poems: Kahanee Gul Badshah Kee.
Naam mera hai Gul Badshah
Umr Meree hai terah baras
Aur Kahaani meree umr kee tarah sey
Muntashir muntashir mukhtasar mukhtasar
Meree benaam bey chehra maan
Be-davaa mar gayee
Baap ney usko burqey mein dafnaa diya
Usko dar thha ki munkar nakeer uska chehra na dekhen
Vaisey zinda thee jab bhee madfoon thhee
Baap ka naam Zartaaj Gul
Umr battees baras
Vo mujahid shahaadat kaa taalib
Raah-e-haq ka musaafir hua
Aur jam-e-shahaadat bhee usney
Gul Badshah is my name
I am thirteen years of age
My story like my age, you'll see
Is in bits and pieces and as short as it can be
My mother had no face nor name that I could say
Nor money to buy medicines,
One day she simply faded away.
My father buried her in burqa in case
The Angels of death ogle at her face -
Anyway, even when alive she was like one dead one could say.
My father's name was Zartaj Gul
He was thirty-two
He had just one ambition to fulfil
He was a holy warrior and wanted to die a martyr
So he took the path of righteousness.
While we were on the topic of meditation, I could welcome readers' view on the meaning of the Sanskrit word SWAAHA which appears as the last word of first line of Gayatri Mantra - Om Bhur Bhuwa “Swaaha”. Don't send me long dissertations of the Mantra; I only want the English equivalent of SWAAHA.

Abridged Bio-data
Reference your write-up “PS to PM” (June 3). Taking off from where you left. I have given a meaning to PM Manmohan Singh’s name. Keeping in view, his characteristics. It is as follows:
M-Meritorious, A -Able, N-Noble, M-Mannered, O-Open-hearted, H-Honest, A-Academician, N-Nationalist.
Now, a try at your name:
K-Knowledgeable, H-Historian, U-Urduite, S-Scotch-addict, H-Humourist, W-Woman-lover, A-Agnostic, N-Naturalist, T-Translator.
(Courtesy: KJS Ahluwalia, Amritsar)

Dental Revenge
“I knew something was wrong when I woke up,” 45-year old Marek Olszewksi told reporters in Wroclaw, Poland, “because I could not feel my teeth, and my jaw was strapped up with bandages. Anna told me there had been complications during my dental work, and that I wouldn’t be able to feel anything for a while, because of the anesthetic. She said the bandage was there to protect my game. I didn’t have any reason to doubt her. I mean, I thought she’d be professional, inspite of our break up. But when I got home and looked in the mirror, I couldn’t fucking believe it. The bitch had emptied my mouth.”
Thirty-four year old dentist Anna Mackowick admitted what she had done. “Marek dumped me last month then had the nerve to come to my clinic. I tried to be professional, and detach myself from my emotions but I couldn’t. When I saw him lying in the dentist chair, I thought ‘what a bastard’ and decided he had revenge coming to him. So I gave him an extra large dose of anesthetic, to put him under, then I locked the door, and proceeded to pull all his teeth out.”
Mackowiak is being investigated for medical malpractices, and could face three years in jail. Olszewski added that “my new girl friend has left me, saying she can’t be with a man without teeth. I’ll have to spend a fortune on getting indents or something.”

Courtesy: Private Eye, London)
The views expressed by the author are personal

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