What Nondescript Item Had The Most Impact On Your Life (How/Why ?)

Two stones.  One black and the other white.  They are called Banalinga.

banalinga white

banalinga black

These were gifted to me by a dear friend who alas is no more after he had learnt that I was getting interested in Vedanta. I had gone to the Narmada river on a number of occasions with him and he said that this was the least he could do for someone getting interested in Vedanta.

These two stones are very much part of the alcove where I perform my puja every day.

They impacted me by taking me into the study of symbolism in religion and particularly in ours. That in turn led me to explore myths and symbols as so beautifully brought out by Joseph Campbell.

His oft repeated conclusion that there is striking similarity between the world’s religions resonates with our own: Ekam Sat Vipra Bahuda Vadanti. The stones represent the Yin and Yang of the Truth.
yin yang

This topic was suggested by Shackman for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently eight of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaLin, Maxi, PadmumShackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!

Bluetooth And Wifi.

My hippie friend Becky posted this on her facebook page.
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It reminded me of India’s Ardhanarishwara.
ardhanarishvara_es14I quote from Wikipedia: “Ardhanarishvara represents the synthesis of masculine and feminine energies of the universe (Purusha and Prakriti) and illustrates how Shakti, the female principle of God, is inseparable from (or the same as, according to some interpretations) Shiva, the male principle of God. The union of these principles is exalted as the root of all creation. Another view is that Ardhanarishvara as a symbol of Shiva’s all-pervasive nature.”

The same principle is conveyed in the Chinese Yin and Yang.

yin and yang

The point is that all individual aspects of creation contain both the male and the female elements.

So, bluetooth and WiFi peacefully coexist in each of us.  Sometimes one aspect predominates, and at other times, the other does.  Conflict arises when one disallows that flexibility and lets one dominate due to conditioning.

Becky, be both.  You cannot go wrong.

Nothing.

Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Magpie11, Padmum and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get nine different flavours of the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Grannymar.

I would like to call ‘thing’ as anything that is or may become an object of thought. Therefore, nothing would imply no thing. In other words, a void or emptiness with no thing in it. Say like the skulls of many people that I am sure all of us know, and like mine is considered to be by some very full skulls.

I started my spiritual journey in early 1978 and by 1985 was deeply into Vedanta, an Indian system of philosophy and Buddhism. I found no contradiction between the two and concluded that they were two sides of the same coin.

By this time, Fritjof Capra had already published his Tao Of Physics which was a best seller for that time and I believe continues to be in print even now, thirty years after its publication. Some little scepticism left in me was completely removed when I read that book which I repeatedly read even now.

What has that got to do with today’s LBC topic? Let me try and explain.

Science is reductionist in its approach to finding the ultimate building block. The smallest thing in nature, matter. Let us call that matter a thing. Eastern philosophy calls it Anu, the nearest equivalent in science being atom. Now, even atom has been reduced to protons, neutrons, quarks and leptrons. It still has not found the smallest. There is a problem however in that the sub atomic particles that make up the smallest particle, which is atom, appears to be some form of energy.

Mathematicians have calculated that 99.99percent of an atom is empty space, or NO THING. Since atoms make up every THING, 99.99 percent of everything including us human beings, is also empty space, or NO THING.

The appearing and disappearing nature of sub atomic particles is called ANITHYAM meaning, impermanence in the Eastern philosophical systems. In other words, since the smallest particle of matter is impermanent and the atom itself consists of such impermanent particles, even the atom is impermanent. In other words, every thing that is seen as matter appears for verification by our senses only when there is a perceiver. If there is no perceiver, there is no matter.

In Capra’s book I first understood this principle and the difference between Subject and Object. Since object is impermanent, the philosophical systems call all matter as MAYA or illusion, or NO THING.

Since our body/mind/intellect complex is also objectifiable, it cannot be the Subject. The mistake we make is in identifying the subject with the object and considering that the I is the body/mind/intellect complex, which we have seen as NO THING.

Then, what is the Subject? It is obviously the I, the perceiver. Eastern philosophical systems insist on dis-covering the real I. The method is meditation. In meditation, one can find that stillness, or the witness, which is again, NO THING.

The NO THING is called Emptiness (Shunyatha) in Buddhism and Limitlessness (Brahman) in Vedanta. This is what I meant when I said that they are two sides of the same coin. One uses a positive and the other the negative. The Yin and the Yang or the Male and Female principle.

Have I caused enough confusion? It is NOTHING but intellectual kite flying.

In other words, I am NOTHING. So are you.