Burning Pyre

“If you can’t take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It’s not safe out here. It’s wondrous with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it’s not for the timid.” – Q, Star Trek TNG

Who am I?

Am I a body which is believed to have a soul?

I came into existence the moment this body was conceived. It verifies my being, validates my life. It has a brain that makes sense of the gibberish that is thrown at it, finds a purpose and leads me the way I am supposed to be led. My body also has a heart. It feels, it loves and makes me desire everything more and more. An organ called soul is yet to be found.

Then, there is the point when my body exists but my brain and heart stop functioning. I sometimes wonder if I am a body, how can I experience things that are way beyond its extremities. If I am a body, I shouldn’t be dead before my body is incinerated on the funeral pyre.

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Audacious Adventurer

It’s dark outside. I can’t see a thing. It will be over soon. When the Sun rises, the darkness will make way for a shiny world. The colors that I find soothing will replace this barren environment. My senses will experience familiarity. I know, everything will be normal again.

It’s dark inside. I never could see a thing and yet, I can see everything I need to see. The Sun never rises here. Hence, there are no shadows and no mirages. This darkness never differentiates, it unifies, it embraces all. If I could help it, it will prevail. Nothing will be normal again. I know, I’ll have exactly what I seek.

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Ashwin Navratri Ritual

Luck favors those who don’t wait for something to happen automatically. – Ashish Marathe

I am an ocean of possibilities. Like everyone else in this universe, I am full of magnificent nectars and dreaded poisons. Beyond the reach of imagination, I am a lot more than the turbulent sum of my wayward parts. I seek the circumstances necessary to churn myself to reveal my riches.

Navratri, a Hindu festival dedicated to the worship of goddess Durga, presents me that opportunity.

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A tantric experiment

Limitless energy breeds infinite possibilities naturally and supernaturally. – Ashish Marathe

Meditation was never that strangely pleasant. Each of the seven chakras of my kundalini was adding something distinctive to the energy rising from the base of my spine to the crown of my head. A part of me, impervious to the facets of the material universe, was yearning to be liberated. While another, nailed to this world of fears and desires, was preparing to dominate it.

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Awakening the Serpent

Whatever is considered positive, things that are deemed undesirable; are all forms of energy. – Ashish Marathe

The first logical step in the pursuit of unknown through mantra sadhana is a purashcharan. It is a system of practices and rituals intended to raise one’s energy to the level where it becomes spontaneous and inexhaustible. A limitless source of energy is necessary to access the higher states of consciousness.

The way I was performing it, the purashcharan was similar to my normal routine. The overall experience, however, was radically different.

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A brush with death

Foreknowledge is power. – Auguste Comte

Mantra sadhana (mantra meditation along with several supporting rituals) enables a mind to explore other states of consciousness. While in one of these states, a person can experience some sort of psychic abilities. Some people get so overwhelmed by the clutter of confusing, contradictory emotions that they lose the awareness of these abilities while most others succumb to a worldly negativity and start denying any such possibility. Only a rare few, who possess the necessary clarity, can completely understand their achievements and even they can be susceptible to the ways of the rogue.

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A 48 hour ritual

I’m not afraid of the storm. I’ll eventually learn to sail through it. – Ashish Marathe

Nothing can be as simple and yet as complex as a perception. Instead of wisdom and intuitive insight, one’s perception is often based on desires, motivated by greed and dominated by affluence. The drudgery of a preformatted life; based solely on hope and in anticipation of events, either imaginary or experienced by others, occurring in a certain order; forms hardened notions so deeply ingrained in one’s psyche that repeated smashing of the person against reality becomes inevitable.

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A childhood memory

When I’m among friends and family, I’m happier. When I’m alone, I’m wiser. – Ashish Marathe

Ever since I’ve begun understanding their importance, difficulties and times of despair have become my greatest teachers. They encouraged me to rid my life of all delusions. People whom I considered integral to my existence, things I longed for, ideas that I despised were all diversions meticulously crafted to swerve me away from my goal. As I moved away from the shell, I realized that answers to all difficulties lie in the basics. Even a deluge of pain can be defeated by remembering something as simple as a childhood memory.

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