Hindu Gods and Goddesses

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Danced With A Hawk Today

Danced with a hawk this morning. White winged with brown fringes (from the view below), this great bird of prey soared above me and flew closer as I began to run around with my arms spread wide, calling in kind to the sweet and sorrowful seeming cries this bird issued from floating high above my absurd figure and form, dancing foolishly and free.

(video from another day's communiques with my fine feathered neighbors--both of the pair in this video)

Why don't regular people run around with their arms spread to at least figuratively fly with the birds in the sky? or perhaps I should say, why do they feel obliged to hide what's wild and free, pure and playful that abides within? Why hide that which is no shame?

Used to be I felt obliged to grow old, and rather too quickly, too. A pastor of a church by age twenty-one, a teacher to those over twice my age. Then somewhere along the way, in most serious contemplations, questionings and questings, I found that to be mature does not mean to cease to play, innocently and sometimes quite silly.

Certainly I had some assistance in finding this freedom--a simple liberty intrinsic if temporarily forgotten: respectful use of sacred mushrooms, marijuana, meditation (if not necessarily in that order), and to a lesser extent and with reservations to a degree, LSD, mescaline and DMT, as well as via encouragements, examples and reassurance offered by other crazy mystic hippie freaks on a like path to moksha, to a liberation not licentious, a freedom from the fetters of illusions found even whilst still living life, in fact so life might be truly lived and joyfully savoured as it was unequivocally meant to be.

S'pose what I'm saying is please, my friends, do spread your wings and fly with the great birds of the sky, soar to your potentials most beautiful and high, and not merely by standards of supposed propriety and sanity, but instead by those eternally true. Lovely lila!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010

To Hell With Original Sin, Yo!!

My most significant issue with the Judeo-Christian-Islamic perspective on the state of the individual as intrinsically containing some seed of sin is that this scarcely meets with my experiences with real people of whatever religio-philosophical persuasion. Indeed, I must contend that in my extensive wanderings 'round this land and some in others people far and away display the far stronger and more true seed is Atman, good Self, expression of brahman in each being from inception (if sometimes stifled by disharmonic factors in many), not requiring an invitation and a bath to attend, and is extant from the start.

My intrinsic understanding of the nature of separation and union is that 'tis a natural and healthy flow looks rather not unlike the Big Bang Theory, expansions and contractions of the Universe in a cycle earlier understood by tantric teachings as Siva-Shakti in loveplay, Divine nata (dance) best described. Ancient tantra teaches Siva-Shakti/Parvati/Kali as not-separate, as like bindu ("dot") from which all proceeds to make up Time-Space, which is these Divine Two who are not-two. Indeed these concepts come upon by contemplation, meditation and illumination are Self-same notions as certain theories of modern quantum physics.

Indeed these cycles of expansion away and return to this Eternal Love that is not-not all of us and all that is, these cycles of forgetting and remembering that we are already--to whatever degree of realization--'One with God' at the level of True Self, Atman . . . these cycles are intrinsically good, and playful so long as not mean. Seems still ill-tuned vibrations prove sometimes resulting from the uneven flow of sound and other sense vibrations issue from primal AUM (from whence, a bit forgetful of original pronunciation, cometh the Judeo-Christian Amen and somewhat more precisely pronounced Amin of Islamic tradition). Sounds bouncing round that sometimes make a chalkboard scraping sound. These less than ideal and sometimes abhorrent byproducts are also like the terrible poison produced when the ocean was churned by an alliance of devas and asuras to bring forth the nectar of immortality, and also beautiful apsaras (divine flying nymphs, magical maritime maidens). This poison was then drank down by the Destroyer to save the earth from otherwise immanent demise (though ever-devoted Parvati helped too, as She caused the brew to stick in Her Fella's throat, as She feared for the effect of the dark drink).

With appropriate perspective, though, the dance through these disharmonies is indeed what yoga (root of the English word, "yoke") does to tune the song of the Great Musical, to alter the pitch and tone to create a pure vibration resounding, and to create a harmonious flow to the show. Breath-in, breath-out; expansion and contraction. Yoga, yo! When let to go naturally (as truly natural, brahman, always manifests as pure), though seeming separate, there is no sin.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"Long-Hair Holds Fire . . ." Hippies in the Oldest Book in the World

Rig Veda 10.136

1  Long-hair holds fire, holds the drug, holds sky and earth.  Long-hair reveals everything, so that everyone can see the sun.  Long-hair declares the light.
2  These ascetics, swathed in wind [naked], put dirty red rags on.  When gods entered them, they ride with the rush of the wind.
3  'Crazy with asceticism, we have mounted the wind.  Our bodies are all you mere mortals can see.'
4  He sails through the air, looking down an all shapes below.  The ascetic is friend to this god and that god, devoted to what is well done.
5  The stallion of the wind, friend of gales, lashed on by gods--the ascetic lives in the two seas, on the east and on the west.
6  He moves with the motion of heavenly women and young men [Apsarases--sexy flying nymphs, and Ghandarvas--the elevated fellas they hang out with], of wild beasts.  Long-hair, reading their minds, is their sweet, their most exciting friend.
7  The wind has churned it up; Kunamnama prepared it for him.  Long-hair drinks from the cup, sharing the drug with Rudra.

(from Wendy Doniger's translation, with a slight alteration or two)

Modern Paraphrased Version

1  So like, this hippy was holding a cup of psychedelic brew, spacin' out to the sky and the pretty patterns in the dirt.  He was talking about how bright it was, and started staring at the sun, pointing at it with wild gesticulations.
2  Dirty hippies!!  How their farts do stink!!
3  "Hey dude, I'm really trippin' balls now, I think we're flyin!!  Weeeeeee!!!!  Now you can't see me:  I'm invisible!!!"
4  That hippy's now running around in circles with his arms extended like wings, looking around at the pretty patterns.  This dude thinks everybody loves him, and he thinks he loves everybody, and he digs good music.
5  Dude thinks he's quite a stud (farts again), and starts talking to himself.  He jumps into a puddle of water, then one on the other side of the sidewalk.
6  This trippin' hippie starts walking like a girl, then gets on all four and starts barking.  This hippie approaches random people and turns his head sideways, contorts his face and says, "I know what you're thinking!!"  People think he's kinda funny.
7  Dude shakes up the shrooms that have settled to the bottom of the cup and takes a big ol' shwill, then hands the cup to his bro.

(note:  prob'ly wasn't actually shroom tea, 'cuz Rudra wasn't s'pose to drink of Soma)

Please don't don't mistake, I hold nothing but respect and reverence for the Rig Veda, and the Vedas generally.  'Tis fun to be playful with what is revered (with certain restraints, of course).  It is quite interesting to note the antiquity of the practices of "long-hairs," those perennial seekers who often utilize psychetropic substances to alter perception in order to better understand self and the nature of reality.  Indeed, the hippies of today are but a continuation of a longstanding spiritual tradition that has unbroken lineages of practice in the Himalayas and Indian subcontinent from time immemorial, as well as being reflection of other indigenous traditions of asceticism and a renunciation of the materialism of society in general in order to seek those things more primal and intrinsic to being human and to human interactions with the Divine.

I am both a hippie and a sadhu (if sorta a dilettante of one), and find it refreshing and healthy to be able to make fun of oneself and one's own "kind," for lack of a better term.  Humor is Divine (when appropriate and appropriately measured, of course), and can prove cathartic as well as even reifying the very thing laughed at.  I have certainly appeared as silly as the creative modernized description of trippin' I've penned above, and almost certainly shall again . . .

Namaste and good journeys!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Laramie Spring's Finally Arrived !!! (!?!?)

After a few hopeful false starts, the wind and cold seem abated, the forecast finally seems to agree with my sensibilities--perhaps spoiled a bit by the milder winters I've seen here of late.  Likely at least the only snow likely to fall from here to the mountains be a flurry or two.  Hooray for Springtime!!!  Crabapple blossoms and lilacs should come on soon, and in that order, and soon should be leaves on the big trees.  Wouldn't mind bein' busy with planting and such right about now, but alas, land I've none to till and toil o'er, organically of course.

Yeah, I realize this is high country, not the tropics.  Spent my years growing up mostly in this town at somewhere around 7200 ft. above the big waters and between three-sides of mountains, and full well know the range of summer and winter and spring and fall, dichotomies or presumed opposites which here don't necessarily meet with the truth of the matter, where July can see fractaled flakes fall under a sunny sky--or leastwise up in the mountains east or west, thick pines or alpine tundra, rocks of Vedawoo or Eagle Rock, or down south towards the Never Summer Mountains.  Still I long for warmth and green growing things to flourish.

There are plum trees grow here and are full of luscious lustrous red to black fruit come fall, and smallish to midsized apples too, as well as the ubiquitous crabapples.  I know of a few apricots bear fruit here in Laramie, though a peach tree probably oughtn't be subjected to this climate and altitude.  Currents here are bounteous, and grapes of the hardiest sort should turn a harvest if you're lucky and choose the right spot. There is even a varietal of kiwi fruit's supposed to grow in this grow region that's called Arctic Gold--and you can eat the skin, no less!!!

Tomatoes here require a hothouse, no doubt.  Zucchinis and other like squash do fine, though, and in fact flourish, and plants like broccoli, too.  Also I've wondered about wild rice if the soil and water are just right.  Ah, I'm just dreamin' of diggin' in the funky soil for now (not to mention carving sandstone dwellings and sacred space), as a manuscript little closer to publication means my focus is play as much I must the role of writer, or perhaps better, aspiring author. 

I suppose of many role into which I might be cast in any given schema of those venues I've chanced to happen through, from hippie, hobo or vagabond and mostly yogi mystic freak these days, to of history of once upon a time having been a cowboy and a preacher, and a grad student, too . . . presenting myself for my immediate public face a "writer" or "aspiring author" is not a bad role to portray or receive, if those I meet and onlookers as well might be so kind.  Of course "soon to be published author" would be better still . . .

(NYC trip to find an agent/publisher still pending, I s'pose . . . I 'magine spring's already in full swing there)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lovely Devi Dharma

Lovely Devi dharma, devotions done in intonations, privations, yogic alterations of sense vibrations (though sometimes that's for my own comfort and for righteousness sake, too), even in casual admiration of the beauty of women I happen to see or remember fondly, and by nigh constant wishes for the victory of Mahadevi, "Great Goddess" and devi generally manifest in so many forms to whatever degree of emanation, avatar or reflection of Divine Feminine grace and sexy pure perfection, wisdom and wonderous charms might reside in any given lovely form of Her I see and consider in these pleasant reveries.

Watching Life's Play as I Sit and Sip . . .

Sitting and sipping coffee and gazing 'round at faces "just out of focus" (for one, as I no longer wear corrective lenses), and likewise considering faces afar, I wonder when and where I might have seen Her, Devi Durga, Shakti manifest, Uma Himavati, Parvati or Laksmi or some other form of Feminine Divine incarnate.

One woman nigh certainly danced a dance I watched more than once wherein this dancer (Dancer?) was clearly animated by Devi, whether Parvati (my first guess) or some other close form, avatar or emanation of TriDevi, Durga, Laksmi or Saraswati.  Shakti-Parvati is more well known for dance, and likewise my first meeting with her (Her? the dancer, that is) coincided with the introductory stages of my tantric practices manifesting unconsciously in my personal behavior--unconsciously insofar as having an historically based understanding of the practices rather obtrusively manifesting in my life.  If you are curious, look up pics of the sort of stuff sadhus do . . . or look up the Pine Forest myth (mine hasn't and shant fall off, btw), ehem!!
This well adored divine dancer disappeared from the scene before I had the confidence and wherewithall to approach her, though we later became fairly close friends for a time in a not so faraway foreign land.

Perhaps some of the attraction to this particular locus (loka, the Sanskrit root for the English word), i.e., Coal Creek coffeehouse in downtown Laramie, is the prominence of the place in terms of earlier acts of the lila ("divine play/playfulness").  And indeed, the people who appear here at this venue and on this particular stage are generally obliging insofar as a willingness or a penchant to play on cue, roles seeming fitted to a taut aesthetic, complete with clues as to the purport of the play being played (if only I were a better reader . . .), to what the cycle or metaphoric message might be, i.e., in terms of myth, stories and songs might come to mind.  Though I ought to note, some myths more than others are writ in more than imaginings or musings and as more than a particular culture's malfeasance, neurosis, malady or wish-fulfillment wantings, and convey more precisely a universal aesthetic.  I suppose there is a show wherever I go, though, and Mahamaya is ever playful--though seems sometimes plays of maya can be rather . . . twisted.

Reading the lila, between and oft as not in the lines recited (however consciously) by actors and conversants, almost (if not) scripted conversations and transcendental communications manifested in even mundane exchanges.  Else imagine a flash-mob synchrony manifest unconsciously (to whatever degree) by bystanders and passersbye, seen as a dance or (super-) naturally choreographed scene as I watch and sometimes interact whilst sipping my cup of coffee, and less often these days, a beer or a glass of wine whilst contemplating and sometimes responding to actors and actresses acting.  Lila, oh lila.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Oil Disaster in the Gulf and the Alternatives to Destroying Our Environment for Energy

As the consequences of the oil seeping from the ocean floor in the Gulf of Mexico becomes apparent, it should become quite obvious even to the dullest fool and least informed of the opiated masses that drilling for oil off the coasts of our beautiful land--or any other land for that matter, is a bad idea.  With the fragile marshlands of the Gulf Coast imperiled by a disaster that seems likely to be greater in scope and effect than the Exxon spill in Alaska's once pristine waters, the livelihood of fishermen and those reliant on tourism severely threatened, and the irresponsible practices of the petroleum industry as seemingly endemic, as wide scale extraction of toxic minerals that were meant to be left under the ground is always prone towards either immediate disaster or continued negative impacts on the environment generally, it is clearly time to mobilize a major shift in the energy economy of this nation and the world.

The alternatives are viable and minimally impactive:

Biodiesel and ethanol from algae can and should replace petroleum consumption almost entirely within a span of ten to twenty years.  Utilizing an area of only 15% of the area of the Sonoran Desert (18,000 sq. miles, or approximately 134x134 miles), spread across the southwest United States and perhaps into Mexico (assuming equitable trade practices), biodiesel and ethanol production utilizing algae (likely grown in salt water so as to minimize freshwater use) could completely replace the current transportation fuel needs of this nation.  These plants can be made to be minimally impactive, and in fact if placed in such places as dry lake beds where little to no species of animals already maintain homes, the shade from the algae growing containers could provide at least temporary habitat for many desert-dwelling species.

Insofar as electricity production, solar mirror generating stations utilizing the heat produced to spin turbines could power the entire Unites States electrical grid utilizing an are of 92x92 miles, likewise spread throughout the southwest and into Mexico, and likewise not only scarcely impacting the environment but also providing shade for life to inhabit where was formerly uninhabitable, such as dry lake beds or other spans of hot desert land without any natural vegetation.  Wind turbines, home-based solar and wind power, and perhaps some form of tidal energy harvesting combined with the aforementioned would certainly suffice, and these all combined would impact less land area far less detrimentally than current areas currently being impacted by coal mining.