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I am a mystic madman, a wandering wildman, scholar of esoterica, dilettante sadhu, dready-headed hippie (only have a few jata on the back of my head right now, though more be forming of this third set of knotted hair), gentle yogi, fierce foe of falsity. I was a preacher, but I renounced that. I was married, but she renounced me. I was a grad student at one of the top universities in the world on my way to becoming a professor, but I realized they taught lies there too. I am protector of souls, lover of mountains, smoker of herb, fond of hot springs, oceans and lakes and rivers and rain and sunshine, devotee of Devi.

Hindu Gods and Goddesses

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!!

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