Telegraph Calcutta

This World And Other Worlds

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Never mistake one for the other, this world and the other world. Or worlds, who knows how many there might be. What we know is merely the cognisable, merely a pinhead. Look up the skies someday and if pollution will spare you the sight, glance at the stars. Each one might be several times the size of the puny planet we live on. And they are such an abstract distance away, they probably aren’t even there; in the time their twinkle has taken to reach us, they’ve rocketed elsewhere. Or exploded. Or become welded in effusions of white heat to another and become something quite else. Who knows? And some of us commit the daily folly of believing we know. We know only very little, or rather, broken fragments of what is very little. What do we know? We do not even know where Mahadeb is, a dear one among us who is gone from our midst. We do not know such simple small things.

It isn’t in our power. Yet some of us happily infect ourselves with the temerity of possessing power, of thinking ourselves powerful. Power over what? Look up. There’s much much more around than we know or even have the faculties for getting to know. Never confuse this world and the other worlds. What transpires here is earthly and it passes; what transpires there is celestial and eternal. Or at least so we believe. We do not know. But it cannot harm to know differences. There are differences. Always. Like we all know there is a BossOfBenaras and there is a BossOfBenaras who is also the BossOfBrahmaand. They are different. One is up for election. The Other elects. Just does: elects. One shall pass. The Other is ever-present ether. Indestructible. Not a thing of time and its ravages. An Entity quite beyond the scheme of time. We play at it. We play at telling TheBoss. We play at guessing his game. We play with our many instruments at what will happen when, or why. We often do it with a measure of convincing. Like when we tell an eclipse, when even the green turns black and even what gives light can beget the absence of it, and darkness can descend upon noon, and day and night can turn upon each other like tabbies at play. We can tell sunblock. But we can never be sure we can witness it. A cloud can float in on the diktat of unworldly power and efface worldly prediction. Call it astral, call it astrological, call it a consequence of lunar intervention, call it Rahu and Ketu’s pyrrhic smash and grab, the sky will turn a theatre for pure black magic as it were. Should there be rain, or too much cloud, there’ll rise a clamour of cursing – the great rain robbery! An eclipse over an eclipse. There are things we can tell, there are many more we cannot.

There’s a haze there that nothing will scatter, a haze that never seems to end. It is where our knowing ends and unknowing begins to roll. Remember that song, some of you folks? Ek dhundh se aana hai/Ek dhundh mein jaana hai, we have to come from a haze and go into another. It’s how we all come and where we all depart into – a haze nobody knows. Wasn’t it this, or some such, that some Greek philosopher told another? That the time has now come for us to part, you to life, I to death, none will know which is better? Such thought is why they came to be called philosophers. They had a sense of differences, they knew interstices, where certain things cease to be and where others begin to unroll and what ineffable lines define the lines in between. There is science. There is salvation. Both are things, true things. One we have to some degree acquired, the other we, or some of us at any rate, aspire to. They may be conflicted. But both are. There are differences. Never mistake one for the other.

TheBossOfBenaras is different from TheBossOfBenaras. Recognise that. Recognise differences and perhaps something will come from such essential recognition. What appears permanent often is a passing blip. What is permanent is so mysteriously permanent, it is above cognition or understanding. The evil hour is often, and again and again, upon us. Like sunblock hour. Like that sudden darkening of everything.

Keep watching, but keep your eyes well-shielded. It lifts, it eventually all lifts. Even the bitten piece of sun, or the entirely gobbled sun, emerges and begins to shine again.

So wherever you are, be patient
What is, won’t always be
This is only a temporary tent
Eventually we’ll all be free.

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