Shukdev's Letters to his mentor 2

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Making shini to feed the people

Dear Mentor,

There is so much ritual and ceremony to record, photograph and write up it is a very tedious task. So I have decided to give it up! Not because it is not possible to do, or give justice to, but because it is not the issue of my being here or the reality sought. I will not deny that it creates a religious fervor, or that it is pleasant to share in totally foreign rites, especially the consumption of prasad (fruits, rice and sweets offered to the deities and eaten afterwards as a cleansing and blessing). The point is that these peculiarities of worship, be they Hindu, Christian, Judaic, Sufi, are just the outward manifestations of a social group practicing a rite of community in hopes of procreating pleasure and banishing pain from their lives. I don’t condemn it, but it is not freedom - it is not the "Love of clarity" which I seek.

My guru is certainly an expert at this puja - he has been for many decades, but it is the freedom of his soul, the absorption in divinity which I have come to witness in him and hopefully share a part of. Alas, the stories I heard, the expectations that grew are smoldering in my mind. He is still sick and the spark of madness in his eyes is grey and dull with the suffering of his body. I will not expound on why he suffers when I believe him to be free of these chains and gross attachments because I don’t know. In fact most of what I write - in letters and in my journal - reeks of insincerity and lies. Not intentional, just what mind is - a slow, after the fact record of experience stuck in time and fear and the mistaken conceptualization that "I" exist.

My new fancy is to start a yoga and meditation class when I return home - this thought mushrooms into extraordinary proportions of plan, from what to change to the # of students, to what forms I will present - it is insane to watch my mind loose its awareness of my immediate present and float aimlessly through desire of money, success, proven yogic achievement. I can't shake it - this small seed has become a towering sequoia of mind's occupation. I have had many dreams like this one and shall have many more - just got to watch it because they are fake projections of a mistaken and limited self we call Ego. Hey sorry to bring you down with my own trip.

most affectionately, ...