Populaire berichten

woensdag 31 augustus 2011

De Amritanubhava van Jnaneshwar

Ik kreeg van Mahadevi dit prachtige boek toegestuurd. Hiervoor ben ik haar heel dankbaar. Het boek is geschreven rond 1300 en door haar vertaalt in het Nederlands. Het boek is niet meer verkrijgbaar op dit moment. Het is zo mooi dat ik zo af en toe wat inzichten met u zal delen. Copyright Nederlandse vertaling Advaita foundation 1996.

1. Zo ben ik begonnen met het betuigen van mijn hulde
aan de ouders van alles wat bestaat, die zelf zonder oorzaak is.

2. Uit liefde is de echtgenoot zelf de echtgenote geworden.
Het ontwaken van de bewuste energie doet vormen ontwaken in het bewustzijn.
De dualiteit die daar uit voortvloeit is slecht schijn,
wezenlijk is er onverdeeldheid.

3. Shiva en Shakti zijn zo innig met elkaar verenigd, dat ze elkaar voortdurend
verzwelgen, om elke breuk in hun eenheid te voorkomen.
Ze scheiden zich alleen, om elkaar te beleven in hun wederzijdse liefde.

4. Het mysterie dat het ongemanifesteerde Absolute
onverdeeld is
en tegelijkertijd alle verschijnselen alleen in dualiteit bestaan,
kan niet verstandelijk begrepen worden.

Volgende keer meer van deze waarheden.

Roshi, de Spaanse kitten, wordt groot en heeft een vriendinnetje gevonden, Maartje. En wat zijn ze blij.

'S Ochtends staat Maartje al voor de deur. Want er moet gespeeld worden. Maartje is meer een ochtend kat dan Roshi, maar die wil de pret niet drukken. Eerst even nog samen wat eten, al dan niet uit één bakje, en dan spelen. Om een uur of twee 's middags gaat Maartje weer eens naar huis en daalt de rust neer. Om 's avonds weer verstoord te worden in speelronde twee.

dinsdag 30 augustus 2011

1. The Sense of ‘I am’

1. The Sense of ‘I am’

Q: It is a matter of daily experience that on waking up the world suddenly appears. Where does it come from?
M: Before anything can come into being there must be somebody to whom it comes. All
appearance and disappearance presupposes a change against some changeless background.
Q: Before waking up I was unconscious.
M: In what sense? Having forgotten, or not having experienced? Don’t you experience even when unconscious? C: is it a proof of non-existence?
And can you validly talk about your own non-existence as an actual experience? You cannot even say that your mind did not exist. Did you not wake up on being called? And on waking up, was it not the sense ‘I am’ that came first? Some seed consciousness must be existing even during sleep, or swoon. O: ‘I am -- the body -- in the world.’ It may appear to arise in succession but in fact it is all simultaneous, a single idea of having a body in a world. Can there
be the sense of ‘I am’ without being somebody or other?
Q: I am always somebody with its memories and habits. I know no other ‘I am’.
M: Maybe something prevents you from knowing? When you do not know something which others know, what do you do?
Q: I seek the source of their knowledge under their instruction.
M: Is it not important to you to know whether you are a mere body, or something else? Or, maybe nothing at all? Don’t you see that all your problems are your body’s problems -- food, clothing, shelter, family, friends, name, fame, security, survival -- all these lose their meaning the moment you realise that you may not be a mere body.
Q: What benefit is there in knowing that I am not the body?
M: Even to say that you are not the body is not quite true. In a way you are all the bodies, hearts and minds and much more. Go deep into the sense of ‘I am’ and you will find. How do you find a thing you have mislaid or forgotten? You keep it in your mind until you recall it. The sense of being, of 'I am' is the first to emerge. Ask yourself whence it comes, or just watch it quietly. When the mindstays in the 'I am' without moving, you enter a state which cannot be verbalised but can be experienced. All you need to do is try and try again. After all the sense ‘I am’ is always with you, only you have attached all kinds of things to it -- body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions etc. All these self-identifications are misleading. Because of them you take yourself to be what you are not.
Q: Then what am I?
M: It is enough to know what you are not. You need not know what you are. For as long as knowledge means description in terms of what is already known, perceptual, or conceptual, there can be no such thing as self-knowledge, for what you are cannot be described, except as except as total negation. A: ‘I am not this, I am not that’. You cannot meaningfully say ‘this is what I am’. It just makes no sense. What you can point out as 'this' or 'that' cannot be yourself.
Surely, you can not be 'something' else. You are nothing perceivable, or imaginable. Yet, without you there can be neither perception nor imagination. You observe the heart feeling, the mind thinking, the body acting; the very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive. Can there be perception, experience without you? An experience must ‘belong'. Somebody must come and declare it as his own. Without an experiencer the experience is not real. It is the experiencer
that imparts reality to experience. An experience which you cannot have, of what value is it to you?
Q: The sense of being an experiencer, the sense of ‘I am’, is it not also an experience?
M: Obviously, every thing experienced is an experience. And in every experience there arises the experiencer of it. Memory creates the illusion of continuity. In reality each experience has its own experiencer and the sense of identity is due to the common factor at the root of all experiencerexperience relations. Identity and continuity are not the same. Just as each flower has its own colour, but all colours are caused by the same light, so do many experiences appear in the undivided and indivisible awareness, each separate in memory, identical in essence. This essence is the root, the foundation, the timeless and spaceless 'possibility' of all experience.
Q: How do I get at it?
M: You need not get at it, for you are it. It will get at you, if you give it a chance. Let go your attachment to the unreal and the real will swiftly and smoothly step into its own. Stop imagining yourself being or doing this or that and the realisation that you are the source and heart of all will
dawn upon you. With this will come great love which is not choice or predilection, nor attachment, but a power which makes all things love-worthy and lovable.

Who was Nisargadatta Maharaj?

Who is Nisargadatta Maharaj?

When asked about the date of his birth the Master replied blandly that he was never born!

Writing a biographical note on Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj is a frustrating and unrewarding task. For, not only the exact date of his birth is unknown, but no verified facts concerning the early years of his
life are available. However, some of his elderly relatives and friends say that he was born in the month of March 1897 on a full moon day, which coincided with the festival of Hanuman Jayanti, when Hindus pay their homage to Hanuman, also named Maruti, the monkey-god of Ramayana fame. And to associate his birth with this auspicious day his parents named him Maruti.

Available information about his boyhood and early youth is patchy and disconnected. We learn that his father, Shivrampant, was a poor man, who worked for some time as a domestic servant in Bombay and, later, eked out his livelihood as a petty farmer at Kandalgaon, a small village in the back woods of Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra. Maruti grew up almost without education. As a boy he assisted his father in such labours as lay within his power -- tended cattle, drove oxen, worked in
the fields and ran errands. His pleasures were simple, as his labours, but he was gifted with an inquisitive mind, bubbling over with questions of all sorts.

His father had a Brahmin friend named Vishnu Haribhau Gore, who was a pious man and learned too from rural standards. Gore often talked about religious topics and the boy Maruti listened attentively and dwelt on these topics far more than anyone would suppose. Gore was for him the ideal man -- earnest, kind and wise.

When Maruti attained the age of eighteen his father died, leaving behind his widow, four sons and two daughters. The meagre income from the small farm dwindled further after the old man’s death and was not sufficient to feed so many mouths. Maruti’s elder brother left the village for Bombay in search of work and he followed shortly after. It is said that in Bombay he worked for a few months as a low-paid junior clerk in an office, but resigned the job in disgust. He then took petty trading as a
haberdasher and started a shop for selling children’s clothes, tobacco and hand-made country cigarettes. This business is said to have flourished in course of time, giving him some sort of
financial security. During this period he got married and had a son and three daughters.

Childhood, youth, marriage, progeny -- Maruti lived the usual humdrum and eventless life of a common man till his middle age, with no inkling at all of the sainthood that was to follow. Among his friends during this period was one Yashwantrao Baagkar, who was a devotee of Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj, a spiritual teacher of the Navnath Sampradaya, a sect of Hinduism.
One evening Baagkar took Maruti to his Guru and that evening proved to be the turning point in his life. The Guru gave him a mantra and instructions in meditation. Early in his practice he started having visions and occasionally even fell into trances. Something exploded within him, as it were, giving birth to a cosmic consciousness, a sense of eternal life. The identity of Maruti, the petty shopkeeper, dissolved and the illuminating personality of Sri Nisargadatta emerged.

Most people live in the world of self-consciousness and do not have the desire or power to leave it.
They exist only for themselves; all their effort is directed towards achievement of self-satisfaction and self-glorification. There are, however, seers, teachers and revealers who, while apparently living in the same world, live simultaneously in another world also -- the world of cosmic consciousness, effulgent with infinite knowledge. After his illuminating experience Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj started living such a dual life. He conducted his shop, but ceased to be a profit-minded
merchant. Later, abandoning his family and business he became a mendicant, a pilgrim over the

vastness and variety of the Indian religious scene. He walked barefooted on his way to the Himalayas where he planned to pass the rest of his years in quest of a eternal life. But he soon retraced his steps and came back home comprehending the futility of such a quest. Eternal life, he perceived, was not to be sought for; he already had it. Having gone beyond the I-am-the-body idea, he had acquired a mental state so joyful, peaceful and glorious that everything appeared to be worthless compared to it. He had attained self-realisation.

Uneducated though the Master is, his conversation is enlightened to an extraordinary degree. Though born and brought up in poverty, he is the richest of the rich, for he has the limitless wealth of perennial knowledge, compared to which the most fabulous treasures are mere tinsel. He is warm-hearted and tender, shrewdly humorous, absolutely fearless and absolutely true -- inspiring, guiding and supporting all who come to him.

Any attempt to write a biographical not on such a man is frivolous and futile. For he is not a man with a past or future; he is the living present -- eternal and immutable. He is the self that has become all things.

Inleiding Douwe Tiemersma in het beroemde boek 'I am That' van Nisargadatta Maharaj

There are various religions and systems of philosophy which claim to endow human life with meaning. But they suffer from certain inherent limitations. They couch into fine-sounding words their
traditional beliefs and ideologies, theological or philosophical. Believers, however, discover the limited range of meaning and applicability of these words, sooner or later. They get disillusioned
and tend to abandon the systems, in the same way as scientific theories are abandoned, when they are called in question by too much contradictory empirical data.

When a system of spiritual interpretation turns out to be unconvincing and not capable of being rationally justified, many people allow themselves to be converted to some other system. After a while, however, they find limitations and contradictions in the other system also. In this unrewarding pursuit of acceptance and rejection what remains for them is only scepticism and agnosticism, leading to a fatuous way of living, engrossed in mere gross utilities of life, just consuming material goods. Sometimes, however, though rarely, scepticism gives rise to an intuition of a basic reality, more fundamental than that of words, religions or philosophic systems. Strangely, it is a positive aspect of scepticism. It was in such a state of scepticism, but also having an intuition of the basic reality, that I happened to read Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s I AM THAT. I was at once struck by the finality and unassailable certitude of his words. Limited by their very nature though words are, I found the utterances of Maharaj transparent, polished windows, as it were.

No book of spiritual teachings, however, can replace the presence of the teacher himself. Only the words spoken directly to you by the Guru shed their opacity completely. In a Guru’s presence the last boundaries drawn by the mind vanish. Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj is indeed such a Guru. He is not a preacher, but he provides precisely those indications which the seeker needs. The reality
which emanates from him is inalienable and Absolute. It is authentic. Having experienced the verity of his words in the pages of I AM THAT, and being inspired by it, many from the West have found their way to Maharaj to seek enlightenment.

Maharaj’s interpretation of truth is not different from that of Jnana Yoga/Advaita Vedanta. But, he has a way of his own. The multifarious forms around us, says he, are constituted of the five elements. They are transient, and in a state of perpetual flux. Also they are governed by the law of causation. All this applies to the body and the mind also, both of which are transient and subject to birth and death. We know that only by means of the bodily senses and the mind can the world be known. As in the Kantian view, it is a correlate of the human knowing subject, and, therefore, has the fundamental structure of our way of knowing. This means that time, space and causality are not ‘objective’, or extraneous entities, but mental categories in which everything is moulded. The existence and form of all things depend upon the mind. Cognition is a mental product. And the world as seen from the mind is a subjective and private world, which changes continuously in accordance with the restlessness of the mind itself.

In opposition to the restless mind, with its limited categories -- intentionality, subjectivity, duality etc.
-- stands supreme the limitless sense of ‘I am’. The only thing I can be sure about is that ‘I am’; not as a thinking ‘I am’ in the Cartesian sense, but without any predicates. Again and again Maharaj draws our attention to this basic fact in order to make us realise our ‘I am-ness’ and thus get rid of all self-made prisons. He says: The only true statement is ‘I am’. All else is mere inference. By no effort can you change the ‘I am’ into ‘I am-not’.

Behold, the real experiencer is not the mind, but myself, the light in which everything appears. Self is the common factor at the root of all experience, the awareness in which everything happens. The entire field of consciousness is only as a film, or a speck, in ‘I am’. This ‘I am-ness’ is, being conscious of consciousness, being aware of itself. And it is indescribable, because it has no attributes. It is only being my self, and being my self is all that there is. Everything that exists, exists as my self. There is nothing which is different from me. There is no duality and, therefore, no pain. There are no problems. It is the sphere of love, in which everything is perfect. What happens, happens spontaneously, without intentions -- like digestion, or the growth of the hair. Realise this, and be free from the limitations of the mind.

Behold, the deep sleep in which there is no notion of being this or that. Yet ‘I am’ remains. And behold the eternal now. Memory seems to being things to the present out of the past, but all that happens does happen in the present only. It is only in the timeless now that phenomena manifest themselves. Thus, time and causality do not apply in reality. I am prior to the world, body and mind.
I am the sphere in which they appear and disappear. I am the source of them all, the universal power by which the world with its bewildering diversity becomes manifest.

In spite of its primevality, however, the sense of ‘I am’ is not the Highest. It is not the Absolute. The sense, or taste of ‘I am-ness’ is not absolutely beyond time. Being the essence of the five elements, it, in a way, depends upon the world. It arises from the body, which, in its turn, is built by food, consisting of the elements. It disappears when the body dies, like the spark extinguishes when the incense stick burns out. When pure awareness is attained, no need exists any more, not even for ‘I am’, which is but a useful pointer, a direction-indicator towards the Absolute. The awareness ‘I am’ then easily ceases. What prevails is that which cannot be described, that which is beyond words. It is this ‘state’ which is most real, a state of pure potentiality, which is prior to everything. The ‘I am’ and the universe are mere reflections of it. It is this reality which a jnani has realised.

The best that you can do is listen attentively to the jnani -- of whom Sri Nisargadatta is a living example -- and to trust and believe him. By such listening you will realise that his reality is your reality. He helps you in seeing the nature of the world and of the ‘I am’. He urges you to study the workings of the body and the mind with solemn and intense concentration, to recognise that you are neither of them and to cast them off. He suggests that you return again and again to ‘I am’ until it is your only abode, outside of which nothing exists; until the ego as a limitation of ‘I am’, has disappeared. It is then that the highest realisation will just happen effortlessly.

Mark the words of the jnani, which cut across all concepts and dogmas. Maharaj says: “until once becomes self-realised, attains to knowledge of the self, transcends the self, until then, all these cock-and-bull stories are provided, all these concepts.” Yes, they are concepts, even ‘I am’ is, but surely there are no concepts more precious. It is for the seeker to regard them with the utmost
seriousness, because they indicate the Highest Reality. No better concepts are available to shed all concepts.

I am thankful to Sudhakar S. Dikshit, the editor, for inviting me to write the Foreword to this new edition of I AM THAT and thus giving me an opportunity to pay my homage to Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, who has expounded highest knowledge in the simplest, clearest and the most convincing words.

Douwe Tiemersma
Philosophical Faculty
Erasmus Universiteit
Rotterdam, Holland

June, 1981

donderdag 18 augustus 2011

Uitspraak Douwe Tiemersma

Als je iets wilt vasthouden, zit je er aan vast en bepaalt dat je identiteit en je lijden.

woensdag 10 augustus 2011

Genieten van oude kattenfoto

Loekie en Mouchassie een goed jaar geleden. Toen nog kicking and alive!

vegetarische Chinees, recensie dagblad Trouw

De Oude Plek
06/08/11, 00:00
Het is een geheim, een juweel, weggestoken in de kroon van Rotterdam-Zuid. Het enige vegetarische Chinese restaurant van Nederland. Met vleesvervangers uit Taiwan.

De grootste schatten zijn het best verborgen. In Rotterdam Lombardijen, een wijk ver van het centrum, wonen mensen die bestuurders zorgen bezorgen. In een klein winkelcentrum aldaar zit De Oude Plek. De Chinees De Oude Plek. Binnen wacht het interieur van een buurtchinees: rode lantaarns met kwastjes, elegante schilderingen van een gedroomd China, een afhaalcounter.

Het lijkt niet bijzonder, maar hier heb ik al een half jaar geleden van gehoord, een gefluisterd gerucht in vegetarische kringen: dit is het enige vegetarische Chinese restaurant in heel Nederland, en misschien wel de Benelux. Zomaar, als een juweel weggestoken in de kroon van Rotterdam Zuid.

Ik heb ook nooit geweten dat er Chinezen bestaan die geen vlees eten. Natuurlijk bestaat tempé en tahoe, maar dat lijken toch eerder uitvindingen voor Indonesië of Thailand. Dat is een vergissing, zegt de Chinese juffouw in vloeiend Nederlands.

"In Taiwan zijn veel vegetariërs", zegt ze. Strenge vegetariërs, ook nog. De Oude Plek werkt met vleesvervangers. "Taiwanese vegetariërs zouden dat niet eten."

In Nederland werkt de industrie volop aan vleesvervangers die de Nederlander het bloedende lapje moeten doen verlaten, al is het maar een paar dagen per week. Goed voor de gezondheid, goed voor het milieu, zegt men dan. De Vegetarische Slager in Den Haag werkt met een eigen vondst, van bonen, soja en graan. Er is Meatless, een product op basis van lupine, en zo nog het een en ander. Gebruikt de kok van De Oude Plek die ook? De mevrouw schudt haar hoofd.

"Onze vleesvervangers komen van Taiwan."

Exotische concurrentie van onze Hollandse innovatie? Tachtig gerechten uit de vier keukens van China, meldt de kaart. Het Chinese menu B, voor 22,10 euro, moet een aardige kennismaking bieden. Eerst verschijnt er een schotel met gefrituurd goed: een driehoekje, een rol, vier schijfjes.

De rol bevat groenten, een smakelijke combinatie van wortel, taugé, kool, waarschijnlijk en ook gember, knapperig gebakken - prima. Het driehoekje is heerlijk, net bros genoeg en vol smaak. De gebakken schijfjes zijn vooral lekker met zoetzure saus.

Nu komt de soep. "Pekingsoep", zegt de juffrouw. "Het is een beetje heet." Het is vooral heerlijk. Iets peper, maar dat kan de gestaalde slokdarm wel aan. Hierin zitten die eerste vleesvervangers: minieme witte blokjes tofu, stevige, vlezige sliertjes die bij goed proeven van seitan zijn, broodeiwit. Kleine blokjes wortel en champignon maken de balans van zout, zoet, heet en zuur compleet. Het vermoeden rijst dat hier vooral een heel goede kok in de keuken staat, vegetarisch of niet. Want bijvoorbeeld de nasi, die bij de hoofdschotels wordt geserveerd, is droog op het krokante af.

Het 'vlees met ananas' is heel goed in balans, en heerlijk, terwijl ananas toch snel te veel smaakt. De rode saus is opdringerig noch flauw en het imitatie- vlees doet voor echt niet onder. Ook in de andere schotel is de vervanger niet van echte kip te onderscheiden en wederom geweldig van smaak.

Alleen de derde valt wat tegen: de gefrabiceerde inktvis heeft dezelfde structuur als die uit de zee, en smaakt ook wel redelijk. Maar de worst, die in grove stukken in deze schotel is verwerkt, dat is een vergissing: de structuur van stevige brinta en de smaak van imitatievlees.

Aan de andere gerechten kunnen Meatless en andere Nederlandse vervangers nog een puntje zuigen. Misschien wordt het tijd voor import, niet voor innovatie.

Wat de naam betreft: dat is een letterlijke vertaling uit het Chinees en een eufemisme voor de hemel.