Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
I fear that we are losing sight of the larger picture by losing the essence in spirituality, which in reality resides in the most humble of all things. For instance, we no longer sit silently and just observe our breath enter our being, move within and then leave our body. It is the simplest of spiritual practices, the most ancient one, which has led many on the Path and has shown either glimpses or the entire blue print of the Big Plan.
It is no longer enough for many to sit silently anywhere and just be and become one with the breath. We need some fancy expensive method taught in fancier workshops or in a beautiful ashram or ingrained with some technique and it has to be about chakras and kundalini and tying oneself into various knots through power yoga. The old fashioned way of just being and sitting silently or even lying down and becoming one with the breath is considered down market.
I am filled with a sense of wonderment as to what is taught in the various workshops, which could be anything from a one day to a seven day retreat. I get a number of people who want me to hold workshops and are willing to organise everything for me but want those workshops for a day or two or even more and I keep insisting that if I were to teach everything I know about breathing and chakras and kundalini and protection and everything else my workshops would not last for more than two or three hours. What on earth are we going to do for the rest of the day or worse, days. Smoke up I guess.
I fear we are seeing so much happening around us that we are losing the plot. According to me Divinity is in simple stuff. The humble stuff. The salt of the earth stuff. Something that a child and somebody over a hundred years can easily accommodate in their lives without too much exertion and expense.
I have noticed that whenever I take time to keep silent for a few minutes and just be, just go within, or just focus on the breath, with or without eyes shut, things start falling into a better perspective. The external noise may not stop but the clatter of the world or those around you start receding into the back ground and the more one spends time just getting a rhythm to one’s breath, a slow inhalation and a slower exhalation, a glimpse of sanity comes forth. Problems may not go away and one may not even get solutions to whatever it is which is causing a nasty creak to one’s peace of mind but I have seen that a calmness enters and through the calmness, a certain strength and courage comes about to go through whatever is causing us discomfort. Yes, this stillness may last for a short while or may even transform your very approach to face the situation but I know that just being one with the breath makes me at least a calmer saner human being.
Another thing that works for me is a simple word called Reham or Mercy. For me Reham also means compassion, mercy, and even pity as I have no qualms in pleading to the Goddess, God, Guru for mercy, compassion, pity. Yes even pity. Often we are so self destructive that only Divine Pity can save us from digging our graves deeper into the bowels of hell, chaos and insanity. Thus, have pity on me as I am stupid, daft, a lost case.
All that we go through is the ramification of our thoughts, words, deeds, either of the past in this lifetime or of one’s past lives. So have mercy on me. Mercy doesn’t mean forgiveness. It doesn’t mean wiping the slate clean. It just means tender Your justice with compassion. If I have to lift a thousand kilos, don’t make me lift it in one go, it will break my back. Let me lift the load, may be a few kilos a day, as I know that it is my burden of my stupidity and I shall bear the burden but have mercy on me oh Merciful One as I know I have messed up as I have the sensibility of a rusted lamp post and the intellect of a worn out shoe. Thus Reham.
When we use a simple word like Reham and only when it comes from the depths of our very being and we truly mean it, what we are telling the Big Gang up there is that don’t let go of my hand, however difficult I make it for You.
Reham is a word that can make the very heavens reflect when it comes out from deep within. For me it is one of the most powerful words. Words like Thank You. Sorry. Cash Please. Instant Downloading… are all powerful words. But when one calls out Reham from the depths of one’s very being, the words leave from one’s soul and reach at the feet of our Goddess, God, Guru.
I truly believe that one can get liberated with this simple word. Reham. That is why whenever somebody connects with me and shares something heartbreaking or when my publishers send me my royalty I always respond with Baba RehamKaray. It only means I pray that Baba has mercy and compassion and gives you the strength and wisdom to go through whatever is in store for you calmly and with grace.
Of course where I am concerned I dial my publisher and cuss like a dehydrated sailor.
We need to incorporate this one word into our very being. I love this word as it makes each one of us a child pleading for understanding and another chance from our Elders. You reflect on this word and it opens doors deep within your heart that have been shut for a long time, sometimes for lifetimes.
And if you want to meditate on this word then it’s simple. Take your Goddess, God, Guru’s Name and then add Reham to it. Inhale with your Goddess, God, Guru’s name and exhale chanting Reham internally. Let the energy of the Divine enter with every inhalation and let Reham exhale all your angst and burdens. We are seeking forgiveness not only from all of creation but from ourselves too. As very often we are the meanest to one’s own self as we have to go through all the filth which we cover ourselves with through thoughts, words and actions.
Also when we chant this word Reham we are basically telling them, ‘jobhikiyahai, kahabhikiyahai, kiskobhikiyahai, kaisaybhikiyahai…rehamkaro’. (For the dolts who don’t understand Hindi it means, ‘whatever is done, wherever it is done, whoever it has been done to, however it has been done, have mercy on me’).
I have found the word Maafi (forgiveness) beautiful too but forgiveness comes with a rider. One seeks forgiveness and then strives never to repeat the mess that one is seeking forgiveness from. But most of us seek forgiveness and then like good shmucks that we are we amazingly repeat the same blunder that we are seeking to be forgiven for. To seek forgiveness or Maafi means that we shall try our best not to repeat that blunder but let’s face it, we so very often go about perfecting that art of bungling up again.
Reham on the other hand means ‘Oh Creator I am daft, dumb, phenomenally messed up, have compassion on me, have mercy on me, have pity on me, as no matter what I am going to keep shoving my foot into all my openings at alarming regularity but never stop having mercy on me’. So one is seeking Reham not only from one’s flaws and all the muck but also Reham from one’s own self destructive nature. It allows grace to embrace us. But remember this is not a tool to be used and then go right out and do the same mistake again thinking that one has asked for Rehem and the job is over. It doesn’t work that way. It is only when one asks for Rehem with a true pure heart realising one’s mistake and trying one’s best not to repeat that mistake again does grace embrace us.
Only when one keeps seeking Reham and Maafi, and we truly mean it, slowly we too begin to get more compassionate and forgiving to one’s self and all those around us. When we have our head at the feet of The One and seek Reham and truly seek it, grace descends, it has to, and our issues may remain but a certain resolve, a certain calmness enters our being and all the noise within us dissolves into NOTHINGNESS and we begin to be more compassionate and forgiving to others too. The words in Our Father….Forgive us our sins and trespasses as we forgive those who sin and trespass against us…well I truly believe that state of compassion comes about by seeking Reham from The One. Our real issue is that we are low on mercy and forgiveness too; and slander, gossip, lies, rumours, are the most potent vehicles that carry our filth and spreading everything which is not compassionate and merciful.
They say truth will set us free. Truth may set us free or a good lawyer may do the needful but compassion I know for sure always sets us free. From our own burdens. Our own darkness. Our own self-destructiveness. We being human beings have a self-destructive DNA throbbing within our very being. Most of us are self-destructive…. we place landmines on the very path of our soul.
Reham, this simple word can change the way we see life, the world, the beyond. For I know that we have come from The One. The One embodies our Divine Mother and Father. Both rolled into One. Shiv Shakti. Yes rules abide. Karma seeks its pound of flesh. But there are certain cards held by The One. Compassion, Mercy, Pity, call it what you want, is the Mother of all Aces waiting to be used if only called out with humility and child like faith. The One is Compassion Personified waiting to use that Ace in the pack.
Be blessed always.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha