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Showing posts from February, 2011

Zen, Learning and Enlightenment

I was staying in Uttar Kashi then, in Tapovan Kuti, originally a tiny one-room cottage that belonged to my grand teacher Swami Tapovanamji, later enlarged and developed by his disciple and my guru Swami Chinmayanandaji into a large ashram with scores of rooms with modern comforts. This is in Ujeili, on the lower slopes of Varanavat Mountain, facing Har Parbat across the Ganga in the east and the famous Valakhilya Mountains some distance away in the south east. It is a beautiful place, the whole area this side of the Ganga filled with ashrams.

I used to watch every day a serious looking young monk on the terrace of a nearby ashram. He would walk up and down on the terrace the whole day, with an open book in hand, and from the constant movement of his lips it was clear he was repeating and learning by heart the book. Eventually one day I asked him what the book was and he showed it to me. It was a commentary on the Brahma Sutras. On top of each page was the text of the Sutras, below it …