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Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

A Place of Darkness – A place of Light

Come with me to this place – so dark that I stumbled a bit as my eyes took a few minutes to adjust.

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Seeking nothing, I went there during a snow storm just to see.

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And there I found them – robes of  learned men in seated position before the Buddha.

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Who were they? What were their stories? How did they find the light?

The Buddha too sat in darkness – lit only by the faint natural light.IMG_1965

The lone occupant of the whole monastery was the caretaker-monk who opened up the halls for us on request …and now, IMG_1969for a few hours there was also me. (and my driver-companions)

The day that I spent there  – although it is such a small dot in my lifetime –  will stretch and occupy my eternity disproportionately.

For I cannot stop thinking of my time there.

The stillness and the nothingness was almost sensorial.

And there was the sound of silence. Simon & Garfunkel were talking about a very real phenomenon.

But contrary to what one might expect from such circumstances,  there was no flash of wisdom or enlightenment in that quietude. No big moment of truth.

But for one who cannot be rid of unending thoughts, those few moments of an empty mind were definitely meaningful. They were as close as I could get to the sense of “moksh” or “free of all ties” – as I was free of all thoughts – even if only for a few moments.

Maybe that was what Krishn was saying to Arjun once – “keep your mind as still as the flame of a lamp in a windless room – unwavering – unflickering”.

When I tried to attain that state consciously I was never successful…

But in that darkness, in those moments,  as I sat surrendered and stared into no fixed object in the dark hall, I was finally able to.

Maybe that darkness was the place of Light!

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jm

May 2018

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