When we (sis, bro and i) were in Kendriya Vidyalaya, the school timings were from 9-3:30 pm. We used to come home make quick pepper omelette (I became a vegetarian only in 2005) and eat rice and some kolambu, watch Remington Steele, Different Strokes, Small Wonder, Who’s the Boss glued to the TV.
Those days, my vocabulary naturally was poor and I picked from the school library, Kamala Das’s Padmavati the Harlot and Other Stories. I was 12 years old then and did not know the meaning of the word. Of course, once in college, I had no compunctions reading Sheldons or Robbins after my initial shock. Harlot somehow got linked to Small Wonder’s Harriet in my mind.
I remembered Ida, Pingala and Sushumna nadis and the effect of pranayam on them. And I also bumped into the story of Pingala the 17th preceptor of Datta in a spiritual website. After reading that, I was wondering, why do women marry in this material world? What does the wife seek in her husband? Of course, there are some lives united eternally from previous births, who happily rejoin again and again. I have seen 2 such pairs.
But otherwise, Pingala’s desire for companionship, pleasures and material security and how she comes out of her desire made me wonder. Some might equate this Grapes are sour.
Extracts from the site:
Once, after a long waiting at night for a man, Pingala became dispassionate. She reflected what madness it was to associate herself with her body. Unable to control her senses, she had lamented, all the while for a man who desired her body. She disgusted the miserable desire that someone would come and make her happy. She remembered eternal Hari and realized what a fool she was to think that if some man were to squeeze her body, she would get happiness. She realizes her delusion in beholding her body and its beauty, various structures covered by skin. There are 9 doors (9 doors was mentioned in Vidhurniti as well) and what comes out of them daily is filth. She thinks, how hard, she strove to beautify this thing called body. By loving these perishable things, what happiness does one attain? Finally she gives up desires and realizes happiness in total surrender to lord Hari.
This afternoon, my physiotherapist asked me if I was a pentecoste and why I was not wearing any ornaments. The truth was, I didn’t feel like left to myself. There are days, when I give up all desires, and take life as it comes – laze around. Yet there are days, when I schedule my hours and work out my plans. Suddenly now am shaky on Karmanye Vadikarasthe. Desires and goals. Got to re-read the explanations.