Imagination is more important than knowledge. – Einstein
Knowledge is of the past. Imagination is of the future. I can’t change the past, but I can change the future.
If I can imagine a world that I want to see, there is a greater chance that world will take shape. If I don’t use my imagination and don’t care what the world will be like, then I leave it in the hands of other dreamers to decide. Throughout history, there have been many dreamers, but not all of them have necessarily been “on the side of the greater good”. My imagination and my dreams now-a-days only represent what I would like to see for the greater good. I have given up dreaming or wishing only things for myself.
If we never learn to use our imagination to envision a better and brighter future for all, then we will be trapped in living the dreams of the past generations, which can never be as bright as those from the present moment. When we learn to use our imaginations to create new possibilities that have never been thought before only then will we enter into a new reality. Only then can we take control over the creation.
Yesterday was a very pleasant and adventurous day. After the morning’s coffee with Shanti, I met a new friend at the Kumiko House and we wandered all the way down to Assi Ghat eventually leading to Banares Hindu University. On the way we ran into Mama Marish and three other sadhus who invited us to sit with them. They constantly smile, laugh, and joke with one another and I am always reminded of the simple joy of companionship. Whether it is their natural demeanor or the effects of a little early morning ritual I am not for sure, but I would lean towards the former.
Shanti and his sweet companion Dolly.
Banares Hindu University is one of the biggest in all of Asia with over 20,000 students. It has a beautiful campus spread over 1,400 acres with a very L.A. Noire feel to it. The construction and layout was carefully planned and the buildings have been wonderfully preserved. Although we did not enter any of the departments, we visited the newer Vishwanath Temple as well as the botanical gardens located nearby. There are rows and rows of streets lined with flowering trees planted near it’s inception in 1916. I have a feeling I will be back there sometime in the future.
Later, we took a tuk-tuk back to the guesthouse and on the way ran into the Shibendu Lahiri Kriya Yoga center that I had been to two years ago. It is a very special place carrying the transmission of former and current Kriya yoga masters.. Before I learned vipassana, I was a student of Kriya yoga and believe it was instrumental in paving the path for my future spiritual self.
There are a number of amazing hand-carved full-body statues in the center. These three men are from the family of Lahiri, with Lahiri Mahasaya in the bottom left. He was the guru of Sri Yukteswar Giri who was the guru of Paramahansa Yogananda, the author of the infamous book, The Autobiography of a Yogi, and founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship. I highly recommend anyone to come and visit the center if they are in Varanasi.
This tablet is from the Ashtavakra Gita, one of my favorite scriptures in Vedic literature. It is a dialogue between Ashtavakra and the king Janaka about reality, the soul, and bondage. Anyone can download a free PDF from here. I quote from it often on this blog and in my journal.
The final picture is of Mahavatar Babaji, one of the highest level gurus of all Kriya yoga who has supposidely lived in the Himalayas for thousands of years. According to Wikipedia, “the first reported encounter with Mahavatar Babaji was in 1861, when Shyāmacharan Lahirī (called “Mahāsaya” by disciples, devotees, and admirers) was posted to Ranikhet in his work as an accountant for the British government. One day while walking in the hills of Dunagiri above Ranikhet, he heard a voice calling his name. Following the voice up the mountain, he met a “tall, divinely radiant sadhu.” He was amazed to find that the sadhu knew his name. 62 This sadhu was Mahavatar Babaji” 6I consider it an honor to have just the pictures of statues of these wonderful human beings on the blog.
Today, I will be going back to Sarnath to do a proper exploration of the entire park and ancient ruins. Hopefully, it will be an action-packed day of realization and rememberance.
List of daily expenses and donations for April 28th, 2015:
The blog’s 3rd donation came in yesterday for $100, sent from a special friend back home. I have divided half into the expense account and half into the giving account. With additional funds coming in, additional funds can be directed. I took advantage of Facebook’s pledge to match all money donated to Nepal’s Earthuake Relief Fund through the International Medical Corps and channeled $150 extra which will be backed by $150 by Facebook for a total of $300. Through your donations, we have now helped to raise and send $500 to Nepal.
Total spent on travel: .80
Total spent on food: $2.27
Total spent on room: $1.59
Total: $5.31 + $56.16 = 61.47 divided by 7 days = $8.78 each day.
Donations given to 9 random strangers = 80 Indian rupees or $1.42
Donations given to 10 sadhus or holy men = 100 INR or $1.59
Donations given to Lahiri Kriya Yoga center = 100 INR or $1.59
Donations given to Nepal Earthquake relief charities = $150 $(300 with Facebook bonus)
Total = $154.60 + 271.14 = 425.74 divided by 7 days = $60.82 each day given
Expense account = $493.84 + $50 – 5.31 = $538.33 (Avg $8.78 each day will last 61 more days)
Donations account = $278.91 + $50 – 154.6 = $174.31 (Avg $60.82 each day will last 3 more days)
They walked into the lassi shop and had to cross over a few peoples’ legs to reach the back room. After placing an order for one apple lassi, the music began to play.
A small human being saw his chance, jumped up on the makeshift stage and began to do what he had done in the mirror countless times before. He shucked, he jived, he dreamed of being a Bollywood star.
The lassi came and was enjoyed over simple spiritual conversation about life and the pursuit of happiness. If only we could go back to this kid’s passion for dance, everything would always be alright.
Children are the true dreamers. This kid dreams a dream that has never been dreamt everyday.