Saturday, September 29, 2012

Universality versus Individuality (Edited June 15, 2014)

Trepidation haunts me in this.  Twice over the past few days I've entirely removed this blog from the web only to put it back.  I'll try to explain.  This post is a synthesis of Professor Desani's foundational teaching as I understand it.  I don't intend to speak on his behalf but to share my personal understanding of his instruction. I say this because I'm unworthy, of course, to attribute my ideas to this great man; I'm a simple 'householder'.  While I have great thirst for Truth I lack capacity.  My most basic instruction is that of any Bhakta; it is to yield.  So I am torn between being nothing but a recluse and presuming to attempt in the way displayed here to keep the memory of Desani alive.  I certainly wasn't recruited, that I know of, to assume this role.  Kindly keep this in mind as you read the following.

What is God?  That by which you have universality.  That is God.  And he cannot be parsed from the whole of reality or creation.  What is Man?  That by which God has individuality, for space time has meaning only if a sentient being is there to experience it.  Concisely, God confers on man universality.  Man confers on God individuality.  It is a very old notion in Western philosophy that matter confers universality while form confers individuality.  See Aristotle. I think of this as another way of saying God sleeps in matter and his awakening involves the emergence of sentient life.  This is, of course, a Hindu as well as a Jewish notion.  Jesus Christ's (Issa of Kashmir?)  life is a metaphor for the idea that God descends into matter in order to reemerge a self realized being.  I touch on this notion here .

Every instance of man (sentient life) is a finite expression of an infinite potentiality.  You can't be God and be a man but, you can't be man and not be a spark of the divine.

The germ of this idea is from Professor who told me once in a quiet moment that man is a device by which the divine creative spirit has self experience.  I recall thinking at the time that I'd just been handed a great secret as to the ultimate meaning and purpose of existence.  I was, and still am, astounded by the simple elegance of this notion and that it was just handed to me.  I don't recall that he said this in response to any query of mine; though certainly he appreciated that I was on a spiritual quest.  It was, indeed, this quest that brought me to him in the first place.  One didn't generally make queries of Desani.  It was something of an affront to interrupt his thoughts.  One just waited and listened generally while, of course, it was acceptable to compliment him on the tea or whatever he was sharing.  In this posting I outline some complimentary notions he graciously shared.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Desani's Mostly Concerning Kama Essay

As written about in the previous post Mostly Concerning Kama and Her Immortal Lord (.pdf) has been made available in its entirety by Todd Katz at  As Desani writes, this is "An essay, in five parts, inspired by the author’s pilgrimage to the Kāmāksha Temple, Gauhati, District Kamrup, Assam, with an appraisal of some of the most mystifying secret doctrines of Indian occultism, the mantra and tantra."  Besides describing his ritual worship, puja, of the Divine Mother at Kāmāksha he recounts other details of his journey, his Kumarī Pūjā, his visit to Bhuvaneswari Temple situated atop Nilācala, and a further visit to the shrine of Umānanda Bhairava on Umānanda Island in the Brahamaputra.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mostly Concerning Kama and Her Immortal Lord

Professor wrote this essay in 1973 in Austin, Texas and it was published in Indian Horizons as Volume XXII, No. 1, January, 1973.  I had been a student in several of his classes in the late  sixties and later, after I graduated, I was privileged to stay in contact with the Professor.  I have lost track of the exact date but sometime in the late seventies he gave me a copy of this essay.  It was an Offprint and had been marked up, I later found out, by him.  There were a great many errors in the Offprint and I've learned since that Todd Katz used the corrected copy given to me to prepare the Rissala manuscript of which Mostly Concerning Kama and Her Immortal Lord was included for republication.  Unfortunately Rissala, as I mentioned below, has never been published and is now, as I understand it, owned by the United Nation's Children's Fund.  Todd has more details on this on the site he hosts,  My site, this "blog", is more in the nature of a virtual shrine for the purpose of venerating a spiritual leader and, to me, life mentor.

A while back I took the trouble to scan into PDF the essay at hand and shared it with Todd.  He in turn performed OCR (optical character resolution) on the file and sent it back to me for proof reading.  The document, some 53 pages, is back in Todd's hands.  He intends to incorporate my proofs and publish it at  Meanwhile, here are two pages out of the original Offprint with Professor Desani's own markings.  This piece is a profound scholarly exposition of the subject and provides insights I dare say not available anywhere else in the world, not to speak of the personal testimony of a man who braved the most sublime ordinarily unknowable territory of the spirit daring to discover for himself the deepest, and yes, the darkest secrets of existence.  The philosophical insights are unparalleled.  Anyone with the capacity to grasp Desani's offering, and it is that, in a most religious, worshipful sense, I should hope would be most grateful that he or she has had the great good fortune to have this access, to them here bequeathed.

Click on the images and use browser's zoom function to get a better view.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Desani's Yoga and Vipassana Meditation Lecture Pg. 3

I have linked to a .pdf of this lecture below.  Here is a sample of that lecture.  This is an image of page three of the original scanned document given to me by Professor Desani sometime around 1980.  This lecture was delivered  in Rangoon, Burma to the members of the Diplomatic Corps at the residence of the Ambassador of Israel, January 29, 1961.