I was encompassed by ennui and lassitude the other day. And I tried to bring back the zest to read. There are quite a few buying of books that are untouched. And before I settled to stick to one I went through a couple other. The first one I browsed and read about thirty odd pages was the ‘Satanic Verses’ of Salman Ruhdie. I have never been a fan of his style of writing – what critics acclaim as “mystical magical realism etc etc ..”. It is true that he is immensely prolific with words and strange acrobatics in use of English language. But the reading of such a book in the state of boredom I was in was not encouraging to my state of mind. So I left the book marked at thirty plus page. The next one that came to my hand was a book, which I m certain will need a lot of patience and concentration to read. For some it is a fad to claim having read him. And that they are bowled over in life, in words and deed by his writing and lectures. I have read his "Commentaries on Living". And a few essays here and there. But regard his thoughts as something apart from the many nonsense we take as living and life.I glanced through the book of J. Krishnamurthy!
Interestingly a couple of question answer sections in the book proved to be live.
1- What is prayer? In daily life, what is its importance?Krishnamurthy replies, “I presume you really put that question in earnestness. Let us find out. Do not listen, but find out. Why do you pray and what is prayer? Most of your prayers are merely a petitioning, an asking. You indulge in this kind of prayer because you suffer, because you are alone, because you are depressed and in sorrow. You pray to God and ask for help; that is a petition, and that you call prayer. The content of prayer is generally the same although the intent behind it may vary. Prayer, with most people, is a petition, a begging, and asking. Are you doing that? Why are you praying? I am not saying you should or should not pray. But why do you pray? Is it for more knowledge, for more peace, for the world to be free from sorrow? Is there any other form of prayer than that? There is prayer which is really not a prayer but the sending out of good will, the sending out of love, and the sending out of ideas. Which is it you are doing”?
If your prayer is a supplication, a petition, then what happens? You are asking God or somebody to fill your empty bowl, are you not? You want that bowl to be filled according to your wishes. You are not satisfied with what happens, with what is given. So your prayer is merely a petition. It is a demand that you should be satisfied; therefore, your prayer is not prayer at all. You just want to be gratified, so you say to God, "I am suffering; please gratify me; please give me my brother, my son. Please make me rich." So, you are perpetuating your own demands. That is not prayer.
The real thing is to understand yourself, to see why you are asking, and not for what you are asking, to see why there is this demand in you, this urge to beg. Then you will find out that the more you know about yourself physically as well as psychologically - the more you know what you are thinking, what you are feeling - the more you will find out the truth of what is. It is that truth that will help you to be free and not beg.
2- Why does one feel the necessity of love?
Krishnamurthy- “You mean why do we have to have love? Why should there be love? Can we do without it? What would happen if you did not have this so-called love? If your parents began to think out why they love you, you might not be here. They might throw you out. They think they love you; therefore, they want to protect you, they want to see you educated; they feel that they must give you every opportunity to be something. This feeling of protection, this feeling of wanting you to be educated, this feeling that you belong to them is what they generally call love. Without it, what would happen? What would happen if your parents did not love you? You would be neglected, you would be something inconvenient, you would be pushed out, and they would hate you. So, fortunately, there is this feeling of love, perhaps clouded, perhaps besmirched and ugly, but there is still that feeling, fortunately for you and me; otherwise, you and I would not have been educated, would not exist”.
Did these passages show me the way out of ennui? Well interestingly it provoked thinking and that helped forget the stress and boredom for a time. And also I moved on to another book on “The Lost city of the Incas”.