Balan Vinod - nature abstract - photograph

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


In oriental tradition, the Acharya is not just a teacher. Almost always a male, Acharya is the one who is singularly responsible for your education and training. He equips his pupil with various tools so that the student can venture out into the world fearlessly and lead a life beneficial not only to himself/herself but also to others. The Acharya does not impart any self-help tips or escape-routes. He just arms the student with knowledge-processing on real-time    so that the student can deduct viveka (wisdom) as the situation demands at any point of life. Interestingly, the Acharya doesn't consider himself a savant. The main focus of his prayer alongwith his students is the containment of hate. He seeks the Ancient One’s grace so that he and his students can work towards greater common good. He doesn't place himself on a pedestal. He is at par with his students.

Sri. Rajneesh Chandra Mohan Jain (Osho) is definitely an Acharya in his own right. He successfully mixed the best of oriental and occidental philosophies and added flavor to it with modern psychology. The cocktail is so heady that it is practically impossible to feel the bitterness. This does not mean that the drink is to be discarded, it is agreeable of course but certain distasteful ingredients are to be removed.

Ignorance is bliss

Balan Vinod - photograph - nature abstract

Acharya does not use the term “ignorance” in a negative context. According to him ignorance is not the absence of knowledge. Ignorance is a wrapper, impossible to unpack and one should accept it as such. For elucidating his point, Acharya gives the example of water.

What is water? He asks.

H2O , you answer.

Is that answer adequate?
Will you ever get to know water? The essence of water?

No. You can just play with words but you’ll never be able to grasp the mystery of water.  Our answers are always trying to evade the original question.  Ignorance always remains. Truth is mysterious and elusive. Hence it is beautiful!  So remain. Acharya stops here.

Balan Vinod - photograph -nature abstract
Take a closer look. You are inclined to believe that ignorance is nothing but bliss. However, the idea of ignorance as given in our ancient texts is entirely different. Seeing water, you don’t really feel like breaking it into Hydrogen and Oxygen. Instead you start wondering about the perfection of creation. It makes you humble in many ways. You start exploring the relationship between you and the elements. Water, Earth, Wind, Fire and the Sky. You discover the presence of all these elements within yourself. You start correlating the sky inside to that exists outside. You discover that the micro level energy inside you can be linked directly to the macro level energy of the Universe.  This may not be the point of realization but it certainly is the point of exhilaration.  Mysteries start vanishing one by one.

Balan Vinod - photograph - nature abstract

Longing is the prime requisite of any spiritual quest which is undermined by the Acharya.

After all, you are not seeking any answers  in black and white, you’re just seeking a feeling.