Bizarre Indian Philosophy

Bizarre Indian Philosophy

Philosophy in India can get really, freakishly bizarre. More bizarre than that Matrix movie and its ilk could think of. It could be like dope in the veins. Check this out:

A Gawd-fearing character suddenly turns curious one day. Let’s call him Bhola Ram. That one day, Bhola decides to skip all the girls’ names at the temple (pUja, mangaLa, aarati, archana, etc …). Instead he decides to visit a well-informed Baba, who usually sits in meditation (now, don’t ask me where you can find such Babas). Bhola bows in reverence and after the initial pleasantries, the Baba wants to know what brings Bhola to a Baba who does ‘no magic tricks’.

Bhola: I have heard that total surrender to God and selfless deeds lead to mOksha (salvation). How do I tread on this path Baba?

Baba: Hmm … where did you hear this?

Bhola: I have heard the elders say this. But I have no idea how to practice this. I don’t think the elders know either … oops sorry, no disrespect meant to the elders.

Baba: That’s ok. You don’t have to be careful about everything you utter. Relax and ask your questions openly here.

Bhola: Baba, have you seen God?
Baba: Oh, before I answer that, let me ask you – Who is God?
Bhola: (stumped) – Well, like there are many of them in India. I can pick and choose right?

Baba: Hmmm… Like in a shopping mall. But is that all?
Bhola: (befuddled, perplexed) Eh?!??!

Baba: Let me explain a bit. If you believe in the vEdic systems, there are many Gods who get mentioned. You could choose one of them to help you with a “visual form” to start worship. But, eventually you let go of such specific forms – and you start meditating on a formless Almighty “Brahman”. Gods and Goddesses are only initial steps to start your meditation

Bhola: Oh, I remember I had read that somewhere. But what about these Gods and Goddesses then? Are they real?
Baba: The truth is: when you start meditating and reach a certain stage, you realize that you Yourself are that God (Brahman) we are talking about.
Bhola: Who “Me” ???

Baba: Yes, as you meditate you will realize “You” are the Brahman Yourself.
Bhola: But what about all those Gods and Goddesses?
Baba: They are figments of your imagination. You get such imaginations because ignorance covers us all. Remember, Brahman is the only real thing. Nothing else is.
Bhola: Oh My God … I mean – Oh My Meee!!

Baba: You can tell yourself: “aham Brahmaasmi”. I am the Brahman.
Bhola: Oh most respected Baba, a “dumb” question seems to be bubbling up from my heart
Baba: Look, you don’t have to use disclaimers here. Ask openly here

(Bhola is very excited now and happy that he has learnt something really bizarre).

Bhola: (All Smiles) Baba, please pardon my language – but what I’ve learnt is very bizarre. It’s like: If I am the Brahman, what I crap is Holy Crap! Rt?

Baba is not disturbed by Bhola’s rough language. He is smiling, and happy that someone came and learnt a bit deeper than asking for Godly favours

Baba: When Brahman alone exists, nothing is Holy to anybody else, ‘coz nobody else exists. Nothing else is real.

Bhola: (Eyes a-glow) Baba, I can’t thank you enough. But I have one more question: If the Gods and Goddesses are just my imaginations – what about you?

Baba: Bhola, Nobody is an exception. I too, am just your imagination. Just as you are to me.

Bhola: And yet – I learnt all this bizarre stuff from my own imagination?? And youuu Sir? You spent time and effort teaching stuff like that to a “mirage” like me? How bizarre is that?

Baba: Bhola, we live in a world of maayaa
Bhola steps out of the Ashram with almost a song on his lips: “I’ve GOT the POWWWER”. (Remember Bruce Almighty and the Fire Hydrant?)
He is thinking to Himself, “These dudes here on the road, they are just my imagination. But I … I am the Brahman. The only reality”.

SCreeeeeCCHHH. Honk Honk Honk. Bhola has stepped off the pavement and is almost crushed to pulp by a truck. Sweating and panting, eyes wide open, Bhola is thinking: “Holy Crap! That was close …
… but heyy, wait a minute. Was that Real?!?”


What goes by the name of Indian Philosophy to the world is the advaitic philosophy illustrated above. As objective as you get trying to analyze it, it remains quite bizarre. Many people are drawn to its intriguing paths and the superb mental exercise it offers. However, advaita, as it is called, is only one of the many philosophies in India. Philosophies such as dvaita and vishishTaadvaita have logics running diagonally opposite to advaita.

Unlike Western philosophies that are different from religion, Indian schools of thought have evolved into sects and have people born in to them. For the average God-fearing Indian though – none of these matter. He just wants a Gawd to barter with and exchange favours to make his life easier.

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