"Nihspand" An Expression

Posted by Jignasha Pandya on Dec 14, 2013
9922 reads  
This is my first blog post. It has always been very difficult for me to write my experiences and especially difficult to communicate the essence. Over the past two years I have always tried to write something and deleted it without posting. I only hope to be able to complete my post today and share.

Two days ago I, Madhu and Sandeep visited Arun Bhatt and Meera Bhatt. Both Arun dada and Meera ba connected with Vinoba during the Bhoodan movement and have ever since lived a life in service. Madhu is making a film on Vinoba which gave us an opportunity to meet Vinoba and experience some part of his spirit through dada and ba.

As we entered the room and settled down, Arun dada said I want to sing a welcome bhajan for you. This beautiful Kabir bhajan in dada’s soft golden voice on oneness was a humbling experience.  Arundada left home when he was 19 to join Vinoba in Bihar in the Bhoodan movement. He noticed that after Vinoba’s lecture people would line up in long queues to give. Everyone wanted to give something – big land, small land, food, home, time whatever they could. They all wanted to give. This fascinated young Arun. He thought it would be easy for people to be moved to give when a saint like Vinoba talks. So, he decides to go to villages and talk to people about giving and see for himself what happens. He noticed that people gave. He experienced that people give when they experience kindness and when they know that it is an expression of selflessness and love.

During our conversation with ba and dada I noticed two things – first, everytime they both spoke, the room was filled with ripples of joy.  Second, between these conversations there were moments of stillness – quiet and peaceful, full of connection. I asked about this internal state of being and the external manifestation, what was it, how was it happening. Meera ba shared something beautiful that I am still soaking in. She said that Vinoba always spoke of ‘nihspandit hona’ – it is difficult to explain nihspand in English but I will try – Spandit hona is a verb which means ‘to vibrate’. Therefore Nihspandit hona would mean ‘to be still’.  

The word ‘Nihspand’ somewhere struck a chord with me – you cannot forcefully stop anything that is vibrating or moving, you have to be still, watch and wait in peace. She said it is a practice, everyday practice.  And, then she said something counter intuitive – there are layers to this stillness, each layer opens you up to a newer and deeper space of ‘maun’ (quietening) (counter intuitive – you be still and open up :-) ). We open ourselves to subtle and subtler vibrations as we access these layers of stillness. And, then there will be a moment when we touch ‘shunyanta’ (absence of anything – not even vibrations - only that which IS) and from ‘shunyata ‘our journey starts towards ‘purnata’ (oneness).

Ba shared that we as humans love to see our image in the mirror. In the same way we want to and enjoy seeing ourselves in the other. That is purnata – oneness, when we are able to see and connect with that tatva – which IS in every creation of the existence. Dada in his poetic expression shared a story of Mohamed Paigamber when he went into the mountains. He said Paigamber experienced this Stillness (pragadh maun) in the mountains and this is when the Wahi (that which IS) started flowing. Paigamber did not know how to write or record, he just allowed the wahi to flow which then later got recorded as the Quran. He says that Quran are not words, paigamber did not hear words but decoded sounds.

During the Bhoodan movement, Vinoba would walk in silence for the first two hours of the morning.  Everyone who walked with him practiced collective silence. Ba shared that those two hours felt like every being was engulfed in an ocean of stillness – the bird, the tree, the pebble, every part of existence almost revealed itself in silence. In this stillness one experiences that there is nothing to lose, one can only give and give what but love.

I asked them what message would they want to give us - and they said the message of Ahimsa (non-violence) and Satya (truth). Ba said that if understood Ahimsa is Love and Truth is. 

This is just a glimpse of our two hours with the Vinobas, I am still a little overwhelmed to capture, share and empty out everything that happened. Maybe as the vibrations settle in, the wahi will flow into a blogpost. Someone has said that –‘the greatest happiness is to transform one’s feelings into positive action.’ And, I am just wondering how do you transform every feeling.   This is my little attempt to transform some part of my feeling of being loved into action by writing and sharing.

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Comments (10)

  • Viral Mehta wrote ...

    wonderful to have you sharing by writing (and be-ing)! :)

  • AJay Amstutz wrote ...

    Jignasha Pandya - Your writing has touched me - thank you for sharing this, I so needed it today. [...] See full comment.
    Jignasha Pandya - Your writing has touched me - thank you for sharing this, I so needed it today. <3 You wrote: "Ba shared that we as humans love to see our image in the mirror. In the same way we want to and enjoy seeing ourselves in the other. That is purnata – oneness, when we are able to see and connect with that tatva – which IS in every creation of the existence." Ever since childhood, I have had an "unaware" awareness of this purnata/oneness. I have been told many times throughout my 59 years that this willingness to see myself in others and others in myself - that tatva - was a weakness, a downfall. I find that attitude/perception to be inherent in the accumulation mentality. You asked, "...how do you transform every feeling..." I don't know if this will help - there is a story I know: "There once was a village that lived at the bottom of a deep, swift river. It was understood that their survival depended upon clinging to the rocks. There was one among them who, convinced that there was something other than this struggle, this clinging - yearned to know what was downstream. His fellow villagers cried, "Fool! Let go and the very current you worship will dash you against the rocks to your doom!" But, let go he did and, like the villagers predicted, the current immediately dashed him against the rocks. But, in refusing to cling again, the current lifted him higher and higher, above the rocks." For me, the current is Wahi. Remaining in that flow, is shunyata and the flow always takes me to purnata. When I find myself clinging (fear/doubt/anger/feelings) - I envision the river, lifting me. I close my eyes, and the current gently lowers me to my back, carrying me. I remain in that stillness for a time, effortless, weightless. I've practiced this for the past 39 years - it is now a mantra with near immediate results. If I understand what you have described, I can say the following: The current (in my story) lifts me, effortlessly, to nihspandit hona, and then, pradagh maun - a complete absence of vibration. Here, i am. (lower case on the I intended!) Wahi. Please let me know if I have misunderstood - and I say again: thank you for sharing this. I so needed this today! "In peace and oneness I greet you and the same I leave you." ~AJay Hide full comment.

  • Jignasha Pandya wrote ...

    Thank you Ajay for sharing the story and also about your practice. I am feeling happy I was able to share this post :)

  • Nisha Srinivasan wrote ...

    That's so well articulated. Thank You for capturing this precious time with these precious people.

  • AJay Amstutz wrote ...

    Most welcome Jignasha!

  • Pancho Ramos Stierle wrote ...

    Jai Jagat! :-) May the flow of the Universal Love keep passing through you dearest Jignasha, in ways you are able to embody such radical love as that of Vinoba. In these ecosystem we are surrounded by blessings like yourself. Thank you for taking the energy and time to documenting so clearly something that goes beyond the world of words. May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

  • Jignasha Pandya wrote ...

    Thank you Pancho for being so radically in love :) Your words are very powerful. I am getting goosebumps as I am reading your blessings. Thank you for being you :)

  • Ammi wrote ...

    So glad to have found this treasure. I am glad you put it in words.

  • Priyjan wrote ...

    I have been very fortunate to have met both Arun dada and Meera ba several times. These humble souls and their simplicity lifts you from inside - there is am amazing peace when you are around them. I remember this very special evening when Arun dada was at our home and after dinner he said, "since you fed me dinner, i have a gift for you" and he sang this incredibly beautiful bhajan that i still sing after 30 years and feel very happy here are the starting lyrics, " Na do to prabhu bhale na desho darshan tamara aa ne aa janme mara, milan haju nathi thayu tamaru ena bhankara rahe jo antar ma mara..." - Oh God it is ok if you don't come meet me in this lifetime but don't let me forget even for a moment of my wake and sleeping state that i stil have to meet you - and that i have to make myself worthy of meeting you - being with you

  • Gayathri Ramachandran wrote ...

    'Nihspandit hona' -beautiful...Thank you for this