"Nihspand" An Expression
Posted by Jignasha Pandya on Dec 14, 2013
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.