online: 2 september 2005
modified: 1 september 2005

28 august 2005 beyond materialism

18:40 Kenwood, the evening of the last outdoor concert by the lake.

As i sit here beneath the lime trees (a little away from the crowd gathering to listen to the music) i feel the gradual return of the calm i've lost in recent days or weeks... the calm of autonomous action, and of cessation of stress and annoyances occasioned by the decisions and compromises of finding a new place to live, buying it and anticipating the move, etc... but... (here someone catches my attention) ...but this evening i feel calm and contented.

19:20 The person who stopped to speak to me was Ashok Dewan whom i'd never met.

He spoke to me about the Gita*... When i remarked on it being in part the story of a war he said yes, it was an actual war and it lasted 18 days... in which the Lord Krishna took a (pacific?) part and afterwards he left the earth...

Though he seemed highly educated in western ways Ashok spoke as if he believed in Hinduism, or Vedanta. He mentioned an intrepretation of the Gita by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, who was a close friend and ally of Gandhi and later became the last Governor General of India (after Lord Mountbatten). He said he'd send me a copy by post - and he did - it arrived this morning. It is his own copy.

I see that it is a restatement, in the language and awareness of rationalism and materialism, of ancient descriptions of the soul or the spirit, accepted as necessary beliefs if one is to reach beyond materialism. The book was written to enable Indian students, perhaps believing only in science, to know the essentials of their own religious tradition... we talked for some time and then he went...

19:30 the first sounds of the concert... it sounds like a symphony - what a marvel is the existence of symphonies (and so also, of course, is the existence of music, though i dislike much of it!)... What i heard was something by Rossini.

Having listened to the beginning i walked back across the Heath.

*The Bhagavad Gita, interpreted by C. Rajagopalachari, Bhavan's Book University, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mumbai 1999, 14th edition.

The Gita is, with The Upanishads, a primary text of Hinduism and Yoga as well as being a fragment of The Mahabharata, a divine epic.

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