Monday, February 27, 2017

The Squirrel Story and a Beautiful Lesson

This is a very interesting, heart-warming observation I had today. It served as a betoken to my own  natural human instincts and egotistical desires and then went on to remind me again of a few doctrines of life.

I was studying in sun on the terrace of my beautiful home and suddenly my attention was caught by a swift squirrel. Delighted as it was to discover a piece of grape lying on the terrace, the squirrel began eating it using its nimble fingers. That was a riveting sight, I have never invested so much time looking at a squirrel eating its food. The squirrel, needless to say, was beautiful and its small structure and swiftness totally bewitched me. I felt a strong desire to somehow catch hold of the squirrel because , "Hey after all I had more grapes than it could glean". When I could see only its beautiful tail, I made a plan to grab the squirrel in my mind but knowing very well about how alert these creatures are I did not try to catch it. And instead went back to observing it till it finished two grapes and one peanut. While observing the squirrel, I asked myself, "Why was it that my natural instinct after seeing the squirrel was to grab it?", "Why was not my first reaction that of delight?", "Why could I not just appreciate this creature of Lord eating food in such a focused way?", a lot many Whys were written all over my inquiring brow and I was actually disappointed that I thought that way. However, I realized that becoming a human who thinks in an unattached way is a conscious choice, a responsible choice and a choice which comes when you really look at something from a good distance - in a detached manner.

Of course, I could give that squirrel a lot many grapes that it could ever find in its entire lifetime but at a cost, a cost that might lead it to a sad demise. That cost was freedom. First of all, my immediate desire to catch hold of the squirrel reminded me of the human instinct to cage, grab, contain and capture something that fascinates us, something that we find extremely beautiful, unique and enchanting. It reminded me of all those times in past when I had behaved that way in my relationships and associations with people wonderful and amazing. It struck a deep chord in me because it made me meet my own doppelganger that hides somewhere inside of me, a part of me, a thought inside of me. But most of all it reminded me of my lower consciousness. Wise enough not to get sad at observing such a wonderful thing, I leveraged it to learn something. A deep conversation ensued inside of me, while I was still looking at the squirrel and thanking Lord for sending such a profound lesson my way at such a relevant time.

I was happy, I had become aware of something that could be bettered in me by a responsible choice. The next moment on a wire on my terrace came a beautiful sparrow, its tail was moving as if creating an undulating music in air. I looked at the bird, I smiled. I smiled because I did no longer think the same way, I smiled because I appreciated the beauty that the bird was carrying with itself, I smiled because I had actually learnt to look at the beauty and appreciate it without any motive to cage it. I believe the highest form of reverence to any person in our life is this silent appreciation with deep regards for their liberty and freedom. I had learnt that many more such squirrels, birds and wonderful people will adorn my life, the only appropriate response would be gratitude and reverence for their freedom, the highest form of love. I had light in my eyes when I learnt that. These seemingly petite, insignificant creatures had taught me something for eternity. A bird looks more beautiful when it flies high in the sky unbridled, a squirrel looks more enchanting when it is scuttling in woods trying to find its food, the beloved is revered more when he/she is not reduced to be an object to be possessed and separated from rest of the world. 

I  learnt that the highest form of love was to pay heed to the beauty that was around without making strategies to grab the source of beauty. I  learnt to appreciate the uniqueness of that beauty by being unattached, I learnt that the biggest damage I could do to the squirrel was to capture it and give it sweet grapes everyday at the cost of its sweeter life beyond the cage. I learnt that freedom and love are not isolated from each other, love prospers when there is an essence of freedom and no desire to control or manipulate. The next moment the squirrel came again, this time it identified another peanut, I smiled wide and got lost in it without any desire to grab it or capture it, I simply let it be and felt relaxed with such a line of thought. 

It is a hard lesson to learn, there will be temptations but to become authentically empowered beings we need to make responsible choices, choices that allow the uniqueness in people to bloom and prosper and not suffocate their innermost dreams with unwarranted emotional incarceration. 

Next time when I meet any creature of Lord that touches my heart and soul, I know what I have to do. I'll just look at them, smile and appreciate the beauty and the aura they carry along , feel grateful for the meeting and harbor no other motive. Period. We all know what happens when we try to cage a beautiful bird, its feathers wither away and it slowly perishes...Allow the things that you admire and love to flourish with liberty and embrace the miracles that come with it. 

The next moment two sparrows came chirping, hunting for their food and I just smiled with light in my eyes and they went on their own ways. I kept smiling.

God bless you all.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

An Ode to Lord !

This sunshine that warms me, reminds me of you, 
This cool breeze in the sun, which touches my face, 
with her divine essence, reminds me of you, 
Every flower which is smiling with its petals wide open for embrace, 
reminds me of you, 
Every leaf, bright and green, reminds me of you. 
These small wheat plants that wave in air, 
carefree, burden-free and full of liberty, 
remind me of your love, 
a love, less conventional, 
a love, less realistic, as you often say,
a love, divine and pure, if I may.

The way a marble shines, in the sunshine, 
is the way my eyes light up when I think of you,  
my soul lights up, thinking of you, 
Oh! My Formless, Shapeless, Amorphous Muse! 

I know sitting beside me you are, 
in every path that I take, 
guiding me in ways,
for my glory's sake. 
Little by little, slowly by slowly, 
getting colored in your hues I find myself, 
immersed in a world less worldly, 
drowning in waters pure and sublime, 
sustained by your Love, Holy Spirit, 
My fidelity only to you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Fascinating Long Train Journeys

I love train journeys, especially the long ones in which I get to spend an entire day in the train. I remember back then when I was in college it used to take only six hours for me to go to home from college, even those six hours used to seem like an eternity. But now things have changed.  Rarely do I travel in trains and may be that is the reason that I have started loving train journeys.

My particular reason behind this discovered joy of long train journeys  is the kind of time frame it offers. I have an entire day to spend alone with my thoughts, my books and the day actually seems longer, which is the best part unlike in air journeys when you just reach your destination so fast. Looking at the landscape from the train is another thing that fascinates me a lot, it is nothing less than a trek on train, like a mini toy train that children are so excited about. Therefore, I do not mind spending an entire day in the train. I have always loved that experience. It also gives me more time to just stare blankly outside, anywhere I wish to, this amount of staring I cannot otherwise do before sleeping or when I wake up in the morning. Retired to my own thoughts, dreams, current-heatings I like to just get lost in my life, away from any other thought of responsibility and accountability. Somehow it teaches me to trust the process of life, that all of us are headed somewhere, all of us are fellow travellers. We can actually learn patience from the train journeys, just like we are travelling in train knowing that sooner or later we shall arrive at our destination because of the driver who is taking this train forward. Drawing an analogy, I can say that in our life also an attitude of patience pays off. This sort of trust and faith, train journeys are symbolic of, in my view.

Apart from that, train journeys also teach me more about the law of impermanence, the fact that everything in life is temporary. I extrapolate the day that i spend in train to life and reason that just like these fellow travellers with whom I am sharing my compartment, there are people in our lives who are currently a part of our lives. We are together today, right now, at this very moment and will separate and go on our own ways. The corollary to this fact is that, no one is with us, we all are on our respective path, we just happen to be at this particular place together for some period of time. This attitude helps to remain detached and practical to the incomings and outgoings in life when it comes to people, experiences, challenges and struggles. In other way, it teaches me to be like a lotus which resides in water but is not moistened by it.

Train journeys also offer me the luxury of time, precious time when I can be fully relaxed, carefree, when I am not frantically breathing, and when I am also sleeping in between, taking rest. This is peaceful. But yes, life is not a train journey. Sometimes it is fast, sometimes it is maddening, the rush sometimes too overwhelming. But even in the journey of life, there are episodes of train journeys. Phases when we can actually steal ourselves from the hoopla of life and spend some quality time with ourselves to acknowledge that the challenges in our lives are actually carefully crafted and planned experiments by God to heal us. All of us must try to find those special times of our own metaphoric train journeys when we can ruminate, deliberate and introspect about where exactly is our life going. It helps to maintain the focus on long term goals and not eye  instant gratification.

Yes, being away from train for such a long time has actually made me crave for them. That is why, whenever possible I try to take longer train journeys, simple in their own ways but allowing a gracious amount of time for reflections. I almost always invariably end up writing a lot, reading a lot and thinking a lot: things that feed my soul. Train journeys also teach me that someone is carefully taking me wherever I need to go , but more importantly they teach me to have faith and patience. Imagine if the kind of patience that we exhibit in train, if we had in our lives what would the quality of our life be. But yes, patience comes when we have faith, a lesson that I have learnt.

Train journeys will always be special, airplanes might reduce the time of travel, but only train journeys can make time seem irrelevant, lost and totally non-existent. Train journeys also remind me of my life journey, it teaches me that these landscapes, people around, stations all are fugacious, even my own existence is under a consistent threat because accidents can happen anytime. Therefore, it helps to maintain a sense of curiosity and gratitude all the time, all the time in life. Period.

--the views are personal. 

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