When I came back to my room in the afternoon today after meeting ashram visitors, it had just stopped raining. Almost. It was drizzling lightly giving the feeling of standing in the misty clouds. Soon it stopped drizzling too. I could hear birds chirping at a distance.
The winter sun playfully peeked out of the clouds spreading the blanket of warm light on my study table. The tweeting of the birds felt closer. I got up and looked outside the other window. Oh, what a beauty. Tens of little sparrows were merrily scuttling about fetching their food from the ground, although I couldn’t be sure what exactly they were pecking at. Their movements were synchronized. I watched the divine rhythm for a good few minutes. The sky became gray and it was raining again. The sparrows went quiet and then disappeared like a rainbow in a blue sky.
The mountains stood where they were and the river continued to flow indifferently. Everything in the world was going on as it had been earlier. I was awestruck. There was something so simple about those beautiful little birds, their act, that I almost slipped into deep samadhi. They came out when the sun emerged, got to work and went away in hiding when it rained. Simple.
Simplicity is spirituality.
Even meditation is done so that you understand yourself better, so you may examine your life with discerning wisdom and de-layer yourself. Correct meditation leads to the expansion of consciousness, which makes you childlike. You begin to see things and phenomena without judgment. You realize that any complexity in your life is merely your interpretation of how you see or experience anything. A sense of simplicity helps you to declutter your physical and mental space.
When your headspace is clear, your life becomes simple automatically. You naturally develop a spiritual outlook. And how to know if you are inching towards spirituality? For one thing, you start to see everything as a blessing in life. The temporary and transient nature of this world bothers you no longer. As you delve deeper into your own infinite existence, you become increasingly unafraid. Because at the root of this spirituality is a simple understanding — everything is a blessing.
There was a yogi who manifested God with his searing penance and asked for the boon of immortality. God made him immortal and the yogi was filled with pride. He settled down in a village and began harassing its people by forcing them to serve him at his beck and call. Knowing he was immortal, the villagers submitted to his demands, but his atrocities only increased.
In the same village lived a burly wrestler who decided enough was enough.
“I’ll break every bone in your body and pull your eyeballs out,” he said to the immortal yogi.
“Ha! No one can kill me.”
The wrestler pounced on the yogi and surely enough, crushed every bone in his body and left him blind. With the boon of imperishability, however, he wouldn’t die. But at the same time with a body that could no longer move and eyes that could not see anymore, he lost all desire to live. People took their revenge on him and he was left all alone to die. But die he could not.
Eventually, he figured that death was the only way to end his suffering. He fervently prayed for death. All he wanted to do was die. He realized that immortality wasn’t a boon. At least, death would give him a chance to be born again and not make the same mistakes. He would get a new body, a new lease on life, he thought.
I’m not saying that anyone should pray for death or close out the account of their life. I’m simply saying that most of us want to hold on to eternity, a sort of permanence. The truth is, when you see life not as a burden but a boon, when you see its temporary nature not as a shortcoming but a solution, life feels like a big blessing then.
Since we are here, we may as well live with gratitude and positivity. We are at the party now already, we may as well rejoice and join in the festivities. What’s the point in sitting in a corner brooding and whining? It’s not going to uplift anyone’s mood (including yours). We may as well celebrate life, celebrate you.
The parents of a child were distressed when they lost Tinker, their pet dog. They didn’t know how to explain death to their five-year-old son.
“What happened to Tinker, mummy? Why isn’t he moving?”
“He’s dead, sonny,” the mother replied. “He’s gone to heaven, to be with God.”
“Why?” the child said innocently. “What’s God gonna do with a dead dog?”
If we are not frolicking with life while we are here, if we are not sportive while we have a chance, how could we possibly enjoy anything in any other world (or lifetime)? After all, we carry the same tendencies forward. It’s now or never. This is it, this life, however it is, it’s a boon. Why live it any other way?
Sparrows come when the sun is out, they hunt for food and fly back to their nest in the evening. Quite similarly, a soul finds a womb when the time is right, lives a life and goes back to merge into the Supreme Consciousness. Or, it is reborn to fulfill its desires like the hungry bird that continues flying in search of food. This is the cycle of samsara. This is the mystical play of nature. Transient but eternal. Sophisticated yet simple.
At any rate, it is a blessing. Like our lives, like our planet. Beautiful.