Banyan Tree - Banyan Tree - Dec 2006
by Life Positive
In the blue of the sky, in the green of the forest,
Whose is the hand that has painted the glow?
When the winds were asleep in the womb of the ether,
Who was it that roused them and bade them to blow?
He is lost in the heart, in the cavern of Nature,
He is found in the brain where He builds up the thought:
In the pattern and bloom of the flowers He is woven,
In the luminous net of the stars He is caught.
In the strength of a man, in the beauty of woman,
In the laugh of a boy, in the blush of a girl;
The hand that sent Jupiter spinning through heaven,
Spends all its cunning to fashion a curl.
There are His works and His veils and His shadows;
But where is He then? By what name is
Is He Brahma or Vishnu? A man or a woman?
Bodied or bodiless? Twin or alone?
We have love for a boy who is dark and resplendent,
A woman is our Lord, naked and fierce.
We have seen Him a-muse on the snow of the mountains,
We have watched Him at work in the heart of the spheres.
We will tell the whole world of His ways and His cunning;
He has the rapture of torture and passion and pain;
He delights in our sorrow and drives us to weeping,
Then lures with His joy and His beauty again.
All music is only the sound of His laughter,
All beauty the smile of His passionate bliss;
Our lives are His heart-beats, our rapture the bridal
Of Radha and Krishna, our love is their kiss.
He is strength that is loud in the blare of the trumpets,
And He rides in the car and He strikes in the spears;
He slays without stint and is full of compassion;
He wars for the world and its ultimate years.
In the sweep of the worlds, in the surge of the ages,
Ineffable, mighty, majestic and pure,
Beyond the last pinnacle seized by the thinker
He is throned in His seats that forever endure.
The Master of man and his infinite Lover,
He is close to our hearts, had we vision to see;
We are blind with our pride and the pomp of our passions,
We are bound in our thoughts where we hold ourselves free.
It is He in the sun who is ageless and deathless,
And into the midnight His shadow is thrown;
When darkness was blind and engulfed within darkness,
He was seated within it immense and alone.
Walking on Water
A holy man was once meditating on the bank of a river, when another holy man wanted to impress him with the extraordinary powers he had achieved through his ascetic practices. So he came towards him, walking on the water.
When he reached the place where the first holy man was quietly sitting, he said, "Did you see what I just did?"
"Oh yes, I saw you come across the river, walking on the water. Where did you learn that?"
"I practised yoga and penances for 12 years in the foothills of the Himalayas, standing on one leg, fasting six days of the week. And so I acquired this power."
"Really?" said the first holy man. "Why did you go through all that trouble to do this? Our ferryman here will ferry you across any day for two pennies."
From Folktales from India, compiled by A.K. Ramanujan
Dharma-Karma go Together
In every pursuit there is a right means and a wrong means. There are means and ends, causes and effects, actions and reactions. All these are given. While choosing means and ends, one must necessarily follow dharma, ethical norms which guide us towards right action. If we allow dharma to guide us absolutely, we will be guaranteed a happy and peaceful life, but given our human nature with its desires and self-centred focus, that is almost impossible. So what happens when you rub against this law of dharma? When you rub against a tree, the tree will rub against you. Don't accuse the tree. It is you who chose to rub, and found that you were rubbed back. If you are angry and rub more forcefully, you will only begin to bleed.
Where there is no dharma, you cannot avoid karma. Essentially, the other side of dharma is karma. There is a law of karma, which is that if you go against dharma, you have to pay the price. Because of sheer muscle power, or the power of wealth, you may get away with things at the level of human society, but if your action goes against the laws of the universe, those laws will shape a result that will exact a price from you for that action. So respect dharma and live a life of dharma. Live a life of least resistance to this law because as you grow in your understanding, you will begin to see that all these laws are no different from the Lord.
Never say Die
There are some people in whom the life force is so powerful, that no matter how ill or frail they get, they continue to live, learn and love with total involvement. It never occurs to them to call it a day, creep into a corner and wait to die. One such is Mrs. Sushilaben Ruparel.
At 58, she was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma - a skull-based cancer that had spread to vast parts of her skull behind her eyes. Even when she found that her right eye was blinded, her world didn't come apart.
Having undergone a surgery in Rajkot, she continued to live fully after her doctor`s assurance that she would have another 10 years for sure. However, in the interim period, her husband died. Alone and depressed for sometime, she was persuaded to use her British citizenship by her siblings who invited her to stay with them in London.
Without further thought, Mrs Ruparel decided to begin life anew. She moved to London, and decided to learn English so that she could prepare herself for a job in child care. All this only to keep boredom away. Since then, she has also taken lessons in word processing, Excel, and can make a PowerPoint presentation by herself.
And what's more, the next milestone for Mrs Ruparel is aqua sports and while she is at it, she also plans to brush up her knowledge of accounts to be able to work as a manager in a private firm.
Says Dr Turel, the doctor who has been overlooking her treatment, "Ruparel`s life offers two lessons to us. One, that cancer is not the end of the world, and second, age is no barrier." Well said.
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