Forests in a seed



August 2017

By Neha Gupta Lehl

Dive into the limitless pool of creativity within, as it flows from the divine to every living being, says Neha Gupta Lehl

Valmiki, the author of the epic Ramayana, was a bandit who lived off robbing wayfarers. One day, he encountered Narada Muni, who did not ‘own’ anything in terms of material possession to give the man who would later be hailed as the first poet of Sanskrit. As their encounter deepened, Narada Muni told Valmaki to chant “Mara, mara, mara.” which means death. Valmiki, who resonated with the darkness of the word sat down to chant in all earnestness. With the passage of time, a change came over Valmiki. He was purified by the Lord’s name. The chanting of “mara mara” in an endless stream turned into “Ram Ram Ram” over a period of time. Thus concludes the story of how Narada Muni used a creative approach to birth devotion in the heart of a man who only knew banditry and murder before he met Narada.

How poor would the world have been if it had not been for that single act of creative communication on the part of Narada?

There is then the story of how the printing press was invented in Europe sometime around 1450 by Johannes Gutenberg.

Gutenberg wanted to make sacred texts available to all strata of the society and this was an inconceivable thought in those times, where reading and books were restricted to a privileged few. This could be possible only with mass production of books at a cost which more people could afford. Gutenberg, a goldsmith by profession and well versed with the nuances of block printing, struggled to find an answer to this problem.

He found the answer in a much unexpected way, something which I see as a creative miracle!

Out one evening, for a break from his constant questions of ‘how’ to do it, he found inspiration in a wine press. Very soon he had created a prototype of a printing press, which forever changed the way information reached people. I see it not only as an invention of a machine but a breaking down of boundaries, of creating a platform, where more and more minds could be enriched, where more thirst for knowledge could be quenched, where people got a speed start and could exchange new ideas and thoughts. These ideas and thoughts in turn gave birth to many more creative miracles, inventions and continued to dissolve more boundaries.

Innovation, creativity and spirituality are inexorably linked

Gutenberg was a man like many others in his time, so what happened
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