Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Losing a Friend

The Night Goddess wept as the child tried not to cry.
The silentest purple amidst the black beaten sky.
The clouds seemed much closer than they normally did,
The stars and the moon the clouds completely hid.

The child drew the curtains as thunder sounded,
He curled up on the bed as his sadness mounted,
He remembered the fights and the anger that ensued,
The slice of trust of which he the wrong end now chewed.

The mother walked in and put a hand on his head,
Ruffled his hair and gently she said,
What's the matter baby? I'll always be here.
And the boy started crying and spoke through his tears..

A friend I have lost today mama, he confided.
A friend who had love for me undivided.
I've broken his trust, I've failed him to no end.
I don't think I'll ever be happy again.

His mother let him cry on her lap for a while.
When he looked up into her face, she said with a smile,
You have wronged your friend dear, please regain his trust,
A friend is a gift. A friend is a must.

It's not easy to lose a friend, least one that was close,
Always he will for you happiness enclose.
You KNOW I look over you and will come back to you forever,
But one can find NEW friends, it's now or never.

Saying this, before he inhaled she was gone,
The room was as it was before, forlorn.
He looked at the framed photo of his mother over his bed,
And in respect calmly bowed down his head.

Family was and always will be by your side,
Regardless of whether they be dead or alive,
There are some things that are not as immortal as they seem,
And that is evident when the final cracks are seen.

Friendship is gullible, friendship is fragile,
Thinking it lasts forever, is actually futile.
Respect those who walk with you holding your hand,
You never know when the friendship will be buried in the sand.

Honour your present company, the future will unfold,
More sweet memories, the best of times untold.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Journey of Faith

Its really hard to believe how some of us can be non-believers.
Because when you think about it, logically, there must be more to life than randomness. Imagine our Universe's Big Bang as a press-factory that exploded. If one expects the result of this explosion to be a random production of highly-organized dictionaries in multiple languages, then, well, isn't something wrong with the programming of one's logic circuits?

Having said that, this post is not about the Big Bang Theory, or other atheistic facets of science. Instead, I'm going to blot out personal realizations from a recent spiritual odyssey; and leave you with another opinion to arrive at your respective conclusions.

I had an incredible journey of faith last week, in Puri, Orissa. In a beautiful last minute arrangement, I received an invitation to attend the original - and the largest - Rath Yatra. Descriptions of the essence of such holy festivals run into thousands of pages. I'm merely going to describe it in an undeserving paragraph. Please read what I share with an open heart and mind. For a certain disclaimer, I'm not pushing any sort of Hindu ideology.

Here, the deities of Jagannath, Baladev, and Subhadra, come out on their Raths (carts), for a 3-kilometer yatra (journey), giving their Darshan (blessings) to all those who're a part of this journey. All this without discrimination between men, women, or even animals. Almost three hundred thousand people attended this year's yatra, thronging into the main street of Puri. I had the blissful fortune to not just view this merciful spectacle from my own eyes, but to also pull the carts among crowds immersed in devotion. Have you ever imagined flinging yourself willingly into a number of stampedes and coming out with a thrill in your heart and a smile on your face? Despite bleeding legs and an obviously over-fatigued body? Even though it may sound insane, the joys were real. The ecstasy was real - and far greater than what material pleasures alone can offer. The tears in the eyes, that came naturally with the vibrations of the surroundings, were all real. Real, meaningful, intense, and lasting. I'm sure this is what believers of Allah experience in Mecca, or followers of Hashem experience in Jerusalem.

My point is this: there is a higher, a supreme, force. 
To begin with, look at the beauty of nature's creation. For all our technological advancement, scientific discoveries and innovations, we still are nothing compared to Mother Nature. For all our encyclopedias, and papers, and research, we cannot come close to creating life. Can we create even something as little as a straw of grass, or any one single specie of bacterium, that in all its humility, has the power to keep the entire natural world in balance? Have you ever wondered at the efficiency with which nature effortlessly creates and degenerates in cycles that last from seconds to millenniums?

An eye-opening fact: An amount of area of forest soil, roughly the size of an average middle class master bedroom, has a greater network of worms, insects and bacteria, than the entire internet and all its servers and wires and zeta-bytes of data. In this patch of top-soil, if one tree faces shortage of water, the network of microorganisms coordinate and transfer water from another tree that may have excess of water. What an unselfish way to achieve equilibrium. Mustn't there be a master plan, somewhere, for such existence? I mean its downright stupid - and even an ironical stab at science itself - to believe it all happened randomly.

Why don't we hear more on Spirituality through modern scientific perspectives? (Caution: I'm talking about spirituality, not religion, and there is a vast difference between the two) 

In its truest form, Science is a means to understand the ways spiritual forces nurture existence. Science itself is not factual. Some scientist comes up with a theory; if none can disprove it, it conveniently becomes scientific fact. Now just because we can't see something, doesn't mean that something does not exist, right? Consider, for instance, our blind spot. Just because we cannot see anything on our blind spot, does not mean that the 'anything' does not exist. Else, isn't it just an Ostrich mentality?

Science is powerful. It has helped us understand various laws of nature: gravity, karma, energy, etc. Unfortunately, modern day science has blinded itself to the core spiritual essence of life by, simply, discoveries on the surface.Truth is, Science will never be able to talk definitively on matters of spirituality. Because to understand spirituality, one requires faith. And modern day science is not equipped to deal in faith. 

To believe, we need Faith
While it may be hard to imagine, our intelligence is limited. Like, take for instance our own memory. Do you remember exactly each and every one of your experiences from your childhood to date? Realistically, do you even remember the exact chain of events and experiences from a week ago? I hardly even remember anything from what I learnt in Grade 12, leave alone anything in all of high school. 

I'm not saying we're not intelligent. We have the power to think. However, due to our own limitations, we cannot physically derive a higher evidence to prove God on paper. To be fair, faith is not illogical, as logic itself points out to a supreme force (as pointed out through nature, above). 
This may still be hard to accept, and perhaps be even the weakest point of my case. But, this is how faith really comes to test. We need faith, to forego the ego, to believe. . .

On a more practical note, spirituality does not mean you give up on the material joys of this world to become a full-time saint. Enjoy every moment of what you do, but alongside be grateful to That - Nature, God, Father, Allah, or even Krishna Bhagawan if you may - which provides the essence of your joys. That's all.