Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Two In One

A New Series: When a Picture Leads

Yes, another new series. Title is self-explanatory. So let me begin right away with the first post in this series.





I found this picture on one of my surfing trips on the mighty Waves of the WWW. For a few minutes I just took it all in, all its beauty of the Movement and of the Stillness, of the Dance and the Dancer, of the Flow and the Repose. It reminded me of the well-known allegory from  Mundaka Upanishad. (Or is it a metaphor?) Anyway, most of you probably know this already or may have heard some version of it. I am speaking of the one about a tree and two birds. Sri Aurobindo has translated it as follows:
“Two birds, beautiful of wing, close companions, cling to one common tree: of the two one eats the sweet fruit of the tree, the other eats not but watches his fellow.

The soul is the bird that sits immersed on the one common tree; but because he is not lord he is bewildered and has sorrow. But when he sees that other who is the Lord and beloved, he knows that all is His greatness and his sorrow passes away from him.

When, a seer, he sees the Golden-hued, the maker, the Lord, the Spirit who is the source of Brahman, then be becomes the knower and shakes from his wings sin and virtue; pure of all stain he reaches the supreme identity.”
Are the two birds actually the same bird? Are they separate? Can the enjoyer become the observer? When? And how? What is the nature of the fruit of the tree that the bird is enjoying, and is the fruit separate from the bird? Separate from the one that is enjoying the fruit and separate from the one that is observing? Which is which? What is the subject, what is the object? Is object separate from the subject? Is reality separate from the experiencer? Who is the Experiencer? Who is the Witness? 

These are questions that are not simple, so naturally the answers for these are also not simple. Great minds in all cultures at all places at all times have asked these deeper questions and reveled in the mysteries of these unknowns and unknowables. Science too has been asking similar questions for some time now. 

***
The seeking continues...

Somewhere through music, in music. As East and West harmonize into creating something new, something of the World, perhaps a New World.


Somewhere else a Sufi dances to this new-age fusion music of Guitar, Tabla and Bansuri, while another seeker on the other side of the planet contemplates on the "Real One" inside as she silently takes in the essence of a poem written by the Maha-yogi of Pondicherry.

***

The Dual Being
There are two beings in my single self.
A Godhead watches Nature from behind
At play in front with a brilliant surface elf,
A time-born creature with a human mind.

Tranquil and boundless like a sea or sky,
The Godhead knows himself Eternity's son.
Radiant his mind and vast, his heart as free;
His will is a sceptre of dominion.

The smaller self by Nature's passions driven,
Thoughtful and erring learns his human task;
All must be known and to that Greatness given
  His mind and life, the mirror and the mask.

As with the figure of a symbol dance
The screened Omniscient plays at Ignorance.
~ Sri Aurobindo
***
This is the Future World to aspire toward, the Future Society to hope for....a Future in which the inner seeking becomes a stepping stone for the outer exploration; a Future of Unity - Inner and Outer, which begins with recognizing the dualities within.