Skein of thoughts

Bannanje Govindacharya is a great Sanskrit scholar. A few months ago I came to know that his lectures on the Ramayana, The Gita, Mahabharata and on many other interesting topics are available on YouTube. I like listening to them. In one of his lectures on the Ramayana, he speaks about how the epic poem came to be composed. Once a hunter killed a male Krauncha bird while it was with its mate. Valmiki was very angry and cursed the hunter. Later he regretted his hasty action and reflected on it. His reflection led to the composition of the Ramayana. Govindacharya explains how a single incident (in this case killing of the bird) is seen differently by different people. For the hunter the dead bird is merely food, whereas for Valmiki it is deeply emotional subject. That thought remained in my mind.

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Later in the morning I was gazing up into the sky and saw three birds gliding far above. It was such a graceful sight. Looking at them a chain of thoughts followed. I was reminded of these lines which I had read long ago. I do not know who wrote them: “Fly away little bird, fly high but keep your feet on the ground.”

These words brought to mind two youngsters who are achieving their dreams. My parents lived in a small town near Mangalore till 2015. They have a house and land there which they purchased in 1980. My father retired from the Indian Railways in 1986. They lived there for almost thirty years. There is a little house on the property adjacent to their home. Over the years many people have lived there as tenants. For the past ten years, a single family has been in residence. These people are not well-off, but are very hard-working and honest. They look after the whole property since my mother lives alternately with my brother and with us.
The tenants have two children who were in school when they came to live in that place. My parents helped to educate them. With financial and emotional support they have studied well and have good jobs now. They believe strongly that the turning point in their lives came when they started living in that small house. There are always turning points in the lives of most people.

Looking back
I kept watching the birds and wondered how they fly in such a compact v-formation. How did they learn this? This thought brought to mind images of our granddaughter who has just completed one year. We saw her trying to get up without support. She would try again and again, flopping down after a minute. In a few days she mastered the art of standing up without support. It is ironic that as we grow older we forget and take for granted what we have learnt with so much persistence. A few months ago my brother asked me if I could manage to get up without support from the ground. I could not. I have learnt to do so now. After learning to stand, the little one took two steps forward, balancing herself by keeping her arms outstretched. Each day she walked a little more. She was so excited and her brother more so. He would shout and tell us that she was walking. 😊 We were all thrilled to see her walking behind a ball and kicking it. So many changes!

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All these thoughts came to mind as I saw birds fly away into the distance. I wondered where they were going. I think the same when I see trains rushing away or aeroplanes disappearing into the distance. There is no limit to our imagination.
“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
― Albert Einstein

Bannanje Govindacharya – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bannanje_Govindacharya

By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I used to go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. Covid-19 has made it difficult for me to go there regularly. Hopefully I will be able to go there again. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.

7 comments

  1. Contemplating life helps us to reconnect with our inherent ability, I believe. As we wonder, we expand our consciousness. Out of that comes our self-expression..and we keep experiencing and re-defining ourselves. In that sense, our existence is limitless. 😇

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  2. I think that it is instinctive for the bigger birds to fly in a V-formation. If they do this, the bird at the front breaks up the air resistance and every bird behind him finds it much easier to fly and doesn’t get as tired as they otherwise would. As they fly, periodically the front bird will be replaced by another to give him or her a rest.
    You are right that there are turning points in everybody’s life. I would not be the person I am without my wife who gradually turned me away from beer, cigarettes and just generally wasting my time and money.

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