Poem: Humanity – Dedicated to a brilliant writer, John Hansen (Jodah)
I am back once again - phew! Refreshed. I hope you all like this story-like poem.
A bridge that traverses a sacred river was yearning to hear footsteps from the west for ages! Crossing the seven seas, she strode several miles towards the Himalayas. Breathless, perspiration ran down her forehead when she eventually stole a glimpse of a Yogi, who was sitting in a lotus-like position with his eyes shut – spiritually absorbed in meditation. Surrounded by lush green trees in the midst of snowy mountains, he was soaked under the compassionate rays of the Sun that portrayed his pious Soul, with such elegance, that it resembled the waltz, of a golden silhouette. Suddenly, whispers of her breath awakened his silence, as he opened his eyes, and beamed with delight.
His eyes twinkled with merriment and peace. There was a peculiar glow on his dusky face. His welcoming posture and gesture served like a healing potion to her exhausted figure. She touched his Divine feet, paying her utmost salutation. Tears of ecstasy rolled over her cheeks, as she said, “O Master, O humble Soul, please tell me about Humanity.”
And the Yogi answered in a soft tone:
If you have never offered water to one who thirst, then what is the use of serving hundreds with holy water afterwards in the pursuit of immortality? What is it upon which you have arrogance, O naïve humans? For the water belongs to the abode of the Supreme and is patented as nectar by the Mother Divine. Nothing is yours on this planet. Not even the gold you wear and the bricks you had inaugurated with mirth. I have attended many births and funerals too. We came naked with our fists closed. We cried. We were embraced. How strange! Tomorrow we will leave with our fists open and others will mourn momentarily remembering our name.
A tree is known by its fruits and so is the man by his deeds. So why should we fill our hearts with hatred, for there is one vermillion which runs in our veins. No colour, cast or creed is a concern to the Lord. The Almighty loves all His children. Destroy the walls of discrimination. Eradicate the roots of racism. Lend a shoulder to the one in need. But remember not to embrace anger, ego, lust and greed.
When anguished, you light a candle and sing hymns to the Lord. In joy, you simply forget to recall His name. To those who pray in happiness, sorrow cannot even ring a doorbell. Similarly, O humans, you must take part in others’ joys and grief, for a hand is enough on another’s shoulder in sorrow. So sow the seeds of compassion and of cheer. Let your head bow in the name of the Supreme. Bow! Bow! Share and gain wisdom, for together we grow.
Let me share a chronicle with you. The day the rich man realized the truth of life, he was in his autumn of life, and tears had already filled his eyes. Pink-eyed and lachrymose, he stared at the roof and solliloquized:
I went to the Temple, I went to the Mosque. I went to the Church and even sat at the feet of God. I listened to pundits, I listened to priests. I listened to mullahs and even read the Divine teachings. During this process, a sudden thought flashed into my mind – I have been given birth as a human, and yet never have I ever shown kindness to others. Then what is the use of being called a human?
I went to bathe in the sacred river Ganges. I even adorned my garden with marigold flowers. During this process, a sudden thought flashed into my mind – I have washed my body, but I haven’t cleansed my Soul. Then what is the use of bathing in the holy river Ganges. I have decorated the alcove, yet I haven’t gathered its aroma in my heart. Then what is the use of beautifying the garden when the inner garden’s beauty stands apart?
I have delivered charities and donations as well. I even offered social services and few voluntary hours of prayer too. During this process, a sudden thought flashed into my mind – I have never fed a hungry person who gazed at me with hope and pain. Then what is the use of donating millions? ‘Tis all in vain…
You achieve liberation and enlightenment doing selfless services for others. It suffices. There’s no need to go to pilgrimages, my dear. The hands that help are saintly than the lips that pray. A self-centered one cannot be a true devotee and cannot seek fruits of good karmas, but the one who is honest in helping others in need or distress can achieve salvation. A contented mind is the one who performs a true sense of devotion through sincere and simple acts of compassion.
“But Master, where did that rich man go?” she inquired.
And the Yogi rose up and said:
The rich man has not gone anywhere, young lady. His pulse of life resuscitated in darkness, giving birth to a peculiar Light. He just left the materialistic world, and kissed the path of enlightenment and peace. He has become richer in thoughts, unlocking his inner door, where a yardstick rests so that he could measure his deeds and pass on the cascade of wisdom for generations to come.
The lady was mesmerized by his consoling words that served like a haven in a storm, as well as a torch of peace.
And he smiled and uttered, “I am the standing proof.”
~ Copyright © Surabhi Kaura 2015
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