Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Meandering river of life!

The river, as a metaphor for the journey of life has been amply illustrated in poems, songs, stories and philosophy. The song, “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen with its haunting score echoes in my mind.
“Suzanne – takes you down to her place by the river….. Jesus was sailor and he said all men will be sailors- and only drowning men can see him, but he himself was broken – human…. Suzanne lets the river answer”…

Similarly Herman Hesse in his book Siddhartha deals with the spiritual journey where Siddhartha hooks up with a courtesan leads a hedonistic life of drinking, gambling till one day he gives it all up to become a boatman~ in his quest for deep comprehension and internalization. The essence is that enlightenment comes neither by embracing asceticism, love or carnal pleasures, which can only give samsara/experiences which allow one to understand life!

Myth, spiritualism and facts all combine to capture the essence of life along a simple meandering river. In the movie the indolent river above an indigo swept sky, swaying gaunt palm trees, cows chewing cud, boys jumping into it, rolls by in slow motion with Siddhatrta as the boatman who has attained Satori.

One is reminded of the holy Ganges quietly flowing, so quiet that one hardly notices its silent unobtrusive course ~ and along the banks the palms lean heaving /swaying and when the wind blows it is filled with a rustling murmur- that sheds a few tears as the waters swirl by representing an idyllic existence when one finds the meaning of existence.

As you see the boats go by watch the pilgrims, rituals, sages, Sadhus, Mendicants, Bodhisattvas, Gurus all showing the way, but not flowing with the river – you realize that no teaching not even Buddha’s can teach enlightenment. The self is not something that one finds - it is something one creates in the journey of life. To some I am the holy Ganges to others I am just a dirty river – and finally when I merge with the ocean there is only water and river no more. -Vinay- distilled from the Vedas.

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