Sunday, April 01, 2007

The bird on the tree

A friend asked me the meaning of the picture I have posted in my profile. It is strange that, we, as human beings have grown used to look for reason, rationale and logic in understanding anything and our mind has become so calculative that, even a thing of beauty is measured using some quantitative method. We fail to accept things that are beyond human understanding and brand them as irrational, illogical, abstract and what not. For some reason, I had a reason while posting that picture and the answer was handy when I heard the question.

Mundaka Upanishad depicts its very essence through a parable narrated in verse of 4 lines.

A bird is sitting on an immense tree having innumerable branches and huge foliage. The branches were laden with fruits of different sizes, shapes and stages of ripening. The lone bird chirped and jumped from one branch to another. The sweet taste of fruits made him happy, and his eyes sparkled with contentment and joy. His breast swelled up with the pride of having discovered and enjoyed the sweet fruits.

But soon, the bird tasted a bitter fruit and his joy turned sour; his ego deflated. Again it tasted some sweet fruits and rejoiced with happiness and pride. Again, some fruits turned out to be bitter and the bird was feeling miserable and helpless. Cursing the whole tree, the bird pondered, “All this is useless; there is no happiness or joy in these fruits. I don't want any of them.' Ah! The glorious feeling of discrimination and renunciation occupied his heart.

He looked hither and thither, and his eyes caught sight of a calm and serene looking bird sitting at the top of the tree. That Bird appeared to be in state of meditation, golden effulgence radiating from His countenance that illumined the whole tree including our little bird. Later, the bird realized that, the bird sitting on the top branch is just the reflection of himself in the divine form.

The picture is just the representation of my aspiring soul. My friend was convinced. May be this story would fit into the lives of most of us. How about you? Can you fit yourself as this bird?

41 comments:

Meenu said...

Aspiring soul !!!
Yes .. i was just thinking about all these as usual and hence came to write the blog .. on something for writing destresses me !
reading this beautiful AN AWESOME blog post .. that was really too good .... :) well yes .. It always happens that people take time to realise their divinty and so of others ..
we need to learn .. :) learn about ourself ..

priya said...

Shiva:

A beautful story well written.

The bird which sits on the top is totally unaffected.

The story depicts a journey in the form of self-realization. The desire and actions of the bird which hops to every branch speaks how confused it is when it keeps on tasting each and every fruit. But the fact is itself within.

tulipspeaks said...

hey.. thats a detailed explanation! wonder if i can do the same if anyone ask abt my profile pic. need to re-think about it :P

cheers!


ammu.

Jeeves said...

Nice post.

Do we see ourselves as a divine reflection. I think its a long way to go. It calls for looking beyond ourselves. Strangely the bird looked it's reflection only after it found the fruits sour. Is it the way our life is. Sweet initially and then somethings get sour.

Shirsha said...

Umm, yeah, the story is perfect to be narrated to a friend looking for a change in job today :)

Kavi said...

Fantastic ! Lovely story and excellent illustration. You are a very deep person Shiva, and your blog is just a vent !

Lovely !

Dawn....सेहर said...

Awesome....true n very near to life :)
I just said the same to one of my friend abt greenery at the other end :)
Cool way to teach something
Cheers

Mystic Rose said...

lovely story shiva, and very well written.

yes, life is full of happy and sad experiences, sweet and sour events, and osme of them affect us immensely.

but the core within us, the soul, is complete in itself, pure and unaffected joy.

Keshi said...

WOW what a beautiful meaning to it!

Keshi.

mystic rose said...

and shiva... that one on frothy waters that you had trouble understanding should prob be title the physics of passion.... would be more explanatory..:).

or is it chemistry? :)

Shiva said...

Meenu -

"It's funny how from simple things, the best things begin"

Shiva said...

Priya,

As always, you have given a new dimension to the story. Thanks!

Shiva said...

Tulip, There is always a hidden meaning behind everything we try to associate ourselves with. If not, we can always discover a meaning from the pictures/symbols.

Shiva said...

Thanks Jeeves. The story, emphasises more on transcending the dualities of life. Realization springs from living beyond the bondage of sweet and the sour. Renunciation is not non-possession, but being detached even when you possess.

Shiva said...

Shirsha, which bird is your friend in the story? I am not able to relate. May be you can explain

Shiva said...

Thanks Kavi. Glad that you liked it. I heard this story couple of years before at the Ramakrishna Math in Madurai.

Shiva said...

Thanks Dawn. The blogs have become a nice place to learn on diverse subjects, including the assortment of your quotes:)

Shiva said...

Mystic, your comment explains the whole story in a few lines. Thanks.

Shiva said...

Keshi likes this too!!!

Glad:)

Shiva said...

Mystic - Went through it again. Physics of passion fit well. Thanks

iamvisheshur said...

yes...it will we see our reflections every where and we get scared of it many a times....i love the pic..

Shirsha said...

The bird that doesn't want the sour fruits after the sweet ones. am waiting for this bird to look up and see that reflection, until then this bird is just gonna go on cribbing...

KK said...

Wow! Shiva you are person with lot of insight...awesome story :) learnt something because of you :) Thanks :)

CM-Chap said...

Hi Shiva... You have said the essence of life in few lines.. Superb dude..

Jeevan said...

Very pleasant story!! and a meaning for selection:)

Dawn....सेहर said...

Long time no posts? Hope ur doing well
Cheers

starry nights said...

Shiva that was a beautiful story and a beautiful picture.very meaningful.the sweetness and bitterness of lifes journey.

Shiva said...

Thanks Vishesh. You caught the point

Shiva said...

Shirsha, it's up to the bird to decide when it would want to look up. Hope it looks up to the reflection soon

Shiva said...

KK - Insight person? I'm just trying to be one. Thanks for the comment

Shiva said...

Thanks CM-Chap. Let's pay gratitude to the upanishads for this message

Shiva said...

Thanks Jeevan

Shiva said...

Hey Dawn. Thanks for the concern. Little occupied with work and family. Will post something soon.

Shiva said...

Starry, it's nice to have you back. Glad that you liked the post.

Pecos Blue said...

Great and gives your picture and all so much meaning. I wish I could see as this bird saw.

vishesh said...

where have you been??very very long time since the last post...??

mystic rose said...

no more posts?

Shiva said...

Pecos Blue - May be most of us aspire for that. Wish it happens soon

Shiva said...

Vishesh - Thanks for the concern. I'm back

Shiva said...

Mystic - I'm back with a post:)

Satish said...

Excellent..
Entire life of a human depicted in a 4-line parable\.