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?