February 2, 2011 Comments Off on Two Birds
Upon the same tree there are two birds, one on the top, the other below.
The one on the top is calm, silent, and majestic, immersed in his own
glory; the one on the lower branches, eating sweet and bitter fruits by
turns, hopping from branch to branch, is becoming happy and miserable by turns.
After a time the lower bird eats an exceptionally bitter fruit and gets
disgusted and looks up and sees the other bird, that
wondrous one of golden plumage, who eats neither sweet nor bitter fruit,
who is neither happy nor miserable, but calm, Self-centered, and sees
nothing beyond his Self. The lower bird longs for this condition but
soon forgets it, and again begins to eat the fruits. In a little while,
he eats another exceptionally bitter fruit, which makes him feel
miserable, and he again looks up, and tries to get nearer to the upper bird.
Once more he forgets and after a time he looks up, and so on he goes again and again,
until he comes very near to the beautiful
bird and sees the reflection of light from his plumage playing around
his own body, and he feels a change and seems to melt away; still nearer
he comes, and everything about him melts away, and at last he
understands this wonderful change.
The lower bird was, as it were, only the substantial-looking shadow,
the reflection of the higher;
he himself was in essence the upper bird all the time. This eating of
fruits, sweet and bitter, this lower, little bird, weeping and happy by
turns, was a vain chimera, a dream: all along, the real bird was there
above, calm and silent, glorious and majestic, beyond grief, beyond sorrow.
The upper bird is God, the Lord of this universe; and the lower bird is the
human soul, eating the sweet and bitter fruits of
this world. Now and then comes a heavy blow to the soul. For a time, he
stops the eating and goes towards the unknown God, and a flood of light
comes. He thinks that this world is a vain show. Yet again the senses
drag hint down, and he begins as before to eat the sweet and bitter
fruits of the world. Again an exceptionally hard blow comes. His heart
becomes open again to divine light; thus gradually he approaches God,
and as he gets nearer and nearer, he finds his old self melting away.
When he has come near enough, he sees that he is no other than God, and he
exclaims, “He whom I have described to you as the Life of this universe,
as present in the atom, and in suns and moons — He is the basis of our
own life, the Soul of our soul. Nay, thou art That.” This is what this
Jnana-Yoga teaches. It tells man that he is essentially divine. It shows
to mankind the real unity of being, and that each one of us is the Lord
God Himself, manifested on earth. All of us, from the lowest worm that
crawls under our feet to the highest beings to whom we look up with
wonder and awe — all
are manifestations of the same Lord.
Tags : God, Soul, Jnana – Yoga
Path : Hinduism