Of a life beyond ‘labels’ – 3

Post the heart-breaking CNN video, and Hony’s War Veteran series, I stumbled upon the sentiments/outpouring of a Pakistani citizen, the animal vs. human debate in NY Times, and few other related articles this past week.

Either in the articles or in the comments section, there is very often a debate, an insult, or insinuation, whatever people seem befit to pull the other party down. It could be against Muslims, against Hindus, against Pakistan… Sometimes it’s re. the biases that African-Americans encounter with the U.S. police… Or those heated arguments between animal lovers and the others, etc. It is like a bonfire, you go close, you get burnt. If the topic is not a good conductor of heat, it will at least get trampled on.

Despite all those punches in the gut, I still look forward to a changed world. A simple RAOK feels enough to restore the balance, to fight the odds. Because my logic – when one eye gets hurt, the other one has to cry.

Today as I was discussing a related point with my husband, I realised what I had discovered earlier in the day: “You know what. Swami agrees with me as well” I had told him. And only after I said it out loud, it struck deeply.

As I was pouring over my guru’s discourses in light of the upcoming Krishnashtami program, I found this. 

In the 1998 discourse, my guru had said, “Bharath is a land in which the tender Tulasi plant and the giant banyan tree are worshipped with equal devotion. Cows, horses, elephants and other animals are treated as sacred objects of worship. Even ants are considered worthy of care and protection that rice flour or sugar is offered to them every day. Crows and eagles, dogs and monkeys are deemed worthy of worship. The world might bellow it all as superstition, but the land of Bharath considered that – the expression of Divine love should not be confined to human beings, but should be extended to all beings…” “…you must positively Love all beings, actively Love, actively engage yourself in acts of Love.” 

Ah. That is why I love you my Swami. 

At a time, when regions and religions are at crossroads, when everything that people have held in high esteem seemed to have lost its way — words, vision, and aspirations like these is what keeps me going. In His acknowledgement I realised, I did a good thing by hugging a tree the other day, when I thought it could get cut. At the risk of sounding insane, I simply couldn’t wrap my head and heart around to a beautiful, old tree getting cut. People might refute, but I believe all beings – trees, animals, humans, whatever the beings might be – deserve a chance to not just live, but live happily. When they don’t, it effing hurts, because I believe we are all one. 

Because my logic – when one eye gets hurt, the other one has to cry. But today, I am grateful for all the love, all the empathy, and the oneness people believe in. Truly, only that keeps this world going. #ThankYou


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