The peacocks and the forest

The forest had peacocks living in it. This evening, perhaps like all evenings, they called out to their mates. A high pitched, yet soft call. Men passed by, walking, talking in harsh tones, paying little attention to the calls of the peacocks. The peacocks had been here before these men. Before man had built the concrete jungle that surrounded this oasis of green, whose ugly noises could faintly be heard here. Before man had existed at all.

The peacocks had been there longer. They came before the various dynasties that had ruled this shrieking city over the millennia. They had been friends of the gods. Skandha, brother of Ganesha, travelled over them across the country. Krishna’s crown held a feather of a peacock. They had been the poet’s muse, the painter’s model.

Today, at twilight, in the evening mists, made heavier by the rains a few hours ago, they uttered the same calls they had for all these millennia, before there were men to hear them and be stirred into wonder, or to be completely unaffected, like a hard stone left unmoved by the gentle breeze.

The peacocks did what they were created to do, and what they had done for millennia – calling out, walking around, and sometimes, spreading their majestic wings. But man had forgotten what his calling was. The men and women around were busy talking, busy in their plans, busy with the music in their earphones. They needed something to take them away from their emptiness, for which they had a polite word – ‘boredom’. They needed to master that feeling of fear – fear of poverty, fear of homelessness, fear of criticism, fear of death. So they made plans, they chatted away, they occupied themselves in myriad ways. All the while, the peacocks continued to call, to walk.

He sat there feeling moved by this conference of the peacocks. A gentle breeze began to blow and it began to slightly drizzle again, as if celebrating the energy and conviviality of the birds.

Beyond his name, beyond his music, beyond those thoughts and worries, beyond his age and gender, there was something he shared with this forest. It was the rhythm of life that the forest obeyed. It was the surrender to the laws of day and night and the complete harmony between its parts – the breeze, the scents of the flowers, the calls of the birds. It was an intricate bricolage that was fully harmonious, like a symphony by Beethoven.

Man too was part of this. Without him, they were incomplete. Without him to know and celebrate the marvels of nature, creation was a mute, unconscious beauty. Man gave that which turned this beauty into insight into Reality.

In this quiet understanding, man was like the blowing breeze and the calling peacocks and the dimming light. It was a fundamental potentiality of all human beings, an archetypal possibility, granted not just to one but to all humans. In this primordial communion, in this recognition at the level that creation intended us to live on, he and the nature around were coming near each other. It was truly love, if love is to mean self-forgetfulness and union with the Other.




~ by tdcatss on August 15, 2016.

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