Free Press Journal

Treat life like a waterfall

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The ubiquitous water cycle is the perfect example of how things constantly change, yet remain unchanged

Just for a moment, imagine yourself traveling across the serpentine and sometimes vicious curves of a mountainous terrain. As the blazing, radiant sun begins to sink behind the hills, there is a radiant glow and effulgence across the spectrum. In the distance, you can hear a gushing sound reverberating. Very soon you negotiate a treacherous curve and behold the depths of a valley with a majestic waterfall rushing down in all its glory. You witness the cascading flow of water and embrace the moment. You witness nature’s creation and are conjoined with something arresting and stupendous.

It is sheer meditation as your gaze gets transfixed at the creation. Seconds, minutes, hours tick by, but you just keep gazing in all admiration at the waterfall. The wavering mind slowly settles down and you are one with the waterfall. You are not bothered by physical hunger, but yearn to feed a spiritual one as you search in the mind for the source of the waterfall and wondering how the water takes its course down the elevation and assumes the form of a rivulet. You imagine the rivulet would, after traversing some distance grows to form a river and eventually find its way into an ocean.


The circle of life

The ubiquitous water cycle is the perfect example of how things constantly change, yet remain unchanged. Water that evaporates from the ocean returns to the Earth as snow or rain. The snow that melts and flows down the mountains gives life to the rivers and waterfalls. Slowly but surely the water travels back to the ocean… only to begin the journey all over again. An authentic Rajarishi, a genuine saint, absorbs all events and remains a witness to the events unfolding, unruffled.

Such a person treats life and the world like a waterfall. This human being remains joyous and is splendorous and radiant by nature. He is a gifted soul. But then, such a human being trains his mind, body, and soul through sadhana, Satsang, yoga, meditation and spiritual practices in order to become a Buddha. Such an individual is living in an awakened state, aware and very much in the present moment.

Eons ago in ancient China, Confucius and his tutees decided to embark on a hike in the rugged and mountainous regions of the country. The mentees and the scholarly Master upon completion of the arduous trek were exhausted and sapped of energy. In order to rejuvenate their energy levels, they decided to visit the countryside to the spot of a majestic waterfall.

This waterfall was believed to possess magical properties and cure a variety of pestilences. The waterfall was known for the dizzy heights from which the water fell. The tremendous force reverberated through the very ground on which the awestruck spectators stood and then went on to flow into breathtaking silence. It was a poetic sight where symphony seemed to flow out of the cacophony.

Confucius and the ‘Aha’ moment

Upon reaching the waterfall, the group was amazed to see a man ferociously churning in the waterfall, being spun around and whipped by the terrifying currents of the cascading water. “Let us all rush to the waterfall!” Confucius commanded. “The gentleman would have accidentally fallen in.” The group sprinted as fast as they could, but as they descended the hillside, they lost sight of the man. Thus they kept walking, trying to trace the individual. Moments later, they crossed the forest stretch to arrive at a river that happened to be at a short distance from the waterfall.

Surely expecting to see the man’s lifeless form, they were bewildered instead to find him swimming casually away from the waterfall, spreading his mane and singing lustily, seemingly in perfect communion with nature. They were left dumbstruck.

Finally, Confucius asked the gentleman, “When we saw you at the waterfall it was assumed that you were to be protected from the ferocity of the waterfall. I am amazed that you were unharmed by the intensity of the cascading waterfall. Are you blessed with some divine skills which helped you to survive?”

The gentleman simply shrugged his shoulders and responded that he did not possess any special skill sets nor was he blessed by any divine intercession. He was merely in tune with the rhythm of the waterfall. He simply followed the course and nature of the water. He rose, swam and dipped in tune with the flow and sequence of the waterfall. “Sire, I merely flow with the tide of the water and do not manipulate the trajectory of the water or its course,” he offered. “In effect, I embraced the waterfall,”

The learning

One can maintain jollity and peace by remaining in the present and not fighting nature. There will be good times and there will be bad ones too. A wise person is patient for the passage of dark clouds and does not fight the ferocity of the waterfall, rather harmonizes himself to the powerful fall of water as gracefully as he would to the gentle meandering of the river.