Spice of life: Stray strand of yellow thread that left the fold
The Hindus believe that one should visit each of the four dhaams — Badrinath, Jagannath Puri, Rameshwaram and Dwarkapuri — at least once in life.punjab Updated: Mar 31, 2017 19:02 IST
A few days ago, we were fortunate to have the darshan of Lord Dwarkadheesh in Gujarat. Dwarkapuri is one of the four dhaams of the Hindus. The Hindus believe that one should visit each of the four dhaams — Badrinath, Jagannath Puri, Rameshwaram and Dwarkapuri — at least once in life.
Standing in front of the beautiful idol of Krishna in the sanctum sanctorum at Dwarka was an elevating experience. We were lucky to be in the front row when the aarti was performed after which the priest tied yellow scarves around our necks. With utmost reverence, we bowed to the deity and felt blessed.
Thereafter we went to a restaurant where we had a Kathiawadi thali, the local cuisine, for dinner. We finished with puran-poli, a delicious sweet roti stuffed with a mixture of toovar dal and gur. All through dinner, the yellow scarves stayed put around our necks. For some reason, we did not want to take them off. As night fell, we returned to our hotel. I removed my scarf; folded it and placed it in a pocket of our suitcase. As I proceeded to change, I noticed a stray strand of yellow thread on my pullover. l tried to brush it off, but it was stuck to my pullover, so I plucked it off and put it into the bin.
And then it struck me, till a short while ago, the yellow strand was part of the scarf I had so reverentially placed in my suitcase. The scarf was made of hundreds of threads woven together, wasn’t it? So why did the solitary yellow thread not feel sacred to me?
A small voice within said, “Because it had left the fold, because it had attached itself to the worldly and ephemeral.”
What a profound revelation! Come to think of it, when you are on a spiritual journey, it is always beneficial to be attached to the right kind of people; to be part of a spiritual group. As you pray together, the vibrations are so potent that perhaps each one has a better chance of being able to reach out to the lord. If you break away from the group, you lose the benefit of satsang. What is satsang? It is satya ka sang, being in the company of the eternal truth, together with people in search of the eternal truth. In the case of the yellow strand it had broken away from the scarf and attached itself to the pullover, thereby losing its value.
My reverie was interrupted by the sound of raindrops. I peeped out to see that it was starting to drizzle. The pitter-patter of raindrops is always music to my ears because I love rain. And I thought to myself, every raindrop is on its journey home; each drop is destined to reach the ocean. But the one that falls into the river finds its way home sooner because it is in the company of so many droplets, each of which is flowing on the same path. Yes! Company does matter. It’s who you hang out with, that determines what kind of things you do. What matters is whether you choose the ephemeral or the eternal.
The benefits of group devotional singing, social service, spiritual conclaves, yoga, and meditation are many. One usually gravitates towards like-minded people. And if you gravitate towards a spiritual group, you are doubly blessed. But if you stray away from the group, you too shall meet the same fate, as the yellow strand on my shoulder.
(The writer is a Chandigarh-based freelance contributor)