Sunrays: Be free as a bird, trust your own wings
As the wind becomes stronger, the branches start to shake. What happens to the sparrow? Does it fall down or get hurt? No! It just flies away! It flies away because it is independent! The sparrow is confident of its ability to fly and of the strength in its wings to find its way to a safe place. It depends on its own inner strength. It does not rely on the tree to save it!
As always, Independence Day invoked a sense of pride and patriotism and the celebrations were a treat to be a part of. Seeing the display of Indian-tricolour lights, cast on many a national and international edifice, and watching the fervour and passion on people’s faces set my heart pulsating with pride.
The British ruled over us for almost 89 years. We became independent on August 15, 1947. Being free of being ruled, colonised, controlled, or influenced by outsiders was a great day in the history of our country. But reflecting on the term ‘Independence’, made me wonder, if we really are independent in every sense of the word.
Because true independence also means ‘in-dependence’ or dependence on the inner self.
For a moment, let us envision a huge tree in a forest with a sturdy trunk and branches, having thousands of leaves growing on them. A tiny sparrow is perched on one of the tender branches. All of a sudden, a storm starts to brew. First of all, the leaves of the tree start to flutter. As the wind becomes stronger, the branches start to shake. Eventually the gale becomes a virtual tempest and the mighty trunk of the tree also quivers and struggles to hold its own.
What happens to the sparrow? Does it fall down or get hurt? No! It just flies away! It flies away because it is independent! The sparrow is confident of its ability to fly and of the strength in its wings to find its way to a safe place. It depends on its own inner strength. It does not rely on the tree to save it!
Being independent means being dependent on our own strengths and not on others. Our scriptures say that there is divinity in each one of us, because each soul is a part of the supreme soul. So being dependent on the self, tantamount to being dependent on the divine element within, with the confidence and conviction that the supreme soul is the be-all and end-all of everything. In times of crisis, we should look within for strength, before we reach out to others. More often than not, we do have the intrinsic strength to deal with any situation.
Living in the awareness of God is propounded in every iota of our scriptural texts. The world is talking about the wealth of wisdom in our scriptures. Intrinsic Indian ideologies of Yoga, Indian spices and herbs, Indian cuisines, ethnic Indian couture and much more, have made it to world forums. Why then don’t we recognise and value our strengths?
I would welcome the day when our school-going children would start their day with the Gayatri Mantra and not with nursery rhymes. Recitation of Shlokas and Mantras calms the mind, sharpens the intellect and even purifies the atmosphere!
As a country, we seem to be doing fairly well in becoming self-dependent. In the past few years, we have upped our manufacturing game. We are growing more grains, pulses, fruits and vegetables than before. We are exporting garments, petroleum products, iron and steel, telecom products and even aircraft. Our educational institutions, banks, insurance companies etc. are world class. A lots has changed … and for the better!
The existence and further growth of a country or race depends upon the preservation of its culture. A tree is dependent on its roots. A flying kite is dependent on the string and the keeper of the string. If the string snaps, the kite comes tumbling down! Stay connected to your keeper … your life depends on it!
We Indians as a race, need to stand up for our legacy, culture and heritage. But for that, we shall have to understand it and value it. The understanding would make us think independently and also become independent. And this affects each one of us and subsequently the generations to come too.