I woke up at 5am this morning and heard the beautiful sound of the birds singing on the trees just outside my home. It was so peaceful, and calm and decided to do nothing but just sit and listen. This experience of nature is in stark contrast to how many of us lead our lives. Moving away from nature, we are constantly on the move, seeking to acquire things, to build, to change quickly, but moving so fast we often miss out on the patient voice of nature. We are a part of nature, and nature is a part of us, when our ego leads from the front in our lives we lose this connection, but if we live from the heart space, from the atman, we can reconnect to the wisdom and patient beauty of nature.
As I sat in mediation I recalled words spoken by Lord Shri Krishna teaching his devotees in the forests of Vrindavan.
32. Look at these fortunate trees! They live solely for the benefit of others. They tolerate wind, rain, heat, snow, but still provide shelter for our benefit.
33. They are born to nourish all living beings hence are of great importance. The needy never leave them disappointed, just like a saint would never leave them disappointed.
34. These trees give gifts in the form of sprouts, fuel, ash, sap, perfume, wood, bark, roots, shade, fruits, flowers and leaves.
35. Whether through words, knowledge, wealth, or life in general, the performance of acts which are favourable for the worlds living beings signifies a successful life.
Lord Shri Krishna, Bhagavata Purana (10.22.32-35)
These high-minded words have greatly resonated with me ever since I read them. Our lives are so fast paced that we no longer appreciate lessons from nature, but as Shri Krishna says, the trees are teaching us what a life worth lived is really about. About serving others, about caring for others, he calls them the fortunate ones!
It is actually the ones that serve that are fortunate, not the served.
Perhaps take some time away from your busy schedule and sit with nature, sit in a forest, or a big park, or simply take some time to listen to the singing of the birds. Nature is something very sacred and we are a part of it, although we are largely responsible for the damage done to the environment, there is much we can do to change, to re-establish these sacred connections. I have found short meditations with nature can have a profound impact on life, and teach us invaluable lessons which we simply cannot learn from our concrete jungles.
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Jai Shri Ram.