Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Fig Tree

Over the last few days I have been watching a fig tree in our University campus. It is a huge 'sea fig' tree with a huge trunk and long, bulky branches; with its roots criss-crossing the near-by area like snakes crawling all over :) It has a thick canopy with beautiful long, flat, green leaves. All these branches and the trunk are filled with figs (some biological specialty, I heard). During afternoons, I have to take my internal shuttle bus and the bus stop is right below this tree. Thanks to its thick canopy, it is amazingly cool standing below it though our dear Sun in Singapore has been pretty harsh to people over the last few weeks. Not only humans, other species of fauna like birds and squirrels also spend quite a bit of time under the cool shade of the tree. They have figs also to feed on, you see.

Anyways, over the last one week, I saw that more sun rays were hitting me and the ground below the tree was filled with more leaves. And to my surprise, last weekend, I saw the tree completely bald. I mean there were no leaves at all on the tree; no leaves, no figs, nothing!! And so no birds, no squirrels and no humans also...

But today morning, I saw a beautiful sight. There were tender, light green leaves smiling like small babies filling all the branches of the fig tree. It was awesome; just seeing the tree covered in a light green carpet was breathtaking. I saw that the birds and squirrels were returning back to the tree, slowly but steadily.

Now, why I am telling all this... firstly it was beautiful to see that almost dead looking tree turn into a lovely and lively model and I wanted to share it. Secondly, I wanted to share something which I observed while this whole episode was going on. Whatever was happening to the leaves, the figs etc. etc., the trunk of the tree was still and steady. Whether the outer periphery of the branches was active and alive with action from animals and birds or whether it was completely deserted, the trunk was least affected. It enjoyed the presence of the leaves, the animals, the birds, the nests etc. but it also enjoyed the silence when they were gone.

Now imagine happening this to us. We are in an amazing job, have an amazing family. Everything is going great for us. We are all happy. In anyone of these is taken away from us that's it, we enter in a depression. In fact nobody has to take anything away, the very fear of losing what we hold keeps us in a state of continuous depression even if nothing has really happened.

All this is because our state of being is governed by the outer periphery. Unlike the fig tree, we get upset if the outer periphery is deserted. We enter into such a state that it takes a long time to fully recover from it and sometimes we can't even come back out of it. The trunk of the fig tree is not affected because it is happy unto itself. Its happiness is not because of them but despite of them. It is rock solid.

However, in our case, our trunk or our core is not centered at all in the first place. If someone says something positive today, we feel happy; if something good according to our ideas happens today, we feel happy and God forbid, if something, even one thing goes against our plan, that's all our whole foundation of happiness is shaken.

Paramahamsa Nithyananda says, 'Meditation makes your core strong and steady. It teaches you to be blissful irrespective of what is happen around you and that is spirituality.' When the core is blissful, nothing, not even death can affect us (please watch this video by a professor from Carnegie Melon University who spoke about himself in Oprah).

That fig tree is living its life, it is living true spirituality and what about you...

1 comment:

Annamalai said...

Sri Nithya Arpananda:
That was a great article. To add to your article, Sri Ramana Maharishi says the self inquiry or contemplation "Who Am I" should strengthen the core as you have mentioned in your blog. This can be a great method while doing meditation.