The impermanence of things
An excerpt from one of my favourite autobiographies...
"Spread out around me on all sides was Mother Ganges in her winter dress of sparkling, undulating aqua. Her waves rippled and swirled as if intoxicated by her own beauty. No human artist could capture even a moment of this unending display. And, just as her art was created, it simultaneously disappeared.
I took from this a lesson.
All beautiful forms of this world are in the process of transformation.
Nothing is stable. With every moment, our reality is changing. Mother Ganges, like nature, is constant, but no manifestation of hers remains. Likewise, all that we hold dear in this world is imperceptibly vanishing. We cannot cling to anything. But if we can appreciate the beauty of the underlying current of truth, we can enjoy a reality deeper than the fickle waves of joy and sorrow.
I sat, a submissive student, trying to learn from my teacher. She begins her course from high in the Himalayas and flows without cease to the sea. Innumerable obstacles - huge rocks, fallen trees, or even mountains - block her way, but nothing will stop her journey to the sea. Gracefully she flows over, under, or around all obstructions.
Mother Ganges teaches us that if we want to attain the sea of our aspiration, we must persevere in our goal and never be discouraged by the inevitable obstacles that come on our path.
All impediments are like rocks in the river of life. We should flow around them and never give up. With the Lord's help, there is always a way. As I sat on that rock, I imagined that watching the flow of the river was like watching the passing of life. If one is inside the river, one is greatly affected by it, but if one sits on the bank, one can observe it with detachment. Mother Ganges teaches that if we learn to be detached from our ego and the flurry of the mind, senses and the world around us, and observe life with a sober disposition, we gain wisdom."
- an excerpt from a stunning book, 'The Journey Home - Autobiography of an American Swami' by Radanath Swami
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