Thursday, August 30, 2012

The circle of life

This picture taken by my friend, has both haunted and piqued my curiosity in different ways at different times. The circle of reason or of beginnings with no end, seems to find perfect expression here. Three things specifically come to my mind while looking at this picture and strangely so all three seem to have a strange connection between them, especially if you can understand that circle also stands from originating in the nothing to everything.. emptiness to fullness...Incidentally only one earthen pot here seems to be full..perhaps the emptiness of all the others poured into one?

Banaras, the ancient city of Indian culture, knowledge, traditions and pilgrimage center to thousands of Hindus is considered by the Hindus as the center of the earth. A place for creation, in a symbolic circle of the Mandala. In this matter the Hindu belief is perhaps similar to that which denotes Jerusalem and Mecca as the holiest cities and the center of all creation. And yet Banaras, is not Banaras, without the Ganga and hence instead of being the my mind it is a circle, a waiting place, where creativity and death both are part of the same land. It is the only place with open burning Ghats, because dying in Banaras is as holy as birth in it.

Tamalatala, in the village of Kenduli in rural Bengal is a circle in itself. The name arises from the presence of Tamala trees in the area. Kenduli, is the seat of one of the biggest Baul fairs in W. Bengal, also known as the Joydeb Mela, after the famous poet who was born there. In the heart of Tamalatala, is a quiet ashram where the Bauls find solace, silence and peace. Adjacent to a crematorium, the ashram is open to all and anyone visiting there is served lovingly. Curiously, the ashram receives the belongings of those burnt in the crematorium, which is then distributed among st the poor. No hungry man, leaves the ashram without being fed. I found in this instance too a curious case of the circle of life and death being beautifully connected where the dead feed those alive!

The 'Kundalini' according to ancient wisdom is an ancient form of wisdom, a very 'pure desire', coiled, that which only needs to be understood and felt within each of our selves. This unconscious force that is often sleeping while resting at the source of all human inspiration is what begets the human journey from the ordinary to the sublime. It is our own human circle, where we emerge from nothingness to the everything or the supreme.

( Picture courtesy Sumana Roy)

© 2012 Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury


Solo Backpacker said...

Nice description of Banaras..and this pic is amazing, with only one pot look like this..

Bamboosong said...

really like this; the dead feeding the living, such a feeling of respect and connection....