Once, long ago I sat with my father next to the divine mother Ganga. The holy river, with its wild ferocity, moved like an impatient child dancing with carefree innocence, tearing rocks and boulders like they were paper. Sounds of the water were as mystic yet deafening as if Ma Durga’s lion was roaring right in front of me. I lay speechless and mesmerised, witnessing the wonder as countless practised timeless ancient rituals around me.
A land untouched by time, I wondered since the time of Lord ram the same scenes must have repeated each day since time immemorial again and again like an electron going around its nucleus since the Big Bang.A teary-eyed son saying his final goodbyes to his fathers ashes, a hopeful mother witnessing her child getting his head shaved for the first time. An old saint whispering his prayers as an enterprising young girl sells small wheat balls to travellers to feed the fish. The same scene like a hit play continuing for a millennia with the same script but different actors. Nothing had changed yet everything was different.Thinking what I thought and In the comfort and warmth of the river that flows through the matted hair of my Shiva, I drifted deep in my Sadhna.Maybe it was the will of my Guru or power of the holy land that during the Sadhna I started to feel intense heat. The experience became unbearable,
I felt as if someone had ignited each and every cell of my body. Such intense heat as if I had been pushed into the centre of the sun. I started to scream like a madman asking for help I called out to my guru to save me, he looked at me and asked what was wrong and I wailed in excruciating pain that my body was on fire. I remember him telling me at that time, son if you are on fire then let yourself go to the flow. The comprehension of the instructions was faint as my pain had taken me beyond, to a realm where all suggestions, advice or commands had become incomprehensible. All I could make out from the sentence was let go and so I let my body go into the river.As I sank in the water, each second felt like eternity, the icy water healed me in an instant, I felt a soothing sensation taking over me realigning my nervous system. As if in a fraction of a second I was destroyed and rebuilt with the grace of God. And like all must awaken from a dream, the reality of the situation dawned upon me, I was being taken by the river. The water had become possessive of my body, the current too strong for me to fight, I realised no matter how hard I tried I could not break-free. God knows I tried! I swam against the current till my arms and legs started to hurt, but no matter how hard I tried, I kept drifting further.
Just when I was about to give up, I remembered my Guru’s words ‘just go with the flow’ in a flash. I knew it was impossible to swim against the current. The trick was to flow with the current and in the process give direction to one’s heading. I started flowing with the water and gently moved my arms just a little and each movement got me closer to land. Within no time I found myself in waters shallow enough for me to jump out.
I learnt that day to go with the flow. None can go against nature, none can fight the current. Many have tried and many have drowned. The flow has always been the same, the script never changes for men may it be satyug or kalyug.Intelligent are those who use the current to their own advantage. To them the flow gives power and superhuman speed to reach where no one has gone before.These are the men for whom each tragedy too is a motivation, the men for whom each incidence is an inspiration where disease leads to a search for cure and sorrow leads to the doors of God, where necessity leads to invention, where even fear leads to prevention and pain leads to growth. Men who let even loss drive them to pinnacle of growth.
The men who let go with the flow.I cannot change what had happened I can only Accept it go with learn from it.Let life be the teacher for whatever happens has the power to mould you into better versions of your own self.Accept the bygones without grief and regret for remember even the mighty tree was once a seed below someone’s boot.
Whenever on fire, remember go with the flow and you will find. Even though nothing has changed, all will be different.
~ Ishan Shivanand
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