The words meditation conjures up the images of hermits and sages sitting in dense forest in equally deep reflection.
We have read stories about how they would meditate for ages and sit still for eons the birds would make nests in the knotted hair on the top of their head.
You can see the mountains around and the forests singing the wild tune. The nature and the five elements create, nurture and destroy at their own pace. The hermits would sit still to observe the cosmic motion and commotion it creates. The order of chaos or the chaos of order whatever it is.
The nature in the wilderness can be merciless, very fierce and can make you totally reflective, in the great heights of the mountains which are covered with white shawls of snow the trees with the leaves or even without them as fine silhouette on the backdrop.
The seasons in forests are very intense. The five elements – space, fire, earth, wind and water the Panchmahabhutas as called in Sanskrit are literally that Mahabhutas-strong, wild, ungoverned, unsuppressed …Each plays its part to perfection, the earth blossoms, blooms when Sun touches her with love. It is amazing to watch the colors with infinite shades of green and yellows and crimsons rise of the barren landscape as spring paints with deft fingers.
The blooms live the life in a day, dancing in the wind, soaking in the rains, and soaring to the space above and then go back to mingle with mother Earth. A life where regret plays no part neither do the feelings of envy, jealousy and competition.
Rivers flow through the forests meandering their way through valleys and plains to flow to the sea. Silence in such places is echoes with spirit of the wild.
The birds chirp and flip the wings, the leaves rustle, the twigs crunch and crackle, the water of springs hums a lovely forest song while the rivers sing a soft symphony. To sit among these trees and just to listen to all the surround sound is pure delight for the soul.
No wonder our ancient mystics used to meditate in these places. That is one reason why many of the temples and pilgrimages are situated on the mountains, lest we should visit and see the grandeur of such heights.
All the rituals in every religion do have a sound scientific base even if we do not realize. The knowledge must have been lost under the dust of time.
The instruments of rituals always fascinate me. The shining silver, the golden brass, the rich copper, the dazzling gold all have so many tendrils of myths and history around.
Every household has these heirlooms. As a small child I would observe these rituals with keen interest and curious wonder. I asked questions which were answered with great patience by the elders. The clay lamps with cotton wicks, camphor and incense spreading the fragrance around, the flowers, the doob grass and leaves in the room-a scene which is etched in my mind.
The flickering flame on the delicate cotton wick of a lamp has strange strength. I always feel blessed sitting near a clay lamp. The Earth and fire come together. It is an irresistible attraction which connects with the divine.
Praying is essentially very personal. I can never pray in the temples which are in the center of bustling markets. You hardly connect with the divine. Such temples are all business centers, involved with the monetary side of life.
The temples which are isolated, ancient, in the deep forest intrigue me. Not many people can be seen there at any given time. But the atmosphere is positive and mystical. The myths and tales around such places are captivating. Here, the whole being resonates, bows, meditates in the silence of nature. For me God is Nature, the five elements.