Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
A gardener, a farmer works on land, sows seeds, crops and plants grow, flowers blossom, fruits ripen: the gardener and the farmer are happy. Soon, however, plants and crops disappear due either to unfavourable climatic changes, pest infestation, floods, fire, wars or just by completing their life-cycle. Flowers too have their own life-cycle of appearance and disappearance. They wither away on the very plants that bore them or die after briefly decorating a divine altar, a flower vase or by adding beauty temporarily to a woman’s hair. Life is mysterious!
Fruits and vegetables too have such a similar journey of appearance and disappearance. A farmer or a gardener is mobilised to clear up the dead crops, to remove plants which are dead and to gather fruits and flowers which are no longer alive. To every single crop, flower or fruit its disappearance is its personal catastrophe. The catastrophe gets cleared up so that the same cycle may begin once again. Life is mysterious!
A man is born so that he may reproduce. A baby is born and the family is mobilised to rejoice. Death appears one day or the other in one form or the other and man is yet again mobilised. This time man is mobilised to the removal of his dead one. A catastrophe has happened to the family. The catastrophe gets cleared up so that the same cycle may begin once again. Life is mysterious!
Man produces waste-products in quantities that vary from little to unimaginable proportions. Daily wastes from households, wastes due to industrial by-products, wastes created by wars. The list is long, but nevertheless these are catastrophes. They eventually mobilise man to clear up the catastrophe. The catastrophe gets cleared up so that the same cycle may begin once again. Life is mysterious!
Societies are created, religions flourish, livelihoods function and man in huge numbers is in motion.These too have their own lifespan, similar to plants, crops, flowers and animal kingdom. They too have to disappear in some unknown way for they have appeared in some mysterious way in life. Water, fire, air and earth that have appeared as societies, religions, livelihood and man return to their original state as water, fire, earth and air. This return, when it happens on a massive scale, is seen as a catastrophe. Nations are mobilised and a national catastrophe is cleared up. The catastrophe gets cleared up so that the same cycle may begin once again. Life is mysterious!
Mental thoughts that make mental harmony disappear are a mental catastrophe. Many such mental catastrophes are made every day and cleared up every day. The catastrophe gets cleared up so that the same cycle may begin once again. Life is mysterious!
Compassion briefly appears in life in all such widespread catastrophes only to disappear eventually. The magnitude of compassion depends upon the scale of the catastrophe. This too is a catastrophe of an emotional kind! The catastrophe gets cleared up so that the same cycle may begin once again. Life is mysterious!
Everything in life is a catastrophe in motion when thought through the mind! However, when everything is witnessed from beyond the mind, life appears as a transforming process of energy! Life is indeed mysterious!
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V. S. Shankar2005
What a beautiful and timely understanding of life-cycle is being gifted here to mankind through the wisdom of Dr Shankar. It reveals that life mysteriously accords to every animate and inanimate being that has been, is and is yet to be on or in mother-earth its appearance and its disappearance, as it is meant to be.
Man in his mind commonly applies the term catastrophe to a sudden event or to an alteration that is attended by significant harm or damage. This may be attributed to natural causes, such as an earthquake, or to being man-made. Personal distress or criticism follows. However, the mind of man is also understood to have a life-cycle in the process of evolution towards his realising who he really is.
Julian Capper. UK.
German translator’s Note
The conditioned mind cannot fathom the mystery of life because it believes in the reality of cause and effect as well of individuals. Catastrophes spread fear and terror in the human mind, not so with animals, plants and things, because these have no thoughts. Wisdom that Dr. Shankar shares with humanity in this article and elsewhere reveals that what is destined to happen, however illusory it may be, will happen mysteriously, whether you like it or not. Some catastrophes are considered inevitable by man, as in natural catastrophes, or avoidable, that is, man-made or amplified by his actions. This creates an emotional catastrophe in the mind, albeit as illusory as the supposedly external catastrophe itself. Life, as the sages declare, is a transforming process of energy in which there is no cause or effect and therefore no real action of any human being, which is illusory too. The mind searches for meaning in everything that seems to happen, with the question "Why?" In life there is no "Why?". Everything flows spontaneously, uncontrollably and unpredictably as an illusion of light and sound. The catastrophe and the thoughts and emotions about it are an illusion of light and sound. Illusion means it is a transitory appearance and not real. In this understanding lies unconditionality and peace.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany.