The winter like an armed and masked bugler, is fast approaching Baltimore. The leaves of Maples, mulberries and a few other trees are fading and the green is changing to red, pink, golden yellow etc. The dried leaves fly off or fall down sadly and most of them silently, filling their bases with a brown breathless layer. Not long ago, those were bright, pleasing to eyes, dark green or blue in color, singing and dancing to the tune of the wind, chatting with bees and birds and now, lying on mud, shapeless, motionless, and lifeless. Shortly, all will get further disintegrated and turn into  pieces and then to power  and then will become part of the soil.

I had to use a winter-wrap this evening while going out for the walk. The moment I stepped on the foot path, bordering the high way, could see at a distance, a V -formation in the sky, by the tree-tops on both sides of the highway. The sun was setting behind the apex of it, away from me.  And the golden rays were profusely propelling all over the sky, as if buckets- full of coloured water was splashed by an angry maiden.  White cloud chips, poetically described as ‘meghasakalam’- pieces of clouds, are now hovering above my head and suddenly, before my eyes, all of them are turning golden as if they are very thin gold plates.. How so many pieces could be spread in such a short period, I wonder. Or could it be only reflection of the golden yellow leafage lining on  my sides? I search my hands and chest to verify whether my body too has turned gold.  No, it hasn’t. Real wonder, the far away sky is affected by the colors of the foliage on the earth but not me standing very much on her soil !.

”Wrong”, tells another voice from within, ”sky can influence the earth and not the other way”
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“If so, how the rivers and trees you destroy, affect the sky, weather?” questions the first voice.

I am confused, but this is not the time to muddle my mind. This is the time for enjoying the glory of the clouds. Inundated by the unexplainable glory of the sky and unmindful of the noise from the speeding cars on the adjacent highway, I raise my head and hands to the sky and pray,

“God, continue to light my eyes, brighten my mind and sharpen my brain, in whatever form I am reborn, as man, animal or bird, wherever I am reborn and whatever be the season so that this hunger to enjoy the sun, sky, moon and stars never ceases in me.

The great Samkara’s similar prayer rings in my ears:

“Narathwam devasthvam naga vana mrugathwam masakhatha,
Pasuthwam keetathwam bhavathu vihagathwadi janananam
Sada twadpadabja smarana paramananda lahari.
Vihaarasaktham che dhugdhaya miha kim thena vapusha”

Be it in a human form,
Be it in the form of Gods,
Be it in the form of animal,
That wanders the forests and hills,
Be it in the form of mosquito,
Be it in the form of a domestic animal,
Be it in the form of a worm,
Be it in the form of flying birds,
Or be it in any form whatsoever,
If always the mind is engaged in play of meditation in thy lotus like feet,
Which are the waves of supreme bliss, how does it matter what body we have? “

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