I used to feel sorry for the deer and the wild bisons hunted by beasts of prey like the tiger, lion and their cousins.
While I wondered at God or Nature’s curious ways of keeping animal populations in check, ecology spoke of the balance of nature which should not be disturbed.
Perhaps the grass eating mammals could also be cruel if they devastated us by munching up all the greenery leaving a desert in our hearts. Kindness can sometimes be cruel, I suppose.
Nowadays I feel sorry for the tiger and the lion and the wolf too. Not only because man has hunted down all of them. What a life of stealth and attack they have to pursue to keep the wolf away from the door! However, I cannot forgive human beings who trample upon the rights of their fellow men.
The tiger hiding in the bushes to pounce upon its prey, the lioness pursuing a deer or bison breathlessly…these seem to me to be desperate attempts at survival.
Similarly, the glorious religious places make me think only of man’s pathetic attempts at hiding his desperation about death and evil. For man clutches at a streak of light and finds himself bound in a welter of rules.
How sad that man’s gambits to ward away the meaninglessness and insignificance of his life end up creating death and mayhem for other men.
How crude that the means of salvation becomes the instrument of hegemony and torture? How pitiable on the part of base idiots to try to convert others to their dessicated dogmas!
Behind all those imposing walls and high ceilings and wonderful art is man’s futile attempt to mask his puny existence.
The sacred works do contain sublime truths, but they are also full of contradictions and the accumulated malcontents of centuries.
The stone edifices are monuments to an unseen light…they should not be made the ramparts of fanaticism.
When I see the faithful clutching their voluminous tomes with all the strength of their lives (and that of those whom they want to sacrifice at its altar), I think of a devastated Napolean chained to the rocks of Helena. Vanity Vanquished by hidden doubt.
The whole mass of humanity, which is but a sea of particles floating in the feverish and frenetic energy of the mind, is a riot of contradictions.
Yet beyond all this swirling storm of dust and vicious smoke, I see a ray..why I cannot say. I see it in my country’s Mahatmas, the shadowy impersonations of whom are the butts of ridicule in our midst today
‘There are great men who like the spring create a bloom of flowers in mankind’s heart’, wrote Shankara, who sewed up India for us centuries ago with the eclecticism of Shanmatha and the invigorating anthem of the Vedanta.
Men in our own times, like the Dalai Lama, who despite being being an exile from his own land adds love and meaning to our lives, are perhaps a reminder to us that we should cross the frontiers of dogma to the free land of compassion.