Mountains are Supreme Teachers. They are like great sages of the past. Standing in deep penance for millennia together,they are always ready to teach you a thing or two. And they do it when you least expect it! Over the past 6 years of Trekking in my beloved Sahyadri ranges, I have learnt many lessons from these Supreme teachers.Sometimes the hard way!
When 4 of us were driving down from Pune to climb the magnificent and awe-inspiring Lingana pinnacle, I was fortunate enough to get some wisdom from these great ancient ranges. Our route towards Lingana took us from near the famous Khadakwasla lake and into Pabe Ghat. While we were descending Pabe ghat with our vehicle we saw this big grey-white Eagle Raptor gliding effortlessly through the air. Something made us stop.As the Eagle descended upon a tree to rest, we cut our car’s engine and maintained absolute silence with the sole intention of getting a good photo. What happened in the next few moments as the sounds of my car engine died off and the silence enveloped us is something that will remain an enchanting experience in Sahyadris of my life!
It all began to sink in as soon as the silence took over the chaos created by humans. The very first thing I noticed was the sound of silence! When you are actually silent, you hear things you never would’ve heard before! The whole environment comes alive! You begin to slowly hear all the small things that actually constitute Mother Nature. Chirping of some Cicadas in the distance, the chatter of monkeys, the faint jolly tune whistled by some unknown bird and the Wind! The wind speaks volumes to you!
As I sat in the car enchanted while my team mates clicked photographs, I noticed the Eagle sitting majestically on the tree top. Master of all he surveyed and King of the skies! He sat there without a worry in the world. Perfectly happy and at peace. There was a aura that he emitted that commanded instant respect! The blowing wind was slightly ruffling his feathers but he sat there unruffled and with complete inner peace.
The Eagle Bird perched majestically on the Tree Top
It then struck me how materialistic our lives have become. We work hard all day to earn money, we sacrifice our happiness today so that we may live happily in a future we are not sure we will even live to see. And yet look at this Raptor – Penniless,living in the moment and still the Wealthiest amongst 5 of us at that scene! The setting sun had drawn a shining aura around the bird and the tree and I would have loved to keep on watching him in all his glory and grace in this overwhelming silence! Just then a camera shutter clicked and the sharp ears of the Eagle heard it. He turned around and fixed his amber gaze on us. The wind blowing from behind him ruffled the feathers on his head and it gave him the look of an ancient warrior chief. His eyes were looking at the strange silver machine that was behind him. That’s where the noise which disturbed his thoughtful reverie came from!
As he looked at me, our eyes met and there was a communication which transcended all barriers of language! It was the simple reminder from nature to me that we are all connected. That we are all pillars which hold up this eco-system and that collapsing of any one pillar would make this eco-system collapse too! The destruction of nature that we humans are carrying out under the guise of business & money made me heavy with guilt and difficult to see in the Eagle’s eyes.I broke the eye contact. His message having been delivered, the Eagle blinked once (There was royalty and grace in his blinking too!) turned his head around, spread his wings and took flight. And I was just watching him, struck speechless by his regal presence as he cut the air expertly and without any effort!
As he glided away, I once more how small humans actually are in front of Nature – inspite of all the power and money that he has, he is indeed powerless against Nature! All the wealth that he may hoard and all the businesses that he may own are indeed no match for the fury of Nature! All the hard work he puts in will indeed be fruitless if he does not have inner peace like the Eagle who sat on the tree! How much ever a human may falsely comfort himself by saying he is an Intelligent animal, the fact remains that we through our ‘advances in technology’ are actually becoming a weaker race! The fact is that Humans have used all their intelligence and succeeded in making themselves more stupid!
Laughing a sarcastic laugh at my own human race, I turned the ignition on and put the car into gear. As we drove away, I realized that without me knowing it,once again, The Sahyadris had taught me a lesson!
– Pranjal ©
23 Aug 2013
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Photo Credits: Rohan Shinde