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The River of Life

BY: kishore thampi | Category: Others | Submitted: 2011-09-19 09:44:19
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Article Summary: "Life is ever changing and we can only be a silent spectator to this cosmic manifestation. The river truly teaches us this wisdom..."

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The wisdom of the river ....

It was Heraclitus, the Greek Philosopher renowned for his extreme views, who first came out with the philosophy that "Everything goes and nothing stays". He substantiated this statement by comparing "Existence" to that of a flowing river by quoting that "You cannot step into the same river twice". Though Heraclitus was known for his logical incoherence, this particular simile, which correlates life to the flowing river, has created a furor amidst the thinkers of that period. If we really delve deep into the philosophy of this innocuous statement, its profundity hits us flat on our face. It shakes us from our mental stupor. Life is ever changing and we can only be a silent spectator to this cosmic manifestation. The river truly teaches us this wisdom.

The flowing river ....

A river, in fact, is a unique phenomenon of nature. A flowing river is tantamount to life and freshness. Every moment tones of water get added to it, which really maintains the interminable freshness of the river. If there was no continuous flow, there would not be any life giving force/ effervescence to this stream of water. The same analogy is applicable to human life. The more we learn and experience the intricacies of life, the livelier we will be. If we retrograde and confine ourselves to the uninteresting facets of life, we will be just like stagnant water. Not evolving, not changing and devoid of the vital "Prana" or life energy. If we further extrapolate this concept to the macro level, we can say that human life is perpetually evolving. When we do our part and leave this world, the next generation takes it forward. Just like the way when the water from the river coalesces with the mighty ocean, more fresh water would have got added at its source which furthers enlivens its journey to its destination. This cosmic cycle will go and on and on, unperturbed by the vagaries of nature.

A great wisdom lies behind this system set up in human life by nature. Its aim is that the coming generation should learn its lesson from the experiences of the previous generation. By benefiting in this way, it may continue its life's journey in a far better way. This is the most precious gift which the previous generation can give to the new generation and flowing river truly epitomizes this wonderful concept.

The mind body connect .......

Nothing soothes the mind and the body like the sight of a flowing river. It has been medically proven that the sound of the gushing water is cathartic. It calms the troubled mind and revitalizes the desolate soul.

Many people practice meditation to achieve the same result. In meditation itself, there is one particular method, which many spiritualists, claim to be the most effective of the lot. It is called as the "Flowing River" meditation. Here is how it works.

Imagine you are seated, in meditative pose, on the banks of a flowing river. You can see the bubbly water cascading before your eyes. The sound of the gurgling water reverberates in resonance with your heart beat. Across the river, on the other side, visualize a huge tree whose one branch stretches to the river. There is cool breeze blowing and you can feel it murmuring sweet nothings into your ears. The breeze shakes the leaves and you can hear its rustling sound. Just then, one leaf breaks free from the branch and started falling in to the river. On its way down, it plays with the breeze and dances to its rhythmic cadence. It swirls, sways and somersaults and tries to match the wind in all its mischief. After sometime, tired of these pranks, the leaf slowly falls down, rocking itself to a subdued state, in anticipation of its communion with the ever flowing water below. The leaf then slowly touches the river and gets carried away by the riveting water. As you watch the leaf go, you can see another leaf getting detached from the branch, and the process continues..... At some point, you lose the sense of reality and become the leaf itself, enjoying your exhilarating journey from source to destination.

The art of living NOW .........

Of the many adventure sports which are rampant in this world, river water rafting tops the list. It is said to be one of the most effective team sport / outward bound learning endeavor, which is used by many organizations / companies to educate their employees about certain life principle. So, what is so unique about river water rafting? After all it's just a trip down the river with a bunch of people on an inflated raft. But those who actually experienced it have got a different story to tell. They say that journey always starts on a very passive note. The raft just glides along the flowing water. But once when the rapids start, the whole equation changes. As the river tosses the raft up and down, the only thing that will be on your mind is to maneuver the raft away from the rocks jutting out of the river bed and in the process not to go overboard. There is no turning back and the only way is the way forward. You have to work together as a team to keep the raft afloat. Everything happens there and you are right in the middle of it. In fact you are living that moment. Slowly but surely you will soon realize the pure joy and exhilaration of living in the present. And people who have undergone this enriching experience will understand this life philosophy more than anyone else. The river teaches you to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment of it.

The river of life ........

It is true that we are connected to the rivers and seas in some ways. We do have an unrelenting passion to be near them and experience them in totality. There could be many reasons for it. But the underlying hypothesis is that water forms one of the 5 elements of nature. The rest being fire, earth, space and air. And a huge proportion (more than 80%) of our body composition comprises of water, which is a clear indication that we are connected to nature in many ways. There is life in a river and there is a river in our life. We just need to keep flowing.

"Like swift water, an active mind never stagnates".

Let us be like the flowing river, consistently evolving and enjoying every moment of our existence from source to destination.

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