India has been a calling. For many. To journey. Into, into, into. Themselves. And through that, to discover, to uncover, the eternal, the universal All. For this, she has offered many streams to dive into. One of those is a huge gushing river. They call it, Hindu. Its a word that is not India’s. The Persians gave it. The British, for simplicity, carried it forward. It is after a river, Sindhu. Or Indus.
For many brought up in our times, the word – not unlike the others- brings to mind images, loaded with senselss violence, and pain. Or, on the flip side, with jingoistic reclamation of a past pride. Ego. Ahamkar. The one thing that the ancient Hindu sages said was false, that had to be not just left, but consciously killed, dissolved. Maro, he jogi, Maro. Die, o Yogi, Die. Maran hai Meetha. Death is Sweet.
For that death of the ego, were journeys, pilgrimages. For that death of the ego were prayers. For that death of the ego were stories. For that death of the ego was, Life. Said, unsaid. Every religion on earth designs itself this way. The ancient Hindus just bang into the head. Phatak! Dhyan. Bhakti. Karm. Choose a path. Live it. Or you are back. Again, and again. Till you get the idea right.
And they practised. Ego-dissolution. In the cold peaks of the Himalayas. The chilling waters of the Ganges. They chanted. Used Sound. Used asanas, body postures. Imagination, breath, body, concentration, contemplation. Nothing was left untouched. To Search. For that One truth. And … they prayed. To the river, to the mountain, to the earth, the sky. For support. They knew. Life is not just this one body. The soul moves. The bird, the tree, the minerals, the water, the rock … are no different from humans. One can become, unbecome, anytime. Connections. Web. Of Life. Eternal.
River, tree, mountains … they were all Gods. All Divine. And, of all fountains of Bliss, all seekers of Truth, Nature gave the roots. Moses heard the divine voice in a burning bush. Through a river was Jesus baptised. A spider protected Muhammed. In oneness with a river, Nanak found Bliss. Siddhartha became a Buddha under a tree. It happened when he touched the Earth. The bush, the river, the spider, the tree. The Earth. They gave us the roots, so we could fly.
A film by Akanksha Joshi | Produced by PSBT & Ministry of External Affairs | Created at the Random Maharasa Studio | www.hindunectar.in