Soar high like the Homa bird

From Pratiksha Apurv's desk Media Watch

Taking inspiration from the story of the mystical bird, we should go back to our source before it’s too late, writes Pratiksha Apurv. Published in The Speaking Tree on May 11, 2019.

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Stories are like little candles in a dark room. Once lit, they illuminate and stir our hearts with joy. Each word in an enchanting story is like a sparkle that fills us with wonder, and we get to see the world differently. There is a story in the Vedas about a bird called Homa. The bird lives in the sky and never touches the ground. It even lays its egg while flying. Imagine the speed at which the egg would fall from the sky. However, according to the story, the egg hatches before it hits the ground, and the hatchling soars into the blue sky to be with its mother.

Cosmic Bird
Cosmic Bird, Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 24″, 2006

This phenomenon doesn’t happen suddenly. The baby bird is aware that if the eggshell hits the ground, death is imminent. That awareness makes the baby fly out and go back to its mother in the sky. This story is a profound narrative on the lives of human beings. The story of the mythical bird from the Vedas is also the story of human evolution and its ups and downs.

While there can be debates on the theory of evolution, it is a fact that human strength and intelligence dominates all other beings.

This superior human species, living in the high skies of fame, wealth and ambition also tends to fall. The descent is visible and there seems no end to it. The Homa bird symbolises human beings. Our eternal home is up there beyond the sky, where there is no ego, greed, darkness or enmity; only overflowing love for each other and of Existence.

Going by Darwin’s evolution theory, human beings have evolved from bullock cart to airplanes, and from the sword to nuclear bomb. However, spiritual masters like Krishna, Jesus, Gautama Buddha, Mahavira, Nanak, Kabir and Mira would have said that going from sword to N-weapons is not development; rather these are tools of self-destruction. In that sense, we have fallen and have not really evolved. A sword may kill one or two people, but a nuclear bomb is a weapon of mass destruction. If the Buddha was here with us, he would have asked if this was the meaning of real evolution.

If we are descending into chaos and destruction, then we have missed the spirit of the story of the Homa bird. The Homa hatchling, opens its eyes and flies up before the egg hits the ground. Unlike the bird, we don’t open our eyes till we hit the ground, and are bruised both mentally and emotionally. We don’t acknowledge the spiritual fire burning inside us, and that is why we miss our flight towards the vast blue sky of Existence. The painting, Cosmic Birth, describes that our Source is at the highest altitude. And, the new generation is like that Homa bird which is yet to hatch. Both awareness and inner awakening is required to realise our potential, break the shell and fly back into the sky

Kabir says, Jaise til mein tel hai, jyon chakmak mein aag/ tera sai tujh mein hai, tu jaag sake toh jaag – ‘Just as seeds contain oil, and fire is hidden in flintstone, so also our hearts contain the Divine. God is within us and we need to wake up and see.’

Osho says that thousands of years ago, people lived in harmony, and there was a song in everyone’s heart, but that spirit is lost. “We know more, but the quality of our knowledge has hit the ground and shattered. We have made material gains, but that does not reflect our true development. Is our standard of life better than that of the Buddha and Mahavira, who had few possessions? Can we compare a billionaire with the Buddha? Darwin’s theory of human evolution is fit for material things but as far as our inner being is concerned it’s in a state of free fall,” he says.

Our source is divinity and the Homa bird is a symbol of our origin. Let us be like the Homa hatchling, and wake up before it’s too late. Let’s practise meditation so that we can fly back to our Source, back to our mother. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says, Aham Sarvasya prabhavo mattah sarwam pravartate, iti matva bhajante mam, Buddha bhavasamanvitah – ‘I am the source of all, Arjuna. From me everything evolves. The wise understand this while fully conscious and worship me.’

Pure consciousness in all of us is sublime. In the process of our development, Existence is always present, whispering about the significance of joy and splendour of life. We need to acknowledge it through our inward quest, and through our inner flight. The journey back to our real home is the result of our meditative consciousness, and is a launch-pad to start witnessing oneself and the existence within. That’s when we truly come home and fulfil the hidden message of the story of the Homa bird.

Excerpt by Osho from Athato Bhakti Jigyasa, Bhag 2 (अथातो भ‍‍क्‍ति जिज्ञासा, भाग 2)

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