Live a playful life

From Pratiksha Apurv's desk Media Watch

Existence is full of love and laughter. Let’s not make it serious and morose, suggests Pratiskha Apurv in The Speaking Tree.

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PPlayfulness, painting by Pratiksha Apurv
Playfulness, painting by Pratiksha Apurv, Oil on Canvas, 18×24″, 2005

Most images of Hindu gods reflect childlike innocence, filled with fun, song, joy and celebrations. It inspires us to see ourselves that way, as being playful. We are born to celebrate life, a melodious song composed by the universe. But since we tend to take life too seriously, we forget to be playful. We are so conditioned that instead of enjoying the beauty of nature, we try to find scientific reasons for a tree’s song. We need to live and play just for the sheer joy of togetherness. Let’s stop counting winners and losers. The day we drop this fiercely competitive approach, our true Self will reveal itself.

Scriptures across religions talk about the quality of a playful person — a childlike innocence and a smile on the face. That is the real face of existence. God is not up there in the skies; She is right here, in all of us. Seriousness is the only obstacle.

The American poet Walt Whitman called upon humanity to sing and celebrate for oneself. Whitman wrote, “I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four and each moment then.”

There is no secret pilgrimage to find the joy of existence. It can be missed if we are sleepy or too serious. This is precisely the reason why Whitman as well as many Indic scriptures, talk about living a non-serious life, so that the small, little things containing the fragrance of gods are not missed. The Taittiriya Upanishad describes God as Raso vai saha, ‘God is blissful.’ The literal meaning of ‘rasa’ in English is ‘juice’. Brahmn, the universal consciousness in all of us, is not cut and dried but full of juice. This juice can prevent life from turning into an imprisonment. In the Bhagwad Gita, Krishna says, “Like an ocean that is not perturbed by the continuous flow of waters from various rivers, those who remain constant despite the flow of various objects in life attain peace and joy.”

Every action of Krishna is considered as lila, play. In the painting Playfulness, I have tried to convey the message that there is a need to drop the idea of goals in life, because then life is a game and we forget its playful part. In a game, there are winners and losers. In play, there is no goal but only the joy of being together in a moment filled with love and laughter.

Playfulness is the greatest creative energy in tune with existence. We should allow things to happen with contentment and serenity.

Like in meditation, we need not become serious about techniques, because meditation is love and laughter. It can only happen in the state of playfulness, when the person is absorbed in the moment – like children, who dance for no reason. The Divine reaches out to you in that state of playfulness.

Osho says, “Playfulness makes you alive. Seriousness cripples you. You become shrunken, frozen. You become closed; you become isolated. You become egoistic. That’s why seriousness has been cherished so much by people because seriousness gives you the ego, and playfulness takes the ego away.”

Meditation transforms our chaotic mental state into childlike innocence. So, don’t be so serious, just be playful and each moment of life will become a precious jewel.

Quote by Osho from Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind, Ch 5, Q 1

Pratiksha Apurv

Pratiksha Apurv is a painter and writer. She lives and works in Pune.

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