Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pity and Sympathy went out one day, over the hills and far away

I used to think that sight and hearing are the most valuable gifts man can have. I think I could somehow bear being mute - I can hear some of you laughing ;) – and having an insensitive nose does not really seem like such a big deal.

But seeing the smile on a child’s face, following the moon as it rises on a clear night, reading a book, gazing at the shades of a rainbow, observing little boys playing with their dogs, watching casuarinas sashay with the wind – these bring colour to life.

And hearing the call of a mother, the sound of water tripping over stones in a brook, the harmony of a Gregorian chant, the melody of birds chirping, the rhythm of Sukhmani, the laughter of a toothless old man - these bring music.

Anytime I saw someone with black glasses and a walking stick, or noticed someone communicating in sign language, my heart went out to them.

For a moment I would try to close my eyes and shut my ears. I wanted to see what they saw and hear what they heard….nothing. In that blindness and in that silence, a sense of pity and sympathy crept into me. And when I opened my eyes and ears, and I saw what they didn’t and heard what they couldn’t - I felt grateful, humbled.

And then one morning, as I walked into Darbar Sahib after seva, I heard the most beautiful kirtan I have heard in a long time. And when I was close enough, I saw that the raagi was wearing black glasses, which I took to mean that his sight was impaired. And my paradigm shifted completely.

No one sense is more essential than the other. But I, as an individual, chose to develop some and leave out the others. I have been blessed with all 5 senses, yet my dependence on them is disproportionate. I rely heavily on my sight and hearing (which is probably why they seem so invaluable to me), and tend to dismiss the strength of my nose and taste buds and skin. I am challenged when I have to rely on them. To have them and not know how to use them - that is my weakness.

To the person who is blind, he learns to fine tune his receptiveness and responses to his other senses, such that in his mind he still sees what I see, only that his picture is his own and a painter cannot capture it on a canvas.

And to the person who is deaf, he develops a sensitivity to the signals that he receives from his other antennas, such that his heart still hears what I hear, its just that his melody is his own and a composer cannot prepare a score for it.

And then there is me, who can see, and can hear, but I have neither that painter in my head nor that composer in my heart.

The disability is, in fact, mine.

So now when I see someone who is blind or deaf, I am still grateful and humbled.

But Pity and Sympathy are gone.

What’s left in me are Awe, Respect, and Compassion.

With love,
Hari Kiren

1 comment:

~JasJeeT SingH~ said...

Sincere Thanks for sharing wid us, such a spiritual n beautifully narrated experience of urz that made even me to sense the feel of ur experiences n visualize all ur experience upon closin my eyes here, sittin in office...even aftr being all alone sooooo far frm home n family...makes me feel closer to them!

Seriously...ur such a sweet n beautiful way of relating all the instances to Waheguru's Hukum n taking all instances as 1 more step towards generating positive energy n inspiring urself to taking urself more closer to Rabb wid each witnessed instance....simply dun hv words to appreciate ur gifted description of instances around ya :)

Hope to hear much more from ya that even inspires me to get more closer to Waheguru!

Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa
Waheguru Ji ki Fateh!
~JasJeeT SingH~