The U S National parks were closed; and visitors were being turned away from the gates and had to return disappointed, that they could not view the wonderful vistas of these natural wonders. From Yosemite to the Grand Canyon to Liberty State Park all across the nation, some of the prized treasures that are being preserved for posterity, were suddenly out of bounds and many a planned family trip had to be cancelled or people had to return disappointed. These are all part of our Earth’s wonders; and the amazing sights are awe inspiring and on such a grand scale, that it leaves the people wondering about the true power of nature. From ‘Old Faithful’s’ regular geyser gushing out; to the gigantic scale of the Grand Canyon, a testimony of water’s powers as the land is cut by the Rio Grande for hundreds of miles at a stretch.
We have been searching space for forms of life for decades now; and have yet to find another planet with life, such as we have on Earth. Nature’s forces have shown an abundance of flora and fauna, and we keep discovering new species of plants and birds and animals even today. Prakriti or Shakti or primordial power of nature; is not something that we can understand easily, and even the creator is at awe in what it can achieve as it evolves. Once creation started, the forces of nature took over and evolved with their own determined principals, creating diversity unimaginable in its scale. The creator having unleashed his creation; now left it to evolve on its own merits, but basic laws of science were the weave and weft for all things to come. Natural laws of Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Biology are enforced; on a second by second basis, and over eons of time. Billions of Galaxies exist; with each having billions of suns, and which in turn have planets and their moons, and all of them follow the same laws. The elements of life were forged in the great furnaces of the Super Nova’s and pulsars, white dwarfs, black holes and creative destruction is a natural part of these laws.
So when humanoids reached a stage in civilization they realized that the conquest of nature; and the creation of a man made order, was a natural desire. From the fabled hanging gardens of Babylon to the formal gardens of Versailles under the sun king Louis, to the geometrical lawns of the Taj Mahal with their flowing fountains, we created our own gardens. There is a desire amongst those who have more than enough; to then go out and make something, which will be their lasting legacy for others to follow. We have selectively worked with nature; and just like the tulip mania that almost destroyed the economy of Netherlands so many years ago, we continue to tinker with species of flowers and plants to create new varieties. The Inca and the Aztec selectively took wild grasses; and evolved them into many varieties of modern corn that we eat today, over the centuries. Similarly the green revolution that put Malthus theory to shame; was the creation of the dwarf wheat and rice grains like IR8, that revolutionized food production and brought beggars, into the land of plenty. We will continue to grow our gardens and now giant tractors, harvesters and combines roam the prairies to provide the man created gardens that feed our billions.
As humans evolved they came to question nature and its laws, that they saw around them. What is it that made the sun rise each day and the moon wane and wither and then become full again? What makes the caged bird to sing; and why does the eagle soar above the storms, that make all other birds seek shelter. These questions all lead us to the lotus of the heart; or the garden within, that we need to cultivate and grow. The laws of the spirit are even more obscure; than the laws of the physical world and even harder to understand, than the physical laws that can be observed and captured in formulas and methodologies of modern scientific thinking. The mighty oak grows from a tiny acorn and the heart of the acorn is empty; except for the spirit that resides there, that will cause it to flourish and grow, given the right environment. The life force that resides in these tiny seeds is powerful; and can cause the growth of mighty forests that live on for centuries, yet we do not know what causes this life force to exist and flourish.
When we look inwards and seek to grow this garden within; we often flounder and are easily distracted, by forces around us. The laws of nature reign supreme whether it is in the tiniest of electrons; or even the sub atomic particles that follow random patterns, to the spiral patterns of gigantic galaxies that span light years, and follow strict laws that sustain them. We are born and we must die; and existence is a stream in the time space continuum, which seems to have no beginning or end. What makes some people good and others evil; and what is it that causes old age and death, are just questions, that many have attempted to answer, but we cannot have a definitive theorem that answers these quest. So my answer is that we must cultivate this garden within. Within the void that is the innermost life force, is the solution to this great mystery of creation. Endless cycles of creation and destruction will continue to infinity; but what is it that we need to do now, to attain knowledge that transcends all of this natural phenomena. The laws of the spirit reign even over the physical laws; and they can only be found in the heart of the lotus, within each one of us. I have traveled this earth and seen its wonders; but what continues to amaze me is this wonder within, which we continue to neglect at our great peril.
Cultivating the spirit and the garden within us, becomes our main purpose in life. This gift of life can be squandered on the world of sensual perception; or it can be used to grapple with the timeless and beyond space reality, of oneness. We are seekers in a land of no answers; and what we find is only another perception, of myriad reality. Each of us is so unique that to even try and explain oneself to another who may be our lifetime companion, becomes an effort in futility. They will never see the world from our reality; as ours is a unique perspective, based on our Karma and experience. Just like you can take the horse to the water but you can’t make it drink similarly we can explore the universe but we can’t know what makes up its core. The core is not without; and after roaming the world in search of it, we must return to what is within. In our own void we must find that which is real; as everything else falls in the Upanishads answer of ‘Neti’, or not this alone. I am; so the universe exists, and without me, my universe ceases to exist. This Atman or life force was always here, and always will be; but our vision is clouded by the world of Maya and we see only the here and now. So be aware in this here and now; and all eternity will be at your beck and command. Cultivate this garden within, and it will become your fulfilling life work; as compassion and love are not external, but must first start in our own heart. Be happy; and happiness will flow and be joyful, and the world will revel with you in all its wonders. Offer everything to Brahman and the Atman will not want for abundance, for after all there is no duality here, and everything is still one with our creator. Sat Chit Anand.