Labor Day

The Bumble bees, the smaller worker bees and the moths are all busy sucking the nectar from the lavender flowers; of the variegated leaved hedge that grows knee high, between my driveway and my neighbor’s entrance. They are all doing their karma without attachment or resentment, as each flitted from flower to flower and sucked deep of its sweet bounty. They have no dream of acquiring an empire of lavender flowers; or in harnessing slaves to do their bidding, and gather the nectar for them, so that they can become ever more powerful, with growing mountains of nectar at their command. They do not attack each other or create outcasts; as nature’s bounty is here for all of us to enjoy together, as we are all part of the same universe in this particular space and time. We are just working out our karmic experience in perfect harmony of body and soul and should suffer no duality of experience, or delusions of grandeur.
The problem I think comes down to space and time; as while each is unlimited and possibly extends out into eternity, our minds cannot comprehend this. We are limited by our sense organs and our intellect, to a known creation and its limits. We cannot experience outside our senses or think beyond our intellect. We acquire a lot of knowledge all our life on different waves, within the time and space continuum. This knowledge is what causes our ego to grow; and we can create an identity around this knowledge we acquire; which defines what we are, and also what we can or cannot achieve. The higher we climb; the more we can see, and the more we acquire, the less we know, about the minute individual details. So knowledge diminishes, as wisdom expands. There comes a time when we have reached the peak of a certain field; we have a new revelation and have to unequivocally state, that we know nothing, and need to start all over again. While others may be blinded by our knowledge and the brilliance of our research; we ourselves are just opening our eyes to a new wisdom, on a different plane.
Thus we are engaged throughout our existence in this field of illusion; where we use our sense organs and our intellect, to gain more knowledge. The problem becomes compounded as we also put on certain glasses, as we go through life. For an example a pick pocket on meeting a very holy man; will notice only his pockets, a hungry man going through a market, will only notice the eating places and neglect the places of worship or beauty. Whatever our mind or body is seeking becomes this opaque vision; using which, we look at the universe around us. A holy man sees goodness, and an evil man sees temptation, and a tailor sees clothes and their cuts, and so on. None of us sees the whole universe, or what it has to offer. We seek within our limits; and are surprised at the end of the journey, that we only found so little for life, to offer us. It is not life that limits us; but our own vision, that clouds us. As we go beyond each veil; new vistas open up to us, and as we move along the Jnana or knowledge path, we start unfolding the tree of wisdom. I am full of my ahamkar and ego so I know everything and the saint in his wisdom knows nothing. As we shatter successive levels of our egos; we find that there is more light coming through our filters, and enlightenment is slowly building up.
So as we step up to the gates of heaven; or are ready to pass into the state of nirvana, what is the essence that we will take with us? Precious little; as all that we will have is not of this life, it is not these sense organs, or the walking organs, or the knowledge learnt from our books and exploration, or our wealth and earthly success, as they are useless where we are going. All our life we worked on earning and preserving our wealth; or army, or force, or food stocks, or energy, and in the end it is all left behind. It is our duty to do these things during our existence; but the key is to do it without attachment. If our wife, car, home, possessions start to define us; then we have not done, our righteous duty. We need to do all this and more; as the lotus that needs to be tended, is within us. The kingdom of heaven lies within us and not outside; and similarly Nirvana has to be realized internally and not externally from material possessions or from others. Only when we labor without attachment to the fruit of our labor; and when we do our best to do our duty in whatever existence serves up to us, does life become meaningful and our karma falls away.
The bumble bee’s labor is done now that it is dark and the flowers sway in the light breeze. Labor Day has come and gone and still the work remains the same. Holidays are for contemplation and stepping away; and taking a chance to look inwards, and discard some of the distractions we have created for ourselves, in our relationships. Discard this pursuit of useless knowledge, and pursue the path of wisdom. Learn from the bumble bee, as it does not fight with the flower to give it what it needs. If one flower refuses, it moves on to the next. Do not get hung up on a particular path or a particular action or a particular person or obsession. Instead lift the veil and let light in and move on; as wisdom comes from removing ignorance, and not just heaping knowledge upon knowledge into an overextended mind. As Bob Dylan sang, “When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose.” When you reach that plane of nothing, only then can you start to strive to unravel, the true meaning of this existence. It is in the innocence of a child’s smile; as it shows the infinite possibilities, which lie ahead of all of us in this karmic life. Learn to hear afresh and see again; and the wonders will unfold and nothing again will be the same, as even the “I” will fade away and you will be free at last; and Heaven’s gate or Nirvana, will just be another stage you pass.

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About Rajiv Kapoor

Rajiv Kapoor was born in New Delhi. He was educated by the Jesuits at St Xavier’s, and graduated with Honors, from The University of Delhi. Rajiv Kapoor did his MBA in International Business from Penn State and is now settled in the US. He has traveled across most states of India, when he was working on modernization of Rice Mills, and understands their diverse culture and history. This book is a historical fiction, dedicated to his city of birth. His extensive research dives deep into a critical moment, in India’s long history, for his latest Historical Thriller “The Peacock Throne Wars”..

6 thoughts on “Labor Day

  1. very well written rajiv…..straight from d heart. As and when we understand with our limited intellect and see oneness everywhere in this beautiful universe we continue our mundane existence and waste our lives.
    THis opportunity is for us to use and grow.

  2. I just want to say I’m very new to blogging and site-building and really liked you’re website. Almost certainly I’m going to bookmark your blog . You surely have exceptional writings. Bless you for sharing your blog.

  3. Usually I don’t read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very
    pressured me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me.
    Thank you, very great article.

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