I have not written for a long time, but as always, nature never fails to inspire me to introspect and then put pen to paper. I was on a long-pending yatra with my family to Badrinath and Kedarnath. The Himalayas are awe inspiring in their size, sacred in their vibrations and scary when they are furious. When I look at them and think that at 50 million years of age, these are called a ‘young’ mountain range, our understanding of scales of time is challenged! At 50 million years, these mountains are still evolving, which is why there is so much instability there, apart from what humans have caused with mindless deforestation and construction.
For the large part of the journey, it was the Alakananda that kept us company. Right from when it is a small stream near Mana – a happy stream jumping over rounded boulders in its path, sometimes gushing, sometimes an insignificant looking stream in a wide bed. But the how quickly it would change its complexion was amazing. Then it becomes bigger after joining with the Mandakini and Bhagirathi combo at Devprayag and fills up the deep canyons with its water, now the Ganges. Within a few kilometers, after Rishikesh, it becomes a wide river and an even wider one at Haridwar. It suddenly looks like a mature river.
When did the transformation happen? I just cannot say. It happened before my own eyes, but I could not make it out. And I thought, this transformation is just like what we see with our children, as they move from being teenagers to adults. If we are not attentive, and in the present, we miss it out and then we wonder where the time flew!
What changed the river from an energetic jumping one to a calm one? Well, it is called ‘depth’. Now try to apply this to our own lives. Since we are born of Prakriti, it makes sense that we learn from her!
In Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, the ferryman Vasudeva guides Siddhartha to learn from the river:
“He was taught by the river. Incessantly, he learned from it. Most of all, he learned from it to listen, to pay close attention with a quiet heart, with a waiting, opened soul, without passion, without a wish, without judgment, without an opinion.”
Apply it to our thought process; apply it to our investments; apply it to the way we live; apply it to our relationships; apply it to our knowledge. And now I leave you with some important questions: As you get on in age, have you become deep? As you grow older and wealthier, have you also become wiser? If we can channelize all our wisdom and wealth for the betterment of society, we can be like the Ganges. That is the state of Wellbeing.
T. Srikanth Bhagavat
Managing Director & Principal Advisor