An ex-IIT professor turned Ganga activist, Prof. GD Agarwal is on a fast unto death to force the Government to take steps to clean up the river Ganges. The Ganges are so much a part of Indian life, that it is symbolic of our nation. Flowing across the heartland of India from its source in Gangotri to its destination in the Bay of Bengal, the Ganges sees our country like no other traveller. Sadly, the pure and holy river is no longer in its pristine form being polluted through the course of its journey by the side-effects of our material prosperity. Industrial waste, construction activity and human callousness combine to turn this pure bustling stream into a meandering menace of a river before it empties itself into the bay. This is much like our lives sometimes, when material prosperity becomes the mainstay and inner peace and tranquility is polluted. The innocent blissful child is corrupted by the similar forces to turn him into a dark shadow of his former self.
If the river is a metaphor for your life, the water is the essence of your inner self. Flow like water, or Fluye como el agua as they say in Mexico. Think about it, water always finds a way. It flows through the hills and the plains. It finds its way past boulders and mountains. It never resists, but finds the path of least resistance. It reaches where it has to, slowly and maybe with a different course than the shortest one, but it never stops flowing. It finally merges with one sea, with one ocean, with one that has the very same essence. Is there a lesson that nature teaches us? Is it that we feel pain and loss because we resist, because of our need to control, because we stop and regress? Is it because we fail to flow in harmony? Is it the river that teaches us the simple principles of living? The principle of living in the present moment and going with the flow. Flow like water, Fluye como el ague!!
Ancient Toltec wisdom draws this allegory, as does Lao Tzu in his spiritual text, the Tao Te Ching. Tao Te Ching states that water is the most fitting metaphor for the Tao, one that resembles the highest goodness. Water quenches the thirst of all, the good, the bad and the ugly. It treats everyone equally and does not differentiate, it recognizes the oneness. Water passes through all terrain, the high, the low and the dirty. It flows without distaste and dislike, it recognizes humility. Water provides equally without expecting anything in return and it flows on. It flows without expectation, it recognizes true and deep caring, it recognizes compassion. Water can take any shape, that of a container or of an ocean. It does not hold on to a fixed image of itself, it recognizes flexibility and adaptability. Water takes any form, be it steam, snow or rain. It recognizes that it has to give itself to the larger design of nature, it's only purpose is to be of service. What better way to recognize our nature, our purpose than to contemplate on the nature of water, as much a part of the grand design as we are. Life is about flowing like a river through pollution, through difficult terrain, but not losing the essence of being. It is about not losing the essence of your inner self. Flow like water, Fluye como el agua!!