A Flower

Srimathe Ramanujaya Nama:

One morning as I was preparing for the Lord’s thiruvArAdhanam by plucking some flowers, I saw this one flower that was almost fully blossomed, but not quite there yet. I knew by evening time it will be in full blossom, but whether it would stay that way till the next morning was unclear.

So, I thought, should I take the flower now for His divine pleasure or should I risk till tomorrow and then take it? In the end, I decided to wait till the next day. But it set me thinking.

If we are so unsure about whether a flower will last the day and think we should not take a risk in presenting it to the Lord right away, why are we so callous about presenting the divine flower, which is our soul, to Him?

We keep thinking that there is always another day to take that into consideration. I keep hearing from many people that why am I not focusing on my career and such actitivities at this time? After all, they say, there is always time for this (focusing on the Lord) later.

Yet, we also know deep down that this life can be taken away from us in the blink of an eye.

Nammazhvar says “minnin nilaiyila mannuyir AkkaigaL”. This life lasts as long as a bolt of lightning does. Azhvar also says “mAmazhai mokkuLin mAyndhu mAyndhu” - it is like a bubble in a heavy rain - here this moment, gone the next.

There is a story in the Mahabharata where a Yaksha asks all kinds of questions to Yudishtra. The last of these questions is “What is the most surprising fact of all?” Yudishtra answers “Each and every day, man sees birth and death occur all around him. Yet, each man goes about that day thinking that he alone is guaranteed to last that day and go to the next. This is the most surprising fact”.

The greatest irony is that - in this, the most important of all things - in this, we hesitate the most and think that there is no hurry to do it today or tomorrow - after all, there is plenty of time left, right?!

Our nature should be as Azhvar said “vaiththa nAL varai ellai kurugich senRu eyththiLaippadhan munnam adaiminO”.

If Periyazhvar worries “appOdhaikku ippOdhE solli vaiththEn”, then where should we be?

Written on Sep 29, 2004

Azhvar Emberumanar Jeeyar Thiruvadigale Sharanam