Heaven's peace

With all the technological advancement, can man ever reproduce what nature does?

A chilly winter morning in Bangalore’s Cubbon Park: Morning joggers and walkers are busy with their routines.

The statuesque yoga practitioners, the girls doing aerobics like graceful ballerinas in their ecarte postures are engrossed in activities. Flower beds seem still asleep, “not lifting yet the heads that evening bowed” as Wordsworth said. The creaks of the bamboo thickets are the only audible sounds. The vast acreage of this park hides so many nooks and corners where the early morning quietude hangs like a blessed blanket that even the birds seem hesitant to disturb.

The majestic red edifice of the public library is matched by the enchanting rose garden in front. The serried beauties sit in a riot of colours, from pure white to blazing red, baby pink to bright yellow and every other colour combination in the spectrum. Tender buds, flowers in full bloom, the ground below carpeted with rose petals, is it for welcoming another new day? Just taking  this scene in the stillness of the young morn has a thaumaturgical effect that has only to be experienced. As the gentle breeze wafts the subtle fragrance of this floral multitude, it seems as if heaven is just across that green fence.

A small board near the porch of the library catches the eye. A closer look reveals it to be a poem of the renowned Kannada poet laureate Kuvempu. Written in his characteristic ciceronian style of exquisite pulchritude, it is at once a philosophical essay on recognising the presence of the divine in all things beautiful while on a more mundane level it questions man on blindly following accepted practices. Addressed to an imaginary priest, its rough translation reads as, “O priest, by plucking that beautiful flower, taking it inside the darkened cavern of the temple’s sanctum and decorating a lifeless piece of stone with it, do you think the Lord will be pleased? Will he be angered if you leave his creation untouched? Is it not possible to worship without plucking those wonderful flowers? O foolish man, why do you destroy what you cannot create? Just leave them alone”.

Yes, how true it is! With all his technological advancement, can man ever hope to reproduce what nature does? At best, it can only be an imitation. How often do we pause to admire the grace and beauty of a flower on a plant? As the poet says, does not divinity inhere in everything in nature? Yet, we choose to ignore this living presence and instead choose to desecrate and destroy nature. And then again, in the words of Kuvempu, we  decorate an insentient piece of stone and prostrate before it. The roses seem to nod in agreement. As the rising sun casts his golden rays on the earth, the poet’s words swirl about in the mind. It’s time to again remember Wordsworth and say, “Farewell, I leave thee to heaven’s peaceful care!”

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