A gecko's eloquent silence

Last Updated : 10 October 2010, 16:09 IST

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A tiny baby lizard resting its triangular-shaped head on its crossed forepaws with unblinking eyes and curled tail is lying a little away from me on the floor. It has been there for the last 15 days changing its position to different corners of my room but all the while in the same pose. I know for certain that it is sick and convalescing. It is unable to catch prey and has not eaten during these days. It is not certain how long it is going to survive.

The first day I saw it, my natural reaction was one of aversion. Instinctively I felt the urge to kill. But a second look evoked a feeling of pity. It appeared so helpless that I allowed it to lie down undisturbed hoping it would recuperate. This has continued for many days now. It still lies there undisturbed while my hope in its rejuvenation remains unaltered. Whenever it disappears from my sight, I feel happy that it has gone back to its brood with health recovered. But each time, a little while later I find it crawling near me unobtrusively. Each passing day has imperceptibly brought us closer.

What relation could there be between a tiny lizard and a man? Perhaps nothing. Yet the feeling of kindness, pity and empathy are unmistakable. My feelings may be ratiocination of my intellect. But what makes the non-thinking lizard comfortable next to me? It surpasses my understanding.

How could one explain even wild beasts, when under strange circumstances come in contact with human beings, develop a strong kinship, showing their love in abundance? Herds of deer fearlessly flock to human habitats near the jungle lodges. Even plants are known to respond to human affection. There must be a thread running through the entire creation linking all in a harmonious whole.

Kabir sings of the breaking of a mud pot that he used to fill with water but feels happy that at last it has released him from the bondage of filling. Though apocryphal, at a deeper level it speaks of going beyond selfish needs by the shattering of the ego and arising of universal love. When a highly revered person was asked when this kind of state could be reached, the impromptu answer was when one starts loving the whole creation.

The Upanishads declare that for the one who sees oneself in all and all in oneself, there is no grief or delusion. Science confirms that each object in the cosmos attracts every other object, the force of attraction being directly proportionate to the product of the mass of the objects and inversely proportionate to the square of the distance between.
A lizard next to me gives rise to all these thoughts. In its eloquent silence it is perhaps teaching me the essential unity of all existence and the thread of love running through it.

Published 10 October 2010, 16:09 IST

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