Swim, Don’t sink!
“We are swimmers,” said one of the students, a spokesperson for the group of young people who are also studying philosophy. A class of students came to visit our temple and ashram before checking in with the Daoists. They came for our philosophical perspective on things.
I had to ask myself what the two careers-swimming and philosophy have in common? Here’s what my tiny brain and training in Krishna Consciousness conjured up. It’s rather simple.
With philosophy you try to make sense of this life and once you decide it’s worth exploring every inch of it you try to swim and stay afloat. Someone even in the weakest of times, when swim strokes and dog paddling get trying, there exists an urge inside edging us on. I had an experience once when swimming across the Ganges at Rsikesh in India. The glacial frigidness of the water and strong current exhausted me when I was 2/3 rods across. I thought I was going to go and give myself to Mother Ganga. Physically I was gone but another side of me didn’t want to be gone. Something within me gave reason and need to forge ahead. Perhaps it was the workings of the brain combined with inspiration that kept me alive. After a great struggle I came to shore dragging myself out of danger while panting like crazy.
I came to the conclusion that it was the eternal nature of the soul that wants continuity. It does not want to cease to be.
Flash back over…..
To the students I explained the analogy of the precariousness of trying to swim after being dropped in the middle of the ocean which is compared to this world. You are quite helpless. The only chance of rescue is a boat that miraculously shows up with people who know how to steer that ship even in the most stormy conditions. A good captain is like the guru. The favourable breezes are like the good directions given by the Vedas, the great books of wisdom. And our human body which is prone to swim has all the mechanics for making devotion a way to play itself out even though we live in a very materialistic world.
With follow up questions by the students I thought we had a good session which was topped off with a great veggie prasadam meal.
The only person who was not a swimmer but was a devout walker was the student teacher. So we had lots to talk about afterwards.