• Tathagata Mukherjee

🦋 Thought of a Butterfly 🦋

One morning a fully grown butterfly with its vibrant coloured wings landed on a very well bloomed flower. It sat on the petal of the flower and dug in proboscis to extract nectar. While it was relishing the sugary treat its eyes fell on a Caterpillar munching on the leaf. Looking at that creepy creature the airborne butterfly thought, “What a life, I pity looking at this worm it is satisfied eating those leaves, while nectar is just a few inches away".

That beautiful butterfly forgot that it was once a caterpillar and got transformed to what it is now. This is exactly how a few think about their fellow seekers who are on the path trying to find the Truth.

Yesterday we were celebrating Ganesha festival and many of my friends posted the significance of the festival by sharing the Puranic stories. A few posted being critical about rituals and pointed to shun rituals and grasp the essence. Though it was a good suggestion there is no need to feel pity on those performing rituals as some put it. To me it was like how the butterfly was talking about the food habits of caterpillar.

There is mention of Karmakanda (Path of Rituals), Upasanakanda (Path of Worship) and Jnanakanda (Path of Knowledge) in Vedas to attain the Truth.

Karmakanda is for those under the sway of their mind feeling happy and sad as the situation prevails, who have likes and dislikes and hence are attached to delusions and illusions. Such seekers need some kind of a support to comprehend Truth. That support is their mind. This way of attainment is called “Pipilik Marga” (The way of the Ant). One can observe that an ant slowly climbs up to the trunk of the tree and marches forward to the branch and finally reach the fruit and enjoys the taste of the fruit.

Upasanakanda is where the seeker deals with “why” aspect of rituals in addition to “how” and stage by stage moves forward towards comprehending Truth. This way of attainment is called “Markata Marga” (The way of the Monkey). A monkey jumps from one tree to another lands on the branch which has fruits and grabs the fruit and tastes it.

Jnanakanda is the ultimate state. The seeker is convinced that just doing good deeds is not the ultimate goal of human life. The only way to end sufferings of human life is to get liberated and end the cycles of Birth and Death once and for all. This liberation yields the final merger with Brahman, the Supreme Being. This way of attainment is called “Shuka Marga” (The way of the Parrot). The parrot fly down from the sky lands on the branch of the tree with fruits and pecks at a fruit with its beak and starts relishing the fruit.

In the Karmakanda the support of mind is always there just as the branch is there for the ant to climb the tree to get the fruit. In Upasanakanda the support of the mind is occasionally needed just as the monkeys need the branch of the tree to jump and grasp the fruit. In Jnanakanda the support of mind is needed very little, just as the parrot seldom needs the help of the branch except for landing on it and relishing the fruit.

But one has to notice that the fruit is attainable in all the three ways, it depends on the faith and endurance in the path a seeker has. Ant may not be as quick as monkey or monkey may not be as quick as parrot in getting the fruit but importantly all the three finally get the fruit.

Every seeker attains the ultimate if he treads the path in whichever way he is comfortable. Isn't it?


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