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Spirituality Share This Page
Tirtha
by Sandhya Keller Bookmark and Share

Water. Vital, essential, both inner and outer thirst. More than just its mineral combination, a kind of metaphor of existence, of what we are ... and we are it. Tirtha. Sacred. We thirst for what we are. Sip it, gulp it, and see its existence in every thing. Water the plants and see how they thank you. Ripening, budding, blossoming, bursting into green shinings. And curious birds looking to sip and bathe at sunset. 

Bathing. Imagine life without bathing? Again, it's not just cleanliness. It's longing for what we are. Pure, whole, renewed. My gray chomboo I brought from India. The filling and pouring and letting it trickle down your back...more delicious than streaming shower. Those sudden jolts of water breaking the chill. Something in the austerity of it more revitalizing than blah comfort. What about those ice cold baths at 4 am? 1...2...3.... eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! Such a thrill to feel that ice water awakening the senses and shaking off slumber yet retaining a dream-like spirituality. Bathing before praying...offering oneself as a newborn. Fresh, scented, forgotten. 

Sipping what we already are and always will be. 

Ganga. The sun rising to the tune of Aum recited by aging men in tattered shawls. A river, raw and alive, shining the glory of thousands of lives and thoughts and memories and deaths and ashes. The boatman, rowing the rhythm that puts me to sleep, mesmerizing me with his voiceless calmness. All assembling to pray, awaken, answer nature-call, exercise, mourn, cleanse, smile, bathe, wash laundry, spit, sip.

Sip what we already are. What we always have been and will be. 

Temple towers reflecting in the rippling rainbows. Corpses floating their way downstream as their souls dance freedom. Swimming in that mixture of ultimate filth and ultimate purity. My pen can't keep up with me. Ultimate filth and ultimate purity. 

What we are. Water in its invisibility taking on any or every form. Large or small. Miniscule or mighty, beautiful or ugly, polluted or clean.... but the essence is the same. Undescribed, uncolored, timeless. 

Which is why we all flock there to die there. To be what we already are. Silent. But at times turbulent. Moved by the winds and then again calm. Frozen and then again melted. Always welcome, always needed. Sipping sipping. That hot roadside Chai. Tasting the depth of it without words . Sipping, in silence, and it all stands still. 

Like when you stop thinking in the bathtub. 

Sipping the see-thru-ness of it. To be so see-thru that your soul shines through your eyes. Eyes watery with tears. Deepest feelings expressed with water. Knowing tears are a part of it and its ok. And that's why we kiss each other's tears to taste each other's depths. The soul in its joy or sorrow sending its river out through time What we are... what we are... see-thru... formless... timeless...pure...polluted...pure again.

And that river brings us back to life or back to death. But it's all the same in the end. The boatman keeps rowing. He has no choice. It may be exhausting at times but he's on his journey. The sights may be painful, or at times beautiful. But never dull. Don't let it ever be dull. Stillness ... ok ... but never ever dull. I'd rather be dead than dull. Rather let my ashes feed the red hibiscus that give their nectar to hummingbirds. 

Sip the innermost. Flowing a tale of life in an unpredictable direction. Carving its way through valleys and plains but always moving, never looking back. Giving, life itself. Through tears, kisses, sighs, cups of wine and glasses of tea.

Sip that right-now-ness.

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01-Mar-2000
More by :  Sandhya Keller
 
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