I held up my hands in prayer to God this morning and as I opened them I stared into them and my palm and wondered about the power they held. My fingers smeared and shining yellow with turmeric powder, reminded me about the life I have chosen to lead. A life of orthodoxy, one of purity as prescribed in the shastras, one that states that purity of the body is very important apart from that of the mind.
It was a moment of bliss, a decision I had made to follow this path. As I stepped into it deeper, I came to realize the meaning of all that has been told to us as kids. Today I have slowly begun to realize the reason for this lifestyle and more than anything else I have learnt to appreciate every moment of it. I stared up at the portrait of the Lord, smiling down, enigmatic and yet calm. He seemed to speak a million truths, both big and small through the flame of the oil lamp as it flickered in front of me.
It is a small wick, a bright flame, eating into the wick, sucking out the oil as it lives through the worship. A potent flame that needs the oil to survive, I remembered what my Guru had said. The flame is important, for it is the path that connects you with the Supreme, hence the size of the flame should definitely not exceed the division of the angula (finger) on my hand. The flame shows me the path, the character of which is defined by the height of one division on my index finger. One division, a whole world undiscovered, one finger engulfs a complete world of serious mathematics.
I turned my hands to see a series of lines that define my character, my identity in this universe. These almost looked like they were my blueprints in this world, in this space that we call reality. I thought about the importance of these fingers of mine, that each finger held a truth, a truth that leads man to paradise, undefined by modern science, lets say unknown to modern science.
A finger or an angula has been a basic system of measurement in olden times. One angula clearly defined the base, the root to an entire temple construction. It’s amazing that we could probably find out the size of Rajaraja Chola’s finger based on the basic system of measurement he would have used to build something as superb and mammoth as the Brihasdeshwara temple at Tanjore.
Imagine a ritual, to prepare the ground for the building of this magnificent temple, a ritual that defines the man building it is Rajaraja Chola, of a particular Gotram, a particular naksharam, in a particular yuga, on say Somavara (day), in a particular month, in a particular year, considered auspicious, as the ruling king of the Cholas in the south of Bharat desha, so on and so forth… in a series of mystical words that enter the ears of the devas and super Gods who now have placed him and have accepted his offering of building a temple on this earth, the soil of which is so pure and powerful.
And then the yajna fire rises, and the offerings of ghee, herbal twigs, fruits, flower, camphor, honey and jaggery are made to complete this grand start. Now the funds roll out, the construction begins and as every new pinnacle on this gigantic pyramidal roof is reached a huge ramp is built to move the final cover stone (stupi) up the tall vimana. Such an imposing structure, so massive and awe inspiring, that it reduces our presence to nothing. Would anyone even stop to think that the basic measure started with his angula or index finger!!! A small measure, imprinting Rajaraja Chola’s very being into every stone that was cut and put into place, inscriptions that spoke of his greatness somewhere hid the fact that yes, he had left his blueprints here long after he was gone…
Now that is Immortality...all bundled into a finger... this is leaving a legacy behind.