Guiding Light: Like our rivers, have we lost our way?

The word “Veerashaiva” literally means a brave or valiant Shiva bhakta. In the philosophy of the Veerashaivas, Shiva is referred to as the ocean, and individual people as rivers because every river inevitably runs to the ocean. The only question is how much it will meander. But we are trying to prove that rivers need not go to the ocean. This is a consequence of a large percentage of humanity forgetting the nature of their existence.

There used to be only one river in India which did not reach the ocean, the Lavanavati in Rajasthan. It dries up in the desert. But today, we have produced many rivers which don’t go to the ocean at least part of the time. The Ganga and Indus are now among the most endangered rivers on the planet. Kaveri has depleted about forty percent in fifty years. For the last Kumbha Mela in Ujjain, they had to pump water from the Narmada to create an artificial river. The small ones don’t even reach the main rivers. Rivers like Amaravati are supposed to be “eternal”. When it is all rock, of course it can be eternal!

This is not just about our rivers. It is about the way we are. Will we naturally find our ultimate source, or will we get lost on the way? The further we move away from nature, in many ways, the further we move away from our own nature. The other way is also true – the further we move away from our own nature, the more insensitive we become to every other life around us.

Water is not a commodity. It is life-making material. For thousands of years, these rivers have embraced and nourished us. A time has come when we have to embrace and nourish our rivers.

— Sadhguru, Isha Foundation

Also Read: Guiding Light: Demystifying Meditation