Connecting with Clouds for Freedom and Joy

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, INSPIRATIONAL, 13 Jun 2016

Dr Ravi P Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

Ravi P BhatiaClouds are our constant companions whether we realise it or not. Wherever we are under the open skies, we can see clouds of various shapes and forms.

Sometimes they appear in the shape of an animal, sometimes as a bird and on occasion they look like your friend and you find joy in seeing your friend’s visage in the clouds. You may say to yourself, ‘Even if I cannot meet my friend at least I can see him floating above me. Does he also see me in the clouds above him?’

Clouds move around without any barrier. They seem to be absolutely free — no chains, no responsibilities to bind them. We often wish we had the same sense of freedom and joy, but that seems impossible in today’s complex world. There were times when some enlightened souls broke away from their worldly chains to seek absolute freedom and peace. We know of Lord Buddha who gave up his princely privileges, wandered around to seek answers to the soul searching questions of life and death. Similarly there were other yogis — spiritual seekers, who broke away from their humdrum life and wandered into distant lands and places. If one goes to the mountainous regions of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir state of India, one will be amazed to see small abodes of such yogis high on the hills. How can they survive such cold hazardous places? Perhaps through their selfless quest for peace and spirituality.

According to the Hindu philosophical text –the Rigveda: the sky above, the earth below give us life and sustenance. And between the sky and the earth are the clouds; sometimes friendly sometimes ominous but always mobile, always potent. On a cold wintery day when the clouds move away, the sun shines brightly to give warmth and energy. On the other hand they may take on an ominous form and pour incessantly causing floods and human tragedy.

A country facing drought looks at the sky and prays for some rain. Oh what bliss when the clouds come and lifesaving rain showers appear. There is one such unforgettable scene in a Hindi film LAGAAN where the people are facing drought and deprivation. Out of desperation they start to dance and sing beseaching the clouds to save them. Lo and behold the clouds listen to their call and start raining. Another memorable song ‘ baadal mein tu chhup ja re (o clouds cover the moon ..) from an old Rajkapoor and Nargis film that depicts the tender love between the two actors.

If there are regions which suffer regular drought, there is a state named Meghalaya in north eastern India which is the rainiest in the world. The name of the state is most appropriate – meaning the region of clouds.

An incredibly beautiful event that one sometimes can observe is a rainbow that occurs when there are some rain bearing clouds in one part of the sky and the sun in another part. The sunlight is reflected and dispersed from the tiny water droplets leading to the multi coloured phenomenon in the shape of an arc. What joy, what bliss.

It is not that clouds are only a phenomenon that romantic persons can cherish. Modern technology has designed a mechanism called cloud computing or online computing that allows computers to store and share data. Meteorologists also study and analyse the behavior of clouds to predict the arrival of monsoons and the daily temperatures of various regions.

Clouds form part of our myths, our cultures, our films and songs. They are a source of joy and freedom and objects of study of scientists.

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Dr Ravi P Bhatia – Educationist and Peace Researcher. Retired Professor, Delhi University.  ravipbhatia@gmail.com

 

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 13 Jun 2016.

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