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Updated: October 3, 2013 14:37 IST

The joy of sorrow

V. V. RamaniHema Ramani
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Sri M
Special Arrangement Sri M

Sri M touches on man’s greed and Nature’s fury.

“The Ganges should not be dammed (pun intended).”

In his inimitable style, Sri M said that the mighty river should be allowed to flow freely, without human intervention. One could comprehend the deep sense of empathy he felt as he spoke about the areas devastated by the wrath of the Ganges.

“Villages have got electricity: but at what cost,” he asked. There was no answer. His voice conveyed the sadness which is the result of man’s ambition, thoughtlessness and selfishness. Sri M spoke about his silent knights who stayed on to help when tragedy struck at Uttarakhand and Haridwar.

“Why are we not able to find alternative ways to carry electrificity to the villages? I remember the dance of the peacocks by the banks of the Chandrabhaga before it was diverted,” he spoke softly, as if to himself.

Sri M. M – for Mumtaz Ali (his birth name), M for Maheshwarnath Babaji ( his Guru), M – for Madhukarnath (his Nath Diksha name)and finally M for Man or Manushya (which is the only religion he believes in ).

Sri M is in the city delivering lectures on the Valmiki Ramayana, (October 1-7) at the Museum theatre. Playing the role of a suta or narrator, Sri M’s narrative in English also weaves in variations such as the Ramcharitamanas.

Sri M spoke of the Vipralam bhava (the emotion of separation), the thread that continues throughout the narrative. In fact, the opening lines of the Valmiki Ramayana speaks of the separation that the bird feels as the hunter brings down its mate with his sharp arrow! Says Sri M, “We see the separation of Luv and Kush from their father, of Rama and Sita from each other, separation of a permanent nature experienced by the sons from their father, of wives from their husband. Rama at no point calls himself God, neither does he deny that he is one: the Ramayana speaks of the separation perhaps of the atma from the paramatma. We enjoy when we are satisfied: But to enjoy in pain is to understand that, that’s when the soul in its purity shines.”

Khalil Gibran’s words on joy and sorrow come to mind – “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.”

Sri M sang a Sufi song penned by Jaffer –

“Humne tukjo dil se lagaya...” This was a song that Swami Vivekananda so loved. And when a friend braved to ask him about his pain, the communal riots, he answered “My life, in a way is an attempt to bridge the differences.”

Commemorating Vivekananda’s birthday, Sri M has planned to commence a pada yatra on January 12, 2015. It is called K2 - “The Walk of Hope” from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, covering about 6,000 km, covering 15-18 km each day and halting at villages to communicate with the inhabitants. Appropriately called Manav Ekta Mission, it aims at a better India.

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