We are like birds on a branch — our wings need to grow before the branch breaks
Suppose a bird is perched on a branch. Does it live in constant fear that the branch under it may break? No, because it knows it can fly with its wings at a moment’s notice. Though the branch is its present shelter, its wings are its foremost shelter.
But suppose that bird is a baby bird with undeveloped wings. Then it will need to grow its wings before the branch breaks.
We are all like that baby bird. At our core, we are souls. We are meant to fly into the eternal spiritual sky with the wings of our devotional attraction for the supreme spiritual being, Krishna. Presently however, our wings are undeveloped. Worst still, we aren’t even aware that we have spiritual wings; we are too caught in pursuing worldly pleasures and treasures. Complacently, we settle on various material shelters such as our possessions and positions.
But all worldly shelters are breakable branches. Before they break at death, our wings need to be developed sufficiently. How can we develop our spiritual wings? By practicing bhakti-yoga, which increases our spiritual attraction for Krishna (Bhagavad-gita 12.09). Through such bhakti practice, if we strive to remember Krishna throughout our life, then by the time of death, our love for him will exceed our love for everything else. Our love for him will power our spiritual wings to propel us to his abode for eternal life with him (08.05).
When we learn to see our worldly shelters not as places for settling comfortably in material life, but as places for preparing seriously for spiritual life, we gradually become like birds with developed wings. We live in the world, but not for the world — we live for Krishna in this world and in the next world too.
Think it over:
- How are we like a bird on a branch?
- How can we develop our spiritual wings?
- What is a healthy attitude to our worldly shelters?
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