SPRING: THE RENEWAL OF LIFE
Springtime is quickly approaching in the northern hemisphere. What a magical time it is when life that lay dormant through the winter, is renewing itself to manifest in its varied beautiful form for the summer. Springtime symbolizes the renewal of life in nature. It lifts the spirit of people and they feel happier and more cheerful. In winter many people suffer the “winter blues”. Some research has shown that this is due to the decreased amount of sunlight that people have in winter. Many animals hibernate in the winter and become active again in spring. Trees that had lost all their leaves in the fall are now sprouting new shoots. The flowering bulbs such as crocus, tulips and daffodils are springing up to display their beautiful magic everywhere. The birds that had migrated to warmer climates are returning to their summer homes in the north. It is really a wonderful time when we can all anticipate the coming of summer and the “great outdoors.”
All of nature works in cycles. The seasons are cyclical. There is spring, summer, autumn and winter. Annual plants germinate, grow, and flower and then die. They germinate again from the seeds of last summer. Perennial plants enter a stage of dormancy in the winter, and spring to life in spring, and produce their flowers and fruits in the summer, and then decline in the fall, only to be renewed the next spring. These annual cyclical and seasonal changes are caused by the tilting of the earth on its axis, and as the earth goes around the sun once each year, the four seasons manifest themselves in the northern and southern hemispheres.
There are also cycles caused by the rotation of the earth every twenty-four hours. Thus we have darkness followed by sunrise, sun light, sunset then darkness again. Just so, there is darkness, moonrise, moonlight, moonset and then darkness. Just so, we have star-rise and star-set due to the rotation of the earth.
These cyclical changes have certain effects on humans. In the winter most people spend a great deal of time indoors. The summer tan of the skin fades into a winter pallor, only to be renewed next summer. People replace their summer games with winter games. People cannot grow fresh crops during the winter, so they eat foods grown in hothouses, imported, stored from the summer, either in bulk, or frozen, or preserved in other ways. Psychologically, people feel happy in the summer and gloomy in the winter. However, this psychological change that afflicts some people is partly caused by their own outlook or understanding of the cycles of nature. They need to develop equanimity of the mind, so that they do not have the various mood swings according to the changing seasons. Nature does its work in a harmonious way. We need to understand that, and not be affected in any negative way.
Humans also go through cyclical changes. More properly, I should say that the soul takes part in cycles manifesting as the human body. After life, there is death, and then there is life again, as the soul proceeds into another body. This is due to the Law of Karma that none of us can escape. A person starts life in infancy from innocence, and then grows into knowledge by awakening of the intellect, and then deteriorates, both physically and mentally, and enters a “second childhood” followed by death. This is followed in the next life as another cycle. It is important for us to understand that the Inner Sunlight that brightens our life in the summer, is entirely in our own hands. We must not allow the darkness of ignorance to overshadow the Sunlight that manifests from within us. That Sunlight is the Light of the Soul that is Divine in its attributes. This Sunlight can be realized by awakening from spiritual ignorance to spiritual enlightenment. How much of this we can accomplish depends upon our own dedication and application in purifying ourselves in thought, word, and deed, in living righteously, and in awakening into spiritual enlightenment. So, as the spring is soon to start outwardly in the Northern hemisphere, let it be symbolic of the spring that shines new light into our spiritual life!
Dr. Jagessar Das
Spring, Renewal of life, Soul, Cycles, Seasons. Karma