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The Gita says that the Universal Essence is everywhere, ubiquitous. I have often wondered how can we sense this phenomenal presence in our daily lives? An intuitive thought suddenly struck me one day. Before I share that thought let me quote from the Gita about the manner in which divinity manages to be universally present:

” With hands and feet everywhere, with eyes and hands and mouths everywhere, with ears everywhere, He exists enveloping all.

Shining through the functions of the senses, yet without the senses; Unattached yet sustaining all; devoid of earthly qualities, yet He experiences them.

Without and within all beings; the unmoving and also the moving; because of His subtlety He is incomprehensible; He is far and near.

It does sound paradoxical and quite like a riddle in a crossword puzzle. So what thought comes to your mind? How could this universal presence without senses, hands, feet, eyes, ears and mouths manifest itself so we are sure of its existence? Returning to my eureka moment, my sudden realization was that it was so evident, why did I not see it before? Nature of course, that intangible spirit moving everywhere; teaching birds how to nest, trees when to shed leaves and when to flower; creating attraction between male and female to mate and procreate; changing the seasons; keeping the rare balances of temperature, magnetic fields, gravity, pressure and ozone covers and on and on, for survival of life and orderly behaviour of matter, solar systems and galaxies – Nature with a big N. Again the clue was already there when Krishna tells Arjun that when he releases the forces of creation he calls upon His Nature to order it:

”I animate my nature and creation occurs under her laws”

Yes, Nature is the manifestation and evidence of the universal presence of divinity, in the cell, the atom, the seasons, through instinct, reproductive drives, laws of physics, chemistry etc.

My poem seeks to bring this out:


                                             THE  SPIRIT


Always on the prowl,

Disembodied mind,

Urging a twig to sprout

Flower in spring, moving to bring

Two halves together in a mating.


More skilful than a pair of forceps

In delivering, urging a new calf

To hit the right spot for suckling,

This thing we call instinct;


A spirit, that cannot see or hear

With eyes or ears, nor feel

With any fingers, move on feet,

Yet it has being, materializing form

From ether with swift precision.


Shaping, erasing,

Severing with bacterial surgeries,

Composing diversities,

Stepping quickly back from the brink.


Masterly miniaturised

Double Helix

In every feature

Of moving living things;

With the alphabets of genetics

It thinks.


In a dimension

Of light and sound,

It has grown senses everywhere

To listen and peep from

At a living world

Of its own creation.

Plaque of a Yakshī (female nature spirit), India, Bengal, 3rd-2nd century BCE, terracotta, Credit: Honolulu Academy of Arts
Plaque of a Yakshī (female nature spirit), India, Bengal, 3rd-2nd century BCE, terracotta,
Credit: Honolulu Academy of Arts