Circle of Life

My wife is very interested in gardening. She has all kinds of flowering plants around the house. I love hibiscuses. She has several varieties of hibiscuses of different shapes, colors and sizes. I always wonder at the magic of water, earth and sunlight being converted into leaves and flowers. Amazing magic of nature !!

There have been aquariums at home for quite some years now, but never have we managed to breed fish successfully at home. Once a molly issued some small ones, but all of them died in a couple of weeks. Big fishes come in from the shop, stay for a few months and die away. The aquarium has made my children very philosophical. My son started thinking and asking about what is death, what happens to fish when they die and so on when he was three years old. I have been trying to tell him the difference between body and soul, etc. He seems to understand too. He now says that the body only dies. The person or animal goes back to God from where he/she/it came.

Recently my children got two guinea pigs from my wife’s friend. Cleaning their cage is an extra work for my wife. However the children are always excited about feeding them green leaves. Today morning we had a surprise. The leaves that the children had been feeding for two months had become one more life. The four month old guinea pig completed the circle of life, fulfilling its purpose on this earth. Whenever I see the guinea pigs, I remember the famous maxim that depicts the difference between animals and human beings – “aahaara nidra bhayam maitunam ca saamanyam etat pashubhir naraanaam. dharmo hi teshaam adhiko visheshah dharmo vihiinaa pashubhir samaanaam” (Eating, sleeping, protecting the body and procreating are common to animals and men. Only the concept of right and wrong is the special extra faculty in men. Humans without a sense of right and wrong are equal to animals.) They had been doing the first three. Now they have completed their animal life by doing the fourth too.

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