Two Birds – Mundaka Upanishad 3.1.1-2

“Two birds living together, each the friend of the other, perch upon the same tree. One sitting a little higher than the other. Of these two, one eats the sweet fruit of the tree, but the other simply looks on without eating.”

Image result for two birds mundaka upanishad image

We remember being absolutely baffled by this metaphor when we first encountered it yet totally intrigued at the same time. It created in us a relentless pursuit of its meaning that drives the inner journey in the search of the self and Self. If The knower of this knowledge attains the highest, then whatever we need to do on the straight and narrow path of the yoga sadhana will be worth every bit of the joy, pain and sweat.

The higher bird and the lower bird

As the teaching goes, the bird who was pecking the fruits suddenly encountered a bitter fruit. He stopped and looked up at the higher bird. It has remained unmoved and it wishes he could be it. As radiant as the other bird totally unaffected by neither sweet nor bitter. But before he could get up to the higher branch, he was distracted by another fruit which turned out to be really sweet. And he promptly forgot about the other bird. On and on he repeats the same behaviour.

The higher bird is our ‘is-ness’

Swamiji explains how this describes exactly the way most of us are like in our ignorance. We  live without awareness. Moreover, we avoid doing what is required on the straight and narrow path of the razor-edged road to liberation. We prefer the sweet fruits and we get distracted by them. There is a lot more how we are more than the physical body and our senses. There is the causal and subtle bodies as well and therefore we cannot simply live by our senses. This calls to mind pratyahara, an essential stage in the yoga sadhana where we need to train ourselves to withdraw more and more from the desires arising from sensory cravings.

Clearing up the s*#@ (stuff)

In our work with healing through the chakras we aim to help others understand what happens in our causal and subtle bodies through the samskaras that we imprint on them which in turn comes from the way we think and behave. It is so very important to understand the law of cause and effect otherwise we will never be able to free ourselves from the hamster wheel of reincarnation. If one continues to live life like the lower bird, then you will return. Why come back when you know that there is a way out of it? So, let’s work towards total liberation – self-realisation.