One of my pilgrimage destinations In India this fall was to Vasudhara Falls, a 400 foot waterfall feeding the Alaknanda River above Badrinath, in Uttarakhand, India. The Alaknanda and the Bhagirathi rivers are source streams of the Ganges. After seeing countless tall waterfalls along the way to Badrinath, it’s easy to understand how Ganges water is so unique and healing—imagine all the minerals and oxygen.
Badrinath is like Mecca for Hindus—hundreds of thousands of people flock to the town from May to October. When snow arrives, the entire town departs, even the cows and the contents of the main shrine. Visiting this holy place is an immersion in devotion and shakti, or energy. That’s another story….back to the falls.
The falls and water are also considered sacred. Dhara translates as a path of the river and Vasu refers to Lord Vishnu, so the waterfall is the path of Lord Vishnu. The long, oxygenating drop and high elevation ensures purity—I figure it’s the best water I’ll ever drink.
There’s no way a human could sit under that waterfall, and I suspect people have tried. What does sit under that water is one enormous boulder. The sound of water continuously hitting that boulder is what you hear…all day, and all night if you’re camped just downstream.
The boulder could be a glacier erratic, or dropped from above, or maybe the water split it from the cliff. I was wishing for a geologist.
All I could think about, looking at and listening to that rock, was how it just sits there and does its job—to be pounded by a 400 foot waterfall. It doesn’t try to move, and it doesn’t get broken up. 24 hours a day, year round, for centuries maybe.
Inspiring as it may be, I’m not suggesting we totally be like the rock. I’ve been reading the Bhagavad Gita, the Mandukya Upanishad, and commentaries on both, which are actually longer than the verses of the texts. A key point of both scriptures is to do your job skillfully, selflessly, and cheerfully.
Like the rock doing its job, I’m thinking about how to show up as the best Renée I can muster for any particular day. It seems like I’m always figuring it out, titrating my perspectives, and refining…everything.
Let’s talk about this with each other. There’s considering what skillfully, selflessly, and cheerfully really mean, and even the inquiry of what doing my job means. No wonder the Vedics have entire scriptures on this!