Once upon a time, there was an eagle in one of the grand old villages of India. It was the only eagle in that village. It could see long and far and had long wings with feathers too many to count. It was a happy eagle, for it had no competition and no adversaries. The eagle liked looking at the green plains below and the blue lake at the center of the village. Little did it know about struggles.
But one fine summer day, the proud eagle noticed that a couple of its feathers started to fall. The eagle began to panic. Soon, more feathers began to fall off. The eagle was shocked and sad. What was going on? This was the first time it had happened. He had never experienced it before.
Soon, one day all his feathers were spread on the tree’s roots where it dwelled. The eagle was convinced that he thought it was dying.
“I’m dying!” he began to lose hope and wanted to end his life. He became sad and depressed. Seeing the crestfallen and crying eagle, a sparrow flying by asked the eagle,
“What’s wrong? Why are you so sad?”
“I’m dying,” said the eagle.
“Why do you say that?” the bird asked.
“I’m losing all my feathers! I’ve lost 94 today already, and I do not know if I have any left. I see so many on the ground.
The bird was taken aback. “You don’t know, do you?” He looked around and realized why.
“You haven’t seen another eagle in your life. You have never seen struggle or strife. You’re all alone here. You have developed what I call Spiritual Myopia. Though you have an excellent outer vision, you have very little inner vision”.
“What do you mean?”, asked the eagle.
“Your life is wrapped up in the abundance of your health, your safe abode, and comforts. Your perception of reality is limited to your immediate needs and context.
“You shall, in good time,” said the sparrow.
“Do not worry about your falling feathers. My dear friend, what you’re experiencing is something that many birds experience. It is called molting.
The eagle blinked.
The sparrow smiled and said, “I want to give you three messages today.”
“I’m listening,” the eagle answered.
“Take a close look at your wings. Look at the empty space where your feathers fell from. Do you see them?”
“Are they really empty?”
“Yes, they’re empty. A feather was there before….”
“Look closer,” said the bird, “because it’s not really empty….”
The eagle said, “Well, I see tiny freckles of tiny feathers still sprouting in the same place where my old leaves fell from.”
“See. Though you can see far and long, your mental myopia stops you from seeing what is truly happening. If you want better things to happen in your life, some older things will have to go first”.
The eagle wasn’t crying anymore.
“Now listen to my second message. The eagle was now all ears.
“I know you cannot fly for a short while. Do you have any problem getting enough food for the next few weeks?”
“No. There are plenty of earthworms and rodents that I can stalk without flying far” said the eagle, proudly shaking its head with its nose up in the air.
“Here is my second message. Remember that you’ll always have more blessings than problems. But when you count your blessings, you’ll realize that your blessings will be far greater than your problems. Always!”
The eagle nodded, pleased.
The sparrow chirped, “Do you notice what happens to your old feathers?” the bird asked.
“They die,” the eagle shrugged, looking at the mound of feathers around its roots.
“Yes, they do, but for a purpose,” said the bird, “because these feathers will become part of the soil in due time. They will enrich your roots. Your roots will drink their nourishment and support your food supply of worms.
Here is your third message. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna said: “Whatever happened, happened for the good; Whatever is happening, is happening for the good; Whatever will happen, will also happen for the good only. You need not have regrets about the past. You need not worry about the future. The present is happening. Our mental myopia obscures us from recognizing the reality of life”.
The eagle sighed and bowed its head gratefully as the sparrow flew away.
Artwork courtesy…Google images..