The Two Birds

Here is a small imagery from the Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad that depicts beautifully the relation we have with the world and The Self.
The image, that of two birds, presented here in 3 shlokas gives first the description of ourselves in this world, then presents us with the Problem we face and lastly gives us the Solution to overcome it.

dvā suparṇā sayujā sakhāyā samānaṁ vṛkṣam pariṣasvajāte
tayor anyaḥ pippalaṁ svādv atty anaśnann anyo’bhicākaśīti.

Two birds, beautiful of wing, close companions, cling to one common tree: of the two one eats the sweet fruit of the tree, the other eats not but watches his fellow.
***
samāne vṛkṣe puruṣo nimagno’nīśayā śocati muhyamānaḥ
juṣṭamyadā paśyati anyam īśam asya mahimānam iti vīta-śokaḥ

The soul is the bird that sits immersed on the one common tree; but because he is not lord he is bewildered and has sorrow. But when he sees that other who is the Lord and beloved, he knows that all is His greatness and his sorrow passes away from him.
***
yadā paśyaḥ paśyate rukma-varṇaṁ kartāram īśam puruṣam brahma-yonim
tadā vidvān puṇya-pāpe vidhūya niranjanaḥ paramaṃ sāmyam upaiti

When, a seer, he sees the Golden-hued, the maker, the Lord, the Spirit who is the source of Brahman, then he becomes the knower and shakes from his wings sin and virtue; pure of all stain he reaches the supreme identity.

(Translation taken from Sri Aurobindo; Kena and the other Upanishads; p. 142)

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