Birds

Anna Zubkova

 

“You can believe, that all beings —
Are My little children!”

Krishna [6]

Vladimir always taught and is still teaching us not only the art of meditation but everything! He is teaching us to — see the harmony and beauty of nature, to be careful, to have gentle interaction with each incarnate soul. Every living being — blades of grass, trees, small spiders, ants — were becoming for us those, who we should sincerely love. It was inadmissible “to miss” an ant on a trail and accidentally step on it. Or walk past a rusty sheet of tin, which crushed down young grass without removing it. He always noticed when a living creature needed help, for example, by releasing a young tree from a dry branch that hanged on it, by cutting ropes that were wrapped around tree trunks by someone which hindered the growth of trees.

Vladimir is not only teaching us by words, how we should act. He always gives the example himself, by the way he lives: by practicing the laws of love towards every creature. And this is how we were learning from him; we saw an example before our eyes, as he was putting it into practice.

He also taught us to recognize birds by their voices.

It was not easy for me to do this… During the first spring of my discipleship, voices of birds were naturally joining into a united harmony of happiness expressing the first touches of God, and I was not able to remember their names or their songs. My skills in ornithology* were limited to the ability of distinguishing a crow from a cuckoo. If I saw a bird, I was able to distinguish a thrush from a woodpecker, a robin from a chaffinch… But by ear… and when they all sang together…

It was like if Vladimir asked: “Who is keking?” As we knew the answer: we spotted a woodpecker and said “kek-kek” — it was written in our cheat sheets. A black woodpecker says: “I’m sitting down” when he sits on a tree, and whistles, as a police whistle, declaring to everyone that he flew. “Pink, pink” — means chaffinch. Jay — gently “croaks”. And blackbirds, if they are just talking among themselves or fighting off other birds from their nests, — cracks.

But if the same kind of thrushes starts to sing — it is very difficult to distinguish: a blackbird, a redwing, a song thrush or a fieldfare… You will never guess! And you can not record their verses in cheat sheets!

And only with time did it became clear to us, that those who have not yet learned to contain in themselves love for all living beings — His children, also can not love God. And that you can truly love them — only if you are willing to know them: learn their names, recognize their voices…

Vladimir did not only manage to overcome such resistance from us. He did not only give us the possibility to see, near our big city, black grouses and snipes, woodcocks and curlews, foxes, hares, beavers… We became witnesses and participants of a transforming miracle: when we learn to live in subtle harmony with nature, animals and birds cease to be afraid of us and approach us, fly up close. When we got in forests instead of parks, tits and jays came to eat cheese sandwiches right out of our hands. Lizards were letting us pat their backs warmed by the sunshine. Robins, with their big eyes for their little furry bodies, were looking at us: they seemed to be asking themselves… Who are those big creatures radiating love? They were flying up close and were sitting on branches very close to us — and gave us the pleasure to hear their beautiful songs.

Then, when we were filming the birds for our movies, I really got to know about their lives — and loved them even more, as Vladimir wanted! And I learned their songs, while I was offering robins and chaffinches, thrushes and warblers the possibility to sing their songs in the microphone — for the pleasure of those people, who, perhaps, will hear their voices in our films for the very first time.


http://swami-center.org/en/text/autobiographies/

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