19 March, Tuesday
Birds did their usual din all morning, and around ten as we started chanting archana, they all fell silent. The archana was resounding in the entire ashram. It was followed by an intense silence, a special something that only Tuesdays have seen. Over 4000 people were in the big hall, doing meditation. They were waiting for Amma’s arrival for their special day with Amma. On Amma’s arrival meditation resumed; Shubhamrita ji was giving the instruction, which started with Om.
Silently the pigeons left, flying out of the hall; the swish of their wings underlining the silence of the mediation hall. The newcomer in ashram, the lone parrot, perched on a low hanging branch in the western canteen area, however, decided to join in the Om. He gave a soft long call to keep company. But on seeing that no other bird joined, instantly he chose to remain silent. But that was already a cue to other birds in hiding. Like, a truant boy runs some place, and the other boys think they should run too. The woodpecker somewhere to the east of hall screeched, making its presence felt. The tailor bird started off a long line in its high pitch from the garden on the western side; as if in response, the sunbird chirped though not so loudly. The tailorbird changed its line and sang a longer and louder line thus defeating the sunbird. The magpie robin at some distance north of the hall, sang a beautiful long line good enough to shut up the tailor bird. Then, a good barbet from a very very long distance and height– cannot say which direction- made itself heard with its rhythmic kutr kutr. This ‘mantra japa’ reminded me of the mediation I was supposed to be doing with Ma and Om in my breath.
However I have never felt the bird song a distraction in my pursuits. Birds are beings of the air, a subtle Element. Associating with them has always made my heart soar to heights from the mundane level. Birds fly freely in the sky, the subtlest of the Elements, reminder of the all pervading Consciousness.