'NATURE IS NOT A PLACE TO VISIT... IT'S HOME'














I'd rather have roses on my table
than diamonds on my neck.”
― Emma Goldman


The other day, a little one told the famous  - shall I call it the ‘legendary’ – story of King Bruce and the little spider in one of our P.D. sessions. Though almost all of us in the audience were familiar with the story, when this little one recounted the old spider-tale, we were all regaled… inspired!

King Bruce, battered and defeated, had almost given up… He was anxious and torn with self-doubts… And, hiding there in a cave, he saw that little spider who tried to climb, but fell... tried again, and fell again… tried all over again and fell all over again… and, finally, made it to the top!

Now, if a king could learn a valuable lesson in perseverance and faith  - ‘Try, try and succeed at last’ – by simply observing a little spider inside a cave… It only confirms the truth: that, we all need to cast away our bloated self-importance and simply make ourselves teachable…

And, when we are ready to be taught, our teachers appear!

Just look at the ant-hills! The story of ants – millions of them – building their houses can be so inspiring and humbling… They do not even know if they will ever get to live in those houses… But, they all so obediently, so patiently, so lovingly go about raising those amazing pieces of architecture…

And, hold your breath: One morning, the big snakes coolly come over to live in those hills!

A priceless lesson to all the ‘ants’ in this world – you and me – who raise with our blood, sweat and tears our beautiful .houses’ only to see the ‘serpents’ invade!

The squirrels’ story is very fascinating… They hide those nuts all over under the ground. Time flies by and the little squirrels come back to unearth the nuts… They dig at the exact spots!

Honey-bees!!! The story of their own creation is mind-blowing! Why do they make buckets of honey? Who enjoys them?

Imagine the beauty of nests raised by little birds! What a co-ordination and what a precision!

Then, a guy like you and me will go there and, in one blink, render the birds homeless!


Actually, we do not need any ‘great’ schools and their ‘glorified’ teachers to learn valuable lessons of life. It’s said, ‘Nobody can teach us; yet, we can learn.”

We can learn by just observing the Nature around us… There is so much out there… There are so many teachers and ‘Gurus’… That, if we spend more and more time in the quiet embrace of the Nature, we can come out a lot refined and educated…


Why do I remember, today, these little spiders, squirrels, ants, honey-bees and birds? My dear friend, Pratap, a voracious reader, is the founder of a lovely school. His entire life is revolved around making education meaningful and close to Nature. Today morning, while I was on my way to workplace, I received a call from Pratap. “Have you heard about Lord Dattatreya?” Pratap seemed very excited.

“I have heard, but can you tell me more about him?” I confessed.

Pratap said, “What fascinates me about Lord Dattatreya’s life is, that he never went to any Guru to learn valuable lessons of life… He learnt them by observing the Nature and people around him. His 24 Gurus are:

1. Earth  (Along with Mountain & Trees)

2. Air

3. Sky.
4. Water 5. Fire
6. Moon 7. Sun 8. Pigeon (A Bird)
9. Python 
10. Honey Bee 
11. Honey-Theif (Honey-Gatherer)
12. Bird of Prey (Kurari Bird, Hawk)

13. Sea (Ocean) 
14. Moth (Grasshoper, Patanga)

15. Elephant 

16. Deer (Hiran)

17. Fish 

18. Pingala (A Dancing Girl)

19. Child
20. Maiden (Un-Married Girl)
21. Serpent (Snake)
22. Arrow-Smith (Maker of Arrow)
23. Spider
24. Caterpillar (Wasp, Bhringee)



Pratap’s excitement fired my imagination. Once I reached my office, I read about Lord Dattatreya and his 24 Gurus…

A thought crossed my mind after I went through the names of Lord Dattatreya’s 24 Gurus and the lessons they imparted (Please google to read about the lessons imparted): Can’t we all make a list of our own Gurus by quietly observing the Nature and people around us?

Gary Snyder was right: “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” 


GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Chetna Shetty


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