God the Gardener – Our Creator…
Celebrate the differences and cherish the uniqueness!
The thought of living all your life in apartments can be really horrifying. Over the past few years I have lived in many apartments and the only change in life was the addresses I had to update in my bank records.
We used to live in an independent house, surrounded by garden during my growing up years. From the moment, I left my home for my profession, I have been living in concrete jungles.
To overcome this monotony of ‘apartment life’ I decided that I should at least have a three-pot garden in my balcony.
My wife and I went out in search of a nursery where we could adopt some plants and make our life beautiful with flowers blooming in our home. A few kilometers away we found a very good nursery filled with different kinds of plants.
We both were excited and stopped the car to grab our share of nature from the nursery. Surprisingly, there was nobody to assist us and we took a walk around to see what plants we could purchase.
After a while we saw an old man in khaki short pants and a worn-out, torn shirt coming towards us.
One look could tell that he has been busy working on the mud for a long time now, but he was as happy as a child who got permission to play in the mud.
“How can I help you sir?” he asked very politely.
“We actually wanted to buy some plants for our home. Can we meet the owner of this nursery please?” I said a little impatiently.
“Well, I take care of this place and I can help you. Please select your plants and I shall make them ready to be packed and sent with you.”
We were surprised to see that this person was in charge of the place and he himself was doing so much work for this huge nursery. We even guessed that he might own the nursery and is just being humble to us.
We again went on the decision-making mode and shortlisted a couple of plants based on the beauty of the flowers. Meanwhile, this gentleman again turned busy, preparing few saplings, watering some plants and sometimes just admiring the flowers as though he was talking to them.
We could literally feel how attached he was with each of the plants. He was treating them as if they were his children and there was so much of life in his work.
I was a little indecisive on my choice of plants and decided to take help from the expert gardener.
“I will need your help please.” I broke his conversation with the plants.
With the same smile, he came closer to us and said, “Yes sir. Have you chosen the plants you want to take home?”
“Errr… Well, we are a little confused. Can you help us to choose some good plants please?”
His smile further expanded, “What is the confusion sir, all the plants are good.”
“Yes, I agree but how do you suggest we choose the plants? I mean, what criteria are good to have the plants in our apartment?”
“Sir, wherever you keep them, they will remain as beautiful as they are and the more you care for them, the more beautiful they will turn out to be. It does not matter whether it is an apartment or a villa.
Their needs are simple and more than their tangible needs you will have to invest some time with them every day. Treat them like other humans at home and they will flower so much in joy!”
Oops! I never thought having a few plants at home was such a huge responsibility!
I can water them, I can place them where they will get sunlight, I can boost them with fertilizers, I can protect them using pesticides, I can even change the soil once in a while; but how do I spend time with them?! .
I was slowly getting to know the rules of nature and this old gentleman was becoming my teacher in those moments – giving me a glimpse of nature, sharing his priceless wisdom, accumulated over so many years.
However, I was still not convinced that plants could be motivated by showering the love the care-taker showers on them.
I continued to clarify my doubt with my new teacher, “Are you sure that plants can understand our feelings towards them? I only thought that they needed water, sunlight and fertilizers to grow well.”
“No matter how well you provide them the resources to survive, they can never live without the energy they derive from your love.
Just like how we have our life source, they also have the same life source and they too require to be treated like any other creation of god!”
I could very well relate the concepts of the soul as the experienced gardener spoke.
My respect for this man suddenly started rising so high because of what he spoke and for the fact that he has been taking care of so many lives in the nursery which is not an easy task.
Now the way I looked at the plants differed from how I saw them as I stepped in the nursery a few minutes ago. As I was standing there, reflecting on the concepts of soul, karma, birth and re-birth.
My wife broke my silence as she reminded me the purpose we were standing in the nursery, “Ok, so shall we choose the plants for our home quickly? It’s getting late now.”
I again turned to my teacher of nature for help, “I will take good care of the plants. Now, will you help us select some nice plants please?”
“Ha ha ha … Again sir, all plants are nice. How can I choose one over the other for you?”
“Ok. Let me make it clear. I need some plants that will look nice on my balcony and these plants must have a good fragrance.
They must be healthy and should live long and give us flowers as long as they live. Now, which is the plant that suits the best?”
“Honestly, for me, all plants look good, all plants have a great fragrance and they will live healthy if you take good care of them and I suggest that you don’t pluck the flowers as you might end up hurting them.
Let the flowers remain as long as they can with the source.”
I felt like I was losing my patience, “See, I understand that you are with the plants for a long time and you like them all, but don’t you think roses have a fragrance better than the other flowers?.
Don’t you think jasmine flowers will look good in the balcony? Don’t you think that carnations live longer and give more flowers in a lifetime?”
Gaining all the patience that I had lost, the gardener replied, “Roses have a great fragrance, but they have thorns in them. Jasmines look very nice, but not many will like their strong fragrance. Carnations might live longer, but you need to give special fertilizers regularly, else they will die.
In all the plants, there are both advantages and drawbacks sir. That is why I am not able to help you choose and I suggest that you take whatever you like the best.”
Roses have a great fragrance, but they have thorns in them. Jasmines look very nice, but not many will like their strong fragrance. Carnations might live longer, but you need to give special fertilizers regularly, else they will die. In all the plants, there are both advantages and drawbacks sir.
“You have confused me successfully.” I smiled and continued with curiosity, “If you have to choose some plants for your home, what would you choose?”
“I do not have any plants at home sir. I go there only to eat and sleep. I treat this nursery as my home and I am here most of the time.
I enjoy being with these plants and one day I will die amidst them because these plants understand me better than all the humans I know. I cannot differentiate one fromthe other.
I cannot judge one better than the other. I cannot treat one better than the other. For me, all are my children and I care equally for all of them. I understand that each one is different and unique since god has made them one by one with His own hands.
God has taken so much care to make them unique and created them with abundant love and affection. When god Himself created them unique and did not want any comparison, who am I to compare and judge?”
My teacher opened my eyes with those words instantly. I was completely transformed from the stand of an ‘egoistic judge’ to a ‘surrendered devotee’!.
The last few words kept ringing in my ears for quite some time, ‘who am I to compare and judge?’ I picked up few lives from the nursery, promising myself to take good care of them and came back home as a new human being.
They say that if you stay long enough in the rose garden, you will come back with the fragrance of a rose. That day, I stayed long enough in the garden to understand how god created the whole world like a garden.
A garden cannot be made with only one type of plant. A garden can be called a garden only if it has a variety of plants. Some good-looking, some smelling good, some strong, some tall, some short, some creepers, some shrubs…
No matter what quality each plant possesses, all of them are required to make the garden more beautiful. God too has created his garden, this world, with all kinds of beings. God has created humans of all kinds, of all qualities, of different types.
He has created animals and plants of all types. Some of them live on mountains, some on plateaus, some under the soil, some above, some over water, some below, some inside the seas and some on the deserts.
No matter how different they all are; the uniqueness lies in the fact that all are different and all have been created by the Creator Himself.
God is the gardener of this beautiful garden called earth. He has created all of us in a unique way and made us special so that nobody can be compared or judged. No two humans are the same. No two plants are the same.
Neither two flowers from the same plant nor two fruits from the same tree are the same. Every creation on this Earth is unique and the highest respect we can give the creator is not to insult His creations by drawing comparison.
In our daily lives, we tend to continuously compare and judge people. We fix a frame of expected behavior from others and hope that they fit in the frame.
All have our boundaries on what we think as ideal values of life and expect everyone around not to cross those boundaries.
People have definitions for everything and everybody. When the definitions change, we mess up with the grammar of life!
Let us respect the uniqueness in everything and merge in the oneness of creation. Let us understand the ultimate truth of creation that we are different in form but united by spirit.
Let us accept everything as it is and not make judgments of what’s right and what’s wrong. When god Himself did not compare any of us with anything else, what right do we have to do so? The gardener can never differentiate the treatment towards his plants.
Let us be good gardeners to our own plants, beautify the garden by accepting all kinds of plants as they are.
Let us shower unconditional love on all the plants of our garden, enjoy the rose not because of its fragrance but despite the thorns!
Let us make our garden wonderful and in turn make God’s garden filled with peace and happiness.