It was fabulous to spend last week in Toronto. The town was alive with a joyful energy only summer can bring (mild summer, mind you, not the stifling Indian kind). Lots was happening — Bollywood’s darling IIFA awards, the Toronto Pride Week, a jazz festival. Plugged into phones or iPods, multitudes brushed passed me as I wandered the streets, taking in the atmosphere, the spirit of the city.
My hosts, Ontario Tourism, pampered us thoroughly, taking us to the touristy spots, wineries, Niagara Falls, interesting lunches and dinners. We sat through two IIFA events, the audience’s enthusiasm far more entertaining than the filmy acts themselves.
The thing about this blog (and it’s all good, I think) is that I am forced to search for a deeper meaning and miracle in everything I experience. So I later wondered to myself: Where was the God in all that? In all those tall buildings and organised streets and efficient subway system? It wasn’t easy at first to see the divinity in a big city, in town structures and concrete. There was just too much ‘human’ there — man’s glorious achievements too in-your-face to allow any spiritual significance to shine through.
But I persisted, and I found it: The acumen that led to all that construction; the creativity that led to all those dynamic interactions and events; even the glorious weather in the days I was there… God is the consciousness in the creator, the sensual receptors of the enjoyer. The genius that shaped the buildings, the smiles they elicit.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says:
Life in all beings am I, and austerity in ascetics;
The seed am I of all creatures, eternal,
The intelligence of the intelligent I am,
The splendour of the splendid, I.
And when it all became clear, I wondered how I could have ever missed it in the first place.
(I only wish human divinity shines through once again and finds a way to make big cities more sustainable for the planet!)