Sunday, November 4, 2012

Caved for Liberation

Verul, commonly known as Ellora, is a cluster of caves spread in the area of around 3-5 kms. Like any other heritage structure, this also has those beautiful sculptures to WOW for, which attracts globetrotters. But the unique SILENCE that it acquires once the abuzz of inquisitive tourists is overcome, is what makes it worth visiting!

30 km away from the city of Aurangabad, the Charanandri hills are in sight sooner on beginning the travel. However, reaching there requires efforts and time both. Each turn of road, through a new hill, taking a little higher, makes the city look tiny-miny- non-existent-yet-fully inhabited. My trip by the State Transport Bus added to contemplation due to the wait accompanied with the growling of aged engine and resulting incapacity to perform the uphill journey. Hence, I sat there watching, helplessly deriving comparisons! Mountains are like relations. The real distance between the two becomes evident as one approaches the relation. After an effortful journey, when one reaches the peak, there is a breathtaking view awaiting to unravel itself- view of the bondages that was not available on the distanced plains. 

The hills of Charanandri have been excavated into beautiful shrines. Walls featuring huge sculptures, events and pastimes of Gods of different faiths- Shiv, Mahavir and Buddh. Excavated at different times, the caves lead a historian to focus on the changing impacts and spread of religions through this; the artist to observe the efforts and skill that has gone in building some of the mammoth monolithics, a religious to feel the omnipresent God, and a lover, to the much needed solitude! Anyone, who has not mummified his identity in these categories or has transgressed beyond, will see a complete blend of everything- love, faith, peace, art and solitude!

Ellora has not been spared from the wrath of time. Most of the sculptures have lost their finesse and sharpness. Many things are left to your imagination on seeing the half survived idols. However, the immense efforts that once have gone in are not difficult to gauge!

While each sculpture either indicates the generosity, compassion and love or might of God, the purpose of going atop these mountains and building caves is something that intrigues me! 

Dividing the world in three levels, anything that takes you away from the plain surfaces- your mundane activities, forces you into a much needed solitude- oneness with soul and hence, SOULITUDE. Following the basic principles of physics, steeping down requires less energy against uphill actions! While the lower levels ensure more material wealth in form of metals and minerals, going upward gives more ethereal feel, hence more spiritual orientation. I believe, the monks and kings of those times followed the same ideology and thus travelled away from their kingdom plains to build caves up in the hills.

Climbing up- elevation- energy driven action orients one from perception to introspection- from world to within. Building a cave is like giving one’s raw existence a meaningful life with one’s faith at the core! Working out everything around that almighty who is the source of life on this earth.

On staying back till tourists' enthusiasm dies, one is left with the caves with fixed sculptors bringing dynamism in though processes, generating immense peace and self-unity, rendering one in that sublime state where spiritual vulnerability and dispassion become one’s natural choice. SOULITUDE becomes the way of life then!