The bird has long been a universal symbol for peace and freedom. The bird has inspired poets, artists and seekers of the highest truth - It is as if man possesses that spirit, those wings which long to take flight and soar in the unbounded sky.
The dove, the swan, the falcon and the eagle - each bird has it's own special message and lesson which we humans can emulate.
Take the humble goose for example. These geese travel thousands of miles each year in search of greener pastures as the gloomy winter sets in. When flying these geese follow a model of social behavior which serves as a striking lesson for humanity. flying in a V formation reduces the resistance and allows the group to travel at greater speed , while flying the geese encourage each other by honking, share the load by taking turns at the front of the formation, and when birds are injured other birds wait with them until they are well enough to fly.
It was a sculpture of the flying snow goose that the Hoover Institute of Stanford presented to Mikhail Gorbachev as a reminder of the link between The Soviet Union and the United States, as this bird migrates between the two countries.
Birds have held mystical and powerful positions in mythology from many different cultures. From the devoted and faithful Garuda in the Hindu philosophy to the great falcon Horus who sat atop the Pharaohs head whispering messages from the Divine to the great ruler. Birds have enchanted and fascinated myriad peoples of the world.
Authors and poets have used the bird extensively in their works. Richard Bach in his extraordinary book Jonathon Livingston Seagull uses a seagull as a metaphor for human existence and striving.
Sri Chinmoy - a man of prayers, philosopher, poet and artist takes the bird as a symbol to phenomenal heights. He has chosen the bird to express the freedom of the human soul and it's striving to rise from the fetters of the material world by completing over 12 million bird drawings. As a man of prayer and meditation the bird is depicted in a spiritual light in his art and poetry. He calls his birds Dream-Freedom-Peace-Birds.
The bird is indeed a living example and powerful reminder of the pursuit of liberty, peace and satisfaction, and is aptly portrayed by the words of Sri Chinmoy:
"Above the toil of life my soul
Is a Bird of Fire winging the Infinite. "
Kate Carvalho resides in beautiful Christchurch, New Zealand. She has a penchant for and regularly writes about cooking, reading, health, sports, music but most importantly spirituality and meditation. She has been studying the latter under the tutelage of New York based Indian spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy since the year 2000. She maintains a web page at Sri Chinmoy Centre