Today, I’m going to talk about a book Voice of Nature written by Nihar Pradhan. It’s a very small book…..only contain 52 pages. Well, it’s short in length but not in contents. If you have read International Bestsellers, like One Minute Manager or Who Moved My Cheese, you’d know what I’m talking about.
One Minute Manager is written by two authors, Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. Kenneth was a Professor at Princeton University and Spencer used to write children’s book. When they come together, we get One Minute Manager, which writing style and structure is of children’s book but deals with adult’s topic, like leadership and management.
What Voice of Nature is all About
Nihar Pradhan seems to be a blessed one, having the qualities of both, Kenneth and Spencer, together. His book, Voice of Nature, is written in a very simple manner, like children’s book, but talks about deep subjects:
- Making your dream come true
- Establishing a balance between intuition and thinking
- Peace of mind and spiritual powers
- Nature and Culture
- Empathy and Fear
- Non-duality of Existence
Plot of the Book
It’s about a boy, named Haiku, who met a white tiger, named Mogli, in Nandankanan zoo and found that he can communicate with the tiger. The tiger asked Haiku to free him from the cage of zoo. To make a plan, Haiku communicate with other beings in the zoo also. The other important characters are, banyan tree (Bani Uncle) and a bird (Kuki).
The thing is you are not only travelling in outer world but your inner world also. Your outer journey and your inner journey go side by side.
Mahatma Gandhi, at outer front, was working for the freedom of India and at the same time, was working to free himself from hunger, lust, and other worldly desires.
In order to free someone/something, you have to free yourself first. The book deals with outer as well as inner journey of the protagonist.
Spiritual Understanding of Author
The deep spiritual understanding of author is revealed from the very first paragraph of the book, in which he indicates that birth and death are two sides of a coin by comparing extinction of ambassador cars with the upsurge of a breed of newfangled cars in Indian market. He confirms Non-duality of Existence through this sentence, “Nature has always been a source of wonder and woe, prospect and peril, delight and danger.”
Voice of Nature and Haiku
The next indications of author’s profound spiritual depth are the names he chose for this book and the protagonist. The title of the book is ‘VOICE of Nature’ and the name of protagonist is ‘Haiku.’
Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry. The word ‘haiku’ is derived from two Japanese words, ‘hai’ meaning ‘I am listening’ and ‘ku’ meaning ‘verse.’ Haiku is the verse which states the voice of nature by listening it directly. Haiku isn’t the imagination of a poet but the instantaneous reflection of what is heard by the poet in the moment. Matsuo Basho, a Zen Master and a great haiku poet said, “When composing a verse let there not be a hair’s breadth separating your awareness from what you write; composition of a poem must be done in an instant, like a woodcutter felling a huge tree or a swordsman leaping at a dangerous enemy.”
Voice of Nature and Master Basho
Master Basho further said, “Learn about pine from the pine, and about bamboo from the bamboo. The poet should…..enter into the object so that the poem forms itself when the poet and object become one.”
When you become one with somebody/something, you start to hear other’s voice from within, not from outside. And it’s really difficult to identify. The phenomenon is beautifully depicted by author. There’s a line in the book, “Snubbed him, saying I am not calling you, my dear inner voice…I am asking from the outside world.” And then a reply is heard, “Yeah! I belong to the outside world.” This happened when Haiku was talking with himself and he asked something and he heard the reply.
Voice of Nature and Prophet Muhammad
This sounds surreal but it’s believed that a similar thing happened in real, around 610 AD, in the cave of Mount Hira. A trader went in the cave to spend some time in solitude but suddenly found someone calling him to proclaim. He thought, at first, it had to have been a hallucination; a trick of the eye or of the ear or his own mind working against him. He was none other than Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam.
Same was the condition of Haiku when he first heard the voice of a tiger, talking to him. Slowly with the passage of time, he garnered the courage and organized the shattered thoughts to communicate, as the Prophet had done.
The irony with Haiku was that their parents might believe that Muhammad talked with Angel Gabriel, but they weren’t gonna believe that he could talk with animals & plants. This is reflected in the line, “He knows the moment he says that; he can speak with animals…they will all go crazy and they will say that I have become mad.”
Voice of Nature and Meditation
There’s line in the book, “The momentary silence that paused between the thoughts, made him sense the ground reality.” This is very deep & meaningful. It’s one of the techniques used to seize mind wandering. It says to focus on silence between two thoughts, instead of focusing on thought between two silent states of mind.
Intuition and Thinking
In book, a banyan tree is saying to Haiku, “Men are always loaded with guns of ego……You must be intelligent and more matured than your age and not belong to the ego-centric segment of the human fraternity, and you are the in erudite club of close mankind who has been obviously very close to nature.”
It’s another profound statement by the author. Let us understand it in some detail. Human brain is divided into two hemispheres, right hemisphere and left hemisphere, which communicate with one another through the corpus callosum. But other than that, the two hemispheres are completely separate; they process information differently, each hemispheres cares about different things, and they have very different priorities.
Right hemisphere is all about this present moment. It thinks in pictures and learns kinesthetically through the movement of our bodies. It’s intuitive, illogical, irrational, poetic, platonic, imaginative, romantic, mystical, etc. It gives oneself a perception of energy-being connected to the energy all around oneself – A perception of Cosmic Unity. Right hemisphere is intuitive brain.
Left hemisphere is all about the past and future. It thinks linearly and methodically in terms of language. It’s logical, rational, mathematical, analytical, scientific, calculative, etc. It’s that ongoing brain-chatter that connects one and his internal world to his external world. It’s that little voice that says, “I am.” It’s the ego-centric perception to oneself. Left hemisphere is the thinking brain.
Voice of Nature and My Stroke of Insight
On the morning of December 10, 1996, a strange thing happened with neuroscientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. A blood vessel exploded in her left hemisphere of brain and she lost her egocentric sense of ‘I am.’ She mentioned this experience in quite a detail in her book, My Stroke of Insight. She wrote, “And it was as though my consciousness had shifted away from my normal perception of reality, where I’m the person on the machine having the experience, to some esoteric space where I’m witnessing myself having this experience…..And I look down at my arm and I realize that I can no longer define the boundaries of my body. I can’t define where I begin and where I end, because the atoms and the molecules of my arm blended with the atoms and molecules of the wall. And all I could detect was this energy – energy.”
Ego and God
The point is when you are in thinking mode, when your left hemisphere is in charge, which is also the abode of ego, you no longer are in touch with your intuitive brain and you can’t hear the voice of nature. But, when your ego is off, or in other words, when your left hemisphere is not in charge, as in the case of Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, but your right hemisphere, you can listen the voice of nature through your intuitive part of the brain. When you are no longer focusing on the mind chatter, but on the silence between the thoughts, you can listen the voice of nature.
The process of thinking is the cause of duality. The thinking divides the existence into two parts, cause and effect. Intuition is the mysterious zone of non-duality, beyond the realm of cause and effect. Intuition is the door to God.
This is what reflected in the lines, written in Voice of Nature, “God is within you, you have to feel it, you have to experience it and your faith and your belief…..those who have faith, those who have peace of mind must have seen it…..nature are more close to God. Have you seen God, No I have only felt his existence.”
Metaphors Used in the Book
Nihar used metaphors to make the book enjoyable for both, children and adults. In the book, human represents thinking part of brain, and nature, which includes animals, birds, and trees, represents intuitive part of brain. In the book, author tries to throw light on the ways to establish a connection between intuition and thinking of human.
What Intelligence Means
Intelligence contains both, thinking as well as intuition. So many great discoveries have been made not by thinking but by intuition. In fact, all the great discoveries have been made by the intuition, whether it’s Newton’s Theory of Gravity or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity or Structure of Benzene Ring or Discovery of Rubber or Discovery of Antibiotics, etc.
Intuition is responsible for expression and thinking is responsible for explanation. Both have their importance and unique role in human’s life. A wise person creates a harmony between these two. In this harmony comes the revelation of the source of one’s life, the very center, the God within, which is the power, the passion that gets converted into reality. This is what reflected by these lines of author, “Human lives have no meaning without communication. The constant conversation between the members of human community has been the bedrock of creativity. We need to bridge this gap and establish the conversation between man and animal.”
Voice of Nature and Think And Grow Rich
Napoleon Hill, in his book, Think And Grow Rich, talked about two types of imagination: synthetic imagination and creative imagination. Synthetic Imagination is the faculty through which one may arrange old concepts, ideas, or plans into new combinations. This faculty creates nothing. On the other hand, Creative Imagination is the faculty through which the finite mind of human has direct communication with Infinite Intelligence. It’s the faculty through which ‘hunches’ and ‘inspirations’ are received.
When members of human community communicate, they only work on synthetic creativity. Real creativity happens only when a bridge between intuition and thinking is built. In fact, we are all familiar with Archimedes’s Eureka moment. Steve Jobs said, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become, everything else is secondary.”
Napoleon Hill, in Think And Grow Rich also said, “Opportunity has a sly habit of slipping in by the back door, and often it comes in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” This aspect of opportunity is beautifully depicted by Nihar through the white skin of the tiger, in the story.
Freedom Lies in Surrender
There’s this line in the book, “They consider their master to be a king or god; they obey the order with unflinching errors. They accept their master judgment and do it voluntarily….We should not mistake them as slaves of their master…that’s the common mistake we human being do.”
It’s said regarding dog in the book. But dog is just a metaphor, it’s equally valid to anyone who is governed by intuition. Normally, women are right-hemisphere people and men are left-hemisphered, i.e., women are intuitive and male are egocentric. It’s always by mistake women are considered as slaves of men. Women obey men’s not because men have domination over them but out of their own free will. Freedom doesn’t lie in the capability to dominate but to surrender on your will.
Voice of Nature and Paradox of Life
In Voice of Nature, Nihar also talks about paradox of life and nature. He deals with the subject of prey-predator and questions, like: Will plucking of fruits be like taking the child from his parents? If there were no pains, what good would be the gains? If there were no darkness, what good would be the sunshine?
Some quotes from the book
- I think in this world everything is possible, it is all in our mind and imagination.
- Whatever may be your mission and whatever goal you want to achieve, nothing is possible without real efforts and hard work. It is just not negotiable.
- Create the desire, build on it, and reinforce the faith…the dream can become a reality. It takes time; it comes with nurturing our nature. It is not an instant phenomenon and we get immediate gratification.
- We just cannot put a boundary or justify all the actions and phenomena of the system. Some apparently appears correct, others may not in the hindsight justify its correctness…but all actions and reactions are needed in one form or the other to make the ecosystem to move and grow.
- It’s not easy to get up every day, and do the balancing act, to logic it out and live. It’s hard, it’s always been hard. But, at least during a journey that becomes your destination.
- More and more people live on the blurry boundary-line between “nature” and “civilization”…the zoo.
Excerpts to Show Author’s Writing Style
In just a matter of few hours all my spurned imagination and feeling of happiness seemingly melted like the crumbling wax in the burning candle which hates the heat and wants to get the wax out of it quickly and to cool down after the melt.
The imminent spring, it was celebration time, shedding off old clothes, putting on new outfits…festive time. Chilly breeze, soothing shines of sun gracefully kissing the nascent leaves. It’s a motherly experience…as if a mother delivering a baby.
What I found the best about the book is: It’s absolutely free. You can download it from here.