Ralph Waldo Emerson said:
A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.
This quote reminded me of the Hindu story of Hanuman. Hanuman, the monkey god, was so devoted to the Lord Ram and his wife Sita, that when Sita was kidnapped by the demon King of Sri Lanka, Ravana, Hanuman made the "great leap of faith" across the ocean to rescue her.
In this way, Hanuman is a great friend, a "masterpiece of nature". But there is another angle.
Hanuman, lost in his monkey-mind, often forgets his gifts, his power. There is another character in the story, a man called Jambawan. Jambawan to Hanuman is like Samwise Gamgee to Frodo (for all you LOTR fans out there!). When Ram asks Hanuman to make this great leap, and Hanuman says "oh gee, Ram, I don't know if I can!" Jambawan is the one who says, "Hanuman! You have all these great gifts! You are strong, you are flexible, you are powerful, and you CAN do this!"
Jambawan is, in this way, his own masterpiece of nature, by being the one who reminds Hanuman of his greatness, while remaining humble. But, Jambawan, by reminding Hanuman of his greatness, allows Hanuman himself to become the masterpiece of nature. To live in the fullness of his powers. To do the thing most challenging, yet most awesome.
Who in your life is your Jambawan? Who reminds you that YOU yourself are a masterpiece of nature? Who is your reflection?
Kristen is the creator of Indieflow Yoga and Yoga For A Cause. She lives and teaches in Denver, Colorado