Narendra was a naughty five year old. He liked to play all the time and most of his plays ended up in some kind of mischief. The neighbors would come to his mother, complain about him and criticize his behavior.
One day Narendra’s mother was sitting on a tall stool and was busy embroidering a beautiful design on a piece of cloth. Narendra as always was playing around and started troubling his mother. She gave him some sweet treats to quiet him and made him sit by her feet. Narendra too sat quietly watching his mother work as he enjoyed his snack. She had her cloth stretched and fitted into an embroidery hoop or ring that helped her hold the cloth in place as she sewed the design on it.
The mother told Narendra that she was embroidering a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Narendra could only see the hoop from the bottom and was bemused for he did not understand how his mother could be making a bouquet. From his angle, the embroidery yarn and cloth seemed distorted without any co-ordination. He saw different colored strings hanging down messily. He thought his mother was doing something wrong. He did not realize that since he was looking at her work from the bottom he could only see the flipside of her work. His mother asked him to be patient.
Once she finished her artwork, she turned her embroidered cloth over and showed him the other side. Narendra was amazed! There lay a beautiful bouquet of daisies that looked like they had just blossomed.
We are also just like Narendra. We see flaws and imperfections in God’s creation. We do not understand many matters in this world, and also call some things foolish. We also think that if things had been a certain way, everything would be fine with the world. Just like Narendra looked at his mother’s work from the bottom, we are also looking at God’s work from the bottom.
What does “looking at it from the bottom” mean? It means when we try to examine His infinite creation (which includes happenings around us) with our limited intellect, everything looks like it is all criss-crossed, confused and wrong. So how can we view the world from “above”? The way to do it is to abandon narrow thinking and instead broaden our outlook, and appreciate that not everything in this world is as it appears to be.
God is perfect. Hence everything in this world is perfect. First, let us correct ourselves.
Translated by Priya Tulasi
from “Madhuramurali” Tamil monthly magazine