I learn from scholars that about four million years ago, I stood up and walked on my hind legs. I moved to the savannah from the forest area leaving the trees behind and as a result, had to change my posture for locomotion. I also needed to look over the tall grass of the savannah to spot predators and prey. As I moved among clusters of trees and open areas with my friends and family, I found it more efficient to walk on hind legs and developed that skill further. I also found that standing on my hind legs made it easier to reach up to the branch above and grab a fruit. Walking on hind legs also freed my “front legs” for bringing food for my wife and child . Standing on hind legs, I could also make wild gestures with my “front legs”. I thumped on trees to make noise, added to the noise from my vocal cords and warded off predators and competitors. I also found that standing erect and moving about on hind legs actually made my body cooler in the hot sun. I liked it and did more of it.
Charles Darwin, the evolutionary scientist, says that freeing up my “front legs” from locomotion has actually given me a dominant position in the world. I don’t call them ‘front legs” any more. They are now my hands. And they are incredibly powerful.
Food nourishes and sustains me. I use my hands to put food into my body. Without hands, how will I eat?
Hands are a beauty. Go ahead, look at your hands closely. You’ll agree with me.
And they promise a life-long embrace indeed!
Hands stitch, carry load and do lots of other work. They bring food for my family.
Hands make my life sporty, fun and a most enjoyable discovery of the best I can do
The mind can create, but it is the hand that puts it up in front of the whole world for man’s pleasure, enjoyment and wonderment.
Hands speak the music in the air, the music of the soul.
Hands speak in the language of silence.
Hands speak in silence [Source]
Hands speak the spoken word too.
Hands speak the unspoken word also. And when they do, they are more powerful than the spoken word.
Watch the “Incredible India” Hand gestures here.
In the classical dance system of south India, the Bharatanatyam, hands have their own well developed vocabulary .
But hands sometimes do what they are not supposed to do. Hands are powerful indeed. No one is happy when the power of hands is abused. The cruelty they commit ripples across society, nations, the world, families and generations.
Hands speak the language of service. They do this silently, all the time, all around, in all places in the world.
And then hands do what they are created to do. They speak not in silence. They speak not the spoken word. They speak not the unspoken word. They speak not the creations of the mind. They speak the language of silence, the language of the heart itself. They hug.
There is something naturally and peacefully comforting when my hand reaches out to hug another being in tune with the selfless Love in me. My hand acts not for my selfish wants and needs. It acts to wipe the tears of pain of another being. It acts to removes someone else’s misery. It acts to comfort the suffering of the hungry and the needy. It acts to care for the people crying out for help. My hand then speaks the language of my heart. It becomes a conduit of Love. As a tool of Love, it can cure all illnesses, sufferings and miseries in the world.
[You can listen to Bill Withers “Lean on me” here]
In the concluding portion of Rudra prasnam, the rishi teaches how my hands are made of love and sacrifice only.
With sacrifice, we worship you, O Lord. This hand of mine is touched by Love. It is blessed. It is most blessed. It can cure all the illnesses of the universe.
yajnasya yajaamahe | ayam me hasto bhagavan ayam me bhagavat tarah|ayam me viswabheshajoyam sivaabhimarsanah||
This is the reason I have been given hands. To serve. And serve. And serve. To help and bring solace to others. This act of service, just like the gentle wind caressing my cheek or as the sun comforting me in its warmth, is a silent symphony of sacrifice. I must sacrifice my selfishness and “me first” bent of mind in the service I do with my hands. When I send the current of Love through my hands, then every act I do becomes a healing touch. I can then indeed cure all illnesses in the world. This is the incredible power of hands.
I used to do this – employ the power of my hands to cure all illnesses – immediately after I was born. I tucked my little fingers around another finger and dear reader, you know what happened then!
The healing touch of a loving hand [Source]
Greetings from the Love in me to the Love in you [Source]