Indra is the Hindu god who symbolises the natural forces that protect and nurture life, and it is said that above the palace of Indra you can see an infinite net. No one has seen it all, but it is said to cover the earth, suspended like an atmosphere. At each knot in the net there is a clear and radiant jewel that reflects all the other jewels. And each jewel contains and mirrors the entire net and all the jewels that hold the net together.
Through the lens pf physics, biology, psychology, and spirit, Indra’s net is a metaphor for how each living part contains the whole and how the smallest unit of energy – be it an atom, cell, psyche, or soul – is crucial to binding the threads of life. These irreducible units of life are clear, brilliant jewels holding the infinite net together.
This is why when we love, we touch the love of everything, and when we suffer, we touch the history of all suffering. In this way, Indra’s net helps us to understand the inextricable connection to everything and everyone. For the slightest shift in one part of the net influences the movement of the entire net. In truth, we are at our best, clear jewels holding the threads of the living together. Each of us is a jewel or a knot, depending on whether our spirit is clear and radiant or filmed over by unprocessed experience.
When clear as a jewel, we are connected to everything. When not, we are knotted and filled with tensions. Yet if one laughs in the forest, and it causes another to smile in his sleep, isn’t the Universe a blessed playground? And if one is wounded in the city, and the wound causes another to wake with a nightmare, isn’t the Universe a net of irresistable compassion? And if you and I, complaining about our taxes, step over the homeless without even seeing them, don’t we absorb their plight just the same? The threads of Indra’s net are finer than silk and stronger than centuries. We are tied to each other in ways no one person can fully understand, and we are each called to exercise the courage to stay clear and connected.”
Excerpt taken from Finding Inner Courage By Mark Nepo