A little wave was bobbing along in the ocean, having a grand old time. He's enjoying the wind and the fresh air--until he notices the other waves in front of him, crashing against the shore.
"My God, this is terrible," the wave says. "Look what's going to happen to me!"
Then along comes another wave. It sees the first wave, looking grim, and it says to him, "Why do you look so sad?"
The first wave says, "You don't understand! We're all going to crash! All of us waves are going to be nothing! Isn't this terrible?"
The second wave says, "No, YOU don't understand. You're not a wave; you're part of the ocean."
The spiritual message in this short story by Mitch Albom is compelling. I could not resist comparing the waves to life in any form and human life in particular. Some waves are short-lived and some last a little longer depending on its size but all of them get broken and dissolved in the ocean in a few moments. New waves arise to meet the same fate with an endless cycle of waves erupting and vanishing somewhat like human lives being born and getting immersed in earth eventually.
The admonition to the first wave that it is not a wave but a part of the mighty ocean has a familiar ring. The soul in human body has no separate existence and like the wave it is a part of mighty ocean that we call as God or the Ultimate. It is this Ultimate or the God that underlies and animates all living things. We all live under the illusion that we are distinct from the Supreme till we realize the true nature of our soul while we pass through the cycle of births and deaths. The human body is a sheath or bag that houses the Unseen power or the soul and once it exits the body perishes. The soul is a part of the Central Soul or the only Reality that is Omni present. Once the true identity of the soul that it is but a fragment of the Universal Soul is realized and the knowledge that it is the same as the Supreme is understood, we are said to be liberated or evolved. When such a gyan dawns, the man is freed from the fetters of body and mind and sees in every living being the same Supreme Consciousness. Such men/women are present as a human being like any one of us but what would strike of such saints free from bondage is their ‘sprite-like in freedom, gentle in regard and the cold fire of eternity with a far-away look’.
The end of human endeavour should be to know its real identity as part of the Supreme. Once he realizes this, he sees the same identity of his in all forms of life and knows they are all same, the same God within and without. From this awakening arises Universal love seeing no difference amongst the different constituents..Our religions tell this universal truth in different ways like ‘Look inwards to realize who you are or the Kingdom of God is within you.’ Once you see the unity of soul with god, the liberation takes place just like the wave losing its separate identity and becoming part of ocean.