The Divine Weaver
This article is based on a beautiful, anonymous Christian poem called “The Divine Weaver”.
Man’s life is laid in a loom of time
To a pattern he does not see.
While the Weaver works and the shuttles fly
till the end of eternity.
Here the poet uses the analogy of God as the Divine Weaver, who weaves the tapestry of our life using the loom of time.
We do not know the pattern of our life. It is the Lord who has delicately designed our life according to our very own individual karmas. The Lord works behind the scenes in order to liberate our soul and return it to our ultimate eternal home, the divine ocean of love.
Some shuttles are filled with silver thread
And some with threads of gold;
While often but the darker hue
Is all that they may hold.
But the weaver watches with skilful eye
Each shuttle fly to and fro,
And sees the pattern so deftly wrought
As the loom works sure and slow.
Some threads are made of silver and some of gold. Here he explains that in the tapestry of our life, there is a mixture of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ karmas. This world is one of duality; we see it in night and day, positive and negative, happy and sad times, health and ill-health, wealth and poverty, and yin and yang. Often we find ourselves being tossed physically, emotionally, mentally from pillar to post by our karmas. It is easy to lose our balance and this makes our search for inner peace all the more important.
In Divine Light Maharaj Charan Singh writes:
All our pains are due to our evil karmas in past lives, the consequences of which we are bearing now. And whatever moments we have of pleasure are due to our good karmas.
He goes on to explain, “Everyone has his own individual karmas, the account for which he is settling in this world.”
The poet further explains that the Lord carefully weaves our karmas surely and slowly. It is all under his ‘skilful eye’. This is most reassuring to us, knowing that he is aware of all and is keeping a watchful eye on us. That watchful eye is the divine protection, the comfort, the shoulder to lean on, the guidance, the refuge and, above all, the love he has for us.
Our work is to create that awareness of the divine in all our day-to-day interactions. It is up to us also to be weavers – to weave his name into our lives. This is best done with meditation.
God surely planned that pattern
Each thread – the dark and the fair –
Was chosen by his master skill
And placed in the web with care.
He only knows the beauty
And guides the shuttles which hold
The threads so unattractive,
As well as the threads of gold.
It is beautifully explained in these lines that our lives are planned in the smallest detail by our beloved Lord. He is aware of the mixture of karmas we must go through and the journey we shall follow to reach him. He recognizes the beauty of the ‘pattern’ or combination of circumstances, as this is required for our soul to find its true home.
Here the poet also re-emphasizes the ‘unattractive threads’ as well as the ‘gold threads’. The dark threads symbolize the tough or unhappy times we may have to go through. Yet it is within these times that our searching and yearning for the Lord is paramount. Times of poverty, pain, ill-health, loss of a loved one, are all regarded by sages as boons from the Lord. They keep our mind engaged with God and prayer. This important point is made in this extract from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran where he says:
Your pain is the breaking of the shell
that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its
heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
The Divine Weaver ends as follows:
Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the pattern
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skilful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern he had planned.
The writer then emphasizes that it is only when the loom is silent and death occurs that the Lord unrolls this tapestry of our life and reveals and explains all to us. We then come to learn that the seemingly dark periods in our life were all held together by the most beautiful threads of silver and gold.
These gold and silver threads are not only symbolic of ‘good times’ in our life but also symbolic of God’s grace and his hand in everything.
Our work is to remember that this life is God’s divine design, in which we can complete our journey back to him. Meditation, satsang, seva and positive thinking are tools in our hands which will enable us to keep that objective in front of us. These help us view the bigger picture in our life and identify what our goals and values should be.
We need to be conscious of God all around us and within us. This is done by cultivating inner peace through our meditation, which then comes to serve us as our inner refuge and shelter. This inner anchorage enables us to cope with our day-to-day karmas – the dark threads and gold threads. Our lives then become woven with light and love.
Poison and nectar are both found within,
but only a rare one knows it.
Those who took the poison, died;
Those who drank the draught of Immortality
Dadu, as quoted in A Treasurey of Mystic Terms