Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Crows : My Angelic Ancestors

The Crow Pair

Wheatfield with Crows ~ Vincent van Gogh (1890)

Crows ~ Nicoletta Ceccoli (2009)

The birds are the messengers from heaven. They fly in order to mediate between the beings on Earth and their guardian angels in the sky. It is possible only for them to soar up into the blue yonder and kiss the stars. Alighting back safely to the embrace of the tree. Their eternal companion and shelter. The wings of the birds are a mystery. It is not through the wings that they are able to fly. The first flap of their wings is a call for the seraph, who would instantly descend from the celestial space. By the next flap, the bird is buoyed up for the flight. All in a wink. It is the seraph who lifts the bird and makes it fly. The flapping of the wings is just an illusion to hoodwink the human eye.   

There is no other bird which can be as intimate to the human being as the crow. For it is the crow which can spontaneously read the human mind. One look at your eyes. And it sees you through. An eyeball to eyeball encounter with the crow is difficult to sustain. The crow slouches its head playfully to look into your face. It is a gaze that penetrates through your heart. There is something intimate about those twinkling eyes. It has an inexplicable connect with our soul. The ancient mysteries are inscribed in that look. It is indeed the watchful eyes of our departed ancestors, who are unable to take off their eyes from their beloved progenies. Once we start to converse with that gaze, the archetypal memories that are deeply entrenched within the unconscious starts to unfold out. But we are not capable enough to endure it. And turn away. That is our misfortune.    

In our mythologies and folklores, the crows find an enviable place in the order of things. The crows are considered to be the symbols of conjugal love and fidelity. In the dialogue by Plutarch entitled On the Use of Reason by the So-Called 'Irrational' Animals (1st Century AD), the wise pig Gryllus states that crows upon losing a mate, will remain faithful for the remainder of their lives, seven times that of a human being. The Innuits consider the crows to be the harbingers of daylight, as they welcome the dawn with their wake-up calls. For the Tlingit Indians in the North-West of the Pacific, the crow is a divine character, which organises the world, gives civilisation and culture and creates the sun. The most interesting of the legend is from Scandinavia, where the crow symbolises the twin principles of creation : the Spirit and the Memory. The crow is the treasure-house of the memory of the universe.
The crows are the birds of prophecy. In the Oriental mythology, the Mahakaala is represented by a crow in one of its earthly forms. The magnificently judicious God of Shaneesvara has chosen the Crow as His Divine Vaahana.  The most magical aspect of the crow is its ability to divine the future, organise the present and reconcile the past, by criss-crossing time. It is the most stupendous endeavour assigned  to any divine being in the Hindu cosmology. And it is the Crow which is regarded to be performing this task with a natural ease and an ethereal finesee. It has always been possible for a wise seer to comprehend the multitudinous meanings that remain hidden in the diverse calls of the crow. It pours out myriad answers to the perplexing mysteries of existence only into the ears of an ardent listener. Being the carrier of divine grace and enjoying a special intimacy with God, the crow has been created to teach human beings how to live a life full of love, humor and playfulness. 

It is always bewildering to watch a crow building its nest meticulously along with its conjugal pair atop an embracing tree. To witness the bonding between the crow pair and the ways in which they feed and nurture their young ones are life intensifying experiences. One ought to have a thousand eyes to glimpse at the rain-soaked crow preening its feathers or a pair of crows cajoling each other with their smooching beaks and caressing necks. They belong to a sublime sphere of time and space. A crow would rejoice with its beloved when we are born, when we are in love and when we die. Every significant time. For they know the mystery of birth and death, all too well. There is a poignant moment in  Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven (1845). The narrator asks a raven that had flown into his chamber, whether he could be reunited with his deceased beloved. The bird gazes imposingly, as befitting a messenger from the world of spirits and memories, but reveals nothing. It is this profound silence of the crow that compassionately envelops the vast expanse of the cosmos. And that is its beauty.


  1. pic of crows are nice.usually we used to compare crow for bad /ugly things or persons who are black.but seeing this we cant say like that because crows are so cute like other birds.
    nice information about the black angels

  2. Every being even a speck has been granted three things by the creator-it exists,it has light within and it is loved. The crow too enjoys its own place in mythology, beloved the Lord Shani, harbinger of the things and particularly friends to come,beloved of its mate and carrying the message of Lord Rama always.Kaka Bhusundi sits in the shade of Akshya vat (eternal banyan tree which survines the pralaya or great destruction)narrating eternally the story and message of Lord Rama and remaining in a state of bliss.He took the form of crow to eat the morsels of food from the hands of young Lord Rama in play.In my school also, hundreds of crows would descend after the lunch and grace were over to eat the tit bits of the food the children left for them.That was the most memorable part of lunch break.But in a few minutes, the playground would be again empty and the distressing drone of classes would set in.One wonders whether the crows knew which kids were theirs but nevertheless, they gave a very enjoyable company.
    Many Indian hindi songs also remind us the role of crows in dispensation of justice like his lord Shani devata-Jhoot bole kyuaa kate,kale kyuaa se dareyo,......
    Their eyes are no doubt peircing and for those who can read ,probably, they carry many messages from seraphs and other holy spirits.In fact, the entire nature is a messanger of the Holy spirits and it reverberates with his songs.Only we need ears and a devoted heart to hear.

  3. Except for revered Shri Kakbhusundi Ji, crows are seldom given the respect due to them. One reason could be their penchant for eating flesh. They can not leave this habbit, even if one showers them with utmost love and care.Tulsidas Ji also testifies 'Bayas (Crow) palihahin(brought-up) ati anuraga(love), hohin niramish(flesh non-eater) kabahun(when) ki kaaga'. But even here, the crow is only bringing message from heaven that it is most difficult for one to change the habbit patterns. Till such time you do not change your habbits, you remain a crow, despite the fact that you exist with light and love.
    Seen from another angle, the crow and other flesh eating beings like eagle etc. are better than us as they give a yeoman service by converting even decaying flesh to manure. Whereas we who eat the best of things with worse results. That apart, the writer has shown an eye far piercing than a crow by deconstructing one who can see a man through in just one look. When the writer would have looked at the crow with such intensity, I think it would have been difficult for the crow to sustain the eye-ball to eye-ball encounter. The crow would definitely have wondered why a man is so intently watching its bonding with the female crow. Why does he mind his own business? Or he may have taught some new, interesting posture for making love which has not been revealed here. Be that as it may, this piece on crows is one of the most interesting, sublime and eye-opener. Only a person with the mind of a crow can lift this 'piece'.