Hands held out | Daily News


Hands held out

In the darkness of a mother’s womb, the most important, endearing and intricately designed part of a human being – the hand – is formed.

It is a flexible part of the body, with the fingers, nails, palms and wrist. The latter is attached to the arm. Months later, when the baby is delivered, the little fingers will clutch the hands of the healing angel. Yes! They will be the first to touch the hands of a future generation. From then on, the human hand directed by the brain will determine the role it has to play, in the life of a human being.

No other human body part is so intimately associated with human behaviour.

With our hands we pray, love, heal, play, learn, communicate, express our feelings by way of writing books and works of art. Let us begin with the hands of our celestial teachers. The Buddha raised his hands and said: “May all beings be happy.” There are many other occasions when he used His hands in guiding us away from our weaknesses and reaching Nirvana. Jesus Christ said “Peace be unto you all” with his hands raised. He cured the sick touching them with his hands.

These very same hands of love were nailed to the cross. All the statues in the kovils give us a graphic picture in explaining the writings in the Vedas and Upanishads using the hand. Prophet Muhammad showed that the hands are the beautiful gifts of Allah in showing one another. Love, submission and peace. Yes! His followers embrace each other with their hands. All our religious teachers used their hands in guiding us to live in peace. It is the hand of our ancient writers that have enabled us to read the Tripitaka, Bible, Quran and the ancient Vedas.

Electronic equipment

Literary works in the form of epics and stories would have been in an abyss without the lovely hands of the authors and all those whose hands that kept them alive up to the present. Where would the modern day electronic equipment be with the aid of the hand?

We salute our elders and teachers with folded hands. Touch their feet with our hands. Let us see in our mind's eye how our gracious celestial teachers would have touched their parents. How their mothers would have fondled them when they were in their arms. Those lovely mothers would have used their hands in rocking the cradle, little realising that their blessed offspring would strive to encompass the world with love peace and spirituality.

Life would lose its lustre without hands. Fingers adorn the symbol of love. The wedding ring. All humans living on this planet could be identified with the aid of the fingerprint. The palm gives the owner smiles or sighs when the lines on them are deciphered by the palm reader. The hands also become the loving teacher in making our deaf and dumb friends to be with the modern day world. The fingers help the blind to read through Braille.

Hands are the instruments that proceed during times of joy and sorrow. Standing ovations are given by our hands. A receiver of a gift or prize uses the hand to receive it from the hands of the donor.

The hand is the most obedient and “always at hand” part of a human being. Somewhat like the handy paws of the squirrel who holds its food in its paws when nibbling at speed.

The hand is there, with us in all our work at a place of work, in school and in the playing field. Beauty salons and in our home sweet home.

Wedding bouquets

We cannot forget our cultivators. Hands are used in giving us food, water and lovely flowers, the latter of which is made into beautiful wedding bouquets and flower baskets. It is these hands that parent a bunch of flowers at our altars during our morning and evening prayers. Here we should remember our friends of the lower rungs of the evolutionary ladder. Their hand is the paw. They give their paws to their human friends who feed them. At times they place their paws on our shoulders and lick our face with a whine and a wagging tail. Their version of hands in action.

Bows and arrows

The hands of the clock make the world to tick on. Even the ticking timepiece, the time on clock towers and wristlets are made by human hands. The dresses we wear, the medicine we take as prescribed by the doctor's hands are made with the use of the hand.

The man has made use of these hands in making weapons of destruction. To kill man, beast and plants. The man has used his hands in making and using bows and arrows, guns, missiles and the deadly Kris knife.

Scientists use their hands in writing pages on how weapons could be made. Also methods for protecting oneself. Colonel Tibbets named his aircraft “Enola Gay” in memory of his mother. When he saw the unspeakable destruction and death in Hiroshima after his hand had released the deadly Atom bomb, he had said “Oh mother, what have I done? You aid that the hand is the best friend of love.

Today I have used them to release a weapon of death.” He had resigned from the Air Force, immediately on his arrival at the airport.

The hands of the mortician make the face of the dead to smile. The person lies in a handmade casket surrounded by the bereaved who acknowledges the sympathies of all with folded hand. The casket is carried by the hands of the loved ones and friends to the grave or pyre dug or erected by hands. The lost rites are performed by the ordained and closest of Kin using their hands.

The hands are used in closing the grave or lighting the funeral pyre. The almsgiving. Hands are used in serving those seated on mats who will use their hands in praying for the dead person's peace in the next life.

Finally, while praying for those who are amongst us without hands may I on behalf of us all gifted with hands say ”Oh ‘hand’ what crimes are committed by us humans using our hands. Let us strive to dip our hands into the everlasting and blessed cauldron of love, tolerance, compassion and peace flowing from the springs of words spoken by our Celestial teachers, and anoint ourselves with our hands beseeching our teachers from above to place their hands on us with a smile and to bless us. 

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