The Bridge of Life – Netala

posted in: India, Uttarakhand | 0

“You taught me the courage of stars before you left

How light carries on endlessly, even after death…”

It was a lazy evening.

The sun had just left his office for the day, but his aura was still present in the canvas of sky. I had just crossed the ashram gate and plugged my earphones in, to cherish my precious evening break…

Wait, before coming to the main story, let me give you a little background.

Sirror Bridge, Netala, Shivananda Ashram

Sirror Bridge, Netala

It’s a story about a short suspension bridge named Siror Bridge.

This connects Netala; a pristine mountain village to the Uttarkashi – Gangotri road. This bridge starts from a few meters away from the gate of Shivananda ashram.

It was late September; thus the weather was still pleasant.

I was doing my Yoga Teacher’s Training programme in Uttarkashi Shivananda Ashram. I had already completed half of my one month Yoga Teacher’s Training course. On the day of the course, all yogis had to go through a strict schedule of practicing yoga and pranayama, studying ancient science, other selfless work and of course mediation. At ashram, we had to complete our dinner by 6 pm. Therefore, after the dinner, we all had a 45 min – 1 hour precious break time.

Siror Bridge and Sivananda Ashram

Back to the story: One regular evening

I was about to start my stroll. Suddenly, I discovered two little girls, who were coming from the other side of the bridge.

They were prattling with each other. They seemed to be poor but their faces were beaming with happiness. When they were about to pass by me, they greeted me with a Namaste, and I returned it back. I thought they must be going somewhere in the main town.

I was suddenly beaming with joy. Their radiating smiling faces gave a deep contentment to my mind. I questioned myself that, despite facing the perceptible hardships in their life, how do they manage to look so happy?

With this baffling thought in mind, I started walking across the bridge.

The strong sound of flowing water pierced my ears. In Uttarkashi mother Ganga (here known as Bhagirathi) is very strong; here, she is not a loving mother. She is a strong young lady, who is on a mission to conquer the earth.

River Bhagirathi

I looked upward, as, the canvas of the sky was slowly darkening

Shades of life

I discovered the colour of mother Ganga was also transforming with the approaching night. Then, all at once it was dark.

Now, it didn’t look the way it did in the morning. I knew, it was just a natural phenomenon. But I found a very strong connection to our life!

In sync with nature, mother Ganga keeps on changing her colours! In the night she is dark; in the morning, she is greenish; and at noon, she looks a little muddy. But no colour stays on for long, as the colours are impermanent.

Shades of River; morning, noon, evening and night

The colour of mother Ganga is similar to the shades of our life.

Sometimes we feel happy, sometimes we are sad, but our emotions don’t stay for long. They keep on changing.

We all are standing on a bridge.

We are like a passenger standing on a bridge. Just like I was standing on that suspension bridge, we all are standing on the bridge of life; on one side of the bridge is birth, and on another side is death. In a due course of time, we will have to travel from one side to another. We can wait for some time, we can rejoice, take rest but one day we have to go to the other side.

One side of the bridge is birth, and on another side is death

During this journey, life will show us its multiple shades; just like mother Ganges shows her colours to us. But we have two choices; either, we can be attached to it and hence, be diverted from the real journey or we can keep ourself detached from it and enjoy the real journey.


We have to carefully observe that the ever changing life and our journey they seem like one but both are actually separate. Just like if I stand on the Sirror Bridge and look down, I will feel like I am standing on the Ganga but in reality I am standing on the Sirror Bridge and it is separated from the mother Ganga.

Choice is ours.

Now I found why those two girls looked very happy. I thought, maybe, their life is in misery but they are not attached to it, they have learned to enjoy the journey of life. 

Time to come back

I was deep into my musing, when I found someone from the ashram calling my name. I checked my watch. My daydreaming had taken up almost an hour; it was time to return. By now, darkness has completely engulfed the surroundings.


As I started to walk back with those golden thoughts on life, the beautiful lyrics of that song continued to resonate in my mind…

“You taught me the courage of stars before you left

How light carries on endlessly, even after death

With shortness of breath, you explained the infinite

How rare and beautiful it is to even exist”

PS – this is the lyrics of beautiful song named ‘Saturn’ composed by ‘Sleeping at last’. You should listen this beautiful song from this link.

Leave a Reply