The Tiger Consciousness

Satyendra Prakash*

The Newspapers recently carried many articles to mark the International Tigers Day. The range of thoughts reflected in these articles covered a much wider canvas. These included global efforts that began with Global Tiger Summit held in 2010 in St. Petersburg with an aim to establish a global system to preserve and restore tigers in the borders of its historical range, and to mobilise world public opinion in favour of preserving tigers.  A Delhi based national daily launched a ‘Saving Our Stripes’ campaign this year providing platform to wildlife enthusiasts to share what they had captured in their cameras. I always found these efforts as the one fostering the Tiger Consciousness across the board.

However, amidst all this melee, I was looking for a spiritual perspective to it. In its spiritual column Speaking Tree, the Times of India carried a piece by Swami Sukhbodhananda ji which triggered the thoughts inside me that I had on every sighting of a tiger. Every appearance of a big cat froze me for a moment. If I say I remain frozen with my eyes glued to the sight, albeit through lens, till it remains in sight, it would not be wrong.  Isn’t spirituality all about ‘absoluteness of thought’ focused solely on the Lord or a mind free from thoughts other than that of Lord?

On several occasions, I have pondered over deeply, to find divinity in this majestic creation of the Almighty. People rush to jungles for a glimpse. Many do not get a chance after multiple visits. I always felt blessed as I could spot this animal on most of my visits.  Every sighting turned out to be moments of eternal bliss. No fear, no anxiety even when the beast was almost at arm’s length.

I would like to mention here two such occasions of close encounters with tigers which invoked divine feelings in me. One in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve and the other in Bandhavgarh. On both occasions, it seemed as if we had prior fixed appointments. First, it was Ranthambhore in the spring of 2017. The beastly gentleman, huge male tiger as it appeared, after quenching its thirst approached straight towards our gypsy. I hardly had any previous experience of such an encounter. Absolutely no idea whatsoever of creature’s reaction. The guide advised us to observe silently as even our whispers could provoke it. Those with me, including my wife and a friend, were visibly shaken and quite scared. To me, it was a lifetime chance. Distraction of thought, be it out of fear or excitement, it would be like losing moments of bliss. I was completely overtaken by the divine thoughts. Later, our guide told us that people had to spend months together to get a chance of such sighting. I recalled someone saying before embarking our safari that sighting happens only with the grace of Maa Durga. If You get a chance, think you have Divine Mother’s blessings. I wanted to believe this!

Soon after this, I got another opportunity of a close sighting. It was sort of a date with destiny. It was last of four safaris I had planned during my stay. We were a bit late for the last safari as my wife after three back-to-back safaris was in two minds. I decided not to give a miss to it and boarded the gypsy at the last moment. When we reached the spot near a waterhole, the wildlife enthusiasts aboard a hoard of gypsies lamented our fate as we had missed a unique chance of sighting a Tigress with two of her cubs. Time was running fast.  All other gypsies started hurrying back as the reporting time at the gate was fast approaching. My guide was feeling bad for us. But he had a gut feeling that if not the whole family, at least the third cub would come as only two of the three cubs had accompanied their mother. He also had a hunch that head of the family, the male tiger might come as well.

Luckily for us, the wait didn’t last long. The third cub first came to water hole and left hurriedly. The experienced guide whispered, the male should also come and yes, his hunch proved right. The majestic big cat, unveiled itself in a dramatic manner, as it emerged from the shrub of lantana that provides under cover in Bandhavgarh. It drank to its satisfaction before leaving the waterhole. Eyes couldn’t believe what happened next. It marched straight to us and started moving with our gypsy. For me it was nothing less than the blissful moment a wildlife enthusiast would look for. A divine feeling indeed! This was the Tiger Consciousness, a feeling perhaps like the one a seeker finds in his Krishna Consciousness.

I had this view reinforced while reading Speaking Tree of 29th July. Swami ji has alluded Srimad Bhagwadgita’s 17th verse of chapter 9 where Lord Krishna is saying, “ Pitamah asya jagato mata dhata pitamaha” . Lord is present as the pervasive spirit of existence in all life forms. He further cites The Ved, “Ishavasyam idgumsarvam, yat kinchit jagtyam jagat” that means the spirit is existing in and through the whole existence.

This solitude loving creature is like those mystics who love to meditate in isolation with the mind and body controlled, free from hope and greed. We know tigers kill only when they are hungry. Further it wouldn’t kill another animal till its earlier kill is left with enough food to fill its tummy. This attribute of a tiger, the lord of jungle, puts it above human beings whose greed is never satiated. It is this greed of human beings that a part of supremely evolved creation of the Almighty is on the verge of extinction. The human beings need to learn from Tigers and stop poaching in pursuit of their insatiable greed.


*A former Indian Information Service (IIS) officer, Satyendra Prakash was the Principal Director General of the Central Bureau of Communication and the Press Information Bureau. He has interest in creative writing, photography, wildlife and above all in spirituality. One of his earlier articles published in this web journal cab be seen here.

The pictures used in this article have been provided by the author. The Banner Image has been slightly edited to give it a ‘soulful’ effect.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of the author and do not reflect the views of which does not assume any responsibility for the same.


  1. Superb…It’s all about the eyes that see the beauty..The thirst which looks for amrit…Amazingly written and may many more manifestations if Thy Self be bestowed on you…

  2. The connect you create between tivr sighting and spirituality is thought provoking. The attributes of tiger not hunting for greed inspired me to think about this majestic beast in different manner.


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