Friday, September 4, 2009



The third man in the story avoided the two extremes. He did not embrace pleasure to the exclusion of everything else. He did not cut himself off from the world realizing that where there is no battle, there can be no victory. He devoted his life to duty, - the duty of his daily task, the duty he owed to his family, his community, to humanity and to brother birds and animals. For he realised that creation is one family. Birds and animals are man’s younger brothers and sisters in the one family of creation.

He did his duty by everyone. He gave his love to everyone. He loved God and he loved every child of God. He loved, also, trees and flowers, rivers and rocks, stars and streams. He loved birds and animals, ants and insects. And he had the true joy of life. He made the great discovery that when your heart is full of love, your life is full of joy.

He did not turn away from pleasures: he enjoyed as many simple pleasures as his life would allow. And every day, he spent some time in silence, in solitude. He went apart from men and, in silence, communed with the Wonder of the Ages, the Wonder that is radiant in the sun, the moon, the stars, in every atom and in the atman within. Every day, he spent sometime in silence and sought to understand the meaning of the mystery of the endless adventure of existence.

Thus he lived, and when he was about to pass away, he said: “I die a happy man!” Those that were around him said: “He was truly a happy man!”

The lesson is so obvious that it is superfluous to emphasise it. Yet men and women the world over have failed to take the lesson to heart. Some restlessness pursue unsatisfying pleasures: others, disillusioned by life, seek comfort in solitude. Very few tread the path between the two extremes, devoting their lives to a noble aim, a great ideal.

-to be continued

(Written by: J P Vaswani)