It is a great truth, that in our journey across the waters of life, from the shores of birth to the shores of death, we have all to sail through many a turbulent storms and navigate through many a difficult passages.
During such times, when life bogs us down, when we feel overwhelmed, when a cloud of despondency and hopelessness envelops our thoughts, powerful words of motivation from the great ones who have preceded us, bring much needed strength and solace.
“The entire purpose of manifest existence is simply to facilitate the realization of who and what you really are.”
– Metta Zetty
One such guiding light is Rabindranath Tagore, one of India’s greatest spiritual thinkers and author of her national anthem, in whose life, struggle and sorrow were constant companions; and who after having lost his wife and two children in quick succession, emerged from this period of great strife, to compose the Nobel Prize winning prayers of Gitanjali.
These motivational words have been taken from his beautiful book Glimpses of Bengal, which is available for a free download at our website:
It seems to me that the subdivisions of time and space are only mental illusions. Every atom is immeasurable and every moment infinite.
There is a Persian story which I was greatly taken with when I read it as a boy – To show the illusory character of time, a faquir (a monk) put some magic water into a tub and asked the King to take a dip. The King no sooner dipped his head in than he found himself in a strange country by the sea, where he spent a good long time going through a variety of happenings and doings.
He married, had children, his wife and children died, he lost all his wealth, and as he writhed under his sufferings he suddenly found himself back in the room, surrounded by his courtiers. On his proceeding to revile the faquir for his misfortunes, they said: “But, Sire, you have only just dipped your head in, and raised it out of the water!”
The whole of our life with its pleasures and pains is in the same way enclosed in one moment of time. However long or intense we may feel it to be while it lasts, as soon as we have finished our dip in the tub of the world, we shall find how like a slight, momentary dream the whole thing has been. . . .
Enveloped in our sorrows we forget that the world that we see around us is not the complete picture. It is only a partial view of reality, much like the horizon, which obstructs our view of the islands that lie just across.
“The most important lesson that man can learn from life is not that there is pain in this world, but that it is possible to transmute it into joy.”
– Rabindranath Tagore
Beyond this transitory physical life, lies a far greater and permanent reality – that we are each an eternal and immortal soul – that has existed through all times; that has never been born; that never dies, and that persists across the portals of physical death.
Just like friction is needed to bring fire out of two dry sticks, so too do we need the friction of circumstances to reacquaint us with this divine soul that resides within each of us. We only go through the motions of birth and death, trials and tribulations, happiness and sorrow, to discover and uncover our true self. The world merely serves as a tool to help us in this process. It is like forgetting your true identity and going to a fair to rediscover yourself.
So remember, in times of trials and tribulations to keep your perspective – know that these difficult times too shall pass, for they are only momentary experiences in an ocean of infinite existence.
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Sadhana: The Realisation of Life – FREE Book on Spirituality by Rabindranath Tagore
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