There are moments when the Spirit moves among men and the breath of the Lord is abroad upon the waters of our being; there are others when it retires and men are left to act in the strength or the weakness of their own egoism. The first are the periods when even a little effort produces great results and changes destiny; the second are spaces of time when much labour goes to the making of a little result. It is true that the latter may prepare the former, may be the little smoke of sacrifice going up to heaven which calls down the rain of God's bounty.
Unhappy is the man or the nation which, when the divine moment arrives, is found sleeping or unprepared to use it, because the lamp has not been kept trimmed for the welcome and the ears are sealed to the call. But thrice woe to them who are strong and ready, yet waste the force or misuse the moment; for them is irreparable loss or a great destruction.
In the hour of God cleanse thy soul of all self-deceit and hypocrisy and vain selfflattering that thou mayst look straight into thy spirit and hear that which summons it. All insincerity of nature, once thy defence against the eye of the Master and the light of the ideal, becomes now a gap in thy armour and invites the blow. Even if thou conquer for the moment, it is the worse for thee, for the blow shall come afterwards and cast thee down in the midst of thy triumph. But being pure cast aside all fear; for the hour is often terrible, a fire and a whirlwind and a tempest, a treading of the winepress of the wrath of God; but he who can stand up in it on the truth of his purpose is he who shall stand; even though he fall, he shall rise again; even though he seem to pass on the wings of the wind, he shall return. Nor let worldly prudence whisper too closely in thy ear; for it is the hour of the unexpected, the incalculable, the immeasurable. Mete not the power of the Breath by thy petty instruments, but trust and go forward.
But most keep thy soul clear, even if for a while, of the clamour of the ego. Then shall a fire march before thee in the night and the storm be thy helper and thy flag shall wave on the highest height of the greatness that was to be conquered.
- Sri Aurobindo
A poem by Sri Aurobindo
I WALKED on the high-wayed Seat of Solomon Where Shankaracharya's tiny temple stands facing Infinity from Time's edge, alone.
On the bare ridge ending earth's vain romance. Around me was a formless solitude : All had become one strange Unnamable, An unborn sole Reality world-nude, Topless and fathomless, for ever still.
A Silence that was Being's only word,The unknown beginning and the voiceless end Abolishing all things moment-seen or heard, On an incommunicable summit reigned,
A lonely Calm and void unchanging Peace On the dumb crest of Nature's mysteries.
"God has no purpose. He is not fettered by any action. The world's activities cannot affect Him. Like the sun rises without any desire, purpose, or effort, yet directly it rises numerous activities on this earth; the lens placed in its rays produces fire at its focus, but bud of the lotus blossoms, water evaporates, and every living being enters upon, maintains, and finally stops its activity. The sun is not affected by such activity, as it merely maintains its nature, acts by fixed laws, has no purpose is merely a witness. So it is with God... God has no desire or purpose in His acts of creation, maintenance, destruction, withdrawal or salvation, to which the beings are subjected. As the beings reap the fruits of their acts in accordance with His laws, the responsibility for such fruits is theirs, not God's. God is not affected or bound by any acts.
- Ramana Maharshi
The Emperor's Seed
by: Author Unknown, Source Unknown
Once there was an emperor in the Far East who was growing old and knew it was coming time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or one of his own children, he decided to do something different.
He called all the young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It has come time for me to step down and to choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you." The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. "I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One seed. It is a very special seed. I want you to go home, plant the seed, water it and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring to me, and the one I choose will be the next emperor of the kingdom!"
There was one boy named Ling who was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the whole story. She helped him get a pot and some planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.
After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept going home and checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by. Still nothing.
By now others were talking about their plants but Ling didn't have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn't say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she encouraged him to go, and to take his pot, and to be honest about what happened. Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace.
When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by all the other youths. They were beautiful, in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, "Hey nice try."
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. "My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown," said the emperor. "Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!"
All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. "The emperor knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!"
When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. "My name is Ling," he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, "Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!" Ling couldn't believe it. Ling couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?
Then the emperor said, "One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grown, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!"
"The trouble with the world," said the Master with a sigh, "is that human beings refuse to grow up."
"When can a person be said to have grown up?" asked a disciple.
"On the day he does not need to be lied to about anything."
The Author and the promoter, Sukhendu Roy Chowdhury, 61, presently lives in New Delhi. He is self-employed and has a small family. His interest is in writing, web site development, studying lives of great leaders and derive inspiration. His mission is to establish a centre of Human Excellence and help the younger generation to lead a life of fulfillment.
Prior to the present assignment, Mr. Chowdhury worked with Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari and Sri Aurobindo Ashram, New Delhi. He also had commercial experience in working with IL&FS Venture Fund and others for 13 years.
He loves the Himalayas and would like to spend rest of his life working there from 2015 A.D. Mr. Chowdhury had interviewed many spiritual personalities like Dr. Karan Singh, New Delhi, M. P Pandit, Nirodbaran, Chote Narain Sharma, Amal Kiran (K D Sethna) of Pondicherry. He also has written about 16 travelogues and many short stories. His short stories have been published in 'Woman's Era' and interviews in The call Beyond, a quarterly magazine published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram, New Delhi
The author invites young people to work with him with a sense of dedication and the spirit of love for the Great Swami Vivekananda.
He expresses his gratefulness to those whose pictures the author has taken from the internet.
Interested people can write to him to the following Residence address: