Independence The Essence Of Manhood
A successful man never allows his faculty of discrimination and judgment to be distorted by the rising tides of his emotions. Independence is the very essence of manhood and he who has disengaged himself from his slavish dependence upon the world of objects for gaining flashes of joys, is truly independence.
Others are only beings who, like feathers in the summer breeze, are tossed about hither and thither by the problems and challenges of the world. The sense objects of the world present to us a false glitter of joy. To resist this call of the flesh, the all-consuming onslaught of our senses, is the privilege and glory of man. Such a man of perfection stands out like a lighthouse amidst the rocks in the see of life, graceful and unaffected by the lashes of the turbulent waves.
And just a mariner trusts the accuracy of the compass and moves on, we will have to steer our ship of life with faiths in and devotion to the scriptures, until we attain the higher state of peace and perfection. To understand the glory of an artist one must have knowledge of his art. A lack of such knowledge makes for the distorted vision of the reality. Similarly, a man who has thus gained mastery over his environment and consequently remains calm and unmoved by the situations around him is generally mistaken to be nothing but an inert statue which remains unaffected by either a garland offered around its neck or a crow sitting on its head.
There is general criticism and condemnation of him for his state of apparent indifference and disinterest in the affair of the world. Such feeling arise out of our ignorance of his supreme achievement, for it is not true to say that such a man has no emotions. An emotion of sympathy for another is certain a virtue, but emotionalism ruins one’s poise and balance in life and is an impediment to any progress, either material or spiritual. Sentiments adorn a person, but sentimentalism is an ugly scar on his personality.
The ancient masters of this great country were such mighty stalwarts who stood amidst their life’s storm as firm as the great Himalayas. Their emotions and sentiments made their heart bleed for the suffering humanity, but their heads were above the clouds in the ever peaceful realms of the high ideals.
The secret of success in life thus lies in keeping the head above the storms of the heart. A successful man never allows his faculty of discrimination and judgment to be disturbed by the rising tides of his emotion. The solution to it lies in our efforts in finding an ideal in life, and then heaving up our personality from the level of petty emotions to the loftier heights of the chosen ideal.
Let us be dedicated to an accepted ideal and let us discover the courage to live our convictions fully, entirely, wholly. This intellectual honesty to live true to one’s convictions in full dedication to the ideal adds a serene cadence to the rhythm of an individual life. A progressive nation is but a dream when the citizens are not themselves great and dynamic.
Reproduced from Collection of Gurudev’s Writings, published by Chinmaya Mission, Karnataka Chinmaya Seva Trust
By Swami Chinmayananda