A person builds a new house for his residence, a student qualifies in an examination, a sportsperson makes a new record, etc. The house provides opportunity for a new way of living, the examination takes the student to a higher class, the new record puts the sportsperson in a position of further improving or maintaining the performance, etc. Thus, each and every achievement prompts for a new beginning, and is never an end of the path of performance. It may be said to a milestone on the path of progress by the performer. This applies to all fields of human endeavor. This brings one fact to the forefront that life is journey with achievements as milestones opening doors to new frontiers. At this juncture of time around midnight, as I finish my cup of coffee, the beverage gave a boost to my spirits for completing this piece with some new lights thrown on achievements.
A Revisit to History
About a decade back when I had just arrived to resettle myself in the village in a new way far from professional race for wealth and career ambitions, I used to trace fragments of history of Mahaabhaarat period through physical verifications of information I used to have from my studies of scriptures. In one such step, I had visited a village nearby to trace a family which was resettled there after we, the Theos, were getting defeated and being killed, and were at the verge of extinction. I had only two pieces of information on that family – its members must be tall and comparatively fair in complexion, and that the family’s house is built with stones and mortar long time ago. While wandering in the village asking people about such a family old persons generally came up with telling me that the landlord of the area was not allowing building up of stone and mortar houses, hence all houses in the village were mud-houses until 1955 or so when land-lordship was eradicated and cultivators were provided rights on lands they had been cultivated. Still I insisted that there was at least one house built of stones and mortars. Yes, it is true, came a reply from a very old person, and he pointed out the present family head to me. I reached the house to meet the family. After I told the family head of my objective of checking on my historical information, I put a direct question to him, “Your house is supposed to have a hidden treasure. Did any of your ancestors unearth it, or should I help you to trace it out?” In response, he confirmed that while rebuilding the house about 50 years back his father found the treasure. I was satisfied that my way of understanding scriptures was on the right path.
During this visit, I met a boy in the family with inclination towards spirituality and philosophy. I wanted to interact with the boy deeply on these matters, but his father didn’t like it for his wish for the boy to pursue his studies and career like other usual students do. That put a full stop on my interaction with the boy.
A Youngman Visited Me Today
Today, as I was enjoying Sunshine, rare during foggy days, a young man came to see me introducing himself as Narendra and reminding me of my visit to his village about a decade back. It was a rare occasion for me to know my impact on the boy then continuing on the youth of today. He informed me that he completed his education with post-graduation in Philosophy, continued with his interest in spiritual practices, and had some experience in business with his realization that he is not made for doing business for its dirty practices for earning money. The youth had returned back to his village for a new beginning.
Narendra informed me about his spiritual mentor and Guru and wanted me to see him for taking up spiritual practices under his guidance. I agreed to meet his Guru but insisted that I would do my own evaluation of him for further interactions or not. We both were at the same frequency about Kabir as one of the greatest philosophers, superfluous greatness granted to Vivekanand by Indians in general, and many such matters.
Objective of Life
After the young man left, I had a deeper thinking on matters of spirituality in light of what Narendra told me about his mentor. He leads a lonely life often going to meditation for many days in dark chambers unknown to the world. The mentor is the only one following his Guru and has some supernatural powers like leaving his physical body dead for performing in his astral body and retuning back on his own will. Though I have my own views of playing tricks by such miraculous performers, I didn’t disclose my mind to Narendra and offered myself to see his Guru whenever an opportunity arises.
In India, there are numerous tricksters everywhere some claiming to keep on standing for years, some keeping their arms raised for years, some covering long distances through prostrating step by step, some burying themselves underground for long durations and remaining alive, etc. such tracks are pursued for differing objectives like gaining popularity as having supernatural powers, finding disciples, or even collecting money from sympathizers, etc. Such performers often have objectives of personal gains through impressing others by their tricks, and they have nothing to improve upon fate of humanity. Similarly, if a great ascetic goes to meditate in a dark chamber even for years with none else knowing what the performer gains, or none other having any inspiration from him to better his/her life as a whole, his social impact is null making his performance of no value to the humanity.
In my view, there should be an objective attached to each step, performance or endeavor of a person bettering the person individually with some positive impact on the humanity or a part of it. Even if gain of an exercise remains limited to the individual him/herself taking him/her even to perfect Godliness with no impact on the rest of the humanity, the exercise is valueless serving no purpose or objective of life.
Each individual on growing up to youthfulness becomes indebted to his/her family, society and humanity as a whole of the past and present for his/her growth. Objective of his/her life must be to pay back this debt to the family, society and humanity through positive impacts of his/her performances during rest of his/her lifetime. This criterion makes every step of a person a great achievement, leading for new beginnings through achievements. If both – the individual and the human society, are not positively influenced by an achievement, it can’t be called an achievement.