Children, the door of infinite possibilities is always wide open to mankind. Through that, man can travel great distances and claim the vast skies of knowledge and power.
Man has the capability to become whatever he chooses to be. He can choose to be a virtuous soul who only desires good for others in thought and deed. He can also choose to be the epitome of evil. Man can choose to be a god or a demon. That is the greatest blessing of the human birth. But in order to experience this blessing to its fullest potential, man should have the innocence and faith of a child.
Very often we forget that strong faith and innocent love can easily walk on planes that intellect and logic fail to tread. Our society regards people who question everything as intellectuals. Amma remembers a story. In a village there lived a young man. Right from his childhood, everyone considered him a fool. No matter what he said or did, his father called him a fool. His mother and siblings would echo him. Hearing this, his neighbours and other villagers joined them. The poor man thought to himself, “I really must be a fool. Else, why would everyone call me so?” He tried hard to prove that he was intelligent and knowledgeable, to no avail. Soon he became depressed.
One day a mahatma happened to visit the village. The young man revealed his distress to the mahatma. The mahatma advised, “Don’t worry. Just do one thing—whenever anyone says anything, oppose it strongly. For example, if someone says, ‘Oh, look at this beautiful flower’, just reply, ‘What? Who said this flower is beautiful? Can you prove that it is beautiful?’ Similarly, if someone talks about the greatness of love, immediately contradict him saying, ‘Love? There is no such thing. What nonsense! What is the proof that love exists?’ In this way, contradict and criticise everything you hear without wasting a single opportunity. No one can prove everything. They will become fools themselves. And because you question everything, you will be regarded as a great intellectual.”
The young man agreed to follow the mahatma’s instructions. Many years later, the mahatma arrived back in the village. As soon as he got there, the villagers told him excitedly, “A great miracle took place after your last visit. A complete fool suddenly ascended into wisdom! He is a highly intelligent and astute chap now. It is unbelievable!” The mahatma realised who they were talking about. Shortly, the young man arrived to pay his respects to the mahatma. He said, “What you said came true. These villagers regard me as a great intellectual now.” The mahatma smiled and cautioned, “Yes, but don’t reveal the secret to anyone…”
Amma is not saying that you should reject or ignore logic and reasoning. Just don’t misunderstand it to be everything. Use logic and reasoning where it is needed. But in life, there will arise numerous situations where one has to converse with the heart. For this, we should use the language of love, faith and patience.
Anyone may be able to answer the question, “What is the meaning of life?” and expound on it. Each person will speak from his or her plane of experience.
But it may turn out that none of those answers are correct. To understand the real meaning and immensity of life, it is not enough to have reasoning and logic alone. For that, one should go beyond logic and reasoning. One should learn to view life through the eyes of love and faith. One should cultivate the attitude of welcoming any situation with surrender. When we do this, all circumstances and experiences will become as enjoyable to us as the immortal nectar, Amrit. This is the path that spirituality shows us.
The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader