Monday, September 8, 2008

Setting our sails



One ship drives east and another drives west
With the self same winds that blow.
‘Tis the set of sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way to go.
Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate
As we voyage along through life,
‘Tis the set of the soul
That decides the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

I love this poem by the great American poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850 – 1919) and the poem title is ‘Winds of fate’. She is also credited with the famous lines; ‘Laugh the world laughs with you, Weep, and you weep alone.’

The tremendous insight into our mental disposition, with respect to the direction of our life, is beautifully brought out in the above poetry. It is human nature to blame fate or destiny and constantly we feel helpless in situations with the self defeating thought that things are not in our control. We are endowed with free will or choice as a birth right and we fail to take cognizance of this wonderful gift. How do we exercise this action of free choice?
Bhagavad-Gita tells us that unattached action (nishkama karma) focused on the divine is the path of freedom from bondage of Karma (BG 2:39).
Thought leads to desire; desire to fear of loss; fear of loss to anger; anger to delusion; delusion to loss of discrimination; loss of discrimination to peril of the spirit and this is the danger of attachment.

Whatever is the direction of the wind let us set our sails in the path of pure detachment.

Love to you all

6 comments :

  1. Dear Sir

    The most touching aspect of today's blog is "Perception of reality". In fact, by looking at the sea shell (without reading the text), I thought it is a butterfly.

    In one of the books of Swami Sukhabhodananda, I read a statement similar in nature and would like to share the same with you.
    The perceiver pollutes the perception and perceives the perceived as an extension of the perceiver under the illusion that he had perceived the perception as what it is.

    With love

    KVK

    ReplyDelete
  2. A beautiful poem indeed!

    A change in perception can bring about huge changes in life. The way we live and the directions we head in, are chosen by each individual and not brought about by fate..

    Perhaps all is needed is just a little willpower to change the direction of our sails?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jerome, Thanks for the appreciation of the poem. Changing the direction of the sail is not an easy job as people who do the sail rigging will tell you. We are all heavily conditioned ever since we are born by our parents, teachers, religious belief system etc.,. This is where constant meditation, yoga and deeper knowledge will help us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear KVK,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the deep insight of Swami Sukhabhodananda.
    Simply put it is like the lion looking at its own image in the water in the well and trying to attack this percieved enemy and drowing in its own folly.
    This is what we do when we live this life only in its physical manifestation.

    ReplyDelete
  5. ‘Setting our Sails’

    In my opinion, it requires very strong determination, devotion, high mental power, knowledge and varied experiences to accept and follow the proposition like ‘detachment’. That may be the reason why we don’t see many of them in the present world. Present world is tuned to get attracted by material possessions and short lived merriments at the expense of others.

    ReplyDelete
  6. ‘Setting our Sails’

    In my opinion, it requires very strong determination, devotion, high mental power, knowledge and varied experiences to accept and follow the proposition like ‘detachment’. That may be the reason why we don’t see many of them in the present world. Present world is tuned to get attracted by material possessions and short lived merriments at the expense of others.

    ReplyDelete