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The biggest problem Indian youth face, I feel, is a lack of clarity of vision, a lack of direction. What I want to say is that no one, however poor, unprivileged small need feel disheartened about life. Problems are a part of life. Suffering is essence of success.
I will not be presumptions enough to say that my life can be a role model for anybody; but some poor child living in an obscure place, in an underprivileged social setting may find a little solace in the way my destiny has been shaped. It could perhaps motivate such children liberate themselves from the bondage of their illusory backwardness and hopelessness. Irrespective of where they are right now, they should be aware that God is with them and when He is with them, who can be against them?
There is no doubt that childhood inspirations laid the foundation of my life. I was born in Rameshwaram Island. The great ocean, its mighty waves and the enormous sky that enveloped everything that you can see did cast their magic spell on me. Nature is the greatest source of inspiration for mankind. As a small boy, I never got tired of sitting on the sandy beach and gazing at the sea for hours on end. I would imagine that the ocean told me many things. Sure it did and every time a new thing! The many moods of the ocean, its untiring waves, the gentle breeze on the seashore, the high and low tides, and the sea's joyous swell on the full moon night - all these, I thought, closely reflected the humans' life pattern in its many perspectives.
All human beings get inspired by seeing, hearing or reading something that strikes a spark in them. The source of inspiration can be a person, a book, a word, an object, even an animal or a bird. In order to retain the impact of an inspiration and convert it into an accomplishment, however, we have to make a conscious effort. When we get inspired, an idea is imbibed in us and we try to expand and embellish that idea. Man saw the bird and was inspired by its flight. Man's sustained inquest after the inspired thought led him to realize the flying machines. Inspiration is the very basis of human endeavor that has spawned with time an exponential trait in the advancement of mankind. The pace of human progress in the early centuries could not have been comparable to what has been possible in the recent times. It was because of the combined and cumulative effect of the achievements that were behind him and the continually evolving scientific temperament with which man looked at every thing that inspired him. Moon has been an attraction ever since the first man gaped at it. When it became possible for man to realize the rocket engine to propel himself up, he lost no time to land on its surface. It is a timeless mission of the inspired!
My ambition was to become an Airforce pilot. I went to attend interview at Airforce Selection Board at Dehradun. When I was not selected, I was deeply disappointed. For a minute, I thought, my only ambition and only opportunity slipped through my fingers. After trekking to Rishikesh, I met Swami Sivananda.
I was struck by his irresistible look, almost child-like smile and gracious manner. I told him my name and he asked why I felt sorrow. I told him about my unsuccessful attempt to join Indian Airforce and my long cherished desire to fly. He smiled, washing away my anxiety almost instantly. Then he said, in a feelable but very deep voice, \u201cDesire when it stems from the heart and spirit when it is pure and intense, and possess awesome electro magnetic energy. This energy is released into the ether each night, as the mind falls into the sleep state. Each morning it returns to the conscious state reinforced with the cosmic currents. That which has been imaged will surely and certainly be manifested. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Accept your destiny and go ahead with your life. You are not destined to become an Air Force pilot. What you are destined to become is not revealed now but it is predetermined Forget this failure, as it was essential to lead you to your destined path. Search, instead, for the true purpose of your existence Become one with yourself, my son! Surrender you to the wish of God," Swamiji said. How true! Here was the teacher to show the way to a student who had nearly gone astray! I took a different path with strong desires to lead my life.
I fully involved myself in my work, with a strong desire to achieve wherever and whatever work I did. Desires brought forth dreams and dreams brought them into reality. Looking the way back, I feel now how true it is. Desires drive us to achieve the things we wanted to have. We are all born with a divine fire within us. When the desire is pure and intense, the fire gets ignited by the desire. The light which comes out of the fire will energize us and dispel the darkness and we all should strive for keeping up the light for achieving greatness for ourselves and our country.
Yesterday, I received a phone call from a girl hailing from Maharashtra. An IAS aspirant from a very poor family, this girl was supported by her teacher to travel to Delhi. She borrowed two decent dresses for the visit and made a gruelling search to locate a distant relative where she could get shelter. What made her to call me? She said she read the Marathi translation of my book 'Wings of Fire' that dared her to dream and solace and strength to endure her struggle. I felt satisfied in the sense that a few souls could identify themselves with book. They find my life resonating with their own. Poverty is a curse. Forty percent of our people live below poverty line and unless our GDP gallops to double digits, we will remain a land of isolated islands of prosperity and affluence in an ocean of misery and hardships.
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