Thursday, August 06, 2009


"It takes courage and determination to remain forgiving, loving, merciful and compassionate"

When Napoleon Bonaparte arrived in the Sinai region of Egypt with a view to conquer the nation, he was in a condition with which he could not even challenge a tiny tribal kingdom for war. His men were injured physically and mentally, their bodies were infirm and minds had suffered deep wounds of loss. They had no arms and his army's morale was shaken completely. In this, he said to them, "Although we have nothing with which a war is waged, we have courage and we have determination. So long as we do not lose it, we can conquer not just Egypt but even the whole world!" So they did! With just courage and determination they destroyed the Egyptian army and won!

The question now is, this story is about how courage is necessary in a war or battle situation. What has it to do with remaining forgiving, loving, merciful and compassionate? These are all battles in their own right. In our battle against the mind, which is ever fickle and unfaithful, at the end only courage and determination helps. We face numerous problems in our lives and find ourselves in situations where we have to be forgiving and loving to the ones we love, ignoring their faults and mistakes. It is hard. Especially with the loved ones, when they do things which shake your morale, they commit mistakes which leave deep wounds in our heart and act in ways which challenge your love for them, nothing but courage and determination works in still remaining loving and forgiving in spite of the seeds of hatred they sow in your heart. Of course it takes divine grace much more than the rest but God only helps those who help themselves, and if we find ourselves in situations like this, the best way we can help ourself is by remaining courageous and determined.

I remember a similar story a friend once told me. Prophet Mohammad was once being followed by a large army of his enemies. He was alone with his most faithful disciple (can't remember his name). I think they were fleeing from Mecca to Medina. After a while they managed to outrun their enemies, but the sound of their horses was coming closer and closer. They hid themselves in a cave. The Prophet's disciple asked him, "We will surely die now. What can we do? If we stay here and they come, they will kill us. If we run, we will die of exhaustion. Is this what I get for being faithful to you all my life?" The Prophet smiled and said, "Dear brother, if death is what Allah wishes for us, then what can change it? Neither our musings nor our prayers. What happens, happens for a reason. We must surrender unto the divine will. But if you ask what should we do? We should be courageous even in the face of death, and determined to die for our cause. If this is just a test, then our courage and determination will please our Lord and his mercy will save us. So fear not. Be brave and fix your mind in Allah!"

Another incidents from the great Hindu epic Mahabharata proves a similar point. The five pandavas (heroes of this story) lose their kingdom and are forced to live in disguise for 12 years in the forest. They along with their wife, walk for a long while until they reach a dense forest. Everyone is hungry and tired. They start looking for food but can't find anything. Finally the eldest brother Yudhishthira finds a single sesame seed. Now how can one sesame seed feed six people? When faced with this dilemma, he says, when fate has forced us to this length then we must not lose courage. If we are brave and courageous, this one sesame seed will not only feed us all but even keep us alive. So they divide this tiny little seed in six parts and pleased with their courage, they are blessed and survive these testing times.

We find such stories all over the world, regardless of religions or culture. These are universal facts. Sooner we learn to appreciate them, the sooner our life becomes blissful. I decided to use this quote for today's post, but just couldn't think of anything to write about it. Things happened during the day which showed me the way. Everything happens for a reason. Life is a very intricate fractal, every point has its importance.

I hope and pray that may us all be blessed with the strength to remain courageous and determined forever, no matter what the circumstances force us to do. Let us not be divided by the duality of thoughts, let us instead be united into that one, indivisible supreme consciousness which gives birth to the life as we see it!

1 comment:

Noor said...

That's really deep, and I, too, hope we may remain courageous to be able to be loving, and compassionate and be able to stand up for what we believe in... :)

PS: the prophet's companion was Abu Baker, although I dont think I've heard of him saying that before, but he's the one you were talking about... :)