Tuesday, 21 April 2015

If They Answer Not To Your Call, Walk Alone

There is a famous Bengali Song, written and composed by none other, than the great Rabindranath Tagore, which goes like this,
Which basically means,
If they answer not to your call walk alone

Indeed, if we don't hear our own heart's calling, who will? How often do we give in, to bow to public expectations, social expectations? This song, comes from a time, when India was fighting hard to get rid of the cruel and immoral British colonists, the time to overthrow them was near, and the song encouraged people to follow their hearts, and join the fight, even if those around them did not. But to me, its message holds true in nearly every situation of life. I am sharing with you, here the English translation of this song,  by Tagore himself.

If they answer not to your call walk alone

If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou unlucky one,
open your mind and speak out alone.

If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
O thou unlucky one,
trample the thorns under thy tread,
and along the blood-lined track travel alone.

If they shut doors and do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,
O thou unlucky one,
with the thunder flame of pain ignite your own heart,
and let it burn alone.

It is often in life, that friends, family or society will not join us when we call out to them, and then it is upto us to decide, if we wish to follow our heart, or simply fall back because, we have no one to join us. I hate to fall back, that is not to say, that I do not do it, but that, I don't like myself for being a coward at those times in my life. If a man does not have the courage of his own convictions, what does he have? There was a time when I would incite people into believing what I did, I would incessantly pursue them, but I have learnt better, as I have grown older, and hopefully wiser. I have greater courage now to follow my own heart, even if I stand alone, and I try my very best to not give in. And it gives me a satisfaction, like nothing else would. I try not to hurt my loved ones, in this pursuit, I try to explain my position to them, but no longer do I persuade them to join me.

The fact is, that nothing else is with me, as is God. No one is with me, as is He. And I can cheat everyone, even myself , but not Him. The best bit about remembering this at all times is, I am always inspired to do good, I am spurred to be better than what I am, everything that I am motivated to do will be positive and moral. What my heart tells me to do, approved by my own conscience, can never be wrong.

This does not apply, only to the big things in life, like a protest march, or standing up to a bully all alone, when everyone else backs off, and it usually means getting beaten up, but also the smaller things in life, like not picking up a drink or a cigarette, even when everyone around me is. Being an ex-pat in a country, whose culture is so very different from my roots, this song could pretty much be my life anthem. No, not because, I want to stand apart, because, I love Australia and want to be a part of it very much, but, because, I also want to hold on to things that are precious to me from my own roots, things that I believe are good and positive parts of what I have learnt in my life, growing up. And I believe in our lives, we have all experienced situations, where we either give in, or we follow our heart.  I have done both at different occasions, but now, I try to hold on and walk with pride on the path I have chosen for myself. It is not easy, but the thing to remember, is, that it is not a war. If I believe in it, I do it, but that does not in anyway mean, having animosity or malice towards those who wish not to join me. Just as I expect others to respect my choice, it is but, my duty, to first respect their's.

This beautiful saying from the Holy Bible, says, that once we are calm and still, we are indeed one with God. And this stillness can only be achieved in solitude. Isn't it simply wonderful to be with God, and follow the path with Him, rather than anyone else at all. It is in calmness, we can find our true course, our conscience. If we follow the others, we follow their path, not ours. Each of us is unique, and has a distinct path set for us, but it is often in our herd mentality, we ignore it, and blindly follow or join in. It is upto us indeed, to know ourselves and have faith to follow our own path, even if we do it alone. If we are fortunate, we will find support from friends and family, if not, we must stand up and do what we know from within is right!

Leaving you with this beautiful renedition of the song .

सद्गुरु  श्री अनिरुद्धार्पणमस्तु ॥

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