Once a very wise teacher, had to choose a successor. He decided to do that on the basis of an examination. He called all his pupils and said, “I will ask all of you a question. One who can answer that will be my successor.” Teacher being the wisest, it was clear that question would be very challenging and the chosen one will be truly great.
“What is Life, in just one word?”
“It is ambition, without that life will just be ordinary. Aimless. Nothing will move. We will not build civilizations, we will not strive to become great.” Said one student. Teacher smiled and looked at someone else for an answer.
“It is nothing but Love. I don’t need to explain that” Said someone with full confidence. Teacher thought for a moment and said “Very good. Love is essence of life, but it is not life. There are other emotions as well and Love alone cannot describe what life is. “
Pain, Dance, Music, Knowledge, Gift were some of the answers given by pupils. Wise teacher was still not happy.
A shy, petite kid standing at corner raised his hand hesitantly. Wise teacher asked him to speak.
That moment teacher knew that this kid will be his successor.
“Every moment in our lives, from the moment we are born, life enters us through every breath yet our journey towards death continues. Every instance we have this urge to stop and reflect and think of every possible consequence of our tiniest action yet at the same moment we have to act. We have to build civilizations, win wars, climb mountains yet we want to stop and reflect. This duality is paradox. Small moment in itself contains eternity.”
We want to love our family, pets, country, and fellow beings. We want to give all we have. Everything. Yet we know we have to hold back something. Something that is ‘You’. Scriptures teach us concept of Non-Duality (Adwaita). Yet we know instinctively that we are different from others. This is duality. A Paradox.”
We want to achieve a lot. Yet we know that our lives will not be sufficient if we decide to enjoy what we already have. We have ambition, yet we know that it does not matter. We want to stop and reflect and do nothing but we have to go ahead and move mountains. This is duality. A Paradox.
Men fall in love every time they see a beautiful woman. Yet they know reality and remember their wives. They want to make love to those women yet want to be known as cultured. Same is true with women. This is duality. A Paradox.”
We want security. We want to keep things as they are for eternity yet we want to improve them. We want to go to heaven yet we don’t want to die. We want to be ecstatic about everything yet there is this deep sadness that shackles us. We know that this sadness is real and something is terribly wrong about life yet we also know that life has be celebrated and we are lucky one to be born as humans. This is duality. A Paradox.”
Most of us are not even aware of this paradox. Few of us are aware of it but clueless about how to deal with it, or rather how to deal with life. Very few of us, the truly wise ones are not only aware that life is a paradox but also know how to deal with it.”