In December 2011, PARTHASARATHI RAJAGOPALACHARI shared some thoughts with leaders on what it means to be a visionary. In the following excerpt from that talk, he inspires us also to dare to think and create the soul of the future.
A vision is not a dream. A dream is something which comes to you uninvited, though it may have some purpose: to try to awaken you in the conscious state to something you have to do, or to be careful about, or maybe just something in passing. A vision is to do with waking reality. A vision does not possess you; you possess the vision. And it is internal to you, not external to you.
In a vision there is participation, not merely obedience. It is an intelligent, willing participation, sharing in a vision that envelops all. Vision must include in itself so many qualities: kindness, love, compassion and mercy. Do we have these things, or are we just sitting and preaching? Preaching does not take much effort or soul-power or anything. You can be taught to preach.
Visions are not hazy, like when you relax in your easy chair and enjoy the possibilities. Those are daydreams, not visions. A vision is purposeful. The purpose never leaves your mind. It is there, insistent. It is there when you are eating, when you are sleeping, when you are waking and, as circumstances get more and more difficult, the vision has to become more and more insistent, dominating, pushing you ahead.
How do you think that Christ permitted himself to be crucified? It is that crucifixion that is still keeping Christianity alive today, continuing the push. There are certain things where the initial push is so strong that it continues for thousands of years, maybe millions of years. Take the Big Bang of science, of cosmology. One bang, and it is still producing expansion in our universe. It is as if you kick a football in such a way that it is still going on somewhere in the universe.
So what is a vision? How do you define a vision? We all tend to think it is something somebody does. I know in some of the old primitive tribes, they had people like the shamans who possessed ‘the dream’. It was never specified as to what their dream was, what the dreamer dreamt. It was, and it was enough that it was there. And there was a vision, because it gave confidence to the tribe that someone is guiding us who has it in his power to unleash this vision for the growth of all.
In its essentiality, a vision is just an atomic, basic atom of a thought. So it is good to think more, rather than just listen more, note more, and decide to do more. People who do more without listening and thinking are like toy soldiers; you wind them up and they march: left, right, left, right.
So, be brave and think. You know it requires bravery to think – aude sapere – that is the Latin. The word ‘audacious’ comes from that. Dare to think. When people don’t dare to think, they think the thoughts of others. Babuji read a few pages of Mills’ philosophy and put it away, saying, “I don’t want his thoughts in my head. I want my own thoughts in my head.” Did he become an educated man? No. He became knowledge itself. Because instead of having to read a thousand books from a thousand libraries, he created his own knowledge base, as you call it in modern language. He created it inside himself.
Have we the courage to do that? You can have it if you practice aude sapere – dare to think. Like that, there is what Babuji calls this kshobh, or the Big Bang in physics. We each have a kshobh, something that suddenly explodes within us, that creates a vision. So from non-existence comes existence. To create the existence, you must be non-existent.
There is a need to be simple, live simply, think simply. Don’t have complicated thoughts. Be undemanding, yet with a vision that is overpowering, which can be the soul of this world, and the soul of the future.
Article by P RAJAGOPALACHARI
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