It is absurd to hold that the India of the hoary past played exclusively the role of world-renunciation. Our ancients accepted life in full faith. They clearly believed in life itself as a great power.
Our Vedic parents expressed their will to live a long, radiant life when they sang:
Tach chaks ur debahitam . . .
“May we, for a hundred autumns, see that lustrous Eye,
God-ordained, arise before us.
May we live a hundred autumns;
May we hear for a hundred autumns;
May we speak well for a hundred autumns;
May we hold our heads high for a hundred autumns;
Yes, even beyond a hundred autumns.”
In full earnest, they tried to fathom and understand the mystery of life. They accepted the earth with its joys and sorrows, its hopes and frustrations. Moreover, they wanted to live as the master and lord of life. They were therefore dauntless and uncompromising in their opposition to evil. They wanted their souls to be possessed absolutely by the Supreme and, at the same time, they aspired to serve Him in the world.
Our Vedic forebears discovered the existence of two lives: the ordinary life and the higher life. They gave due importance to physical, vital and mental activities, but with a view to entering into a higher, spiritual life, a life of more illumined knowledge, light and truth. Once established in that higher life, they knew the soul would receive acute support from the members of its family, the body, vital, mind and heart, fill manifestation and expression. Thus became inevitable the ideal of a special knowledge leading to the liberation of the aspiring human soul. Our ancestors were realists who felt that the spontaneous joy of life would feed the body and strengthen the soul. They knew that the secret of growth was freedom. They cried out:
Uru nastanve tan . . .
“Give freedom for our bodies,
Give freedom for our dwelling,
Give freedom for our life.”
This was a freedom to help untie the knot of ignorance. They were positive in their acceptance of life; positive, too, in their aspiration for Immortality.
By: Sri Chinmoy
From: Yoga and the Spiritual Life