Lokamanya Tilak's work for the freedom and regeneration of India was immense. The awakening he brought to the people of India and his voluminous work, the Gitarahasya, were unparalleled. The appreciation, admiration and the devotion of the people of India for his work were reflected in the huge cutout at the exhibition held during the Congress Conference at Nagpur in 1920.
He was shown with four hands carrying Shankh, Chakra, Gada and Padma. Many visited the exhibition.
A young six-year-old boy amongst them alone was puzzled by the huge cutout.
"Who is he?" he asked his mother.
"Lokamanya Tilak", she said.
"Why does he have four hands?" asked the boy.
"He did a lot of work for our country".
"But is he a God?"
"He worked like a God for our country".
"But is he an incarnation of Vishnu?" the boy persisted referring to Shankh, Chakra, Gada and Padma in the four hands of Lokamanya Tilak.
"God's power is there in all of us".
"That is true, but is he a God or man?"
"Of course, he was a man like us, but he worked a lot for our Motherland…"
"But then why should he be shown with four hands?"
"As I said earlier, because he has done a lot of work."
"But did he actually have four hands?"
"Nath, I have already told you that he was a man like us. He did a lot for our country and so the people have depicted him as God", said the exasperated mother.
"But when he was a man, why four hands are…?"
"Nath, how many times should I repeat the same thing? If a man works very hard he can work like God."
Though Nath kept quiet, he never forgot the incident. Though it intrigued him, he learnt two lessons from it.
If an ordinary person works for the country very hard, then he could work like a God. By calling such a person a God or an incarnation of God, people shirk the responsibility of raising themselves to that level. The incident became a landmark in the life of young Nath. His life is a journey from the ordinary to the extraordinary,seeking inspiration from great persons instead of considering them as incarnations.
"Each soul is potentially Divine. The goal of life is to manifest this Divinity within, by controlling nature, external and internal. Do it by work or worship, philosophy or psychic control, by one or more or all of them and be free." (Swami Vivekananda's Raja Yoga : Preface)
Darwin propounded the theory of evolution, according to which this world has evolved by certain stages. In Indian philosophy, there is no evolution but unfoldment. The world is being unfolded, gradually leading it to perfection. There is progressive striving towards perfection. The potential "becoming" is leading towards "Being". The superman has to be transformed into a divine person and for that we are unfolding ourselves.
KATHA : Vivekananda Kendra
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सिद्धयसिद्धयोर्निर्विकार: कर्ता सात्त्विक उच्यते ॥१८.२६॥
Freed from attachment, non-egoistic, endowed with courage and enthusiasm and unperturbed by success or failure, the worker is known as a pure (Sattvika) one. Four outstanding and essential qualities of a worker. - Bhagwad Gita : XVIII-26