The use of mental powers for directly destructive ends has always been regarded as accursed. It is what the West calls black magic, and certainly recoils upon the user in very terrible ways. A large beneficence should distinguish the man who knows the power of his own thought. He should not, indeed, assert two conflicting goods at the same time. But out of all that is possible, he should select that which, for reasons that he apprehends, is most admirable and desirable, and concentrate upon it. As this emerges into fact, he will find that all that opposes it is automatically banished or destroyed. The confusion of wishing this and that in opposite directions is the ordinary way of the ordinary world. This way represents a clearing and rationalizing of the ground, it means a dealing scientifically with our own desires, in such a way as to make them realizable by the world about us.
The less selfish the things we wish for, the greater and keener will be accumulated and multiplied power of our thought battery. 'Awake, awake, great India" is an ejaculation which, said within the mind, quietly, by hundreds of thousands of persons at a given hour would produce immeasurable force in proportion to the depth of their concentration on the thing itself. Our thought must be cleared and ordered. When this is done, we shall see, to our surprise, that it has become creative. The world without begins to reflect the world within. Men and women become incarnated ideas.
Let us take the question of education, for instance. At this moment, it seems to be slipping out of our grasp. What we have to dread is being turned into a nation of coolies and peasants, like the people of Java, and the process is making great headway. But what right have we to depend on anyone but ourselves for the preventing of this ? What obstacle has any one to fear, in robbing us of knowledge, but the might of our own minds ? Who is it that will sacrifice and labour and build and struggle till we have grasped and mastered our intellectual heritage ? Ourselves. Ourselves. Always ourselves. Because we know and with all our might will demonstrate the truth that knowledge is more precious than rubies, we cannot be effectively deprived of it. At whatever sacrifice, we shall insist upon it. We shall give our very lives for it. We must have knowledge, at all costs. We must be educated men. As a nation, we must lead the culture of the world. In days when that culture was classical, literary, and psychological or mathematical, we led it. Now that it is scientific, with side-issues in mechanical application, we must again lead it. We shall never be content with even a second place in these things. The whole history of the world shows that the Indian intellect is second to none. This must be proved by the performance of a task beyond the power of others, the seizing of the first place in the intellectual advance of the world.
Is there any inherent weakness that would make it impossible for us to do this ? Are the countrymen of Bhaskaracharya and Shankaracharya inferior to the countrymen of Newton and Darwin? We trust not. It is for us, by the power of our thought, to break down the iron walls of opposition that confront us, and to seize and enjoy the intellectual sovereignty of the world.
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