Of power of thought

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 Feb 2018 10:18:28


By Vijay Phanshikar,



Ulluvathellam yuarvullal matratu

Tallinum tellamai nirttut

(Think of rising higher. Let it be your only thought. Even if your object be not attained, the thought itself will have raised you.)

- A kural from ‘Thirukural’,
a collection of kurals -- aphorisms --
by Thiruvalluvar,
written in Tamil over 2,000 years ago.
(English translation by
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
in his book
‘My Journey - Transforming Dreams into Actions’
Paperback, Rupa publications, 2013).

This aphorism shows the power of thought, what thought does, what thought can do! You are what you think! So, if you think of going higher, higher you go!
These words appear so simple, so appealing. Yet, when you go deeper into their cumulative meaning, you come across an oceanic expanse of the idea of rising -- from your present condition to another level, of your dreams or your idea of growth.

Thiruvalluvar was a Tamil saint-poet who brought to the common men and women wisdom of sages, of Gods, of a culture with an upward trajectory. His aphorisms are oft-quoted, oft-discussed, and oft-used as empowerment of human being into higher, more sublime zones of existence, of higher achievement on the spiritual front.
“Even if your object be not attained, the thought itself will have raised you.”!

What a powerful thought! What a power of thought!
These words also showcase the power of human dream. They also assure the individual that if he/she harbours a thought, an idea, most intensely, most ardently, he/she can rise to a higher -- next -- level of existence. He may not actually achieve the goal in the given circumstances, in the constraints of life. Yet, the very thought will keep him elevated in hope, and therefore also possibly in action.

So, never mind if you do not attain your higher goal, for the thought itself will keep you mentally surging higher.
As sages highlight the importance of pure, higher, sublimer thought, they mean only this: Yes, my child, you may not attain what you think of. But never stop thinking of higher things, higher levels, better elevation of your inner being. For, it is in thought that you get moulded, get ready for an upward trajectory of your growth. So, keep thinking of higher thought.

Human civilisation has often honoured this elevation of thought. Fine cultures have always told their inhabitants, you may be down in dumps, but never stop thinking of the highest point of human achievement. You may be trapped in pitched darkness, but never stop seeing the inner light. That will take you higher and lead to a brighter thought that will elevate you ultimately.

That was what Swatantryaveer Sawarkar did in the Cellular Jail in Andaman. He was given a solitary confinement for years. He was given rigorous imprisonment that made him work like an ordinary labourer every day. Yet the man did not allow his spirits to be dimmed. On prison walls, he etched an epic -- Kamla.

Nelson Mandela, too, was forced into a
solitary confinement in a dark room for 27 years. Yet, he kept his mind engaged in an imaginary long walk to freedom (incidentally the title of his autobiography). That elevated thought kept him raised spiritually into a sublime zone of imagined freedom.

And well before India attained freedom in 1947, an American newspaper Reporter wrote in one of his reports after watching a Swadeshi agitation in a small village, in effect, that ‘India has become free because the Indian people have decided to become free’. That was a quarter of century before 1947.

All these instances indicate the power of thought, its ability to raise the individual thinker to sublime levels.  Thiruvalluvar stated this very thing. He saw the power of human thought, and decoded its meaning in his kural.
Anybody who knows the power of thought raises his own bar, rises to the next level, into the higher zone of human existence. May this wisdom be available to all of us.