"Full many a ray of purest ray serene the dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness to the desert air."
from "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by Thomas Gray

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Personal Legend

One of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho, talks about his personal legend and asks people to list their unfulfilled desires on his blog.

In his own words, "It's what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is. At one point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their Personal Legend."

What is my legend? I understand it as swa-dharma. Says Krishna in the Bhagwad Geeta - one's own duty, though it may be worthless, is better than someone else's duty executed perfectly. Destruction in one's own duty is good - someone else's duty, on the other hand is dangerous. But what is that "one's own duty?" I believe each person has to figure that out for themselves. So often, we are so caught up in the mundane issues while living from day to day, that the purpose of life is forgotten. Sometimes life is better than expected, or more painful than expected - either way, we are so lost in the pleasures or disappointments of life, and forget that there is a higher purpose to a human life.

Coelho considers the personal legend "your blessing, the path God has chosen for you here on Earth. Whenever a man does that which gives him enthusiasm, he is following his legend. However, not everyone has the courage to face up to his own dreams." 

Many people are clear on what would make them happy. Many people are still trying to figure out. Some at least know the direction in which they would like to move but they are not exactly sure what they want in the end. Some people find that their goals are changing with time, others think that their goals are getting clearer with time. Some people are precise of what they want - I want to write a book, says a friend of mine. Others have a broad vision - I want to sing, says another friend. Not surprisingly, nobody has told me that their job is their personal legend.

My personal legend is to work with children. Not clear on how, but I know that ultimately that will be my life's work. Working with young minds is my way of tuning in to the Brahman, and finding ultimate peace and joy.

1 comment:

  1. Attracted by your interest in Lalita Sahastranaam, I reached your sight upto here.

    Wjile reading this, just felt like mentioning that Dharm probably means more like property than duty. Like dharm of fire is heat.

    May be we can have a chance to interact on this.