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Means and Ends

Monday October 18 2004 08:37 IST

By Karmayogi

Means are sacred, spiritual. They are the urges of pure motives, impulses of the inner ideal. Ends are need-based, urges of material desires, part of a physical material existence. Relentless pursuit of practical ends by dominant personalities of capacity and energy end in their getting them in a great good measure.

But when they come, they come with many other things unsought for. For a while, all the effort goes to extricate one from the gains. One discovers it is an eternal endless process. Voices from outside and inside whisper “One has to learn to live with them.” He who insists on the right means goes on insisting for a long time, perhaps a lifetime. If ever he arrives at the Ends he was looking for, they come as an everlasting wonder accompanied by what looks like splendour. Gandhiji insisted on the right means in disregard of ends, however essential they were.

From 1920 to 1947, Gandhiji presided over Indian politics and guided India's destiny. Rarely was he crossed. He was consistently successful in his guidance and often reached the results aimed at through the right means. It was in Kolkatta that he reached the acme of his approach when the Hindu goondas laid their arms at his feet and Hindu and Muslim goondas changed their hatred into Peace. His hope of touching Jinnah's heart by his soul-force remained a hope, never came true.

It crystallized into a divided India. Righteous persons who insist on the right means find themselves making headway in many places, where many others fail. In life, there are occasions where they face the hardened human evil and their insistence is up against a wall. The normal tendency is to resort to worldly wisdom and accept a compromise. In this world of dark forces, no one can find fault with such a person. There is a further truth. It is unavailable to those who follow truth as a fad.

Often they degenerate into fanatics. It never occurs to them that fanaticism is itself a dark falsehood. Those who have genuinely followed truth till the penultimate step have exhausted their human energies. Because they have so exhausted their honest endeavours in a higher cause, their call will be answered by the Spirit readily.

The one problem they face will give way almost as if it is a miraculous transformation. It is possible for pure souls to do so in their personal lives. In wider issues, wider personalities will be rewarded with success if they follow a similar process. The Spirit never fails. Often we accept the turn of events as a fact and refuse to go beyond. Going beyond is good.
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