Monday, February 3, 2014

Life is a hurdle race

There is a Sanskrit sloka about Sun god as in Hindu mythology
एकचक्रो रथो यन्ता विकलो विषमे हयाः।
आक्रामत्येव तेजस्वी तथाप्यर्को नभस्तलम्॥
ekachakro ratho yantā vikalo viṣame hayāḥ|
ākrāmatyeva tejasvī tathāpyarko nabhastalam||
Sun god is said to have a chariot with only one wheel, a disabled charioteer ( अरुणः had impaired limb), and the chariot was drawn by  an odd number of horses (seven). Despite these the brilliant Sun always attacks the sky (to dispel darkness)
Notice the many hurdles. His journey spans across the universe. One wheel does not give any stability, odd number of horses hampers coordination and direction and as if his woes are not complete his driver has a physical disability. Yet the Sun god undertakes the eternal journey successfully day after day undeterred by these obstacles.
Like Sun god exists with his impediments, there is also no human life without its hurdles. Be one high or low, rich or poor, man or woman, young or old there are always obstacles in the way. What may be a small hurdle for one may be big for another but no life is free from hurdles. Their nature and intensity may vary according to one’s preparedness, attitude and mental ability to overcome them. Have you ever pondered over what would life be without obstacles?
I read in the net the question posed by a Rabbi and his own answer on an event in Olympics where people run, jump over hurdles and race to the finish line. His question was would it not be easier to simply remove the hurdles or remove the obstacles? Wouldn't that make more sense?
His own answer was "That is the event! The hurdles are the event, overcoming these obstacles is the whole point of the event. Remove the obstacles and you have negated the entire event.”
It would be fair to say then that life is an event designed by god with obstacles (remember karma theory or as you sow, so you reap belief) and if you remove them then it is no life at all. Imagine a life for everyone without hurdles of any type; it would be like a frictionless space where particles keep moving with no control what so ever. It would not call for any human effort and everything involuntary. It is a scary thought as life would then be long uncontrolled monotonous boredom. It is the challenges that invest some charm to life and overcoming them makes it interesting. There is also the touching faith in the Providence and hope in the heart that animates life.
How we overcome the hurdles differs from one to the other depending on our attitude towards obstacles, preparedness to meet them and our effort to overcome. But it is on this tripod rests the success or otherwise in life. Life indeed is a hurdle race.


  1. I agree life would be one hell of a bore without hurdles. One may face umpteen obstacles but if one his faith God will stand beside us and help us cross. Like Manu was saved from the deluge by Matsya or the very famous Noah's ark. Excellent :-)

  2. Beautifully explained the beauty/the importance of obstacles! Yes, it is the obstacles which polishes our lives and makes it beautiful. Unless we face obstacles we won't understand the 'happier' side of life. We can cross all the obstacles just for reaching the 'happiness'. I am not as good as you for explaining what I want to express, Partha sir! You are always an expert.

  3. Thanks for the analogy with the Sun god , I didn't know about it . It is inspiring to think about it and look at our own hurdles and see if we can deal with them.
    Crossing over hurdles and seeing success definitely makes life interesting, but sometimes we keep pushing and pushing through hurdles and never be able to make it, then life can get very stressful, certainly a test to our mental capacity.

  4. You give me my morning dose of enlightenment!

  5. I agree..without hurdles life would be very plain and boring..hurdles make us strong.

  6. let alone the life story of Sun god, we cant find one person who doesnt have to carry his/her cross...
    maybe understanding the why n how matters

  7. I really appreciate the way you to put across these words of wisdom. Reading your posts causes me to introspect and leaves a good feeling. If there were no ups & downs in life we would never appreciate the 'ups'. But i believe both shd in be proportions which we can sustain.

  8. This is like both side of a coin.. how happy and hard times exist in life. Path of hurdles alone makes one victorious and worthy.. Wonderfully written.. :)

  9. I'm reminded of an old malayalam song, where the singer sings, " if everyone got everything everytime, people would hate or forget heaven " ! How true the words are, and how true the ying-yang concept of life is ! Nice scripting, sir :)

  10. If humans get everything on a platter they will forget the Maker.
    Life is a race with hurdles.The Maker place the hurdles while the going gets good to test his creations.Very nice post KP (This time I got your name right.)