Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The passenger in a car

Let's imagine that you have a beautiful, highly functional and a shining new car. It's an epitome of artistic finesse and the very symbol of perfection. You are, quite naturally, bedazzled by its prosaic beauty. You tend to spend all your waking hours on the car's upkeep, polishing it, greasing it, oiling it, listening for abnormal noises, driving it to the fuel station to get a refill ad infinitum. Lather, Rinse Repeat. You never use it to actually go somewhere, but are unusually fussy about even the fuel station that you use for a refill. This goes on and on and on. Every day of your life is spent tending to the car, but not using it as much. Sometimes the car breaks down, and you spend sleepless nights while it is at the workshop, agonizing over the distress your beloved car is going through.

And then, suddenly, when the car is almost past its useful life, you realize the car was hardly ever used. Now that you think of using it, it will no longer do your bidding, as it is no longer up to it. Remember, it is almost the time to go to a scrap yard.

You might say, why this long and ridiculous harangue? Wait, I am coming to that! Well, consider that the car is the body you have been bestowed with, and the passenger is your intellect, your brain, your soul, if you will. The scenario above in not so foreign, when you consider that most of us do nothing to improve upon our intellectual prowess and our spiritual moorings all our lives. We just cater to our physical needs, choosing what to eat and where (remember the fuss over choosing the fuel station?), what to wear and improving our looks, and building more comfortable sheds and garages to park our cars, bodies, while are passenger is sitting idle, twiddling his thumbs. We keep on serving the vehicle, earning money to fulfill what it needs and desires all our lives.
And then, at the dusk of our lives, we realize that our detour on Mother Earth will soon come to an end and our passenger has travelled little. We try making last ditch efforts to make him travel. We have all seen people well past superannuation drowning themselves in spiritual texts and religious discourses, haven't we? But, by then, these carry no meaning, because there is no area where you can apply those lessons any more. It is simply a waste of time and a rescue attempt that is fated to failure at the very start.
We should all gaze inside and realize that the lives we are leading are a journey of the soul. It is our responsibility to provide a well oiled vehicle, a well maintained body, for the soul to travel. But let's not miss the forest for the trees and make the soul serve the body, rather than the other way round.


  1. First of all hearliest congratulations on starting this blog. It will be equally rewarding for me and others like me who are looking for meaningful reading.I am surely going to learn great things from a great person.
    The article at hand is a very precise presentation of the thinking of a comman man who has not yet thought beyond daily routines. But I hope whoever has read, will start thinking from now onwards!
    Looking forward for more reading. Happiness Always - Prashant

  2. I like your articles. They exhibit depth of penetration of your thoughts.
    I also appreciate your choice of pictures.

    I read somewhere...
    Our life is like a glass jar. What we fill into it depends on us. We can fill it up with sand ( materialistic things) and there would be no space left for larger things like stones and tennis balls ( things which give you happiness, e.g., gardening, blogging, spending time with friends..).
    Fill your jar with tennis balls, sand is going to pour into the remaining space anyway.

  3. after a very long time...have come across a piece with such an accurate and modest example to show how the pettiest things consume best parts of our lives.