A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
I have been reading: Wings of Fire An Autobiography of, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the current President of India.
This book is interwoven with the Presidents deep involvement with India’s first Satellite Launch Vehicle SLV-3 and Agni programmes.
Since I am impressed at the profundity and range of his ideas, I am about to share them with you.
The President believes that one must never feel small or helpless. We are all born with a divine fire in us. Our efforts should be to give wings to this fire and fill the world with the glow of its goodness
Abdul Kalam was born into a middle class Tamil family. His parents though, did not have, a great formal education, possessed an innate wisdom and a true generosity of spirit.
The high priest of Rameshwaram Temple Pakshi Lakshmana was a very close friend of Abdul Kalam’s father. One of the most vivid memories of Abdul’s early childhood, is of the two men each in his traditional attire, discussing spiritual matters.
Ahmed Jallaluddin greatly influenced the boyhood of Abdul Kalam.
Jallaluddin would talk of God as if he had a working partnership with Him. He would present all his doubts to God, as if he were standing nearby to dispose of them.
As young Abdul Kalam would look towards the large group of pilgrims round the (Rameshwaram) temple, performing rituals and reciting prayers with a sense of respect towards the Unknown, whom they (Muslims) treat as the formless Almighty, Abdul never doubted that the prayers in the temple reached the same destination as the ones offered in the mosque.
Abdul Kalam went for his interview at the Air Force Selection Board, but the opportunity slipped through his fingers.
A deeply disappointed Abdul trekked down to Rishikesh. He bathed in the Ganga and reveled in the purity of its waters then he walked to the Sivananda Aashram situated a little way up the hill & Abdul Kalam told Swami Sivananda about his unsuccessful attempt to join the Indian Air Force and his along cherished desire to fly.
Swamiji smiled washing away all his (Abduls) anxiety almost instantly. Then he said in a feeble but very deep voice:
Desire, when it stems from the heart and spirit, when it is pure and intense, possesses awesome electromagnetic energy. This energy is released into the ether each night, as the mind falls into the sleep state. Each morning it returns to the conscious state reinforced with the cosmic currents. That which has been imaged will surely and certainly be manifested. You can rely, young man, upon this ageless promise as surely as you can rely upon the eternally unbroken promise of sunrise & and of Spring.
Abdul Kalam was influenced by a quotation from Benjamin Franklin, Those things that hurt, instruct!
Abdul Kalam’s mother had once narrated to an impressionable young Abdul, an incident from the Holy Book after God created man, he asked the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam. Everybody prostrated themselves except Iblis (or Satan), who refused. Why did you not prostrate yourself? Allah asked. You created me of fire and him of clay. Does not that make me nobler than Adam? Satan contended. God said, Be gone from paradise! This is no place for your contemptuous pride. Satan obeyed, but not before cursing Adam with the same fate. Soon Adam followed suit by becoming a transgressor after eating the forbidden fruit. Allah said: Go hence and may your descendants live a life of doubt and mistrust.
Abdul Kalam wrote: I have always been a religious person in the sense that I maintain a working partnership with God. I was aware that the best work required more ability than I possessed and therefore I needed help that only God could give me. I made a true estimate of my own ability, then raised it 50% and put myself in Gods hands. In this partnership, I have always received all the power I needed, and in fact have actually felt it flowing through me. Today, I can affirm that the kingdom of God is within you in the form of this power, to help achieve your goals and realize your dreams
And realize his dreams, Abdul Kalam did!
But Abdul Kalam believes that we often merely analyze life instead of dealing with it & through difficulties and problems God gives us the opportunity to grow. So when your dreams and goals are dashed, search among the wreckage, you may find a golden opportunity hidden in the ruins.
Abduls favorite author is Robert Schuller who built the crystal cathedral at the cost of several million dollars, through donations.
Schuller writes: God can do tremendous things through the person who does not care about who gets the credit. The ego involvement must go. Before God trusts you with success, you have to prove yourself humble enough to handle the big prize.
Abdul prayed to God in Schullers church to help him build a Research Centre at the Imarat Kancha-that would be his Crystal Cathedral.
Abdul writes: You, me, everyone on this planet is sent free by Him to cultivate all the creative potential within us and live at peace with our own conscience. We differ in the way we make our choices and evolve our destiny. I do not wish to set myself as an example to others, but I believe that a few souls may draw inspiration and come to balance that ultimate satisfaction that can only be found in the life of the spirit
I pray that we will, Mr. President!