storehouse of realisation by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

A time for construction: From a ‘sapling’ to a ‘tree’

"If man could but hear the silent language of the universe, he would find in it a great storehouse of realisation." - Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
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The universe is a silent book of God, expressing divine truth in the form of allegory. If man could but hear the silent language of the universe, he would find in it a great storehouse of realisation.

Look, for instance, at the tree. When it first sprouts from the ground, it is a delicate, fragile plant. Its trunk and branches are too weak to resist the storm. What does this young sapling do then? It becomes all softness. The gales come, but it shows no defiance. It simply sways in the direction the wind is blowing. It follows the advice of this hemistich of the well-known poet Hali, “chalo tum udhar ko hawa ho jidhar ki.” (Go with the wind, wherever it be from).

Thus the tree, by analogy, tells us that, in the beginning, all men need a period for construction.

However, when we look at the same plant twenty years later, it presents a totally different picture. Now it stands firmly on its large, stout trunk. The word “bending” has been taken right out of its vocabulary. No longer influenced by the blasts of wind, it stands erect on its massive roots. Now it rises from the soil as a ‘tree’, whereas, beforehand, it was just a sapling.

Thus the tree, by analogy, tells us that, in the beginning, all men need a period for construction. It tells us when to send down our roots; when, in other words, to consolidate the trunk; when to develop our personal strength. During this initial period, we should not attempt to live as we would after consolidation has taken place, but should become the very embodiment of adjustment.

Anyone who fails to realise this in the initial stages, will forfeit this valuable period for construction; having failed to avail this period, he will never reach the stage of the final build-up. Such a person will always be like a weak plant; he will never achieve the state of a strong, consolidated tree.

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