He tills the soil, grows food, strikes at the anvil and digs the earth to extract gold from its bowels. Besides, man has certain obligations to discharge and certain responsibilities on shoulders.
There are people who depend upon him, his parents, society and above all, God. Again, life does not constitute only of desires, illusions and faded ideas, but also of grand ideals and ambitions, which can be achieved only through action.
Life does not only consist in the length of our existence on this earth, but in the noble and heroic deeds we do in our lifetime. Mere breathing, eating is not life, for even animals eat. Mere movement is not life, for even snails move.
We must understand that salvation lies in action and that work alone is worship. We have in the past meditated on the ultimate reality and truth of life and death. Such an intellectual and philosophical past has been our indulgence for long. Thinking alone does not solve the problem of bread and butter.
No amount of spiritual knowledge can provide us with crumbs of bread. For a life to be worthy of bearing fruit, it should be lived in close agreement with reality. Hence, we have to make a choice between ‘existence’ and ‘isolation’. Without doubt, India’s past is rich in the fruits of contemplation, but the present needs action to build a better tomorrow.
As it is said, we would be painting the devil too black, if we wholly discredit contemplation. We must understand that thinking is also a central part of life. Every deed needs some thinking. To indulge in pure contemplation is the luxury of the mind. It is a mental plan through which we escape from the stern realities of life.
Nevertheless, concrete and realistic thinking is as essential as stimulated action. Gandhiji brought about an excellent harmony between action and contemplation. He proposed theories and tested their soundness in real life. As Carlyle has mentioned, “Let us unite contemplation with action, because in the harmony of the two lies the perfection of character.”
We must also be aware of the fact that the fruits of labour are sweeter than the gifts which fortune provides us with. Moreover, too much of thinking is also a disease. It keeps us low and dismal.
Hence, a thought demands action to be complete and action without thought also has no worth. Indeed, thought and action can be separately analysed, but can never be separated from each other. It is best to live life both in thought and deeds.