Napoleon was heading for war with his army. On the way, there was a big mountain called the Alps. It was not easy to cross its high peaks. Still, he did not lose heart. He was determined to climb and cross the mountain.
An old lady lived in a hut at the foothill of the mountain. Seeing Napoleon heading towards the mountain, she said, “O Young Man! What are you going to do! Whosoever has tried to climb this insurmountable mountain has lost his life. Don’t make this mistake. Go back.”
In response to this warning, Napoleon offered her a diamond necklace, and said, “Mother! Your words have doubled my enthusiasm. I am keen to perform such acts which other people cannot do.”
The old lady repeated, “If you try to climb this mountain then you will fall and be shattered into pieces. It will not be possible to search for the bones of you and your companions. So, go back.”
But Napoleon was not one to retreat, being afraid of obstacles coming in his path. He was one who would put his heart and soul into achieving his goal.
It is said in the ambrosial spiritual discourses of Pujya Bapuji that “Resorting to escapism, fearing obstacles and hurdles, running away; leading a life without a fixed goal like- ‘A washerman’s dog belongs neither to the house nor to the washing place’, to get carried away like a dry blade of grass is not the sign of a bright future; and leading a sensual life is also not the sign of a bright future. It is also not right or good to get upset while fighting with the obstacles of life; but finding the way out from the hurdles and obstacles and attaining one’s goal by completing the journey to the destination is required.
तेरे मार्ग में वीर काँटे बड़े हों,
लिये तीर हाथों में विघ्न खड़े हों ।
बहादुर सबको मिटाता चला जा,
कदम अपने आगे बढ़ाता चला जा ।।’’
“If you find your path strewn with big thorns, And obstacles ready to shoot arrows, Keep destroying them all, O brave man, Keep marching ahead.”
Though Napoleon had not been fortunate enough to hear these ambrosial words of Pujya Bapuji, still his life reflects these words clearly.
Listening to the words of the old lady, Napoleon proudly replied, “Mother! It is not the act of a valiant to take back the steps once taken forward. I will march ahead crossing all the obstacles on the path.”
The old lady blessed him and said, “Son! God certainly fulfils the wishes of enthusiastic and hardworking people like you. Even my negative words did not discourage you. This is a good sign of success. You will certainly succeed.”
At that very moment, Napoleon marched ahead and in a few days, by bearing numerous predicaments, he crossed the Alps and hoisted the flag of victory with his army.
But to climb over any mountain or to defeat an enemy is not an eternal victory, an eternal goal or true bravery. It is stated in thefollowing verse of Shrimad Bhagavad Purana: स्वभावविजयः शौर्यम् । Real heroism is to conquer one’s natural tendency to enjoy a material life.’ The biggest bravery and heroism is to attain realization of the Self while being embodied, and this verily is the eternal goal of life.