Translation of an original text by Rabindranath Tagore.
The writer’s scribe has unconsciously inclined slightly more towards the left – as if, in his mind, he has given more importance to sorrow. For, if the amount of pleasure is greater in this world, then the solution does not have a problem. When the expenditure is greater than the saving, the accounts do not balance. In the accounts of this world, if unhappiness turns out to be greater, then the world cannot be sorted out.
The merchants of religion blindly and forcefully try to deny the existence of sorrow. But that merely beguiles the simple-minded. To try and somehow explain away the part of sorrow in this world to those who have felt the pain of distress in their hearts, outside themselves and all around, is an extremely foolish idea. There are thousands of such griefs in this world in which human intelligence can discover no good purpose. There are several such sufferings and miseries which have no glory whatsoever, which makes a soul overwhelmed, narrow and stripped of beauty – there are many tyrannies perpetrated by the strong on the weak, by the inanimate on the animate, which throw the helpless into a black abyss of degradation – we can find no reason, no justification behind them. He who has unwavering faith in the dominance of goodness does not blush to politely admit his ignorance of these matters and deems it an audacity to take up a false advocacy on God’s side. Hence, I do not want to deny the existence of sorrow in this world.
But often, if we try to look at a thing individually, by isolating it from everything around it, then we give it undue importance. If we separate and gather misery, it becomes as unbearable and piled up as huge as a mountain, but in its own place it is not so heavy.
Fill a pitcher with water from the sea, and it is so heavy to carry. If we dive into the water, however, then thousands of pitchers of water flow over our head, but their weight feels quite insignificant. Just as the burden in this world is stupendous, so is the balance of burden limitless. Everything is balancing each other’s weight. Our body is not a very light thing to carry every day and all our lives. Measured individually, its weight may well seem impossible. But there is such a balance that we carry the weight effortlessly. Similarly, it is true that there is no end to sorrow in this world, but thousands of ways to alleviate them are also present. With the help of our imagination, we can isolate sorrow and build up a monstrous nightmare, but in this infinite life, it is spread much thinly. That is why, even in the midst of such an ocean of sadness, the entire world is floating so easily, evil is not being able to overwhelm the good, and happiness and beauty are blossoming everywhere.