Once I stayed in Madras for about a week with my family. We stayed in a guest house located on a beach near the sea, which added to the charm and pleasure of staying there. We had very pleasant morning walks along the mighty, surging sea, and its vastness touched our hearts. During our stay, I contemplated deeply on the nature of the sea and how it helps us to develop our own personality.
The first great quality of the sea is its vastness. It is so vast that the other shore of the sea is never seen by an ordinary person. We require magnitude in our personality too. Our vision should enlarge with our physical growth so that our personality becomes pleasant. An ordinary person may not think beyond himself, his family or a close social circle. Such vision needs further expansion and one should ultimately think of the whole creation. With such a vast vision, we start loving the whole creation of God and there is no room for lower tendencies like hatred, anger and jealousy.
The second quality of the sea is its depth. The vastness of the sea would be meaningless without its depth for this quality enables the sea to gain stability. Similarly, for the true development of our personality vast mundane knowledge is not sufficient as it may not give depth to our personality. This depth is acquired by developing wisdom which gives stability to our personality.
The third quality to be learnt from the sea is ‘absorption’. It absorbs whatever is merged into it. All mighty rivers ultimately merge into the sea and it accepts all of them. Not only this, these rivers carry away with them all the filth created by human beings. The sea accepts that too. In turn it returns pure rain-water, retaining all the dirty water received by it. The sea water itself remains saltish though it is the ultimate source of all sweet water. This amounts to returning goodness in exchange for evil, a quality which should be part of the personality also, giving us mercy, kindness and compassion.
The last quality is 'stability' which can also be learnt from the sea. The sea level remains stable though universal forces cause some ups and downs in it periodically. That is why the Mean Sea Level is a standard benchmark and does not change with time. Similarly, our mental variations as a result of interaction with the world should also be to the minimum and the effort should be to maintain it at the same level. This little variation of sea level only indicates that as long as we live in the world, absolute calmness may not be possible. That state can be achieved only when we firmly control our reactions and responses, both mentally and physically. However, while living in the world, stability can be maintained and the variation can be reduced to the minimum. This is the quality which brings serenity to our personality.
Thus four qualities of the sea, namely, vastness, depth, absorption and stability are to be adopted in our personality. If we can do so, we may be as useful for the society as the sea is to the entire creation on the earth.