There’s a Divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them how we will.
-Hamlet, Act V, Sc.ii
That is what man can do at his best, and even at his worst, rough-hew. Ignorant as he is, crude
as his instruments are, he can do no better (and happily, no worse either). The ideals he has do
not go very far, not much beyond his nose- they are limited by his senses, by his notions, by his
immediate reactions to the circumstances of the moment. Even when the ends are
commendable, the purposes decent, even when he is happily inspired, the material and means
at his disposal are crude and he uses them in a rough and ready manner. What he can achieve
in this direction is not even a near but a very far approximate. And when he is otherwise
inspired, when suggestions and impulsions come to him from the Hostiles, well, he hews his
way, as Hitler did- and some others are doing now- to wrong ends; even there he does not
succeed wholly, realizes his design very partially, grosso modo. The stone club in the hand of
the palaeolithic man and the atom bomb in the hand of the modern are equally rough
instruments, and the ends which they serve, whether for good or for evil, are also gross, neither
far-visioned nor deep-inspired, but superficial, strait and narrow, blindly immediate. In either
case, however, the Divine remains unaffected, firmly seated behind and in and through both, in
and through their ignorant and perverse wills, it is His Will that works itself out and finds
fulfillment in the end. Whether one is for or against the Divine, whether one is a God or an
Asura, each in his own way contributes to the progressive realization of the Cosmic Purpose.
From a certain point of view it may seem as though nothing helps or hinders, all are like a straw
in a rushing current.
In our human reckoning, we seem to help the evolutionary course sometimes and sometimes
hamper it with our efforts in so far as they are well directed or ill directed. In the practice of
spiritual life too, one may be tempted to find a measurable proportion between the personal
endeavour and the attainment. However that may be, at the end of all human efforts, the
finishing touch always comes from the Divine Grace. Whether we succeed or fail, whatever be
the human judgment of the situation, the Grace is sure to intervene in the final stage: to
success it will bring more success giving it the peak of fulfillment, and failure too it will
transmute into a glorious triumph.