The unshakeable trio

The unshakeable trio

Three terms used in Sanskrit literature are Pratibha, Vyutpatti and Parishrama, roughly translating respectively as talent, creativity or imagination and finally effort. It is said that all these three qualities are required if any great work of art has to be produced. Each of these supplements the other two.

Talent fosters the intellect to great and often unimaginable heights of creative output and prescience, which in turn spurs the individual who has already invested all his faculties to achieve what he has to even more relentless pursuit of that pinnacle of achievement.

Shakespeare, Beethoven, Mozart, Michaelangelo — all supremely creative geniuses have displayed these three qualities in abundance. Closer home, the sheer magnificence of the compositions of Muthuswamy Dikshitar, Thyagaraja and Shyama Shastri are testimony to this truth. But this is true of all other areas of human endeavour, including philosophy and spirituality. Leave alone being surpassed, the validity of Einstein’s scientific deductions and theories are still being unravelled, decades after his passing.

Stephen Hawking’s prodigious output in cosmology speaks about his unfathomable talents in mathematics and physical sciences, his mind boggling powers of imagination and his immense efforts in not only his chosen field of work, but also in his struggle against his crippling physical condition. Talent, creativity and effort make for a potent and unshakeable trio, engendering a corpus of work that will endure as long as humanity exists. 

So much about great minds. What about lesser mortals? Sure, every human is born with the first two qualities, talent and imagination, in varying proportions. The third one, effort, needs a conscious channeling of the first two into a tangible, useful form that will benefit both the individual as well as society in some manner. The three in combination account for the diversity in human achievements that we see.

A judicious confluence of talent and imagination with immense effort is observed in individuals who reach great heights. But, sadly, as if nature ordained that there must not be total calm but some turbulence, there are people who are talented, who are highly creative, but who direct their efforts in a skewed manner, causing trouble in society.

Take social media for instance. Just to make their presence felt, lest they go unnoticed, just to show that they too are moving with the times, just to make a statement, people put up hurtful, incendiary, venomous, hate filled, obnoxious and obscene posts. Or more commonly, just plain garbage.

Not that all social media chatter is trash. But one cannot help wonder why people, who are otherwise talented and who possess creativity, put in their efforts into doing something that brings no credit to them. It appears that their sole aim is to churn the already restless waters into a vile broth. Talent is innate, creativity too but which can, to a certain extent, be cultivated. But effort? It is in our hands. Which way, positive or negative, it’s ours to choose.