Last week Chandrayaan – 3 had successfully soft landed near the south pole of the moon and created history by becoming the fourth nation in the world to have achieved so. Behind this rare feat is the untiring efforts and dedication of scientific leadership of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) such as the scientists, technocrats, researchers, engineers, technicians of not just the current but also of the past generations. It is the expertise and contribution of all that ISRO has achieved this feat. It is true that before the success of Chandrayaan – 3 there were also two earlier missions of the moon series through which the ISRO scientific fraternity had learnt from its success and failures which enabled it to successfully soft land Chandrayaan – 3 on the moon surface for lunar exploration. The lander ‘Vikram’ and ‘Pragyan’ rover would be conducting scientific experiments on the lunar surface and study its composition. Importantly it would also explore and search for water ice on the lunar surface.
Indeed, the success of Chandrayaan – 3 is because of the determined efforts of an entire lifetime generation of scientists of ISRO and other contributing public and private research and development organizations, institutions, academia and partnering industries. This team work and repeated attempts towards success reminds us of one meaningful yet powerful verse from the Chanakya Niti which talks about the secret to achieve the impossible.
यद्दूरं यदुराराध्यं यच्च दूरे व्यवस्थितम् ।
तत्सर्वं तपसा साध्यं तपो हि दुरतिक्रमम् ।।
भावार्थ :- कोई वस्तु या लक्ष्य चाहे कितनी ही दूर क्यों न हो तथा उसका मिलना कितना ही कठिन क्यों न हो, और वह पहुँच से भी बाहर क्यों न हो, कठिन तपस्या अर्थात परिश्रम से उसे भी प्राप्त किया जा सकता है।
Meaning: No matter how far away an object or goal is, and no matter how difficult it is to find it, and no matter how out of reach it is, it can be obtained by dedicated efforts and hard work.
But again there is something called failure that acts as a solid stepping stone towards success which happened with the Chandrayaan team also. Inspite of the initial failures the team kept moving towards their goal over the years through dedicated efforts and hard work that ultimately brought laurels to India through the scientific feat achieved by the ISRO. Such a determination to chase the goal unhindered not only happened with the ISRO scientists but also with several Indian thinkers and scientists since the ancient times and their pursuit for scientific excellence is a defining example.
The ‘trial and error method’ one may say is largely used in science experiments to achieve results wherein the experiments are repeatedly performed until the desired results or objectives are achieved. This makes it a point in the lives of our scientists to keep performing till the goals are achieved and new inventions are created collectively.
Let us not forget that today’s scientists were yesterday’s students. This makes it even an important point to note that today’s students pursuing science, technology and engineering are tomorrow’s hope for the nation to keep the continuity of scientific achievements and hence for them the above verse from the Chanakya Niti is something that should be recollected quite often.
The underline is repeated and dedicated efforts in the right direction is the secret to success.
This article was contributed by Dr. Sabareesh.P.A, Ph.D. from the Centre for Studies in Science Policy, School of Social Sciences, JNU, New Delhi. He has also authored a book titled ‘A Brief History of Science in India’ (https://garudabooks.com/a-brief-history-of-science-in-india)