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Happiness and Sorrow : 2 Sides of the Same Coin

Updated on May 31, 2014

Khalil Gibran a noted author once said, " When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

Life is like an, amalgamation of happiness and sorrow. It is like a sea with waves of sorrow and happiness rippling its surface, in an alternate and irregular manner.

Often when people are stuck in the chambers of darkness and sorrow, they tend to miss the minute rays of hope that tend to seep in through the cracks on the walls of constant sorrow. Instead of focussing on hope, they cloud their mind with sad and morbid thoughts, which futher engulf them in a tunnel of despair.

So what can be done to pull them away from the grasps of sorrow? How can they be made to believe that sorrow is just a part of life and not life itself ?

The Mahabharata, an epic from Vedic history, declares:

Mana eva manushyaanaam kaaranam bandha mokshayo
(It is the mind which is the cause of man’s bondage and it is the mind which is the cause of liberation.)

This clearly depicts the significant position of the mind in the human life.

If a person reflects with a calm mind, it will be clear to him that no matter how unfortunate or unhappy he is, there is definitely something in him or in his possessesion (through unique providence), that is not only different but unique.

This thought helps a person realize that although sorrow leads to depression, it also leads to realization that life is not a bed of roses.

Life is a contant battle that teaches you how to grow in strength, develop the virtues of patience, kindness, charity and compassion. It is only when we have experienced suffering that we are capable of understanding and sympathizing, with the sufferings of others and feel the impulse to help them.

Luxury, comforts and pleasures, although irresistable, if not put to higher use, lead to attachment and addiction which are obstacles in the path of progress.

A perfect example of this is, the epic Mahabharata war. After the Mahabharata war, when Lord Krishna bade farewell to his friends and devotees, before leaving for Dwarka, the mother of the Pandavas prayed to him to let trials, dangers and difficulties be her lot in life. Why? So that through them she might feel Krishna's presence and glimpse the truth of the Higher Life beyond the cycles of birth and death.

Sorrow athough dainting in nature, teaches us the real essence of life. It makes us understand the hardships that the less fortunate face. In a way it makes us compassionate towards others.It makes us appreciate happiness and joy, when they come knocking on our door, after a bout of sadness and despair.

There is nothing permanent in life. Where happiness and sorrow are forever changing hands, it is this change that defines life in its truest sense. Until we learn to accept this change gracefully, we’ll always suffer. There’s a blessing in embracing the beauty of impermanence.Through doing so, we will come to value every precious moment of this life and live in a far saner and more fulfilling way.


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