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Why we should welcome pain and grief?
Beauty of the world lies...
Agitations cause sufferings!
Agitations of mind cause maximum sufferings. It is the restlessness of the mind which creates agitations. Restlessness is caused by various desires that make the mind to oscillate from one end to other! Just like waves are created by the wind, desires create mental waves which are the cause of restlessness. We usually react to restlessness. This is a wrong method to approach restlessness. Instead of responding to restlessness, just observe them. Have you noticed a sea without waves? No, it is impossible. Waves are the rise and fall of ocean water and it is nothing else. In fact, the waves, the foam and droplets are nothing but ocean and they are part and parcel of the sea. Since we consider the waves and foams as separate from the ocean, we differentiate them. Similarly God is all and it is the illusion of the mind which differentiates creation from the creator. The creator is the base like the sea and the creation is the waves and foams which are seen as different entities due to the confusing mind! This is the basis of advaita philosophy! “Advaita’ is a Sanskrit world which means ‘no two’. The followers visualize only God everywhere like the ocean and its parts.
The waves arise from the ocean and finally merge in it. Can you consider the waves as apart from the sea? No, it is impossible! They are part of the ocean, inseparable and consist of the water of the ocean. Since it rises over the surface of ocean, we name it as waves and foams. As the ocean water permeates the waves, God too permeates the creation! Waves are caused by wind and desires cause creation. But the deluded mind will not accept that the ocean, waves and foam are one and the same and the ocean is the basis for this. The mind terms them as separate entities. Hence the mind is ignorance and nothing else. Even in the Upanishads, the example of coir visualized as ‘snake’ is mentioned. What is present is only ‘coir’. Due to twilight effect, it looks as snake crawling across. Hence the ‘snake’ is an imagination of the frightened mind and nothing else. It is not real and it is pure illusion! Also we see silver like thing on the shells of riverbed. When the sun is reflected on the shells, they glitter like silver. In fact, there is no silver in the shells. It is our own imagination. In the former case, darkness produced an illusion of snake over the coir. In the second case, it is light which created the illusion of silver in the shell. Hence the man of pure wisdom must transcend both darkness and light. God alone is beyond the pairs of opposites of the world. One who is beyond the dualities of the world alone can remain as a pure witness. If one is attached to the world, he cannot remain as a mute witness without being affected by the dualities of the world! Ordinary people have likes and dislikes while god is beyond likes and dislikes. Hence god is able to shower love on all without any disparity. Likes and dislikes thwart our vision. Worldly minded people judge others and they have their own preferences and prejudices. These sorts of mean qualities cannot be attributed to god. Hence even evil people enjoy all sorts of comforts in the world due to the good deeds performed in their past and pious people suffer misfortunes due to the effect of past deeds.
Variety is the spice of life!
Karma theory is different from worldly transactions!
The epic Mahabaratha is a clear example of the aforesaid attribute of God as a pure witness. Krishna allowed Pandava brothers to suffer many misfortunes, though they followed truth and righteousness in the present birth. Whereas, the wicked Kaurava brothers, enjoyed all prosperity and comforts of palace life, though they were engaged in evil deeds. The reason is simple. While the Pandava brothers were undergoing the evil effects of past births, the Kauravas were enjoying the results of merits performed in earlier births. In karmic accounts, there is no question of balancing merits and demerits. Each effect of past karma had to be undergone separately. Only in banking and financial sectors, credits and debits are added to gather to arrive at the balance! Hence in everyone’s life, pleasure and pain alternate in a mysterious manner.
The pertinent question is ‘why god allowed sufferings to continue? These sufferings actually teach us many great lessons of life. We learn that the pleasures derived from persons and things never last. They do not grant ultimate satisfaction to the individual. If pleasures are capable of giving us permanent joy, none will attempt to go for more such objects or persons. In fact, pleasures create a ‘discontent’ in human mind. His mind is not satiated by enjoying the ephemeral pleasures offered by the senses. There is a clear distinction between the terms ‘satiation and satisfaction’! Satiation means contentment while satisfaction is temporary feeling. Why man is after different tastes? If he is satisfied with one tasty food, he will not hanker for another. But in reality, we clamor for more and more varieties. Hence the creation itself is full of varieties. Each species of insects, birds and animals are not similar. Like the assorted colors of roses, there are varieties of birds of the same species with difference in shapes and appearances. We term ‘fish’ to indicate the general name! There are thousands of varieties of fish in rivers, lakes and oceans. Each one is different in color, size and shape! Consider the human beings. Each country is inhabited with different races of people. In fact, no two men are alike! Indians differ from people from other countries in stature, color and strength etc. Africans differ from people of other countries. Similarly Chinese and Japanese are different from people of other countries. The Arabs are different looking. No doubt all are human, yet the differences strike our imagination.
India shelters all.
Misfortunes teach great lessons!
There is a beautiful poem emphasizing the unity of everything in creation! “Cows are many but mil is One; Jewels are many but gold is one; Flowers are many but the garland is One… We must look for unity behind the apparent diversity. Human birth is special since a human being alone has the capacity to realize his true identity with the supreme self. Hence we must welcome pain and grief in the same way we welcome joy and pleasure. In fact, sufferings make man wise and happiness make him lazy and easy going!