Do We Need To Suffer ?
extract: Atma Sanchaya Dhwani, Volume 1 Issue 10; 15th Sep 2006
Beggar bowl in hands
Wandering the streets
Look at the alms people give
Some rich some poor
Nothing is spared
Snare growl comment insult
Everything is part of life
What luxury I had
What happiness I had found
Today I have lost everything
Love care luxury part of me
Nothing more nothing more
Miles of cotton plants
Yet not one metre to cover me
Floated with the dream of divine
Suffered a lot to see the path
Gained neither divine nor world.
Read the poem ! This is the true story of every seeker. Every one looks at life as a path of suffering having read from books on the lives of saints and sages. We feel we have to suffer to gain the blessing from the divine.
Invariably, every seeker views it this way after a particular period of time. I have talked to hundreds of seekers who have opted the spiritual path and the life of a beggar. They are dejected with life and all the Nature’s creations around them. I have seen many people leading a life they have molded for themselves after reading and understanding books and certain people they have met. They lead a life that is not much to their liking. Still, they stick to it but bear a grudge throughout their lives. This idea has become so strong that people, even today, feel that they must run away from home, take shelter in ashrams, opt for a life of poverty and conditions to gain entry onto the divine path of the Universal Lord. There are certain people I have met who relate actions and suffering with Papa (sin) and Punya (virtuous). This is because of their longing to enter heaven after death and also to have a better life next birth.
There are many forms of suffering people make themselves go through. For example, starving, fasting, inflicting self-torture among other things because they believe that only after torturing their bodies they can access their inner beauty. They are guided by the feeling that body, mind and soul are separate. Are they separate? No. When the body is in pain, mind feels it and soul suffers it. When the mind is in pain, body shows it and soul suffers it. So, when the soul suffers, is it possible to be divine? The very term ‘Spirituality’ is split into Spirit and Actuality for such people. To be in spirit in actuality is divine and when the spirit is in happiness, in joy; body and mind display it. Then nothing is to be discarded, nothing to be lost. This allows being the self itself.
Now how do we know the spirit and its actuality?
For knowing the spirit, we have to know certain reality the same way we take a test to prove knowledge. Similarly we have to find ways to know the spirit through our deeds. Take for instance: If certain material possessions that you love and are attached to were not there, what would happen? Take another example. If you are living in a hot country, you would be habitual of using AC every day. Switch the AC off for few days. Initially you would feel immensely uncomfortable. This is suffering. But this is very different from the person in the poem who has lost everything in his search while here you are testing yourself. After a few days you would find that even though the climate has not changed, the body has got adjusted to the climate. So it is not an essential item. You have the AC at your disposal all the time but now you would rarely switch it on.
Similarly, you work on other material things in your life.
Give yourself as much time as you wish. After a few months you would find that though you have everything handy yet these do not have much relevance in your life. This is detached attachment.
The earlier segment was related to your body. Now we get into the emotional or mind segment. Be very sure that you have the earlier segment clearly. We love our friends, relatives, parents and so on. Now start with the person whom you love the most. Imagine a scenario when we are not able to be in touch with them for ages. What would happen? Our mind gets agitated in few days. In the beginning when it happens, slow down. Start again. After a certain period of time the person loses most of his relevance in your life. This is Deha sanyasa. Be more introvert with yourself. Be alert and be aware yet be introvert. This is makes the mind work faster. This is mana-sanyasa. Be silent in mind and be open to everyone. Mind would be silent in all situations; agitation, anger and tension would happen at the body level. This is called Chitta sanyasa. Be silent in mind and body this is called Atma Sanyasa. In normal life we do not need to go into this detail. We can stop at the mana sanyasa and it will allow us to know the spirit and also help us to be in actual realm. The moment we are able to detach from the intensity of material and mental world we are able to hold the life in centre. This is an interesting state for once we know the spirit we want to hold on to it. Once the intensity is set right we take the path of letting the world know the abundance that is there inside us and all around us. Then the creation becomes spiritual in the true sense and we become spiritual in true sense.
Now a major question may come up. And that is, the suffering present at some level even after the spirit has touched the actual realm. Why does it happen? It is because we lack attention in our life. We want certain things in life. We have aims and purposes that have high priority and these have to be fulfilled even before we can talk about going deep into ourselves.
Many people suffer because they are jobless, have no support or are ill and poor. They suffer because those who have spiritual abundance, do not share. Look at Nature. When a lion hunts, it feeds on only part of the food and allows other animals their share. Rivers, before merging with sea, flow in many channels and quench the thirst of millions on the way. Yet we forget to look around and see the greatest teacher around us – Nature. We seek outside which is the reason we suffer. This suffering is man made because we look at others, read their stories and follow them but reality far different from their stories.
No path is simple and easy. To make it so, sharing is a must. Once that happens, suffering stops and divine comes to you with open arms.