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Seminar on "Suffering is the Root and Results are Flowers"

2. Sri. N.V. Madhava Rao

The basis of Yoga has always been the right morals and proper behaviour. That is why, my Master Samarth Guru Mahatma Ram Chandraji Maharaj of Fatehgarh (U.P.) had laid very great stress on this point. He always emphasized on cultivating principled character. The way of life should be pregnant with high morals. If it is not there a person is not capable of having the fine type of spirituality, which is beyond everything and is worth having. Freedom we want but we do not know its definition. Suffering is the root and results are flowers which every associate should strive hard to have. (SDG - 54,55)

The right morals which form the basis of yoga are Satya, Ahimsa, Asteya, Aparigraha and Brahmacharya. The right behaviour is that of “Mould your living so a to rouse a feeling of love and piety in others (9th commandment) ”.

On the path of spirituality, the suffering a person undergoes is because he would like to live at a higher plane of consciousness but is not doing so, the cause being a slave of wishes. Example, if he speaks the truth he might lose monetarily or otherwise but if he does not he will not be living a higher value. But for a person who is sure of the goal, there is no conflict, there may be losses which can be seen by all and sundry but he does not lose anything. Such a person does not suffer but may have to go through afflictions.

The life stories of the masters of our system are examples for us to learn from. When a person is not able to live the 5th and the 7th commandments, he suffers, because of nto taking miseries as divine blessings for our own good and for not taking wrongs done by others as heavenly gifts, which in turn do not allow him to follow the 9th commandment.

Sufferings help us in knowing the root cause of our not being able to live the right morals and proper behaviour.

When events do not happen to our liking we say that we are suffering. When events happen to our liking we call it as a pleasure and enjoy. In both the cases we are away from the thought of divinity. For a person on the spiritual path, any thought other than that of the divine becomes a cause for misery. In all the cases it is attachment that is the cause of suffering. The attachment is to anything and everything other than the divine. All that is born of attachment is misery. Pain and pleasure both contribute to miseries. (SS-477)

Suffering when understood as an effect of a cause of an action will result in accepting the result rationally. The example would be like that of a child who puts its hand in hot water and immediately removes it. The lesson it learns is that you should not put your hand in hot water. But when something happens for which we cannot give a rationale and we feel we did not do anything wrong, only on analysis we would know what is causing a barrier to our spiritual growth. The flower is in getting rid of the barrier. The example would be of being found fault with, for no apparent reason, when we feel that it was not correct on the person’s part to do that, we have failed to see divinity in that person. It is failures in tests that nature provides for the spiritual growth of a person that cause suffering. These failures become stepping stones for success. They help a person in analyzing his defects, placing them before the master and resolving to grow. The same test is repeated ( though situations may be different ) till the person grows.

As master has stated, we want freedom but do not know from what. Since we do not know our attachments or the seeds, It is from the suffering which is the expression of the seed ( attachment ) that helps us in knowing what our attachments are and when we consciously try and succeed in getting out of the attachments which makes us free to that extent, those are the flowers born out of the sufferings that were undergone.

The flowers that develop due to sufferings are Patience, Tolerance, Yielding, Endurance, Forbearance, Fortitude, Meekness, Humility, etc. etc. which lead us to the garden.

It is only by depending on the master that we can live a life of principled character and also enjoy the flowers that arise out of sufferings.