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

6. Sri. V. Sreekanth Reddy

5th and 7th commandments, articles like Afflictions (SS 457-472) and many more writings about the sufferings, worries, sorrows, miseries etc. by the Master have opened up new vistas of thinking about these and karma theory and making us understand the importance of the sufferings etc and the way they have to be treated while marching on the path towards the Goal of life in PAM. And also the simpleness and efficacy of the system vis--vis to the systems in vogue, which promise much lesser goals, leave alone the Goal talked about and promised by the Master in this system, but making one to go rigorous and time-consuming practices.

The story of the Grand Master informs us the kind of afflictions he had faced and the way he has treated them. The miseries and afflictions faced by our Master and other masters of the Order are very much known from the stories of their lives and our association with them. Some of the people might have seen from close quarters how stoically the saints of the Order have faced the afflictions and sufferings thereby setting the examples to others in dealing with all these.

Leave alone facing the sufferings with courage as advised by the masters of the Order, complaining about those miseries etc. is what was observed generally. Even coming to our sufferings, how many of us can boast of having the kind of afflictions or sufferings what our masters have faced in their lives? In this context one must remember the caution given by the Master in the article ‘Afflictions’ (None in the world is free from worries. The presence of afflictions is in fact a positive proof of the very existence of man. Worries are really the result of the unbalanced activity which had originally brought man into existence. This is the inter-play of the forces of Nature, causing expansions and contractions, by the effect of which layer after layer began to be formed. Now if one keeps his entire attention located on them thinking that thereby he may minimise their effect, it is almost impossible. Ages may be lost in the pursuit, not to speak of this one life; on the other hand, he will go on fabricating greater intricacies by his own actions. That is really the misutilisation of the powers bestowed on us by Nature (SS 467)). It is a caution against brooding nature of us and a caution against misutilisation of the power bestowed on us and a caution against giving power to the negative thoughts and ideas is what I have understood from that.

Though Master has given a solution for handling the sufferings in the following words “The effective solution of the problem is to give them up to the charge of a higher soul and to dissociate yourself from them altogether. Cares, anxieties and worries will then subside and nothing but duty will remain to view. That conveys the idea of surrender which is the sum total of the entire Sadhana. (SS 471(Afflictions))”, we try to do away our sadhana under the pretext of these same problems only, ignoring the solution given.

We are the architects of our fate is what we have come to know from the karma theory and writings and explanations given by the masters of the Order. Suffice to say that many articles are written on these. God is samavarthi, is what we have understood from them. The knowledge that we have to undergo our karma has also dawned on us. Where lifetime or many lives may not be enough to undergo these bundles of samskaras, which we have formed, under the system of PAM we can complete the fruition of these samskaras in one life only is what we have understood through the practice.

Even though master is very clear without any ambiguity in saying “Since we came into the world we have never been free from miseries, nor shall we ever be till we have secured our return to the homeland. (SS 460)” “Total absence of sufferings and miseries in life is, however, impossible and unnatural. In fact they are rather meant for our betterment. (DR 29)” still we like not to have any of these sufferings. Even if we accept the sufferings are going to be there, we may be of the view that we may not be able to face the problems or sufferings. These are only our fears or notions without any foundations. The experiences of those of us following the PAM shows that we have faced many a time these kinds of sufferings, afflictions, adversities in life with balance. If we are seeking the Goal, we have to complete the fruition of our samskaras. We cannot expect to reach the goal by only undergoing or getting rid of a part of our samskaras. A gardener plants various varieties of flowers so that the flowers bloom at appropriate time and make the garden a beautiful one to watch. Same way we also must complete our samskaras which may come for fruition through bhog or through the methods given in the system so that the result can be had in the form of lightness of the being or freedom.

My trainer and guide Shri K.C.Narayana garu’s soothing words, when I was despondent facing the afflictions of life in the early years of my practice of the system always rings in my ears. He asked me not to forget the sadhana whatever the circumstances may be like the people who forget the Master or the Goal or the God when they are happy and also in distress, dejection etc. thereby making the sadhana a casualty. On another occasion he told that no growth is possible without any pain or suffering. It is applicable in the spiritual life also is what he has explained. True to what my guide has told, whenever any adversity was faced it was coupled with experiences of profound nature that have helped me in moulding myself and move on the path is what I have experienced in this system. We may find commandments 5th and 7th and other advises about sufferings etc. difficult to follow but not impossible, as Masters will not give anything that is impossible to follow. Acceptance of sufferings as advised by the Masters of the Order and following them in that way may not happen overnight. Assiduous sadhana and restlessness towards the Goal will definitely make us change our attitudes and accept them as such over a period of time is what we had seen from the examples of the many of the serious practicants of the system, which otherwise would not have been possible.

Forbearance, tolerance, fortitude, humility, surrender, reduction in ego are some of the flowers that bloom because of sufferings and miseries in life is the experiential truth for all of us, who are practicing PAM. Ego instead becoming a flower by reduction may become a thorn by getting boosted for facing all these sufferings etc. if we forget the help of the system.

Pangs of separation from the beloved i.e. the Master or the Goal, which is nothing but suffering makes one restless, which is nothing but the flowers of suffering and propels one to have an unflinching effort to go towards the Infinity i.e. the Goal or the Master is one of the experiences we come across is what was learnt in practicing PAM.