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

11. Sri G. Ramachandra Murthy

One of the greatest discoveries of Divine Explorers (of Spirituality Yoga particularly Rajayoga) is the means to convert to our advantage sufferings that afflict mankind and individual included. In this message of our Master, the flowers refer to “ spiritual attainments” that an aspirant gains after undergoing the process of Bhog and intense practice of the system. Sufferings and miseries are products of individual’s own actions, past or present. The past refers to Samskaras that remained unexhausted in one’s past lives. An individual might have had innumerable past live during which he might have indulged in actions that were contrary to Nature forming samskaras. These actions might include entertaining desires and pursuits that are purely materialistic which might be impious, as opposed to spirituality. It is believed that these Samskaras cause rebirth for the desires that remained unfulfilled form impressions that cast indelible imprints on the subtle body which activate themselves even after death of the individual. Layers are formed round the soul causing rebirth to enable the individual to satiate those desires. An unbroken chain of samskaras is formed spanning thousands of lives and the individual gets entrapped in it. The sources of sufferings and miseries are many, individual’s failures, sense of insecurity, events of death of loved ones, self ill health, poverty and other social tragedies etc.

Besides individual’s own efforts to overcome the sufferings and get over them adds force to the movement of this chain. Our passions, emotions and impulses too contribute a good deal in exacerbating the troubles and at times, to use Master’s expression, cause fierce tempest strong enough to threaten a complete wreck. It is common to attribute these to the circumstances but if one’s mind comes to a harmonious state, circumstances and environment will have no effect on it and there will be no disturbance within us. Rev. Pujya Shri Babuji Maharaj observed that miseries are really our best guide and are very helpful in the making of a real seeker. An unwary individual who is ignorant of the causes of this vicious cycle of births and deaths applies his own force to avoid these sufferings and nullify the effect of these sufferings in purely materialistic plane, in the sense of minimizing or even mitigating the pain attached to these sufferings thereby compounding his own miseries tightening the web of cycle. It is unnatural to think of human life without sufferings and miseries. Even the richest people are not free from sufferings. Moreover the individual’s lack of wisdom to realize that it is part of Divine play and his inability to bask in the tenderness associated with these Divine happenings fuels his grief.

The method of Bhog i.e. undergoing of sufferings and results of own actions, advocated by our Divine Masters including the exponents of Gita, to prevent the formations of samskaras is the greatest Gift to the mankind. Sufferings and miseries, if let free and let play natural role, allow us to undergo bogh i.e. the process of exhaustion of samskaras and vasanas. Human resistance to it is what is required to be moderated or otherwise avoided. Our active resistance to it and our efforts to obliterate the pain that springs from the sufferings will be fatal to out spiritual growth in as much as it is against Nature; whereas a passive attitude coupled with Divine Consciousness is germane to our spiritual growth. There is no use frowning on sufferings and difficulties. Any rebellious tendencies would jeopardize our spiritual ways and means. On the other hand a life of quiet desperation would be conducive to spiritual path. There lies the wisdom of the method of Bhog. The method is so powerful that the ancient Sages courted sufferings and miseries. The sufferings and miseries can be translated into potent tools which accelerate the individual’s journey towards the Infinity and help him bypass the cycle of births and deaths. It is common knowledge that an individual abides in God or in the thought of God with utmost devotion only while undergoing suffering or pain attached to it. Seeds of repentance get germinated. To perpetuate that sense of abidance in God or Divine, the Sages welcomed the sufferings and miseries and endured them so that their natural course was never diverted by human intervention. On the contrary, the tendencies to suppress the sufferings and find out means to attain happiness and peace or counter productive.

As regards Grihastha the importance of the method is needless to emphasize. It is Grihastha life which offers greatest power of endurance and tolerance. It is here the bhog is nurtured and fostered. It is a play ground of noblest penances. The wisdom of leaving the social life and residing in forests causing miseries to dependents is fully exposed by our beloved Master. Constant remembrance and regular Sadhana will certainly help in harmonizing mental tendencies and our disposition towards Sufferings and miseries. After all, it is mind and its actions that is the root cause of these sufferings. It agitates over everything that is a source or cause of even slightest displeasure. Our Master eloquently put it that mind is a self appointed despot. The haunting mind always looks for a constant source of worldly happiness thereby unconsciously creating a constant and unabated channel of worries and disappointments. Commandment No.5 states “ Be truthful. Take miseries as Divine blessings for your own good and be thankful.” Such is the attitude to be cultivated in order to achieve complete success in reaching our goal. Detesting the fate in such circumstances is even more counterproductive and will only allow our own soul wean away from us.

Sufferings and miseries should lead to Vairagya. This condition lays down seeds of love and devotion to God and enables a true seeker to turn his attention towards Divine purposes. His vision changes and he begins to think that all the things before him are transient and changing and only unchanging is The Ultimate. A seeker who remembers Master and maintains constant remembrance and Goal clarity even during the period of suffering is bound to make enormous spiritual progress and taste Divine effulgence. Each suffering or misery might cause tidings to reach higher levels of spirituality and ultimately realize the Goal.

The following passage from SILENCE SPEAKS, aptly explains the role of sufferings and miseries in the spiritual career of an aspirant and the ways and means to convert them to our advantage.

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. Even avatars like Rama and Krishna had to undergo miseries so long as they were on this earth. In fact deliverance from pain and sorrow is the main pursuit of life. Mahatma Gandhi is said to have once remarked, `The way to freedom lies through jail!' If we take this world to be a prison-house, the above saying fits in quite appropriately in the spiritual sense also. In utter despair people often wish for an end to life. But in my opinion it shall be far better under such circumstances to pray to God to bestow a life which might be parallel to death.

Sufferings and miseries have their own place in life. Every one has his share of it. Even sages of eminence had their own. Had there been no sufferings in the world, man's thought could never have gone up to the reverse side of it, i.e. the bliss. Thus man's affliction offers him inducement for finding out means of emancipation. In other words they serve as stimulants. We know that coal can be transformed into diamond. That means that a change in the set up gives things a new appearance. A thing becomes useful and pleasing when its set up is right, while lit becomes painful and ugly if it is wrong. The same is the case with afflictions. Our discriminative faculty is so much over shadowed by the hankerings of the mind that we have become quite blind to the real values of things concerned with in life. As a matter of fact every thing in life is for our ultimate good; only we have to learn their proper utilisation so as to turn them to our advantage.(SS-460,461) Undergoing miseries and mental agonies. In fact one can go to the extent of saying the whole success in spiritual path and in pursuing the sole Goal viz., the attainment of Realization, hinges on this balance.

Our Grand Master averred a man born in this world is sure to taste miseries one cannot escape them. He added, as for afflictions and worries, I too had mine which might perhaps be shocking to another. At another stage Grand Master who was suffering from serious iless is said to have remarked, on seeing tears in the eyes of His disciple, that he could cure his disease with in no time but he did not want to meddle with God’s ways.

It is only when a man cultivates anti material activities, giving up attraction or fascination for materialistic world, remembering God even while swimming against tide of sufferings and miseries and elevates himself to extra materialistic horizons, he becomes free from pain of repeated birth and death.

Practice of Ten commandments and PAM only will lead one to the final goal of life and ensures deliverance from pain. That is the natural way. Master emphasized the true importance of the role of sufferings and miseries in one’s life and considered it as a medium of deliverance from worldly entanglements by embedding in into the system’s structure i.e,by enunciating Commandment No. 5. In this message of the Master he concludes “.. which every associate should strive hard to have.” He further added that trouble reminds us of its silent stage. We get comfort in the state of discomfort.. We develop forbearance.. really speaking, the difficulties are the operations of Nature for our good”.

It is a well known saying that as Gold passing through the fire grows more and more glittering so also a seeker passing through and quietly subjugating himself to travails and tribulations grows subtler and subtler more and more devoid of his own power and more and more deserving of Divine Grace.

Fomentation by spiritual guide and Master is the only paneacea for sufferings, miseries etc.