August 2016

The Lord does that which is best for us always. Even sorrows mould us into better beings. –  Chinmaya

The above quote is meant for practice. The way to practice it is to keep the mind cheerful and undisturbed at all times. A disturbed mind is sure proof that the above teaching is forgotten.

Arthur Ashe, the legendary Wimbledon player was dying of AIDS which he got due to infected blood he received during heart surgery in 1983. He received letters from his fans, one of which conveyed, “Why did God have to select you for such a bad disease?”

To this Arthur Ashe replied, “50 million children enrol themselves to learn tennis;   out of them, 5 million learn tennis;   500 thousand among them learn professional tennis;   from them, 50 thousand come to Circuit;   5 thousand reach Grand slam;   50 reach Wimbledon;   4 reach the semifinals;   2 reach the finals;   and when I was holding the cup in my hand, I never asked God “Why me?” So now that I am in pain how can I ask God “Why me?”

Let us stop this “Why me?” business; instead let us learn to focus our attention upon the hidden blessings which every unfavourable circumstance brings along with it.

In the early years around the turn of the century, a scientist worked on barometers, in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. Part of the research was the routine task of recording the atmospheric pressure under different conditions of weather and temperature. The various readings were noted down on sheets of paper.

He had laboured on this research for over 20 years. A huge stack of his papers was on his table – twenty years of painstaking records which he had accumulated.

At about this time his maidservant of many years took a week’s holiday, leaving a substitute in her place. On the very first day, the scientist went out for his usual evening walk. On his return, he found the familiar mass of old papers missing from his desk. In their place were kept fresh, clean, white blank sheets of papers.

He asked the new maidservant, “Where are my papers which were kept on the desk?” The maidservant explained, “O those old papers? I was cleaning your room sir, and I found so many of those old soiled and stained papers cluttering your table and gathering dust. I have thrown them into the fire and kept new clean sheets of paper for your use.”

Twenty years of labour and research confined to the flames! It was enough to make the gentlest of men angry! But not this man – for he had learnt that there is always a divine purpose for everything that happens.

He did not scold the maidservant. All he said was, “Thy Will be done, O Lord!”

All problems start when we mistake ourselves to be the string-pullers of the cosmic show forgetting that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-pervading Lord at the helm of all affairs.

 The thought occurred to the king that sparrows ate tons of corn which could be saved for human consumption. He announced that a prize would be given for each dead sparrow. The people became hunters and soon there were no more sparrows in the country. The king rejoiced in his great victory.

Barely a year had passed when the king was told that, in the absence of sparrows, caterpillars and locusts had eaten the crops. The king realized the great blunder he had committed and now imported sparrows from abroad to take care of the crops!

The choice is always given to us – whether to seek guidance from God, or to be on our own. The right choice can make an ocean of difference.

A man went to his Guru, complaining of utter fatigue and exhaustion. “Swamiji, I just cannot cope anymore,” he complained. “Please help me!”

The Guru took him to an inner chamber, where there were two clocks on the table. Both were ticking away merrily. One was a clock that needed to be wound every day; the other was connected to the mains with a power cable.

“This clock will keep ticking for no more than 24 hours,” said the Guru, pointing to the first one. “After just one day, it will slow down and begin to lose time gradually. I have to come in every morning and wind it up to keep it going, or else it will soon come to a stop.”

He pointed to the electric clock. “This one, you can see, is connected to a source of high power, and with the energy from that source, it keeps going on and on.

The man stared at the two clocks unable to understand what the Guru was saying.

“You must connect yourself to God – the Source of the highest, purest and the best energy in the Universe,” said the Guru. “Then you will not have to be pushed from outside. No one will have to wind you or give you a boost. You will draw all wisdom and energy of the Universe through your connection with God, and nothing can stop you!”

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