April 2009

The suffering of each depends, not upon the factual happenings, but upon the texture of each one’s mind. – Chinmaya

“Why do good people suffer?”

This is one of the frequently asked questions all over. A Mahatma gave a beautiful reply. “Good people never suffer. If they suffer, then they are not truly good!”

The entertainer of ignoble thoughts is punished then and there in the form of disturbances in the mind. One has no choice but to suffer these mental disturbances if the mind is allowed, consciously or unconsciously, to wallow in negative and base thoughts.

Therefore the solution lies in improving the texture of our thoughts by inculcating noble values like honesty, humility, gratitude, compassion etc. The mind has to be trained in such a way that even the greatest tragedies happening to us should be seen only as a blessing and an opportunity to grow.

It was in 1914. A huge fire engulfed the entire laboratory of Thomas Alva Edison (a renowned scientist and the inventor of the electric bulb). The laboratory was worth two million dollars with all the modern equipments. Moreover, it also contained all the manuscripts of Edison in which he had noted down all his observations and findings. The flames had already gone beyond control. Edison, looking at these huge flames with great wonder called his son near and said, “Charles! Go and call your mother! She will never be able to see such a wonderful sight in her lifetime!”

The next day, as he was strolling around the ashes of his burnt hopes and dreams, Edison, already 67years old, with his white hair flowing in the air, said to himself, “There is one good thing about this disaster. All my mistakes are burnt. Thank God. We can start afresh!”

For the one who has cultivated devotion for the Lord, this attitude is but natural. He knows that whatever God decides for us is always the best because all His decisions are based on His infinite love for us. A devotee has total trust in His justice and he knows that all problems are sent by the Lord only to make him perfect.

There was an old man who had to undergo lots of struggles, pain and sufferings throughout his life. He had been an abandoned child – an orphan. When he grew up, he lost both his legs in an accident. And yet, he always wore a lovely smile!

Once a group of spiritual seekers approached him and asked, “Sir how do you continue to smile amidst so much pain and suffering?”

The old man, with a genuine surprise, replied, “I am afraid you have come to the wrong address! I am 73 years old and in all these years I have never had to face any difficulty! The Lord has always been good to me and protected me in His mercy. How can I teach you how to smile in the midst of difficulty?”

For a true devotee of God, even the sufferings are nothing but prasadam from the Lord. Thus for him, all the sufferings taste sweet! This happens when he sees the guiding and consoling hand of the Lord in and through these sufferings. Such a one sees only Bhagawan’s leelas everywhere and at all times irrespective of the nature of factual happenings.

O   M         T   A   T         S   A   T

Posted in: Chintana

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