In the last couple of days I have talked about this with different people, so would like to put my thoughts down. All of us go through some great times in our life where everything is working out perfectly and then there are times where no matter how hard one tries, things just don’t seem to fall in place. A friend of mine posted this on Facebook. First you must become like a block of stone. Only then you will be established in this sadhana. Now nothing can affect you. Abuse, ridicule, mockery, insult, persecution – none of these can have any influence on you. -Sivananda
While I agree that one could become like a stone and block all the above mentioned out, not be affected by them, but why? They could be signs from the Universe for our own spiritual growth. By resisting these, getting irritated or aloof we may be questioning the plan existence has for us. Instead I would say, let-go, accept it with the core of the being. Be a sailor that accepts the calm waters with the same zeal as the high seas and then we will truly enjoy the ocean. I would like to share an important piece of Sikh history that I always try to remember when the going gets tough.
During the time of Mughal Emperor Jahangir the Sikhs were led by the fifth Nanak, Guru Arjan Devji who is considered a great poet-philosopher who compiled the Adi Granth or the first version of Guru Granth Sahib. The Mughals were getting wearing of the growing social influence of the Sikh philosophy and tried to undermine it using various means. When all else failed they asked Guru Arjan Devji to either accept Islam or he will be executed.
He decided to keep his faith and underwent severe forms of torture like sitting on a hot plate, while hot sand and boiling water was being poured over him. When they realized it wasn’t breaking his resolve, he was let go. When the Guru came back among his followers the first thing he said was:
Tera Kiya Metha lage, naam padarath Nanak mange (whatever you ordain appears sweet. I supplicate for the gift of name)
To me he seems incapable of saying anything negative, for saying it would be going against the Universe, against the One Light. It is similar to the crucification of Jesus Christ who also accepted his fate as divine will and said something on the lines that if you are slapped on one cheek then offer the other.
Now I also understand that they were realized masters and it is very difficult to follow this in daily life. Many a times I fall into this trap and get mad at people or the situation, maybe say something nasty or just cuss at them from inside when I feel that I or someone close to me has been wronged. However, I also try to remind myself that sometimes this might be a product of my own thoughts and actions. Maybe I annoyed them in some way and they are just channeling some pent up emotions or I took some decisions in the past that are now manifesting in troublesome situation. In each of these occasions having a negative attitude has not helped even one bit, not for me and not for the other party. But, whenever I’ve taken a step back and not confronted the situation, accepted it as it is and only given back positive thoughts, words and actions it has had a tremendous impact both on me and them. This doesn’t mean that I become passive aggressive and just give up my voice. By all means we should stand-up for what is just and right but there is no need to become overzealous about it.
The way I would look at life experiences both good and bad is that they are all the same, all part of the same divine play. However, as we grow mentally or more so spiritually the understanding and realization of the lessons around the life events become deeper. It is as if the Diver in a Coral Reef has let go of fear and has delved deeper in the Ocean and found a more profound existence that might have not been experienced before. I understand it when Swami Rama says that by cultivating Inner Peace we can be happy both in the external and inner world. I liked the post by Ek Ong Kaar Kaur on letting-go.
I would like to end with a poem from the Sufi philosopher Mevlana Jalaludin Rumi who is explaining what Allah communicated to Prophet Mohammed:
He said to him; I am your tongue, your eye
I am your senses, your contentment and your anger.
Go, be detached! That one who hears through Me
And Sees through Me is you.
Not only are you the possessor of the secret,
But you are the secret too.
Ooh and a comic strip I found on xkcd which I think is funny 🙂 Please share your thoughts and experiences, I would really appreciate it.
Dear Brijdeep ji,
Wow. Thank you for sharing this. I really love the analogy that you use of the ocean and how to navigate it. The Diver, the Sailor – those are Nam to my understanding. That steady, directing, conscious awareness within you – to experience that is what Nam is. And that Nam is what maintains us through all the changes of life, death and beyond. It’s the gift of meditation and Gurbani.
Grateful that you were inspired to write about it so eloquently.
God bless you.
Ek Ong Kaar Kaur
Sat Sri Akal Ek Ong Kaarji
Thanks for your kind words. Guru Nanak Devji says “Vaheguru Naam Jahaj hain, jo chadhe so utre paar“, that is, the name of the lord is the ship you can ride to cross to the other side. I look at the Nam, Meditation and Gurbani as the Sailboat, the Guru as the Captain who knows the route and me the lowly Sailor who is hitching a ride.
Vaheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Vaheguru Ji ki Fateh