- Swami Satyananda
Suffering and pleasure are two wings of a bird named life. Life is full of ups and down. Sometimes situations are unfavourable then our life becomes miserable for e.g. if things happen not according to our expectations, we are very unhappy. On the other hand if situations are favourable, our joy knows no bounds. Every one likes to be in favourable circumstances always. But that is not possible. Situations and circumstances change not according to our own will but according to God’s will our own karma and destiny. When the unfavourable circumstances arrive, we loose our mental balance and try to change them into favourable circumstance. As it is not possible always, the result is the suffering. Suffering may be physical in the form of disease, mental and emotional in the form of thoughts and their much deeper effects due to the involvement.
The normal reaction to suffering is fighting against it, trying to get rid of it as soon as possible. Suffering can prove to be a guiding force in life if accepted in positive sense. Suffering teaches us our weak points of which we were ignorant before. For e.g. a person becomes angry or annoyed often, sometimes due to a fit of anger, does or says something gravely wrong which he would have never done in the normal circumstances. It renders us helpless and we become aware of a higher force i.e. God whose will is Final. During distress we pray fervently to God. The thought of God is always in our mind and many times it deepens our faith. We realise the strength within ourselves. Suffering also reveals the true nature of worldly people e.g. Fair weather friends leave us. Many a times we are left alone to face the tide which is against us.
Suffering gives us courage to face life and makes us stronger and stronger, increases tolerance, compassion and love for other human beings in the same situations.
Suffering must be accepted as a blessing in disguise. With acceptance comes the inner peace. Instead of fighting, we try to find ways to live in that situation. This gives mental strength and courage. The thought of impermanent nature of world goes deeper by our own experience. Life is a great teacher. We realise that as the good times have passed so the bad times also will pass. This attitude makes us indifferent to the magnamity of present circumstances. The positive thinking gradually takes over the negative thinking. Situations like this should be taken as a challenge e.g. if one thinks that “I am not bothered about it let it remain. I will not be mentally affected by it.” Surprisingly the pain vanishes may be for a short while and mental strength increases which enables us to face the situation in a new light.
In the great epic of Mahabharata pandu queen Kunti asked Krishna “Oh Krishna! Keep me in miserable circumstances, so that I may never forget you.”