“I will look upon life as God’s dream drama and also dream-entertainment. I will accept as His gift whatever comes to me in life.”
These were the words written by Swamiji in the Brahmachari vow (and others) as he established the Nayaswami order – a renunciate order for the new age.
Ever since reading this sentence, I’ve always wondered how our lives would be transformed if we just internalize this single truth – “I will accept as His gift whatever comes to me in life.”
Too often, however, we think to associate only the good things with God’s grace or Guru’s grace. When we meet each other and ask “How are you?”, a common reply is – “All’s well due to His grace.”
The fact of the matter, as I’ve often thought about, is even if nothing’s going well, it’s His grace. Whatever we experience in our lifetime – the pleasures and the pains – are given to us for one singular purpose – to grow spiritually.
Whether we learn from them or not, is entirely up to us. But the drama will keep repeating itself until we learn the lesson it’s come to teach us. In that sense, every difficulty that Guruji and Divine Mother put in our way is an important opportunity to learn and practice attunement.
Every obstacle is a manifestation of their grace pushing us to learn our lessons, and graduate from the school of life to the Eternal Kingdom of His Bliss!
Recently, I went to visit my grandmother in Madhya Pradesh, India. Her health was far worse than what she portrayed on a telephone call. She was optimistic and cheerful so much so that one couldn’t believe that she was suffering from the kind of diseases she had.
Every time she had a pain that was unbearable she exclaimed – “He Ram Ji!” To an aspiring devotee like me, it was an inspiring example of attunement with God. Even in moments of pain when one desperately gropes for any medicine that will do the trick, she had the strength to say – “Lord Shiva is with me. Of what avail are these medicines?”
To my disappointment, soon after reaching her place with the intention of helping her, I myself got a bad sprain in my upper back that confined me to the bed for almost three days.
However, it was in this period when I deeply reflected on the statement – “I will accept as His gift whatever comes to me in life.” Instead of resisting the pain, lamenting about why it happened to me, I accepted everything without a drop of a complaint. Sure, from time to time, it was frustrating to not be able to take care of my grandmother. But I was mostly busy looking for opportunities for attunement and learning the lesson this brief suffering had to teach me.
As I returned to Delhi I started experiencing a few symptoms of Covid-19 including shortness of breath and weakness. A couple of days later, I was tested positive. For most people, the news of being Covid positive comes with a bucket full of stress.
But you see, the fun of being devotees and disciples of a great master is that we know of other ways to heal the mind, body, and soul. As disciples, we know the power of attunement and how it can lift us from our suffering.
And so here are some ways I am trying to stay in tune:
Avoid watching the TV or listening to worldly music. In times of sickness and disease, it’s tempting to consume content passively and shrink into a spirit of subconsciousness. Low energy is a characteristic trait of most physical ailments but as devotees, we need to instead work on raising our consciousness. That alone, though arduous, is the panacea to most problems of mankind.
One practice that I recently picked up from Swami Sivananda was tracing the symbol of Om (ॐ) on my thigh using my finger. I first came across this exercise in Nayaswami Bharat’s book, Aum: The Melody of Love. With every tracing, I imagined the power of the mighty AUM and Divine Mother’s love bless me.
Praying for others: As we know, the instrument is blessed by the power that flows through it. Praying also helps us expand our sympathies beyond our little physical bodies and our own pains thereby helping us raise our consciousness.
Listen to talks by Swamiji, his soulful music and read books by Master, Swamiji and learn more about the spiritual path.
Keeping my attention at the point between my eyebrows. Focusing on the spiritual eye is a wonderful way to “rise above” the pain you may feel during such times. When the mind is busy with loftier ideals, everything works itself out.
Of course, I made it a point to never skip my Sadhana – meditation, chanting, energization, and so on. Even if your conditions don’t make you feel like doing them, start with them anyway. The joy you experience will carry you to completion.
These couple of days taught me more about attunement than a hundred talks or readings. In times of difficulty, our only true security lies in Him. Everything else – being a part of Maya – never keeps its promises!
Times of suffering are thus a great blessing. They light the inner divine fire of discrimination that burns all our (delusional) obstacles. I’ll leave you with the words of this beautiful chant:
“Lord when in darkness, Lord in confusion, always I’ll follow Thee. If I grieve or lose my way, only Thou canst comfort me. All I live for is to love Thee, my beloved friend”