Sunday, January 13, 2013

When the going gets tough

Life is full of ups and downs, joys and sorrows. Amid all these, you need to maintain equanimity, advises Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

In life, happiness and sorrow, ups and downs, respect and disrespect, all happen. In the midst of these, your work is to maintain equanimity. Not everything in this world is sweet. When you face different situations in life, the peace and stability in your life depend upon your faith. There are so many events that take place in life. So many situations arise. Are you able to remain peaceful under all those conditions? When you are going through rough times and you are able to laugh, then understand that you have protection within you. It is the difficult times that tell you how equanimous you are. When everything is going good for you, you may say, “I have a lot of faith and devotion”, but there is nothing great in saying that. When things are not going well and you can still hold on to your faith and devotion, that is true faith, strong faith.


If you do not have faith within yourself and get fearful, then you will fly away into the air, just like the husk. You will be nowhere. You will not have anything to hold on to. Such people lose their value. But if you have faith, you will remain grounded like the grains. When you are at peace and have faith, everything will be alright, and everything will settle. God expects only one thing from you: Your unshakable faith. Not having faith is itself a misery; faith gives instant comfort. While reasons keep you sane and grounded, no miracle can happen without faith. It takes you beyond limitations. In faith, you can transcend the laws of nature, but it needs to be pure.

Make the decision today that “Whatever happens, I will remain grounded. I will remain peaceful, and have faith that God’s protection is here on me. Whatever happens, I will never go down. God will always hold my hand.” This much is enough to pull you up. Faith is your precious wealth. Keep your mind peaceful under all situations. Everything else will be taken care of. Maintain your equanimity. This is all you have to do.


Depression and low feelings cannot touch you. They can do nothing to you. However big the clouds are, they cannot overshadow the sun. It could be the darkest day, but still it will remain day, and those clouds can never bring on the night. So, when clouds are there, you don’t have to shiver. Just go deep, observe and you will see a lot of sensations rising up. Some fears come up. Fear is just a sensation in the body. Agree to it, “All right, let it be. I will dive into it today.” An amazing thing happens within you, a phenomenon. If you try to fight with your feelings, they take a longer time to clear. There is only one way: “Let go” or “Surrender”. Surrender means that which you cannot handle, keep it on a plate and offer it. You cannot handle your own feelings, you cannot handle your own thoughts, your own confusion. Surrender means having trust in love, saying, “Oh, this is too much for me, I feel so bad, please take care of this. Relieve me.” You leave it to God. Then you relax.

Resolve to love and be happy. When you see greater and bigger problems in the world, your problems will appear smaller. The moment your problems appear smaller, you will get the energy and confidence to deal with them. In simple words, serve those who are in greater need. Then take a look at your own life. What is the sorrow that you are afraid of? What is going to happen to you? You have gone through many problems. You passed through that. You have passed through many stumbling blocks in life, which you thought were impossible. Yet you remained untouched by any of them.

Nothing could ever shake you. It appeared to have shaken you at that moment, but later on you found that you were as complete as in the past. Know that even this problem will go and you do have the energy and power to overcome it. You will get self-confidence by understanding and looking at your own past. Also do some breathing exercises and meditation to stay calm.


Most importantly, know that you will always be helped. Have the confidence that you will be helped; a power in the universe is going to help you. You cannot imagine how much you are loved by God. This is what we must keep in our minds — ‘I am so dear to the divine’, and ‘the divine is here, right now’. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says, “When doubt enters the heart of an individual, he is totally lost and becomes miserable”. So make sure you recognise you are most loved by the divine. No more doubt about that, or no more self-doubt. Have the faith that, “I will never be allowed to sink. I may be in water up to the nose, but not above the nose.” And it is very important that we keep our mind happy and contented. Come what may, we have to keep a content mind. A discontented or grumbling mind, even if it gets everything on this planet, will still remain miserable. Nothing whatsoever in the universe can ever give you contentment. You have to bring it to yourself. And when does that happen? It happens when you let go and understand. The formula for happiness is: Purity, clarity and contentment. There is a proverb in The Bible as well that says, “Those who have will be given more, those who do not have, whatever little they have, will also be taken away.” That is very true. In the mind, if there is lack of contentment and you are complaining and grumbling, then you should become aware of it and snap out of that state. You must take responsibility for that, it is very important. Do everything happily. Walk, talk, sit happily; even if you complain against somebody, do it happily.


Nature will put many events in your path to shake your faith but if you hold on, you would have become a perfect person. After that everything will be smooth. If we can quieten our minds, we will be able to establish that connection with God. Then, whatever you desire will no longer remain impossible. Jo ichcha kariho manu maahi, prabhu prataap kachhu durlabh naahin — whatever you wish for, will be fulfilled by God’s grace. Be assured that your work will be done. It might take some time for it to be completed but it will happen for sure. God doesn’t exist in the sky somewhere; He is residing in our hearts. And if we cleanse our hearts, then the divine will-power will emerge from within us and make our aspirations possible. Whatever we want, will be done even before our desiring it. If something doesn’t happen immediately, then it may take some time for the manifestation of the divine will but it will be done, sooner or later. One only needs to have patience and faith.

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