Friday, January 21, 2011

Happiness Amidst Hardships

This week in kishore/kishori sabha, we are tasked with presenting the hardships of Shriji Maharaj's paramhanso. We know off the bat that many of them pushed the limits for how much we could actually tolerate. Can we come close to replicating their situation?

What if we were minding our business one day while crossing the street at the appropriate signal and got hit by a drunk driver. A few hours later, we awake in the hospital to learn that we could no longer use any of our limbs - hands or feet - then what? Certainly, we would despair.

Let's take another step back. What if we never had four limbs? We would never know what it feels like to throw a football in a perfect spiral, what it would feel like to squish mud between our feet before getting yelled at by our parents, or even what it would be like to drive a car.

Think no more, for there is an individual in our world today who never had four limbs from birth. How miserable must his life be for him.

Clearly, he's not that miserable. His name is Nick Vujicic, and he was born without limbs. Today, he travels around the world as a motivational speaker. In this video, Nick has clearly everything going against him, but we can see that if he prefers to be thankful for what he has and not bitter (4:30-4:59).

In Satsang, that's a sentiment we may stumble upon every now and then, "Why was I born into it? My non-satsangi friends have so much more to enjoy than me because I'm constrained by this curse."

"Curse" is a strong word along with "constrained," but our conditions can not match that which Nick faces or the paramhanso faced in their time. They prevail from their understanding: Nick and the paramhanso perceived their hardships to be energizing not exhausting.

For the paramhanso, the hardships were opportunities to fulfill their faith to Shriji Maharaj and His cause. From the likes of Anandanand Swami, Atmanand Swami, and even Muktanand Swami, we see repeatedly that they perceived their conditions to be not a curse but a blessing.

Ultimately, we must decide whether Satsang is a curse or a blessing to us all. Curses exhaust us while blessings energize us. Deep down, we know which one will prove the most beneficial to us in the end making this choice all the more easy.

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