In the world which we live, we are constantly facing some or the other crisis. The first problem that we fear is sickness either ours or our loved ones. Apart from the physical limitations we also have to deal with the financial implications. It is a case of the lion’s lair or the shark’s mouth. The second problem especially of people living in the Middle East is that of job insecurity. This problem escalates if you have children. Then you feel the sword hanging over your head 24*7. What if you or your spouse lose your job in the middle of the school year? You may search for a new job but what if you don’t get? If you decide to return to your home country, will your children get admission in the middle of the year? How to deal with such situations?
Our scriptures have divided our miseries into three:
- Adidaivik: The miseries caused by the demigods like earthquakes, floods, tsunami
- Adibhautik: Miseries caused by other living entities like dengue because of mosquitoes or your colleague creating problems for you at work etc.
- Adhyatmik: Problems caused by your own mind. Why is she staring at me or I am not good enough etc.
But very often, we over selves are the cause of most of the miseries. More often than not it’s our ego the I, me, myself which cause problems for us. Colleague causing problems for you very often than not is the cause of an over inflated ego. (adibhautik), Similarly Adhyatmik Problems too are caused because either you think too much of yourself or too little.
Then you may question how do adidaivik problems arise? As we know we were all living peacefully in the spiritual platform along with the Lord but somewhere the desire to enjoy or Lord arose in us. And so Lord created this material world in which we were supposed to enjoy but at the same time we were supposed to do some prescribed duties. When we did these duties like different yagnas, the demigods would be satisfied and they would bless us with ample rain, food etc. Repeatedly doing these duties would arise our God consciousness and we would start serving the Lord and ultimately return to the spiritual world. But the age of Kali is very troublesome. We tend to forget our duties and we incur the wrath of the demigods in the form of flood, tsunami etc. If you are not a believer and you want a ‘scientific’ explanation then let me explain. We have used this earth, this environment to fulfil our greed. The incessant cutting of trees in the Western Ghats and the subsequent floods is an eye opener to all. I shudder to think with our reckless lifestyle what more is in store for the future.
We have heard about the acronym SOS. SOS or save our souls often used by people who have lost their way in deserts pr wilderness. This acronym holds true for us who have lost our way to the actual goal of life which is going back to Godhead.
- The first thing when crisis hits us is to remember that I am not this body But a spirit Soul. However big the problem is the fact remains that it will not be carried over to your next birth. So don’t panic, this too will pass. The eleventh shloka of the second chapter of the Bhagavad Gita explains this perfectly
asocyan anvasocas tvam prajna-vadams ca bhasase
gatasun agatasums cananusocanti panditah
The Blessed Lord said: While speaking learned words, you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead.
Be dispassionate…try to look at the problem from a third angle. So the important thing is to Observe. Is there any opening in the market for my qualification…can I secure a place for my children in my home town. Don’t panic but observe. Most of our problems are of the body and it helps when we disengage and watch
- Weigh possibilities scratch out what is not feasible.
So what is SOS…we are spirit souls, observe from all angles and scratch out options
What gives strength during moments of crisis?
- Faith in the Supreme Lord. Take all problems as a test
- Something better is planned for me. We say, man proposes but God disposes. That is often true because He has better plans for us.
- Whatever happens we learn something and the experience makes us stronger.
- I am not alone. The Lord stands by Me. As explained in the fifth shloka of Chapter 4 of the Bhagavad Gita sri-bhagavan uvaca
bahuni me vyatitani janmani tava carjuna
tany aham veda sarvani na tvam vettha parantapa
Translation; The Blessed Lord said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy!
So we have never been alone, He has always been with us.
Whatever struggles we face if we are in the path of Krishna consciousness, is a step nearer to Krishna. As Bhagavan says in Bhagavad Gita 4.9
janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so ‘rjuna
One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.
Whatever crisis you come across if you are in the right frame of mind, you lead to Krishna. So take all crises as stepping stones.
(Excerpts from a class taken of 16th October 2018)