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Living beyond ‘Relief’ – part 2

“For fast acting relief, slowdown”

– Lily Tomlin

When one seeks love, peace becomes a concomitant by-product. If you aim to reach the sky, you may hit the roof. But if your ambition is mere peace, pain is a constant accompanying factor. Imagine three students studying for their twelfth standard board exams. One aspires to get into the prestigious IIT after his exams while the other seeks to become a MBBS doctor from the highly ranked AIIMS. The third one has a goal of getting mere 35% marks, the minimum passing percentage in his annual tests. Who amongst the three would surely secure the minimum passing marks? The ones who nursed a bigger ambition would surely get a minimum of 35% but if 35% is one’s avowed goal, he may just about make it.

If we aim higher, seeking love of God, then peace from the daily miseries would be a non-issue. We’d happily tolerate inconveniences, for we now seek a loving relationship with our Lord. It’s similar to a young boy or a girl in love travelling in the packed local trains, knowing he’s going to meet his beloved. The anticipation in love helps one face inconveniences. A devotee of God feels divine happiness when connected to the Lord, hence the hardship of this world is a small price he pays to reunite with his ‘lover’.

A friend of mine travelled in the local trains, and he hated it. But he had little choice as he had to rush to office during peak hours. One day however a friend gave him a pass for a cricket match. The next day he’d have to travel to the stadium to watch his favorite Indian team play a match. Sure enough, he arrived and enjoyed the match and returned home contended. He shared an interesting realization the following day. He said when he travelled for the match, the trains were as crowded as every other day, yet he felt no irritation because of the excitement he anticipated at the cricket ground. He was all the time envisioning the match that he’d watch; so absorbed was he in his meditation that he became oblivious to the crowded trains or the pushing and swearing passengers. In fact, he felt ‘nourished’ by the whole journey.

Parallel to this is a devotee’s consciousness; he too feels oblivious to external sufferings in the world when he carries the ‘pass’ of loving remembrance of God in his heart. As he anticipates participating in the joyful spiritual activities, he does the needful at the worldly level, and that doesn’t trouble him.

Some advanced practitioners even feel nourished by the worldly challenges as that helps them increase their loving remembrance of God.

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