Friday, 18 June 2010

This too shall pass

Human mind is a complex system of thoughts, thoughts and thoughts. And the  moment something goes wrong it has the overwhelming power of whining over it, hovering over it, refusing to defocus its attention. At that moment we feel as if its the end of the world, insomnia creeps in and the big question 'Why Me??'  wakes up like a monster waking out of its slumber. We don't see the end of the tunnel...we feel that its not going to end...That's the time when we have to tell ourselves again and again-'This too shall pass'...for it will definitely pass. Instead of grinding our teeth against the person or situation causing the misery we can very well concentrate on our recovery. We can engage in things making us happy. Making someone else's life miserable just because they did something to you doesn't make your life any better. Time to focus all the attention to yourself, your health, physical and mental and make your life better. I have met people in despair, and have found that a word or two with compassion and empathy can bring them back to normal. It may not be drastic, overnight, but strong belief that 'This too shall pass' can do magic. I remember a verse from Bhagavat gita at this moment.

uddhared atmanatmanam
natmanam avasadayet
atmaiva hy atmano bandhur
atmaiva ripur atmanah
"One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.

The power of accepting the situation and moving on is very well illustrated in Mahabharata by the character of Pandavas mother Kunthi devi. This was recited by Swami Utit Chaitanyaji in his recent discourse about Bhagavat Gita in Singapore and I consider myself blessed to listen it from him in person. Mahabharatha by Veda Vyasa is an Indian epic. It depicts the rivalry between Pandu's sons, the Pandavas and Dritharashtra's sons, the Kauravas. Kunthi devi is the mother of Pandavas and Gandhari is the mother of Kauravas. The story leads to the 18 day war called Kurukshethra where Krishna discloses the eternal truth called 'Bhagavat Gita' to Arjuna.The incidents which are of our significance here happens towards the end of the war. Pandavas by the help of Krishna were defeating the opponents one by one and when Gandhari came to know that destiny is not favouring her pedigree she wanted to give a boon to her Son Duryodhana and asked him to come to her and seek blessings. Krishna on knowing this coaxed Duryodhana to go dressed up and while Gandhari was transferring her power acquired over years to her son, it fails to traverse the dress worn by him. Gandhari knows that its done by none other than Krishna. The war proceeds and in the fight between Bhima and Duryodhana, Krishna hints Bhima to hit Duryodhana on his thighs which didnt receive the power from Gandhari even though hitting below the waist is against the law of war with clubs. Bhima does accordingly and kills Duryodhana. On seeing his son's state, standing depressed in the Kurukshethra, unable to accept whatever happend Gandhari curses Krishna with all her might.

On the other hand, Kunthi Devi had to witness her son Arjuna killing her first born Karna, also by the help of Krishna. When Arujuna comes to seek her blessing after the victory, Kunthi devi could neither cry nor smile for one of her son was killed by another son. Herself and Krishna are the ones who knows the truth and when she sees Krishna, she doesn't burst out like Gandhari, instead prayed to Krishna to give more miseries in her life so that she will grow closer and closer to God. In times of rejoice and happiness seldom do we think about God, but when misery strikes, we seek God.

Here Gandhari unable to accept what had happened , burst out and made her life as well other other people's life horrible. The curse did hit the character Krishna badly and resulted in wiping off his entire pedigree from the face of earth. For Kunthi Devi it was her matured and strong mind which accepted the reality and sought the best out of it in the form of blessing...She knew that like waves in the ocean, things come and go in life, but in the end the wastness of ocean remains and when each wave comes, we have to keep reminding ourselves that 'this too shall pass'...for it will definitely pass.

Life goes on and on.... -picture courtesy Sajeev



  1. good thought bindu , but at one point .. this thought came.." god gives pains so that we remember him...isn't that sadistic..?" i have heard of this though often but now it just popped up...for me God is love and everything about him is love .eternal unconditional love that resides in you and me....

  2. True, God is not existing to punish us!! May be in our ancient times, this kind of belief was propagated to prevent people from doing evil. This story is about accepting the reality. It happened, accept and move on, which is very tough. I experienced it when my mom passed away. It was very tough to comeout of it. And in mystery a theist can come out holding on to God, while it will be tougher of an atheist to come out. (thanks to JC for one informative article on this.)God is a relief, people can blame him, love him still he keeps on loving us unconditionally....