Sunday, June 14, 2009

The 84th Problem

A farmer once went to Lord Buddha and asked him to solve his problems. Buddha asked him what his problems were. The farmer said his problem was sometimes it doesn’t rain, sometimes it rains too much, and sometimes the crops were eaten away by termites. He continued saying he had a nagging wife, his children were showing no gratitude to him and he had gossip mongers in his neighborhood. He thus listed 83 problems. Buddha calmly told him that there was no solution to his problems. On further insistence from the farmer, the Lord told him that he can’t help the farmer solve his problems but can solve his 84th problem. The farmer curiously asked him which the 84th problem was and Lord said the 84th problem is that he doesn’t want any problem.

Well, to a large extent our life and its wants and desires too are like that of the farmer’s. In these times when the markets are shrinking and pink slips are common, the good news is that the no of people visiting sacred places like Shirdi to offer prayers has increased. Prayers send powerful vibrations into the cosmos and create a magnetic field to attract the objects of our prayers. People are however still unhappy, even after their prayers. Most of us want a better boss, a bigger car, a better vacation, an understanding husband/wife so on and so forth. The list is endless just like the 83 problems of the farmer. And when we do not get what we want, even after offering prayers, we become unhappy and instigate suffering. We operate out of our foul, sticky, dirty karma and its residual pain. We do not understand that our karma’s are the reason for our suffering. We would get only what we deserve and not what we ask for. The problem is that our minds are already made up for what we want. We therefore keep tugging at the God’s garment and keep asking for what we think would make our life perfect.

King Ravana was a great follower of Lord Shiva. He did everything to please the Lord. When the Lord was happy, Ravana asked for great power and all the richness of the world. He thought he would become immortal with the great power he got as a blessing from Lord Shiva. The great God had his way though. Ravana was killed by the prince of Ayodhya – Rama in spite of being so powerful. Thus, it is essential to sacrifice everything that we want, for what God wants and let him choose for us. The choices we make with our limited viewpoints make us unhappy and moreover are driven from desire to make ourselves free from difficulty. We avoid things that we think would hurt us and would give us pain.

It is essential that whatever comes tomorrow, we accept it with a smile because that is what God has planned for us. How can the great God be wrong? This however doesn’t mean that we give up. We ought to strive hard through righteousness for what we want because ‘To work we have the right, but not the fruits thereof’ says Krishna in Bhagvad Gita.

We ought to delve deeper to honor and cherish ‘The Tomorrow’ as it’s a gift God has chosen for us, even if he gives it to us with stone face intent. Let us thus evolve ourselves from the tyranny of impoverished thinking and its collective insanity. Enlightenment is not pursuing something. Enlightenment is dropping your pursuit.

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