THERE ARE NO FREEWAYS TO HEAVEN
Pic.: Usha Prasadh
”If the room is dark for twenty years, it doesn’t take
another twenty years to bring light in.”
- Sri Sri Ravishankar
There is no direct road to heaven… No short-cut, no express-ways or flyovers… and, certainly there are no ‘freeways’…
The road to heaven ‘has to be’ through this world – through its plateaus, plains and mountains… through its jungles and deserts, rivers and seas… through its conflicts, sorrows, joys and jubilation…
None of, here, wants life to be tough. But, the life ‘is’ tough. All of us want our problems to go, once and for all. But, they don’t.
The more we try to shut ourselves from the problems and sufferings of this world, the more and more they come to haunt us… Closing our eyes to the reality of this world will not help us… Opening our eyes to them, will!
Prince Siddhartha’s father, the King, did not want his little son to see and experience the problems and sufferings of the world. He ensured that the child remained within the confines of the luxurious palace and experience only happiness… He wanted his son to become a King and not a sage…
But, one day, the Prince came out of the palace and saw the reality… of sickness, old-age, death and the bliss of being Wise. So, though he hadn’t, yet, experienced the problems and suffering of this world, he now decided to walk out of his palace and find the answers for his questions: “Why is there sorrow and misery in this world? Why is there unhappiness? And, how to find true joy, the peace?
So, Siddhartha’s quest took him to the forests… where he spent years and years ‘experimenting’… fasting and torturing himself, almost, to death. And, one day, sitting quietly under that Peepal Tree – which, we now call ‘the Bodhi Tree’ – he became an enlightened one… the Buddha!
Why did Siddhartha have to spend so many years in the forests doing all that ‘nonsense’? Why couldn’t he sit under the Bodhi Tree on the very first day and become the Buddha instantly?
I keep telling myself and all around me, this: “You become a Buddha, always, in a flash. But, you need to be in the forests, for years, doing what he did!”
And, I keep reminding myself and all around me, this, too: Our problems will no more be ‘problems’ and our suffering will no more be ‘suffering’ the day we ‘open our eyes’… the day we become the Buddhas… Yes, all that we need to do is: Open our eyes!
The other day, I heard, in one of the videos, Sri Sri Ravishankar telling this:
”If the room is dark for twenty years, it doesn’t take another twenty years to bring light in. it just needs one connection, one switch on and the whole darkness goes away. Your life may have been miserable in the past, but wake up and see. Look at your past, problems came and they have all vanished. Right? The problem is not there. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional!"Top of Form
Don’t we all know this?