A FEW GRAINS OF MUSTARD
“The soul that gives thanks can find comfort in everything;
the soul that complains can find comfort in nothing.”
My problems and my suffering are always mine… They are ‘big’… till I see someone else’s problems and suffering and realize how ‘small’ mine are. When I am stuck in my own ‘selfish’ world of self-pity and blame, I can never see how small my problems and suffering are… It is all about I, me and myself.
Acceptance, I know, is the key to end my suffering. But, acceptance doesn’t come to me easily. When it does, it, invariably, comes via the long route called – ‘resistance’…
Yes, when I am grief-stricken, I cry and keep asking ‘Why me?’... I throw resistance… I remain a victim.
I have come to realize, that the state of acceptance is a state of grace… Only prayerful and grateful hearts are blessed with this state.
Life has problems and I am not alone in this… There are millions of people out there with problems far worse than mine. So, there is no point in complaining… No point in blaming.
Yes, we need our dear ones to help us sail through our troubled times. They can’t solve our problems… as we can’t solve theirs. But, we can be fine sounding boards to each other… It helps bring in right perspective.
So often, when I am faced with challenges, ironically, I come across a soul who seeks my helping hand. And, in the process of helping him to sail through his troubled waters, I find the way out of my own!
This, too, I consider a state of grace!
A story in Buddha’s life comes to my mind…
A young woman, by the name Kisa Gautami, who is happily-married to a wealthy man, has just lost her one-year-old only son. Understandably, she is heart-broken and she takes the dead baby in her arms and knocks one door after another pleading if anyone of them can bring the baby back to life and end her sorrow.
No one can…
Finally, she comes to Gautama. “Master, have mercy on me,” she cries with her heavy heart, “Please bring my baby back to life and end my sorrow.”
The Buddha listens to the grief-stricken woman with lots of empathy and gently tells her, “Woman, there seems to be only one solution to your grief… Keep the baby here… Go and get me five-six grains of mustard from any house in the village where death has not visited.”
The woman feels relieved on hearing Buddha’s suggestion. She goes from one house to another but finds no house where death has not visited. She comes back to the Buddha, a lot peaceful, by now…
The message has gone home: “Life has problems (including death)… But, to suffer or not to suffer is, always, our choice!”
The great poet, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, had said it in his famous line: “Aur bhi gham hai zamane me”…
Our problems and grief, therefore, are small… nothing. Yes, whether we like to believe it or not, Life has graver problems and sorrows!
This morning, my brother, Vivek, had sent this video to me as his daily Good-morning message. I hope to end my Post with it…
Pic.: Anil Bedi