Sunday, 25 January 2009

Tolerate provocation

In war times the Germans would suspect that English spies had entered their camp and were leaking information. They would use a trick to expose the intruder. The suspect would be manoeuvred into a situation where their finger got jammed in the door. In that excruciating pain they would shout to the heavens... but in their mother tongue! Their real affiliations became immediately apparent.

In the same way, provoking circumstances in life reveal our true character. We see great personalities like Jesus Christ, who, even when mercilessly tortured, begged for the Lords mercy on the perpetrators, humbly submitting "please forgive them - they do not know". In the Vedic scriptures we find the story of Haridas Thakur, a great saintly devotee of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who was beaten for the practice of his faith, yet remained peaceful, equipoised, and incredibly devoted to God. One's greatness is truly measured by their ability to tolerate provoking circumstances.

The single biggest philosophical argument (and emotional disposition) accounting for atheism, is the problem of evil and the reality of day-to-day suffering. Ancient The Vedas deal with these live issues and provide insight into how such 'suffering' is actually a vital part of one’s character development and spiritual growth. Suffering is viewed from a much broader perspective than the immediate cause and effect, and thus one is able to make a much more mature judgement on it. An easy life may not be the most rewarding life... an easy life may not be the most fulfilling life... and most importantly, an easy life may not be the life where we discover real happiness beyond the temporary illusion.

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