Author Topic: Why do miseries come and go?  (Read 7155 times)

Subramanian.R

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Why do miseries come and go?
« on: February 07, 2010, 09:31:00 AM »
Once Devaraja Mudaliar observed that a devotee who had come to
the Asramam lose his bag containing money, plantain fruits and
some clothes.  The monkeys had taken them when he had left the
bag near the office.  He became very said since he had lost all
money and there was not even any money for his return journey.
All devotees took pity on him.  Devotees were asking among themselves why these miseries when a devotee had come for
Bhagavan's darshan.  This was informed to Bhagavan also.  Bhagavan, as usual, kept quiet.

After some time, the monkeys which had taken only the fruits threw away the bag and the devotee picked it up with great joy.

Devaraja Mudaliar (who was never tired of asking questions to
Bhagavan), asked Bhagavan Ramana: "Bhagavan!  Why these miseries first come about and why these miseries go away after
a period of anxiety and sorrow.  If God had been kind, why should
the miseries happen at the first instance?"

Bhagavan Ramana replied, after some silence:  "Unless such miseries happen and then go away, the human beings will not
think about God and his grace!"  Devaraja Mudaliar was pleased
with the answer.

*

Without a seed, You shall grow grains and harvest them.
You shall make and unmake the worlds at your sheer will.
You have made this lowly dog, stand at the gates
of Your Temple like a man in frenzy.
You made this wastrel to be loved by all your great devotees.
Will You ( a gardener) cut off the tree that he has grown,
Just because it produces poisonous fruit?
I am also like that, O my Lord.

  - Tiruchadakam, Holy Hundred. Verse 10.6.  Tiruvachakam.
    Manikkavachagar.

(Source:  My reminiscences - Devaraja Mudaliar.)

Arunachala Siva.

SLakshmi

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2010, 04:37:01 PM »
Subramaniam Sir,

this episode reminds me of a conversation between bhagavan and a devotee. I remember reading it somewhere and although not verbatim, the gist of the conversation was something like this..

Devotee: bhagavan, whenever some painful moments trouble me, i think of god and slowly it all vanishes..

Bhagavan: Imagine, if you always thought of god, nothing would even trouble you in the first place!


Subramanian.R

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2010, 06:08:38 PM »
Dear SLakshmi,

If one always thinks about God, he will develop a high level
of surrender and non-attachment.  So for such a person, even
if miseries come, 1) God will quickly remove them or make them
become "thin" so that he can put up with them.  or 2) he will
never "feel" the miseries at all.  If they come or not, what does
he bother?

1) This is often said in Saiva Siddhantam.  Prarabdha will be
"thinned", so that what comes for the head will take away only
your helmet and you will be safe, but for the damage to the
helmet!  There is one story of a boy eaten away by a crocodile
and brought alive after five years by Sundaramoorthy Swamigal,
one of the first 4 of Saiva devotees.  The detailed story later.....

2)  This is often said by Bhagavan Ramana.  Miseries would come
because of Prarabdha, but you would have overcome your mind-
body consciousness, that you will not "feel" them.  All pains and
miseries, why, even happiness and pleasures are only for the
mind and body.  Is it not?

Arunachala Siva. 

SLakshmi

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 09:07:19 AM »
 I think there have been several instances of such grace by bhagavan. Of the many..i can recall bhagavan asking one of his childhood friend, rangan, to stay with him for a period of few days, when the time according to his horoscope was not good. Also, the same rangan when faced with sleepless nights was woken up by bhagavan and assured that the thing troubling him will soon be resolved. Accordingly, rangan got a job of Rs.10,000 p.a and was able to get his daughters married.

I think everywhere, at all times, people have faced the same problem. Even today, when [touchwood] the world is without war, people have jobs that pay well [IT is an instance], home-loans are easier and luxury appartments are a necessity [what with power-back up and all] dont we still moan and groan that what we get isnt enough! The other day when i was having a conversation with a neighbout friend, she told me not to romantacise the past era. She said women had it very difficult, there was poverty everywhere, war was looming large, people had big families and ofcourse joint-family system had its own travails! But i say...how better are we now?! Malgudi days for instance was a big hit...ofcourse because of the story but also because of its innate simplicity..which is so lacking today. Everything being glitzy and glamorous..the beauty of innocence and just being true and simple is lost. I think today...whatever problems we face,especially economically or otherwise is our own doing and because of our own unrealistic aspirations...which never seem to be satiated.

For instance, If i have to invite people over for dinner..more than the cooking I am always worried about the presentation. My mother used to serve people in the ever-silver 'thattu' with the usual utensils at home. The focus was more on whole-some home cooked food...which was tasty and satisfying...which most often than not, people had stomach full and went home happy. Now ofcourse..the focus is on the 'china' used, the cutlery and crockery and what not..!! and dare i serve sambar, parappu sadam or thogayal! Now, I have to dish out cheese balls and rumali roti to go with dum aloo!!

I think i sound pretty old fashioned for my age..and have rambled a lot....apologies  ;D

Subramanian.R

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2010, 10:11:43 AM »
Dear SLakshmi,

Nice anecdote.  Bhagavan Ramana helped Ranga Iyer (Rangan)
in many ways to get over his difficulties. It is all Guru's Grace,
that worked miracles in Rangan's life.  He also did that for
Jagadeeswara Sastri, who suffered from colon cancer and was
nearing death in Tiruvannamalai hospital.  When doctors asked
Bhagavan Ramana how to proceed further, He merely told them
to continue a particular medicine.  Jagadeeswara Sastri got cured
and came back to the Hall soon.  He was present when Kapali
Sastri was reading Ramana Gita Prakasa in the presence of
Bhagavan Ramana.  Kapali Sastri became speechless seeing his
survival, even though Sastri looked very weak and thin, he was
alive and kicking and lived a few more years.  He did with the
young boy Ramanan, when the latter was bitten by a snake and
was black and blue nearing death.  Bhagavan Ramana touched him
and he got well.

But Bhagavan Ramana did not want to do such miracles at the drop of His hat.  He did occasionally.  He once told that if He started
raising the dead or near-dead people everyday, then the Asramam
would be filled with corpses!  That was not His mission!

Arunachala Siva.       

SLakshmi

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 11:24:43 AM »



On re-thinking ...I dont know why i said what i said in my previous post! Coz..we all go through problems in life and i forget each time that 'prarabdha karma' of a person decides what happens to him. Also, i guess no difficult situation is trivial or welcomed upon by a person...it is the circumstances...

...also probably its not a bad thing after all to be aspirational...it motivates you to achieve bigger things in life..besides...who am i to say such things...when i myself live in a apartment with a back-up and other facilities...

...and so the ramble continues....

P.S - Subramanian Sir...you did a wise thing not reacting to the other half of the post!

Subramanian.R

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2010, 11:26:40 AM »
Dear SLakshmi,

Very true.  So long as our wants are genuine and just adequate
for our living (with minimum wants),  Bhagavan Ramana surely
helps if one surrenders to Him.  Death is a certainty and Bhagavan
Ramana does not interfere with it everytime, and perhaps very
rarely.  Sickness and ailments - yes, He will cure to the extent
that our prarabdha permits.  

Once there was a purohit of Sri Mathrubhuteswara Temple.  He
had some problem with his legs and he could not move about
much.  He could not attend to the Puja functions. But he took it
with perserverence, praying only for Deliverence.  Sri Ganesan, the eldest of the three brothers went and saw him in the latter's house.  Ganesan said:  "Sastri! You have done so much guru seva for Bhagavan.  But still, Bhagavan does not help you, look at your "kaal" - in Tamil leg.  Sastri smiled and said:  "Ganesa!  Why do you blame Bhagavan for this "kaal" - leg?  My "mukkaal" is alright, you know, with Bhagavan's grace.  And I am satisfied."

Even in that miserable state, Sastri punned on the words "kaal"
and "mukkaal".  Kaal in Tamil also means one-quarter.  Mukkaal
means three-quarters.  His three quarters, i.e. rest of his body
is okay, with Bhagavan's Grace.  Then why should he much bother
about only the leg, one quarter?

This is the way, one should take Bhagavan's grace, if he is a
sincere devotee.

Arunachala Siva.    

SLakshmi

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2010, 11:48:36 AM »
true Subramanian Sir...minimum wants is the key. I liked the rangan story because Sh. Rangan was not asking for anything beyond want bothered him at that moment. but i guess the minimum want theory also has to been to seen differently at different points of time. Then and Now. Somehow to me...bhagavan's time...seen in photographs are very inspiring and beautiful! I would do anything to be taken back in time and work as a school teacher and go along with T.K Sundaresa Iyer after school-hours to the ashram and come home early next day! Even my childhood in the 80's and going to my village house and melattur for vacation was all awesome!

Subramanian.R

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2010, 11:54:36 AM »
Dear srkudai,

Why?  Why?  Why?

I think this is where the question of prarabdha (un-thinnable)
comes into play.  The same Bhagavan Ramana did not help
Mahalakshmi Amma, who lost her three children, one after another,
after a few months of their coming to this world. In fact, Mahalakshmi Amma, had one child given a spoon of rice cooked
in milk by Bhagavan Ramana as the 'first feeding" Anna prasanam.
To the second child, she asked Bhagavan Ramana to apply vibhuti
on its forehead and Bhagavan Ramana hesitated and was eventually forced by Mahalakshmi Amma to do that.  The children did not survive.  Why?  Was Bhagavan Ramana partial as between Ramanan
the little boy who was rescued from snake-bite vis a vis the three children of Mahalakshmi Amma? No. He could not have been.  As a complete Jnani, He had sama-dhrushti on all living beings.

But here, the credit goes to Mahaakshmi Amma.  She bore it
with Himalayan forbearance, like Sastri of the Mathrubhuteswara
Temple.  

There are such stuff, Horatio!
In heavens and earth,
That you may never know!  

                          - Shakespeare.

Arunachala Siva.

viswanathan

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2010, 12:56:26 PM »
Our sastra has a very clear answer for our sufferings & enjoyments and the answer  is the theory of karma.In tamil it is said that "vinai vithaithavan vinai aruppan" meaning of which same as the saying in Christianity ie "As you so you reap".There is no escape from that unless we attain jnana and as per Bhagavan Ramana, once a person attains jnana all the three karma's, ie, sanchita,prarabdha and agami go away.We know many incidences of  Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba having cured  the ailments of many devotees..In this context, I wish to mention an incidence told by a friend of mine.His relative was suffering from some serious ailment  and the patient was brought to Bhagavan Sathya Sai baba for cure and  Baba told  that it is his  prarabdha karma and hence cannot be cured.We all know that Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa,Bhagavan ramana and Yogi Ram Surat kumar had cancer and Swami Vivekananda had diabetes.However theses sages were not affected by these  ailments  since they have not identified with the body whereas we the ajanis identify with the body and suffer and feel miserable

viswanathan

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2010, 01:06:17 PM »
In my earlier post on the subject,i made a typographical mistake.The proverb As you sow you reap was wrongly typed as As you so you reap.The error is regretted.The mistake is due to my vision problem

matthias

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2010, 01:26:08 PM »
dear skrudai

I in my humble opinion think that a jnani, is here for one porpuse: to awake us to our true condition....

and I dont think that anything else should matter too much..

but that is just my opinion


Subramanian.R

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2010, 02:05:18 PM »
Dear viswanathan,

Yes, I agree, the "Vinai" our karmas bear fruits either in the form
of happiness or miseries. This the basic tenet of Hinduism, the
concept of Prarabdha etc.,  Very rarely, very rarel, I repeat, that
effect of this Prarabdha is minimised.

Dear matthias,

I agree.  The prime mission of a Brahma Jnani is to show the
way to deliverence and nothing else.

Dear prasanth,

Yes. If one is a realized Jnani, then he has no ego and body
and hence the effect of prarabdha is not felt by him, since
he is drowned in the greater experience of bliss of the Self.
Bhagavan Ramana mentioned in Sad Darsanam, the story of
three wives becoming widows simultaneously when the husband
dies.  eg. King Dasaratha.  So all the three karma effects are
burnt lock, stock and barrel for a Brahma Jnani.  As Bhagavan
Ramana said during his cancer years, "only the body is having
pain..."

Dear srkudai,

Yes.  Even a Brahma Jnani is powerless in such cases, where
prarabdha, which is God's own law, is so tough.  After learning
from Vasishta all the advaita, why should Sri Rama, cry for his
wife's abduction?  After difficult battles with Ravana's army,
and when Sita came back, why should he ask her to do agni-
pravesa?  There are many such things. I think, Gods also "play"
their prarabdhas, to display them to the mortals.

Arunachala Siva. 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Why do miseries come and go?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2010, 04:07:04 PM »
Dear srkudai,

1.  A Jnani can cure a person in ailment very rarely, very rarely
indeed.  In the whole of Bible, we see that Jesus cured only a
few lepers and persons who were afflicted by ghosts.  As regards
raising the dead, only Lazarus had that great fortune.

2.  Secondly, as you have correctly observed that a Jnani can be
a role model and show the way.  But he can confer you deliverence.
Bhagavan Ramana says talking about God and Guru in Who am I?:
"God and Guru will only show the way but not place you in mukti.
But one can follow the Guru's words in strict observance and find
his goal.  The one who has fallen into the Guru's gaze of grace
aruL paarvai -, he will never fail, like a fawn caught in tiger's jaws.   But he has to work out his goal. Rama to know that he is Rama, does he need a mirror?  One should realize oneself through wisdom-insight, Jnana KaN, by his own efforts."

Arunachala Siva.