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Work out from within

There are many hills and valleys in the landscape of life. Any obstacle is another precious milestone along the path. When we consider the challenges faced by us, we can see whether they turn out to be victories or defeats for us in the end.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2012 00:31 IST
Rajesh Bhola

There are many hills and valleys in the landscape of life. Any obstacle is another precious milestone along the path. When we consider the challenges faced by us, we can see whether they turn out to be victories or defeats for us in the end. That would depend not upon the nature of the challenge itself so much as upon how we manage the emotions, thoughts, imaginings and impulses that arise in us at the time.

As we manage our internal world, so shall our external life become. We have not to wait for different circumstances, outer or inner. Many people are still in the waiting room of life. They are yet to start living fully, wherever they are.

When we see a person who accepts trouble or affliction and goes on living in a positive way, we cannot help but get inspired. People are not fundamentally motivated by pleasure alone. They are not made happy by an endless supply of pleasures. Many rich people are miserable. Misery is not created by lack of pleasure, but by resentment, bitterness and the degradation of character. There are things that are more important than pleasure. We want to live lives that we can feel good about.

Life is everything as it is. Birth implies death, health implies disease. Youth implies ageing, pleasure implies pain, success implies failure, and meeting implies parting. You can't have one without the other. Each half has as much dignity as the other. Night is as dignified as day.

As an old Korean saying taught us: "Don't ask for perfect health - that's just greed: make medicine from the suffering in sickness. Don't expect your path to be free from obstacles - without them the fire of your enlightenment will go out: find liberation within the disturbances themselves."

If one follows this, one will no longer be burdened and could live happily in the real world, dying at the right time and not before. Spiritualism does not offer an escape into a metaphysical paradise. It offers the opportunity to become master of the fire and doer of the chosen acts and deeds.