The Positive Approach
Excerpts from Sri Chinmoy’s book – Happiness.
Binding and binding my little “I,”
I am suffering the torture of hell.
Unveiling and unveiling my true Form,
I enjoy Heaven-happiness.
~ Sri Chinmoy
All content by Sri Chinmoy -
It is true that if suffering and pain are around us and inside us, it is very difficult to see the bright side. But the deeper we go in our meditation, the easier it is for us to remain in light. Suffering, failure and depression do not disturb us when we are in light. If they do appear, we should see them as experiences, not as enemies.
Most of us get a kind of subtle pleasure in suffering and pain. Sometimes we even unconsciously invite suffering. Then, when that suffering manifests, we cry, “Why do I have to suffer so much?” But actually we enjoy our sufferings in a subtle way.
Frustration and depression can never, never help us. We must try to remain in light and not in darkness. If we remain in light, then there can be no sense of failure and no frustrations.
Life itself is light, but we do not know how to look at life in the right way. The moment we look at life, we think that it is something transitory, giving us an experience of frustration. We feel it is like a dream. But if we look at life from a different angle, we will feel that it is part of the eternal Life.
In birth, in creation, there is life. After death there is also life, eternal Life. When we feel that there is eternal Life, and that this life on earth is a mere portion of the continuity of eternal Life, then we can have no sense of failure and depression.
It is easy for us to see what is happening in the physical or in the vital. But it is difficult for us to see what is happening in the heart or in the soul. Once we can see this, we see that it is all delight. From delight we came into existence, in delight we grow; and into delight we retire at the end of our life’s journey. If we can take our mind off our suffering and throw it into the sea of the soul, we shall see there is no more frustration, no more sadness and no more defeat.
An endless future is before you,
Not behind you.
You can easily make friends
With endless happiness-hopes.
Why do you have to suffer
In the stormy winter of the mind?
Just take a permanent vacation
In the sunny tropics of the heart.
~ Sri Chinmoy
THE EXPERIENCE OF SUFFERING –
If we go deep within, we see that it is the limited ‘I,’ the ego, that suffers; the unlimited ‘I’ does not suffer. He who wants to bind reality suffers. But he who wants to free and liberate the reality within himself will not suffer. Again, we have to know that what we call suffering is not at all suffering in God’s View. It is an experience that He is having in and through us.
Suffering is not only the feeling that something is wrong or that we have lost something or experienced something unpleasant in our life. Real suffering lies in our conscious feeling of separation from God.
THE CAUSE OF SUFFERING
Suffering is the result of our limited consciousness. When unlimited consciousness operates, we see the result in the form of joy and delight. God’s unlimited Consciousness is all-pervading. But right now we are in the future. When we accomplish something in the finite, we are not satisfied. In the Infinite when we accomplish something, we are satisfied.
In the finite there will always be suffering because we try to compete, to grasp, to possess. But in the Infinite there is no suffering because we enter into the universal Consciousness. There our will and the universal Will are the same. But right now we are trying to satisfy the world with our limited consciousness, and the world also wants to satisy us with its limited consciousness. We are limiting others and we ourselves are limited. Our main experience in this world is the experience of limitation, and that is why we suffer.
From the highest point of view, God embodies both the limited and the unlimited consciousness. he is smaller than the smallest and larger than the largest. When we pray to God and meditate on God, we feel that we are God’s dearest child. When we pray, we feel that God the Omniscient is there, listening to us. When we meditate, we feel that God is talking to us and we are listening to God. If we are listening to God and God is listening to us, there can be no suffering.
TRANSFORMING PAIN INTO JOY
There is a general notion that if we go through suffering, tribulations and physical pain, then we will be purified. This idea is not founded upon reality. There are many people who are suffering because of their past karma or because undivine forces are attacking them, but we can’t say that they are nearing their destination. No! We have to aspire sincerely in order to reach our destination. We shall not welcome pain; we shall try to conquer it if it appears. If we can take the pain as an experience, then we can transform it into joy by our own identification with joy, which we then bring into the pain itself.
It is not necessary to go through suffering before we can enter into delight. Many people have realised God through love. The Father has love for the child and the child has love for the Father. This love takes us to our goal. Our philosophy emphasises the positive way of approaching Truth. We have limited light; now let us increase it. Let us progress from more light to abundant light to infinite light.
DEALING WITH NEGATIVE EMOTIONS
Sometimes people feel that the more they think of their negative qualities, the more they are conscious of them, the sooner they will be able to get rid of them. Unfortunately this is not true. The more we think of our negative qualities, the more we are caught by them. What we have to do is to invoke our positive qualities to solve our problems.
Suppose we are constantly at the mercy of anger. If we can establish peace within us, we will not have anger. How do we do this? We do not think of anger at all; we pray and meditate only for peace. The very nature of peace is to spread. When peace spreads its wings inside us, our anger is bound to be transformed. Similarly, with all other negative qualities, the best way to deal with them is to invoke the positive qualities which illumine and transform them.
If you are ready to give up
Then God is more than ready
To grant you His Gladness-Heart.
Make yourself known to humanity:
Its dark jealousy will make you unhappy.
Make yourself known to yourself:
You will unquestionably be
The happiest man in God’s entire creation.
You can conquer fear
Just by turning your life
Into a happy song
Of happy oneness.
A spiritually established life
Is not an easy task,
But a materially satisfied life
Is an impossible task.
You are not happy
And you will never be happy
Because you do not lose yourself
Enough to find yourself-
I mean your true self.
You cannot expect abiding joy,
You cannot expect any kind of joy,
Unless you have unmistakably and soulfully
Accepted the fact that your spiritual life
Not only has the joy that you need
But also is joy,
Far, far beyond the need
Of your entire life here on earth.
A happy heart
Receives the earliest invitation
~ Sri Chinmoy
God loves us constantly and unconditionally. Why does he love us so much? He loves us because He feels that His dream remains unfulfilled without us. His Reality remains unmanifested without us; without us He is incomplete.
There have been many, many times in our lives when we have felt miserable because we told a lie or deceived someone or became jealous of others. After we do something wrong, our conscience comes to the fore and we feel miserable. God’s Love for us remains exactly the same. We often hate ourselves for our mistakes, but God still loves us and will always continue to love us. Our justice-power condemns us, but God’s Compassion-power forgives us, illumines us and transforms our weakness into strength with its adamantine will-power.
God loves us, and in return He wants us to smile, to love and to transcend. Here on earth we have everything save and except one thing: satisfaction. It is only by loving God that we will get true satisfaction. God is our own highest, most illumined Reality. When we become consciously one with God, we feel a real sense of satisfaction. It is only when we feel that we are separated from God that we feel incomplete, unfulfilled and dissatisfied.
Every day we can have a sense of paradise. Paradise means infinite peace, light and bliss. When we pray and meditate, we enter into paradise. When our mind is calm and quiet, when our mind is tranquillity’s flood, our heart becomes all-giving and our life become’s divinity’s reality. Paradise is not a place; it is a state of consciousness. When we free our mind from ignorance, when we liberate our existence from the mire of earth, we see, feel and grow into paradise.
Not by establishing an empire can we achieve abiding satisfaction, but only by self-awakening and self-giving. A seeker knows this truth; therefore he wants to renounce the undivine in himself and embrace the divine. The undivine in him is fear, doubt, anxiety, frustration and worry. The divine in him is strength, courage, faith, the feeling of oneness and the sense of satisfaction. An unspiritual person wants to discover peace in the world. But a spiritual person knows that he can discover peace only in the inmost recesses of his own heart. An unaspiring person will not find satisfaction or peace of mind, no matter how favourable the outer conditions are, because he does not know where to look or how to look for it. But a spiritual person, whatever opposition or unpropitious circumstances he has to face, will always have abundant peace and satisfaction, for they will flow from within him in an unquenchable flood.
Do not complain
Do not disdain.
Just try to regain
Your lost wealth:
A self-centered man
Thinks and dreams of a happy life.
A God-centered man
Lives and radiates a happy life.
I am very happy
Because I have conquered myself
And not the world.
I am very happy
Because I have loved the world
And not myself.
I am very happy
Because I have not surrendered
Either to the world or to myself.
A cheerful mind
Has always been a perfect guide
To a healthy body.
~ Sri Chinmoy
Next: The Path to Happiness
Page content last updated March 2012