Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sunday Chat: Why do we suffer? (Srila B.A. Paramadvaiti Maharaj)

Berlin, August 11, 2013

My dear devotees and friends,

Many times in life we ​​meditate deeply and for a long time about the purpose of life. We strive according to what others expect of us: our parents have a concept about us, family and children have different concepts and expectations, the government and society is also another.

The world of consumption and competition for material achievements wants to convince us that the purpose of our life is to become a materialistic winner. Thus, whenever there are obstacles that exist for this gain we feel discouraged and frustrated or worse, we get jealous when someone has had a knack for getting things ... or they've already accomplished it just for the fact of being born in a wealthy family, while you, with limited wages know not how to satisfy every desire you have. Worse still is the position of the person with money, that despite having everything materially, still feels dissatisfied, without finding something in life worthwhile. This reaches such an extent that we realize that many of the people who commit suicide are people who materially speaking had everything they needed and more, while the simple and poor people do not have these tendencies, they have to worry about working to feed themselves.

We have to understand that material goods are only reexaminations of life. They are not the essence of life, but rather they come to test us. The purpose of life is to make positive and beautiful work that enriches existence. Works that are based on love and affection for all living entities and directed as an offering to God as the ultimate center of all. Works that are beautiful, positive, supported by our words and thoughts.

The purpose of life is to become an agent of solution of the problems we face today. Always tolerating those who may not be able to change. Only through the mercy of God can we acquire the proper discernment to distinguish between good and evil, and gain the enthusiasm and courage to move forward in spite of the evidence that comes to test us.

Determination is very important. The decision to become an agent of change is that everyone around you will benefit from their own efforts and achievements. All of us have received the wonderful opportunity to have a human body where we can be creative and positive. Just as we are wonderful beings we should be doing wonderful things. We always try to act positively within our means. Act in such a way that you are trying to make people, those who surround you in your life, happy. But, please, this happiness must be related to the real purpose of life, with growth and spiritual realization. It is not material happiness. For life is a gift and human life is an even more special gift. This life was given to us for the Greater Good. Many people can take life. But only the Supreme Benefactor can take it away.

The Lord is always present and close to us, always watching and is always manifested in different ways, but we can not see it. One of these ways is through the Universal Mother, Mother Nature, Mother Earth, the Cosmic Mother, this beautiful mother who wants to see her sons successful in doing wonderful and positive things. Mother Nature is satisfied when she sees her children develop positively in relation to their surroundings, while the Original Father expects those same sons and daughters to return to their eternal home. It has been established by all the great sages of different traditions.

Our stay in this temporary world may expire at any time and when finished, we have to take that bag we've been accumulating over a lifetime (the reactions of our actions) and with it define which is our next destination. The issue is that if your bag is full of things that accumulate undesirable reactions to negative actions, we will certainly go into deplorable states. This is not a threat or an attempt to instill fear but a realistic view of life. And we need that vision to become realistic people to be able to put into practice this wisdom. As a student who does not devote time to learning and study of what he is in the process of learning, it is impossible to pass to the next level... if we do not put enough effort in positive living according to the ancient wisdom, we can not move forward on the spiritual path.

When Holy Scripture speaks of the lower levels to which our negative actions can take us to, it is a profound wake-up call to take action on the matter and become serious practitioners. God will never ask for something that we will not be able to do, because God is the supreme Well-wisher. And it is the inner voice, the inner teacher, who will guide us towards that which is positive and wonderful, away from all the negative that only leads to lower levels of life. But we must give importance to that inner voice above the voice of the mind, the voice of material desires, the voice of the false ego, because they are always in conflict with the voice of the teacher within.

The inner voice brings us the enthusiasm to make things beautiful and well done, while the mind always wants to take us to enjoy at all costs, even at the expense of exploiting others, telling us not to care about the consequences of our actions. But not so... I said before: Every action always brings an equal and opposite reaction. That is Universal Law. So, we get what we sow: As you sow you reap. Your actions are planting your next state. So what if I have done evil deeds or I have deviated from the purpose of life? The answer is:
Take shelter in mercy. It is the transcendental department of mercy that can save us if we are convinced of wanting to change. We need to beg the cosmic divinity for mercy and we must be deeply repentant of our wrong actions. Only the penitent has option to enter the department of mercy. The repentant person even has a chance to compensate all those who they have made suffer because of their own wrongful actions. To those who can not compensate, for their wrongdoing have already left this world, such as the thousands of animals that have been killed just for our personal consumption and selfishness, we can reclaim them by becoming activists protecting animals and nature. An advocate of animal habitats, rivers and mountains that are all sacred. Someone who ceases to be a consumer of everything that causes oppression of the Holy Mother.

How much unconscious exploitation humans have committed against their peers, against nature and animals. Ignorant human beings do not realize that all these offenses against the Holy Mother Nature is self-condemnation and the reason for their unhappiness. That illusion operator disconnects us from the purpose of life. One rather must become the change they want to see.

Many things must be changed and adapted to become a positive agent. We must begin to cultivate the garden of the heart. Be part of the solution, not the problem. Spiritual life is not so cheap, it is not a simple conformism that only seeks the "relaxation" aspect of life and then one can enter "other worlds" that only keep us from reality, while outside everything is a total mess and we are unable to take any part in the matter, but rather become part of the problem, then we are still exploiting others and the environment without reason. Spiritual life is not about escape, but about service, to care for others. Dedication is essential for the welfare of all beings.

Jay Srila Prabhupada!

Your always well wisher,

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