Saturday, December 21, 2013


YOU CAN ASK YOURSELF TODAY - Everybody wants what feels good. Everyone wants to live a care-free, happy and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when you walk into the room. If I ask you, "What do you want out of life?" and you say something like, "I want to be happy and have a great family and a job I like," it's so ubiquitous that it doesn't even mean anything. What's more interesting to me is what pain do you want? 
What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives end up. Everybody wants to have an amazing job and financial independence - but not everyone is willing to suffer through 60-hour work weeks, long commutes, obnoxious paperwork, to navigate arbitrary corporate hierarchies and the blasé confines of an infinite cubicle hell.

Everybody wants to have great sex and an awesome relationship - but not everyone is willing to go through the tough communication, the awkward silences, the hurt feelings ... and so they settle. They settle and wonder "What if?" for years and years and until the question morphs from "What if?" into "What for?" Because happiness requires struggle. If you want the benefits of something in life, you have to also want the costs. So I ask you, "How are you willing to suffer?" Choose how you are willing to suffer. Because that's the hard question that matters. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have the same answer. The more interesting question is the pain. 
What is the pain that you want to sustain? Because that answer will actually get you somewhere. It's the question that can change your life. It's what makes me me and you you. It's what defines us and separates us and ultimately brings us together.

At the core of all human behavior, the good feelings we all want are more or less the same. However, some people are ready to pay the cost of them and others not. Some people want to be rich without the risk, with the delayed gratification necessary to accumulate wealth, whereas other people are willing to face certain sort of pain in order to obtain nice and happy things in life, and those are the ones who succeed. “'Nothing good in life comes easy,' we've been told that a hundred times before, Mark Manson, author of this article, says. “The good things in life we accomplish are defined by where we enjoy the suffering, where we enjoy the struggle.” Therefore what we get out of life is not determined by the good feelings we desire but by what bad feelings we're willing to sustain to obtain what we really want. Our Bhakti Yoga spiritual masters have taught us that when one develops spiritual awareness, we can understand that our goal in this life is not to seek our own happiness, but that we are born to learn how to make others happy. Karma Yoga also talks about doing the right thing and that we should then detach from the results and urges us to renounce the fruit of our efforts and offer it as a sacrifice for the good of all and thus please the Supreme Lord. In developing a spiritual vision, we  understand that we are all children of the same God, and that in giving happiness to others, even if it causes us efforts and sacrifices, is a humble offering of love to the Lord. The action of making our brothers and sisters happy will undoubtedly make our Heavenly Father happy and it will increase our loving relationship with the Lord. (Editor's note).

The sages of India ... had discovered that we are not at all material entities, but that we are all spiritual, permanent, and indestructible servants of the Absolute. But because we have, against our better judgment, chosen to completely identify ourselves with this present material existence, our sufferings have multiplied according to the inexorable law of birth and death, with its consequent diseases and anxieties. These sufferings cannot be really mitigated by any provision of material happiness, because matter and spirit are completely different elements. ... Perfect happiness can be ours only when we are restored to our natural state of spiritual existence. This is the distinctive message of our ancient Indian civilization, this is the message of the Gītā, this is the message of the Vedas and the Purānas, and this is the message of all the real ācāryas, including our present Ācāryadeva, in the line of Lord Caitanya.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
“Science of Self Realization”
SSR 2: “Choosing a Spiritual Master”

Published by dasavatara das - “Vedic Views on World News”


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