Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.
We are following the text "Beyond Sorrow" in which we explore the nature of suffering and how to manage and move through difficulties.
We have just two more posts from this text of essays which tell the story of work required to alleviate our angst in this life. This next one is an example taken from scripture, the Srimad Bhagavatam. (It is heavily edited here, for brevity.)
Uddhava, the devoted disciple of Sri Krishna, sought to understand the nature of suffering. He asked, 'Oh Lord, it is indeed difficult to maintain poise and peace within when one is ridiculed, insulted or unjustly spoken of by others. Kindly instruct me that I may have strength to follow thy path.'
Sri Krishna replied, 'difficult indeed is it to maintain poise when pierced by the harsh words. I will tell you a story of a mendicant who was maltreated by the wicked, but who bore all insults patiently.'
Once there lived a braahmin who was exceedingly rich ad yet very greedy. Never did he welcome guest, friend or relative with even a kind word. His family and his servants despised him. He hoarded money and never used it to benefit others. Suddenly, all this wealth was lost. He was penniless. As he reflected on this new condition, sobbing with remorse, he saw clearly the vanity and pointlessness of earthly treasure. "Woe is me, I have wasted my life! Greed does not cease with the possession of wealth, and fear rises at it's potential loss. The fifteen evils (theft, cruelty, falsehood, ostentation, lust, anger, pride, haughtiness, dissension, enmity, distrust, competition, sex, wine and gambling) are said to be the outcome of wealth. Even kith and kin turn into foes.
"Having taken human birth, to attach to lust and gold is to disregard the summons of the Infinite...why is it that even so-called wise men suffer from time to time from greed? Lord Hari has seen fit to show me my errors and make me weary of the world; therefore for the rest of my life I shall practice austerities and devote myself to spiritual pursuit."
Resolving thus, the good braahmin of Avantii succeeded in loosening the knots of his heart and became a mendicant, calm and tranquil. With his mind, senses and praanas under control, he wandered alone across the country. Seeing the aged, shabby monk, wicked people insulted him and injured him. Maintaining his inner poise, he silently bore all physical and mental wounds and in spite of all obstacles, steadfastly followed the path of good. His inner chant was 'nothing ever causes me pleasure or pain; mind, the scriptures declare, is the only cause of suffering. The Self, immersed in its own glory, remains unaffected by the modifications of the mind; upon It is reflected the experience of the world. Man identifying himself with the mind and its modifications, attempts to satisfy his desires and thus becomes bound. Charity, observance of moral practices and vows help in the highest yoga; the control of the mind. He who can bring the mind under control is strong; there is no swing of happiness or wretchedness and the identification with the Self is to understand the Unity of All. To exist in Union with Self is to be free of all worry. Therefore, I must practice devotion to the Supreme Self which is the great refuge.'
This was the song of that sage, who, though vilified and insulted by the wicked, kept his poise and swerved not from the Truth.
There is no cause for the pleasures and pains of life outside of ourselves. It is the deluded mind that gives rise to happiness or misery. Therefore, Beloved Uddhava, with thy intellect absorbed in Me, control thyself in every way. This is the very essence of yoga.