Life is found to be caught up in storms so very often. And you are not yourself when you are in a storm. You don’t know what to do. At those moments all your spiritual practices, concepts, ideas and ideals fall apart. Your devotion, your love and all the beautiful things you cherish in your life, simply don’t seem to be there or mean anything. You are under the influence of a big storm. A whirlwind rises in you and throws you off balance.
What do you do? Nothing is helpful. You sit, close your eyes and try to meditate. But the mind is all over the place. You feel as though you are in a burning furnace, and you don’t know how to put the fire out. And the more effort you make to cool it down, and put it out, the more the fire burns, the more the restlessness and agitation increase. You are yourself only between the storms. How many storms rise in your life, and how frequently do they rise? The less frequent they are, the more you are yourself. At those moments you are happy; you are settled. You are calm. Just think of those moments of intense restlessness, agitation and feverishness. The breath becomes heavier. The body becomes unbearable. You are not at all aware of the mind. But that is not what you are. You get a glimpse of the clearness of yourself between two storms. But life seems to be like the ocean – wave after wave lashing you one after another.
This is the only problem. This is the only basic problem in the universe. There is no other problem. You can attach it to one thousand causes or reasons, but the problem is how to free your life from this storm which has gripped it.
The first thing to do is to become aware of this. At that moment, the storm will subside. First, stop regretting things. For no reason, there is turmoil in the mind. When your mind cools down and you experience that inner cool, soft and delicate aspect of yourself, there is a big relief.
No one storm can be there all the time. It is impossible. It comes and subsides.
Your mind is like a wind – a whirlwind, subsiding and cooling down. That is your true nature. That is love. You have been resisting restlessness all this time. Now If you see it is there. Okay, so let it be there. It is a part of nature.’ The storm is also part of nature. Stop resisting the storm. Take it, gulp it in its totality; go deep into it and you will see it is nothing. It is just created out of yourself, your mind and your consciousness. In that aspect of you, you are your Self.
Not just someone there is only One in the whole universe. That One in the universe is caring and taking care of you. You can relax, rest and be peaceful.
There cannot be an ocean without waves. Every event touches life somewhere on its surface. It creates movement. Take all that comes with both your hands. Don’t say that it is impossible or not possible for you. This thought of something being not possible means that you are resisting. This is making the storms stay for long periods. Stand there with your arms open. Say, ‘Whatever storms come, let them, I’m here.’ You grow out of them. You become bigger.
Tell yourself “Come what may, there is nothing that can destroy me. It may be excruciatingly painful, but it doesn’t matter. It still cannot destroy or kill me. I am here. I am much, much bigger than all these emotions, commotions or waves. They all rise inside me, in me, and in no way can they destroy me. I will let them be.”
“Come what may, there is nothing that can destroy me. It may be excruciatingly painful, but it doesn’t matter. It still cannot destroy or kill me. I am here. I am much, much bigger than all these emotions, commotions or waves. They all rise inside me, in me, and in no way can they destroy me. I will let them be.”
So when a storm arises, just be with it. Do not try to get rid of the storm. Be with it; go into it. And, of course, you have your meditation and spiritual practices to help purify your whole system. It’s such a blessing.
Excerpts from Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s commentary on Ashtavakra Gita