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Sadness Can Be A Blessing

“Krishanji, my life experiences have generated a lot of sadness in my heart which I can’t seem to remove. Could you please guide?”

Hindu Scriptures recommend that one’s life be divided into four stages:

My answer below is primarily for those seekers who are in stages three or four of their lives. 

There is no end to sadness as there is no end to desires. Prolonged sadness can lead to sorrow and many physical and mental health issues.
For a sincere spiritual seeker, however, sadness can be a blessing. 

Let me tell you a story.

A child wanted to buy a toy, but his mother said no. He cried and was sad for a few hours. The next day the same thing happened, and he was sad again. He even told his mother that she didn’t love him. A week later, the mother had to do some errands, and she decided to leave her child in a toy shop owned by one of her friends. The child was so happy and excited. He enjoyed playing with the toys so much that he wished for his mother to not come back anytime soon. The first hour passed very quickly. During the second hour, the child was still happily playing, but occasionally he would look toward the entrance door for his mother. The mother called her friend a couple of times to check how her son was doing. When she was told that he was playing happily, she decided to do a few more errands. During the third hour, the child began to lose interest in the toys and often asked the shop owner when his mother would come back? The shop owner tried to keep him amused by showing him some more new toys. He played with the new toys but wasn’t so excited about them. The third hour also passed. By then, he had lost all his interest in the toys. Every time he was shown a new toy, he would just ask when his mother was coming back? Then, leaving all the toys behind, he just stood near the window looking outside for his mother. He was sad. He didn’t want toys anymore. He wanted his mother. The shop owner called his mother and told her the situation. The mother immediately rushed back. 

People often ask why is there so much suffering and sadness in the world? 

Sadness is necessary. For happiness to exist, sadness must also exist. When you are sad, know that someone else is happy. Your sadness is supporting their joy. You can win only if someone else loses. It is someone’s failure that supports your success. If you have everything in life, know that someone must have nothing. By not having anything, they are supporting all that you have. In this creation, for something to exist, the opposite must also exist.

Sadness has its value and beauty. The most beautiful music comes out of sadness only. Sadness takes you inward and keeps you closer to yourself. Knowing this, a seeker embraces sadness and uses it to go inward. He is not interested in the cause of sadness, whether it is because of failure, loss, betrayal, etc. He says bye to the causes and uses sadness as a ladder to go higher and deeper. 

Sadness in Hindi is called ‘udasi’, a term used for highly-evolved seekers like Kabira, Tulsidas, Meera, Guru Nanak and many others. They all had become udas, just like the child in the toy store. They had lost interest in the toys. All they wanted was God.

A seeker always remembers the reality of life that all will change, many things will happen which he may not want them to happen, and many things won’t happen which he may want them to happen. Knowing this, he neither celebrates nor he carries any sorrow in his heart. He is neither a friend nor a foe. He remains neutral to the opposits.

Embrace this reality of life. Welcome the sadness. Let the sadness mature into dispassion and dispassion into becoming udas. Being udas is not an expression of sorrow or disappointment. Instead, it is an expression of a ripe seeker. It makes you niranjana (untouchable by the events). It makes you focused on God. 

Next time when you celebrate your success, remember that someone else, who in spirit belongs to you, has failed and is supporting your success. Be grateful and have more compassion. And if you lose, know that someone who belongs to you has won. Be happy for them. 

If you can do this much, and live in the reality of life, you will never be sad about the world again. Instead, you will become udas. God will stop doing all errands and come running to you. 

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