Boone, North Carolina
You know, in life there is always some botheration, about one thing or another. That is why it is called as Maya (delusion). It is such an illusion.
Anything can become a botheration for you. If someone loves you, it becomes a botheration, and if they do not love you, then also it becomes a botheration.
Your friends are a source of botheration, and so are your enemies. Is it not so? That is why, in the Yoga Sutras, Maharishi Patanjali says, ‘Parinama tapa samskara duhkhaih guna vrittih, Virodhatcha dukhham eva sarvam vivekinah.’ (Patanjali Yoga Sutras, Ch. 2, V. 15)
This means that the one who has sharp discrimination finds that everything in this world is a problem. If you speak it is a problem; if you do not speak, then too it becomes a problem. And when the wise one knows this, then he does not mind it, for he knows he has no choice. So no matter what happens, he is happy.
He thinks, ‘Come what may, let me not lose my happiness’. This is what one should hold on to – come what may, I must not lose my happiness. For example, you are doing something and it does not go well. Why should you lose your happiness over it as well? It is a double loss then, is it not?
Say you suffer a loss in your business. Now anyway the loss has happened. At least you should not lose your happiness with it also. This is wisdom. That is the state this spiritual knowledge should bring you to. This is the measure of your growth.
Whether you suffer a loss in your business, or in a relationship; or a loss in any other sphere of life; you should not lose your happiness. Then you are catching on to the real thing.
Swami Ramdas was invited to Tokyo to give a talk on Vedanta (a school of thought of Indian Philosophy, literally meaning ‘The goal or the end of Vedas’).
So he travelled all the way from India by ship, because in those days you could travel such large distances by ship alone, and it would take a month. He was a sanyasi (an ascetic who has renounced the world) and just carried a pair of clothes with him wherever he went.
When he reached there, the organizer of the event had vanished, and there was no audience! So he stood near the ocean shores there and gave a talk to himself. He gave a discourse to himself and happily came back (laughter). He did not blame anybody, neither the organizers nor the audience who did not show up. There was no one to listen to him, and he did not know Japanese.
This happened so many decades back, and at that time, there were no frequent traveller programs like the ones we have now. So he bore the cost of his ticket and went there by himself. This incident is a popular anecdote in the circles of Swamis – how Swami Ramdas gave a discourse to himself on the Vedanta and returned to India.
Something similar happened in India also.
We keep having many conferences from time to time. Conferences help in building PR (Public Relations) by bringing people together and in networking. People come, they get to know each other, they discuss and then they bid each other good bye. Nothing much comes out of these conferences, because there is no deep knowledge that is discussed.
So it happened one time, that there was this panel of people in a conference and a gentleman was addressing the gathering. The MC (Master of Ceremonies) was ringing the bell but the speaker ignored it and continued speaking. For some people, once they get the mike they just do not let it go. For such speakers, it takes half an hour to warm up, and then the real speech starts. So the MC then went and tugged at the speaker’s shirt from behind, but the gentleman still did not stop. When the MC did this for the third time, the speaker took off his shirt and gave it to the MC, and continued speaking! (Laughter)
He was ready to part with his shirt but not with the mike.