matra-sparsas tu kaunteya
tam’s titiksasva bharata
O son of Kunti, the impermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed.
Krishna’s rule book states that both happiness and distress are temporary. HE has made a comparison with that of changing seasons. It has been made amply clear that both happiness and distress appear permanently one after the other in a cycle in this material world. So, their appearance and disappearance one after the other is permanent although their duration is non-permanent. Therefore we can quite confidently state that when one of them appears in our lives, the counterpart is just around the corner and will appear sooner or later. This brings us to today’s topic – Anticipation and preparation.
It is a known fact that when we anticipate something and that takes place, the impact of that situation on our behaviour or personal lives is just about casual, because the surprise factor is no longer there. It is accepted with much more ease that what it would be when the reverse occurs. We are not shocked or surprised by the occurrence of that scenario. The point is when we expect a situation or its result thereof, we can face it with much more confidence and will power. We will be better prepared mentally to face the situation.
Example - Let us say that we are going through a challenging phase in our lives. If we understand that this is non-permanent and that its counterpart happiness will soon follow, then the challenge itself will not seem like a big deal and might become a little easier to deal with. On the contrary if we are enjoying happy times and again understand that these moments are also temporary, then, instead of getting carried away by the happy moments we will actually start mentally preparing to face any challenges ahead. By doing this we train our inner mind to be are neither overly joyous nor overly distressed at the appearance or disappearance of happiness and distress . We cannot hold on to either of them, more importantly happiness because no wants distress anyway.
Material happiness or distress actually arise from sense perception and hopefully today’s topic will help you develop your ability to tolerate them alike, i.e. not going overboard when you are happy and not being depressed when you are distressed. After all the human body itself is temporary, so any happiness or distress associated with the temporary body cannot but be temporary.
However we can find permanent happiness right where we are … want to know more. Stay tuned.
Priya Iyer is a Business trainer by profession now based in Coimbatore, India. She previously lived in Sydney for 14 years where she met her spiritual Guru. Priya has taken a lot of interest in understanding our scriptures especially the Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam and how the values within can be incorporated in our daily lives. Priya shares her learning from the Bhagavad Gita with children and adults through her weekly lessons.