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Don't grumble! Things will fall in the right place! Article

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Don't grumble! Things will fall in the right place!

By Hemamalini Raghunathan

For comprehensive growth of man, there is need to effect a confluence of spiritual tradition and the modern scientific and technological efficiency. Man is essentially spiritual, but this spirituality is lying hidden unmanifest. We have to manifest it in the context of our life and action. But where do we stand today?

Self-centeredness is the central vice of modern civilization. Other obstacles to spiritual realization are fear, anger, attachment, avarice, pride, conceit etc. Grumbling is also a major weakness that prevents the development of the spiritual life. If we have steadfast faith in the Almighty and His inimitable mysterious plans, we need not grumble. Everything (good or seemingly bad) happens for good. We, with our limitations, do not understand His scheme immediately. So let us stop grumbling to ourselves and to others also.

I am just reminded of an old story, where an Angel seemingly rewarded a wicked man. Once, an Angel in the garb of a traveler, asked for food and shelter for a night, from the houses of two brothers.
The elder one, very rich but wicked, refused any food and asked the traveler to stay in the cold, storeroom (a dungeon). The Angel stayed in that place and left in the morning. The elder brother was very happy to see some renovation work like patching up of some holes in the walls and the ground, being done by the traveler through the night. He was such a stingy person that he did not spare even a morsel of food to the traveler and he was not courteous also, not to have given the traveler a warm place to stay.
After a few months, the Angel in the garb of a traveler requested for food and shelter for a night from the younger brother, a poor peasant. The younger brother was ready to share the meager food he had with the traveler and offered him a reasonably warm place (within his means) to stay for the night. In the morning after the traveler left, he was shocked to see his cow lying dead in the cowshed. It was his means of livelihood. Death of the cow was a big blow to the family.

Other Angels were curious to know why the elder brother was rewarded and not the younger brother? The Angel explained that he did not really reward the elder one; but it seemed so; actually he blocked the holes where some Gold and treasures were hidden a long time back. The wicked one could not access these anymore. In the case of the younger brother, his wife was destined to die during that night. But the Angel averted that disaster and instead the cow was dead. A new lease of precious life was given in the latter's case.

Inscrutable are the ways of God! Is it not? Each event, each circumstance and each person appearing in our life is a gift to us, to be received graciously.

Sanathana Dharma explain our life-situations with the workings of Karma theory. Newton's law of "every action bearing an equal and opposite reaction" holds good, when our miseries or blessings in this life are in lieu of actions (bad or good) in the past births. So stop complaining, grumbling… make up your mind. Do good actions now, to reap good effects later.

Here is another short story, explaining the workings of Karma. Once a father asked his two sons to attend a spiritual discourse in the town in the evening. The elder son was given to evil ways and he refused to attend. But the younger son was spiritually inclined and well-behaved. He immediately agreed. In the night, the elder son came to the father and informed him that he stumbled upon a lump of Gold on his way back home, from his stroll.
The younger son had not returned still. The father and the elder son went in search of him and found him hurt under a Banyan tree, on his way back home from the spiritual discourse. The father found it very strange that the irreligious son was awarded and the spiritually-inclined son had met with an accident. He approached his family Guru and he explained that the past Karma of the elder son was so good that he could have become a king, but his evil conduct in the present life had reduced the good luck to his finding just a lump of Gold. On the other hand, the younger son had been destined to die at the time of the accident, but the grace of God and his good actions in this present life had saved him, after meeting with a minor accident.

Apart from Karma theory, nothing can explain why some are born with a Silver spoon and some others as beggars. So there is no use in grumbling; we are paying back now, for whatever had been done in the previous births. Nothing happens in God's world by mistake.

What type of people grumble the most?

Some of us always remain discontented. If we resist mentally accepting the situation at hand, we inevitably end up fighting ourselves and the world. Here is the starting point of the grumbling. Learn to look at the positive side of things…of course you cannot ignore the negative side. Accept your life, wherever you find yourself. Count the blessings….. then you will not grumble for the loss. Don't grumble because roses have thorns; instead be thankful that thorns have roses. Stop comparing yourself with the more fortunate ones; instead appreciate what you possess compared to the less fortunate ones.

Regarding contentment in life, Osha used to refer to the story of two fakirs, who found their home's roof half blown away, on their return from a pilgrimage. The younger fakir grumbled complained that how God had rewarded them with a roofless house, for singing His glories all the while. The older fakir, on the other hand, thanked the God for holding half the roof. He slept soundly and on waking up in the morning, he wrote down a song expressing his gratitude to God. "By the wonderful work of the storm, we can now see the silver Moon through our half-blown roof. How close is your sky and we shut it out with our roof. Your milky Moon crossed us many times, but we remained beneath our roof unaware".

Even during trying circumstances, the right attitude can make a big difference! Impediments in daily life make us grumble. Only when we overcome them, we can think about spiritual life. Our love, our sympathy, our kindness and doing good to others…these are all expressions of our spirituality. But we are distracted every now and then by some criticisms in daily life, yes…. The inevitable negative criticism. No one can escape from it.

Spiritual bent of mind can help enormously in handling negative criticism, faced in daily life. Negative criticisms damage the human spirit, as they rip apart the self-esteem. Being emotionally strong is the best way not to get hurt. If the level of self-confidence is high, we will not be shaken. Do what you feel in your heart to be right, because you will be criticized anyway. We can insulate ourselves to withstand criticism and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow from it.

Remain calm. Ignore and walk away. Keep the choice in your hands, either to accept or reject a criticism. Accepting criticism with poise is a mark of maturity, born out of spiritual strength.

Everyday, most of us make an effort (knowingly of unknowingly) to march ahead in the spiritual path. Children are taught to pray by the elders. All the great religions of the world have recognized the value of prayer… communion with the supreme being. Goal is the same for all. Our views change every minute we proceed. Spiritual truths are not knowledge in the ordinary sense. They evolve from within and transform one's life.

As we grow spiritually, speedy rectification of character comes about. Rajasika and Tamasika propensities get reduced. Peace starts prevailing in the mind, when we dedicate the fruits of action to the Lord (Bhagavad Gita). Such people radiate joy and blessedness and those coming under their influence share their experiences. Each one should strive to manifest his inborn spirituality at every possible moment and to evoke the same in others.

"Whatever has happened, has happened for good
Whatever is happening, is happening for good
Whatever is going to happen, it will be for good"
(Essence of Bhagavad Gita)
So, why should one grumble, unnecessarily?

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