In the Light of Wisdom
by Swami Krishnananda


Chapter 27: The Removal of Sorrow

As long as we live, externals will always continue to disturb us, whatever be our attempt at understanding them. As long as the breath is in the body, the difficulties will be there with us. It may be that we will leave the difficulties only when we leave this world. But we have to live in the world, and we cannot get out of it. There is no point in crying while we live when it’s possible to smile instead. This is an art, as I should call it, because it cannot be called by any other name. It is the art of living with a smile rather than with weeping, because live we must and there is no other go. There is no point in weeping while living. We cannot find any meaning in a life of crying. One who sobs is the loser—not others who apparently cause the sobbing—so there is no advantage in complaining or crying. We gain nothing by that, but only make ourselves more miserable. Yoga has provided us with a means of approaching this question. This should be our point of meditation here. How can we obviate the harassment from externals? There is no apparent way, though there is one way which is a great secret of the path of yoga. It involves the placement of oneself in the location of the cause of the harassment, which produces a twofold effect. I am not proposing to describe this now, but only to say how to contemplate these circumstances.

The placement of our own personality in the location of the cause of the troubles will create an emotional calmness, because the external cause, instead of being a cause set against us, becomes a part of what we are. We cannot be harassed by our own self, we know very well. The cause, when it becomes identical with us, ceases to be a cause. Then the cause and the effect get identified. The source of the problem is us. We have to change our personality from the position of the effect to the position of the cause. To say briefly what effects will follow from this is that our emotions get calmed down, because the cause has become identical with the effect. The second effect that will follow is the cessation of the trouble. The trouble will not be there anymore. It will vanish because of the influence of our thought on the cause of the troubles. This can be extended to centres which presently do not cause trouble, so that they may not in the future become sources of trouble. In medical parlance we have healers and also what are known as prophylactic agents which prevent the onset of a disease. Being healed of a disease is one thing, but to prevent its coming to begin with is another thing altogether.

The placement of ourselves in the locality of the cause of trouble is like healing the wound or the illness. The simultaneous placement of ourselves in the cause of experiences which may be set against us would be like a prophylactic agent, so that the world will not be set against us at all. The world will be harmoniously attuned to our nature when we reach a state of spiritual awareness. This is called Virat in the Upanishadic language. In the beginning it is a psychological concentration of mind, a kind of telepathic effort that we are exerting on the centres of experience which impinge upon us externally. When it is deepened to a spiritual profundity, it becomes the Cosmic Being. This will lead us to God-realisation itself.