Rule # 10 of Love – Suffering Elevates Consciousness

Shams in his Rule # 10 of Love said, “The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain.”

pain

Well, these days it is slightly extreme to say that when in pain, you can see the light.

Or rather, in pain, you realize God – that is sheer sadism!

I tend to think, in joy, I can, for instance, feel that quality which can give me a remembrance of something akin to God. So when I read that Rule # 10, I thought, “Wait a minute, I am stopping to read this book here.”

I don’t like pain. I never have. I am sure you don’t either. I do not have the ability to bear pain. Period! I hate syringes in hospitals. I saw to it that, I was never pricked by a doctor unless there was an absolute need. No pain, nothing, zilch!

And then one day I became a mother! That is all. This is probably the end of the post! I know pain can be the most painful, and at the end of it, it can be most satisfying thing.

The labor of childbirth does amazing things to a woman’s body and mind. And HEART! Pain can give you love. The pain of childbirth teaches you new ways to love the bundle of love which comes along. That is the ‘END’.

My experiences with pain had just begun!

“The saint Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur used to emphasise that pain is what gives us liberation. The more we have pain, the more we are able to suffer pain, the more we are able to master pain, the more we become capable of more and more. And as I have repeated so many times, the one who masters pain is as near to God as he can get. It does not mean that like the ascetics, we should sleep on beds of nails or invite pain. He says “When pain comes, accept it.” 

That is just the first lesson. Acceptance. And later on comes wisdom, that perhaps we need pain.

Why do we need pain now?

Okay, so let us think of pain later. Why do we need fun, joy, a happy heart?

Perhaps because that makes us feel good about the world, ourselves, we love all the good things happening to us in this world. So what is reality? The pleasure which keeps us happy? The contentment resulting from comfort and leisure? Would that make us wise? Would that liberate us from the shackles of more comfort? Or is this just a trap for us, perhaps a golden cage?

In pain, when we remember God, asking for his help, asking for wisdom, asking for communion, then our real journey starts. Pain is necessary to commence an authentic spiritual journey. We grow in pain. We evolve when in pain. Character builds. And the heart melts.

Yesterday someone told me, pain and suffering are different. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. And I agree. So why I thought? Well, pain happens for everyone in some form – physical, emotional, psychological and so on. But the society we live in, this world has somehow ingrained in us that we have to reject pain. We do not think of pain as a symptom of something, rather we think of it as a condition in itself. However, it only indicates something to us.

So what does pain indicate?

Pain indicates our readiness to grow. When the mother is in pain, it indicates her baby is ready to be born, she is ready to be a mother, the baby has grown big enough to be contained inside the womb and she suffers the pain of her inadequacy to contain a large baby. Pain is only one’s readiness to allow the light to enter like Rumi says. 

sufferingWe become ready to expand our capabilities, expand our responsibilities, expand our awareness, expand our actions, and ultimately this means to expand our consciousness, improve the quality of our presence. Pain is a step to go to the next stage of our existence.

And pain is just not enough for this. The willingness to go through this pain is the suffering. The acceptance of this pain is suffering. Suffering indicates our readiness to grow.

I have come to the conclusion that to suffer makes you human, at the end of this suffering, you would be transformed almost similar to divine.

Rule # 9 of Love – Love is a Journey ‘Within’

From the world of everything, to the world of nothingness, is the journey of spirituality.

– Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari

Shams Tabrizi in his Rule # 9 of Love said almost the same thing.

“East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.”

These spiritual giants speak in such riddles, don’t they?! Where is this internal journey? Journey towards nothingness? Journey within?

Well, let us talk about physical journeys. I have traveled to a few places with company and without.

chicago
Travel pics, from a couple of years ago …

Continue reading

Rule # 8 of Love -Love Means To Be Patient… Infinitely

Shams Tabrizi in his Rule # 8 of Love said, “Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to look at the end of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.

Patience, I feel can begin with an expression of tolerance. To tolerate something with respect to time and the duration of time, and continue exponentially, infinitely.

Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari in the book, “My Master” (also available as a free ebook here) said, “Tolerance can give us that quantum of time which will permit us to probe below the surface and see the underlying truth.”

See what underlying truth? The need to be patient, the need to be tolerant. There is a great need, latent in humanity to be patient and understanding with the circumstance one is thrown in, with oneself, and others. And we require time for that patience to sink in, within our system to be expressed. Patience need to be cultivated, initially, and requires time – which tolerance can give.

yoda Continue reading

Rule # 7 of Love -Love Means To Be Happy Under All Circumstances

Necessities of life should be meager. “Plain living and high thinking” is an English proverb. Detachment in attachment is really needed. The happiest man is he who is happy under all circumstances.

– Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur

I asked my toddler niece one day, what makes you happy. She stuck up her fingers and said, I like chocolates, ice-cream, blue colored nail polish, blue frock, pink hair clips, my dragon toys, … and eventually lost count of all of it in her fingers, and went into her own musings.

Edited_baby

So, while my niece muses, I would like to take you to Austria where Dame Julie Andrews sings of a few of her favorite things in the movie, “Sound of Music.” Remember the below song? So lovely, huh?! Continue reading

Rule # 6 of Love –Love The Guide, In Whom You See Yourself

Certain friendships are meant to last beyond eternity.

How can I write a eulogy for someone who is always with me? He is no more in his physical form, no more in his physical entity since about an year. But like he said recently, his spirit, his essence lives on with us.

He was the perfect householder, an excellent executive at work, the chosen disciple to his spiritual guide, and a friend and guide to all of us.

He was the perfect spiritual friend to many – quoting him – “I would like to tell you that in the Sufi tradition only the Spiritual Master is known as the ‘Friend’. This follows the ancient Indian tradition that a real friend is one who will give his life for you.”

Masters_of_Sahaj_Marg

Continue reading

Rule # 5 of Love – Silence is the Language of God

Shri Kamlesh D. Patel said, “You have centered yourself towards your heart. You are more perceptive, as you are trying to understand things with your heart. When you look at things, your attention is in the heart; your eyes are there. You are always trying to weigh things with your heart; you are not analyzing from the mind. Your inner radar opens up. And this habit has to be cultivated. If you want to become sharply discriminative, then this is a must.”

Today, I am going to take you all through an exercise, an exercise of silence, if you may call it. But before that, I want to listen to this song.

Ronan Keating has the most amazing voice, when he sings, “You say it best, when you say nothing at all.” Does he mean, saying nothing, speaking nothing, makes lovers come together – metaphorically? Does he say, “The heart speaks to the heart in the most intimate way, in silence?”

Continue reading

Rule #4 Of Love – Love Is The Reason… To Love

Beloved Chariji said, “Even in our ordinary human life, when we start loving someone, then we are able to understand the person. But if you want to understand everything about the person, why he or she lives in the way she lives, and then we want to love, it fails. That is, to put it in one sentence, love makes all understanding possible, but understanding does not create love. Similarly, spiritual growth makes physical life understandable, intellectual necessities understandable, but not the other way.”

6973914-love-heart-cloud.jpg
Love is the reason … to love!

Continue reading