I’m going through some rough times where every day is becoming more and more about surviving just one more day. I woke up one day with my son crying and the first sentence I uttered before I was even out of bed was “I hate my life”. In Norway we have a saying: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. That’s utterly bullshit, of course. The truth is more in terms of “What doesn’t kill you, you persevere”.
Or how about that quote every krishna conscious devotee and ex-devotees have heard: “Chant and be happy!” Well, when is that happiness coming, because it sure can’t be found here much?
I do believe the quote from Srila Prabhupada, but I also know it’s not easily attained. I will probably not realize it fully in this lifetime. So how do I approach dealing with a hard life when there is no spiritual books to guide me?
Turns out that I was wrong. The books I needed somehow ended up in the mail at the time I needed them. Three months ago I purchased some books written by Gour Govinda Swami: Trnad api sunicena, Vedic dharma and the grahasta-ashrama and Encountering the Krshnalingita Vigraha. Shipping ends up costing almost as much as the books even when you choose the three months delivery option, but it was well worth the wait.
I browsed through the table of contents and quickly found out that trnad api sunicena was the book to start with? Just read these titles:
How to develop tolerance, Happiness and distress is mental concoctions, humility is needed, Crookedness – the great stumbling block, society without envy, the source of envy and intolerance.
I found exactly what I needed in my current situation, a whole book dedicated to how I develop tolerance, how to deal with the distress I’m drowning in etc. I’m already almost half way into the book as I’ve devoured the book any spare moment I have. On hating my life I got a new perseptive from the book I have to work myself through:
In the world of duality – that is to say, in the material world – so-called goodness and badness are both the same. Therefore, in this world, to distinguish between good and bad, happiness and distress, is meaningless because they are both mental concoctions (manodharma)…
mātrā-sparśās tu kaunteya
tāḿs titikṣasva bhārata
“O son of Kunti, the non-permanent 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.”
So that is part of my lesson right now. To tolerate distress without it affecting my mood and bhajana. So: tolerance, tolerance, tolerance, perseverance. That is my motto and mantra for the time being. Let’s hope I learn this lesson fast.