12 Mar Spirituality is not about running away from hardships

Very often people misunderstand the concept of detachment.  When people face reversals or any bad experiences in the world, they think they have become detached from the world.    You can see hundreds and thousands of people wanting to take up spirituality simply because they can’t bear adversities.  There will be people running away from the world because their partners left them or they failed in their examinations.  This is surely not detachment.

If these people were to face reversals in the path of spirituality they would react in the same way and get detached from God as well.   The reason is simple; those people are not detached from the world, they are merely detached from the miseries of the world.  In other words they are running away from miseries. If we truly wish to walk the path of Divine Love, we will have to learn to overcome our miseries.  If someone does something bad to us that makes us resent, the solution will lie in overcoming the resentment not in running away from it.

This world is full of dualities of happiness and sorrow and success and failure.  The path of Divine Love requires that we take happiness and distress in the same way. In fact in the path of Divine Love, Saints tell us that pain and miseries are even more elevating because they speed up the process of purifying our heart.  If we can learn to see our miseries with the right mindset, each setback can be an opportunity to become more humble, tolerant and patient.  In other words spirituality is not about running away from hardships, it is about facing happiness and distress with equanimity.


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  • Niraj Trivedi
    Posted at 21:33h, 24 April Reply

    Swami Mukundananda Ji has mentioned in the past – running away from hardships is ‘Rajasic Vairagya’. But, we need to develop ‘Sattvic Vairagya’. I have personally noticed in my trying times that facing hardships makes my surrender to God even more strong. If we run away from hardships in material life, we will also run away from hardships in spirituality. But, if we develop discipline in material hardships, we will be able to maintain our spiritual life too.

    So, I wholeheartedly agree with this article, persistence is a key attribute in spirituality.

    • Tejprerna
      Posted at 18:56h, 29 April Reply

      Its a common experience when people go to spirituality only when there are tough times thinking they will get immediate relief. And by this article Swami ji confirms there is no immediate solution, Spirituality only helps us overcome the miseries by making us stronger in faith and facing the problem boldly.

  • Renjini Jyothishmathy
    Posted at 20:11h, 30 April Reply

    It is natural to turn to God when we face tough times in our life . Moreover, it is often misunderstood that spirituality is an escape from troubles . In this eye opening article , Swamiji clarifies our doubts about the importance of problems in our life and its importance in our spiritual path.

  • Ms Sandhya Das
    Posted at 17:20h, 08 May Reply

    Saints tell us that pain and miseries are even more elevating because they speed up the process of purifying our heart.Everything arises and passes away.When we see this, we are above sorrow. With our thoughts, we make our world.

  • Yogi
    Posted at 13:51h, 14 June Reply

    This is very inspirational. Thank you, Swamiji.

  • vishal khokha
    Posted at 17:25h, 14 June Reply

    Perseverance is a key attribute in overcoming the hardships and miseries in the material world and also in spirituality. We need to be more persistent that the hardships and difficulties to progress in our lives reach the goal. Spirituality brings peace and gives the inner strength to face happiness and distress with equanimity. Thank you Swami Ji!!

  • Preeti Malhotra
    Posted at 07:42h, 15 March Reply

    Beautiful article Swamiji! Spirituality is a way of life and a state of being. When our thoughts are centered in knowledge, then our perspective on success and happiness changes. We can then understand that spirituality is above mundane morality, which helps us to truly detach from judgement, and move into gratitude. With this attitude, all challenges become opportunities to grow and blossom into our true self. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

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