Today while meditating, I was feeling so blissful and happy in my heart that I couldn't take it. I opened my eyes within an hour of sitting for meditation due to my inability to contain happiness. I was feeling so happy that it was almost painful. It made me realize the hypocrisy of our existences. We all want to be extremely happy in life, but when it is given in excess, we cannot tolerate it? WOW!

God is indeed SAT-CHIT-ANANDA (existence-consciousness-bliss). You need to make yourself capable of that kind of happiness. Though all of us yearn for happiness, it is equally true that none of us are actually equipped to deal with or contain such happiness if it is given to us. Why else would humans fall into Maya/illusion and confuse between pleasure and happiness; between love and emotional attachment, etc?!

To explain my point more clearly — Let me explain an incident that happens in the story of Mahabharata.

Background — Dhritarashtra the blind king ( and father of Duryodhana — the main villain of the story) is given sight for a brief period by Lord Krishna.

Dhritarashtra’s blind emotional attachment ( which cannot be termed “love”) towards his son made him turn a blind eye towards his son’s immoral and adharmic activities. His excessive lust for power and control had its roots in his physical blindness. He thought that he was incomplete in some way. To add to his misery and insecurities in life, despite him being the eldest prince, his younger brother Pandu( — the father of Pandavas) was throned the emperor. This fuelled his loss of faith in himself, and increased his faith in his blindness.

Emperor Dhritarashtra being advised by his younger brother and minister, Vidura.

God gives some kind of encumbrance/disability for everyone Some people don't have conscience, some don't have patience, some lack compassion, some lack a sense of faithfulness, some are ungrateful, some lack courage in life, some lack honor and integrity , some don't have good health; some people have bad memory, some people can't run fast enough, etc — ALL of us are handicapped in some way or the other. Do you know one person — ANY ONE — who has no weaknesses and shortcomings?AT ALL? Surely none of us know such a person. But Dhritarashtra instead of conquering his physical blindness, made them a part of his character and soul. He made his blindness his center of the universe. Everyone is born with some of the other shortcoming/ disability. Dhritarashtra’s weak mind made it his limitation. There are many people who strive and conquer their shortcomings. The difference between such people and Dhritarashtra, is that Dhritarashtra had no faith in himself and courage to do the right thing. He lived in fear and gained pleasure from being that way. He made his blindness as a weapon to gain sympathy from those around him. Shortcomings are present in everyone, given by god. But limitations are created by the mind.

The 5 Pandava brothers made slaves and their common wife Draupadi being disrobed in open court. She is saved by Lord Krishna, to whom she prays while being disrobed.

Dhritarashtra argued that the throne is meant for him because that is the only thing that can complete him and instill self-confidence in him. Classic case of a person confusing power/ego for self-confidence. Continuing this way, Dhritarashtra’s condition worsened with time. His faith in his blindness turned into blind emotional attachment for his sons- Kauravas. He was intensely jealous of his younger brother Pandu and once Pandu dies, Dhritarashtra greedily accepts the throne. Later, he lustily tries to make his son Duryodhana the crown prince. Duryodhana makes at least 3 failed attempts to kill his cousins ( Pandavas) — in various ways ( black magic, poison, fire, etc) to remove obstacles from his path to become the emperor. When everything fails, he defeats them in a game of dice, makes them all his slaves ( including their wife Draupadi). To complete the humiliation, he tries to disrobe and rape Draupadi ( a woman with 5 husbands) in open court and brand her as a prostitute. Dhritarashtra ignores his minister and brother Vidura’s wise counsel and turns a blind eye to all this — thereby fails to do justice to his own brother’s sons. Blindness being a very insignificant shortcoming of his own physical personality becomes a serious character flaw to a point where he starts to blindly adore his evil son. Really. What kind of a person would accept his son’s activities if he plotted murder of his own cousins — at a young adolescent age?! No matter the circumstances?!

Coming back to the story — When Krishna arrived on a peace mission before the Kurukshetra War, Duryodhana tried to imprison him. But Krishna got angry and showed his Universal Form of God in an open court. He briefly gave vision to blind Dhritarashtra too. But Dhritarashtra found it painful to endure this vision and requested that his sight be taken back. He couldn’t STAND being able to SEE!!! And he couldn’t stand the sight of God. Imagine that!

We all want to see God ( much is being spoken about existence/ non-existence of God in present times) — we all want happiness — we all want the ultimate truth — but can we stand it if it is given to us?! The answer is — NO! We can’t blame God for being invisible to us. What if we are the ones CHOOSING to not see God?! Because we can’t stand the sight of Him?! Have we thought about that? Remember how repulsed and angry Jew priests were with Jesus? They crucified him for speaking the truth! Is there any guarantee that we can SEE God and spot Him if he took a human form and presented himself before us? NO!

Of course, we are not created equal — some people are lower level beings and some are higher level beings. Dhritarashtra was an example of a lower level being.

AN EXAMPLE IF A HIGHER LEVEL BEING?

A blind saint poet who lived during the time of Mughal emperor Akbar (15th century) — called Surdas

Surdas is known, even to this day, for his purity of devotion towards Lord Krishna. He was born blind, into a brahmin family, who ignored and abandoned him. He left home and started living on the banks of River Yamuna, and earned his living by singing songs about worldly materialistic life. One day, the great teacher Vallabhacharya was passing by and was impressed with his gift with music and poetry. He accepted Surdas as his student, and instructed him to sing devotional poetry about Lord Krishna.

Saint Surdas singing praises of Lord Krishna

In one incident, Surdas falls into a well and is rescued by Lord Krishna when he calls him for help. Radha, who had accompanied Lord Krishna, impressed with his devotion, goes near Surdas. But Surdas, recognizing the divine sounds, pulls her anklets off. Radha tells him who she is but Surdas refuses to return her anklets stating that he cannot believe her due to his physical blindness. Krishna gives Surdas vision and confirms that he has indeed been rescued by the Lord. Surdas returns the anklets saying he has already got what he wanted (the blessings of Krishna) and asks Krishna to make him blind again as he does not want to see anything else in the world after seeing Krishna.

Eyes are just a pair of sense organs. They have nothing to do with our happiness. Surdas was as blind as Dhritarashtra. But did his blindness handicap his character ? soul? keep him from attaining his goals in life? Keep him from being extremely happy? NO! Surdas didn't want his vision for a reason exactly opposite to that of Dhritarashtra.

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After hearing these stories — we need to think —

  1. Are we sure we have sight in life?
  2. If we do not have sight in life, then are we humble enough to admit it?
  3. If given, are we capable of beholding the sight?
  4. Are we broadminded enough accept that there are perspectives and visions beyond the ability of our mind’s present state to comprehend?
  5. Are we simple enough to admit we don’t know everything?

Something to think about.

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