Seeking health and happiness for all


By Gurudevshri Rakeshbhai

A religious person is one who is happy, and the mark of a happy person is contentment. He does not seek happiness outside, but the discontented one pursues it outside, and he gets attached there.

During my stay in South India once, I met a doctor and would visit his house daily. I soon came to know that he used to drink, but would refrain from it when I was visiting. He said, “When you come, I feel so happy that I do not feel the need to drink. I drink only when sad.” “But you have been drinking for years, aren’t you addicted to it?” I asked. He said, “No, I drink for a reason, and the day I don’t have that reason, I don’t drink.”

In the same city, the person I stayed with would spend his day performing rituals and penance. When he came to know that I was visiting this person, he could not stop criticising him for his drinking habit. I said to him, “If he is drinking, he will have to bear the fruits, why do you take so much interest? Does it nourish your religiousness?” But he continued regardless, and even discouraged me from visiting him.

Later, when I went back to that person, and intentionally told him how the other man criticised him, he did not take any interest in it. Instead, he evaded commenting on it every time I brought it up.

Between these two, who is religious? One who is not content and sees others’ shortcomings or the one who is content and, therefore, not interested in talking about others? Who is irreligious? Is gossiping not an addiction too?

Only he is religious who sees his own faults and becomes eager to eradicate them. He alone is happy. For this reason, rishi-munis wished for divine blessings for all: ‘Sarve bhavantu sukhinah.’ ‘Sarve santu niraamayaah’ – may all be healthy. Here, health does not mean only physical well-being. It has a deeper meaning, to abide in the Self. There is joy when the body is in its natural state and suffering when there is disease. Similarly, in the inner world, there is bliss when consciousness abides in its true nature and there is sorrow when it does not. Therefore, enlightened beings have given blessings for good health and for abiding in the Self.

True health manifests when the disease of delusion about the Self ceases to be. Physical illness is insignificant. The body perishes, whether it is healthy or not. But the pure Self in the body does not die. To stay steadfast in that eternal essence alone is dharma, the supreme health.

The prayer further says: ‘Sarve bhadrani pashyantu’ – may all attain welfare. Whenever we engage in devotion and meditation, we experience happiness. And whenever true happiness manifests, that very moment, it wants to flow. Therefore, after any ritual, saints ask us to send friendly feelings to all, wish spiritual welfare for all.

Only when you have purified your heart through meditation, can you wish health and auspiciousness for all. None should suffer will then be your only prayer. ‘Ma kashchit dukh bhaagbhavet’ – may no one suffer.

You will have to show readiness, worthiness, and inner transformation for the enlightened ones’ blessings to bear fruit. You can be happy if you become religious in the true sense.

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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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