One of my friends was met me yesterday evening during a regular evening walk while routine conversation I realized she was little sad and disturbed. She told me that there is no peace in life, few days remain well and again some unexpected problems arise. My husband’s mood also remains very wavy same like the stock market trend, sometimes cheerful and sometimes dull. I said are you really sad? What’s wrong with your life? You have problem with just wavy life? So she said yes there is no necessary pause or stability in life. There is no endless happiness. Sometimes joy sometimes harassment, many years of life have passed in the same way but nothing has changed. In life, the cycle of joy and sorrow, happiness and pain goes on. Continuing the talk I told her are you bothered by the wavy or ripple character of life or any personal trouble of life? Because I don’t think there are any major issues in your life. The naturalness of life also seems unnatural and inappropriate to you just because you have not recognized life in its original form.
This is like expecting a rollercoaster ride to run straight. Does it happen and even if we can make it possible, will it be fun? Seeing most of the people in the amusement park enjoying a ride like a rollercoaster, you don’t think that the basic factor behind that excitement is its unusual ups and downs. That is it’s speciality that is why it has demand, it has enthusiasm and excitement. People will not like it if it doesn’t have unusual moves. So she said yes it is true but we choose the roller coaster for our own pleasure so it’s unusual moves gives us pleasure. But the same logic does not apply to life. I asked her that if we choose life by our own will then its ups and downs will be prefer or enjoy that’s what you wanted to tell me. I asked her that tell me by whose will we get our life, if its not ours? And even if we live our life by the will of others, then also the end or the change is absolutely in our hands. Do you know the functioning of ECG (electrocardiography) machine? Have you seen it working which measures electric activity within the heart? It shows life in waves and we all know that a straight line signifies death. While observing a patient’s condition, even for a few seconds, if it starts to stop moving down the line, that is, if it starts to straighten, then all kind of tension arises. This means that being wavy is the only characteristic of life and that is the real joy. If it is not wavy then it is not life.
If such a natural thing is not understood then life becomes miserable. This is just like a wish to eat chili but the condition is that it should not be spicy, how can that be possible? because spiciness is its characteristic. Moreover, its special qualities that are beneficial to us are due to its spiciness. If you want chili without spiciness then why expect to get chili? Cucumbers can be eaten instead, but we want chilies to be like cucumbers, what a weird thing !
I further said her that you told me at the beginning that my husband’s mood is like the trend of stock market so I want to tell you that don’t you think it is necessary. How would you feel if someone constantly gives you chili in your life? What would life be like if you have to eat only bitter curry or if you constantly given sweets in your diet, would it be fun? In the same way, have you ever thought about how twenty-four hours of the same mood (if uninterrupted good for a lifetime or bad for a lifetime) makes life colorless? The real joy of life is diversity and change so we want constant change in life. Festivals, vacations, different hobbies in a monotonous life indicate the importance of change in life which fills a tired life with excitement and energy again so why not the same logic in relationship? Do you know that due to the cycle of ups and downs in the stock market it is fun to do business and work in the stock market? The excitement in the stock market, the joy of business, the fun of playing is due to its bullish and bearish trend. Is it possible for business or investment activity to continue if there is a constant boom or a continuous recession? In fact, those who deal with the stock market know that when there is a recession, there is a need to be patient, to create a very smart strategy with the idea of good days (i.e. boom) coming with well-being. No one can stop a person who makes the right strategy in times of recession, overcomes all negativity with patience and faith keeps making smart systematic investment from becoming a king in boom days. The same logic applies to life. The bright future awaits those who persevere in bad times, with the idea of a better future, with great faith and patience. Because happiness-sorrow, joy-grief, boom-bust etc. are natural waves of life and the true joy of life is only due to its waves. That’s why we enjoy rides like roller coasters more than the usual straight-forward rides. Those who like stability have to choose the straight line of the ECG machine as I said earlier because if you choose life, you have to choose in its basic existence (i.e. wavy).
This is life, but how can it be on the condition that there should be no wave in it? because it is characteristic of death. This is like expecting the quality of a cucumber in chili. We want life but like death (dull, straight line without waves) it is never possible and even if it is possible, how can there be joy in it? But our ignorance is of a height that as very intelligent guy we always say why is it not possible? Now tell me how can we explain them that no problem can be solved just by expecting the bitter gourd (KARELA) not to be bitter. You have to cultivate a real understanding that bitter gourd must be bitter and if you need to eat bitter gourd, then you have to accept it with its bitterness. You also have to learn to enjoy the bitter taste or the moral courage to leave it with full understanding. But the reality is that actually we want everything but on our own terms and condition which is not possible in the natural world of nature because here everything runs according to the natural laws or God’s will. Where chili is spicy, bitter gourd is bitter and sweets are swallowed and from time to time only a combo pack of such different flavors can make life rainbow. Also, after eating more sweet, you feel the urge to eat spicy food. The same instinct has to be kept in life for joy-sorrow, happiness-grief. We all know that AC gives pleasure only after being heated in extreme heat. How can there be fun in AC unless you feel the heat? If you want to enjoy AC, you have to bear heat and if you don’t like AC, you have to learn to enjoy the heat. Either the pain or the happiness has to be removed from the mind. If happiness is expected (AC is wanted) then suffering (heat tolerance) has to be endured as it is the only condition. How can medicine give pleasure without illness? Enjoy life like a roller coaster ride. Paradise is here and for those who don’t like roller coasters, there is a great way of asceticism. The choice is yours. Abstinence has a different pleasure of its own and a entire different pleasure of the rollercoaster. The two cannot be combined. Because in asceticism there is a pause, there is stability, there is axiomatic bliss (joy without tools). He who wants to get rid of sorrow has to give up happiness. He who wants happiness must also learn to enjoy sorrow, there is no other way. It is better to choose an easy way out and enjoy it than to waste your whole life trying to find a new impossible path. If you want both, another way is described by the scriptures to enjoy the four ashrams (BRAHMACHARYASHAM-GRUHASTHASHRAM-VANPRASTHASHRAM-SANYASASHRAM) in stages according to their time. Enjoying the rollercoaster at the right time and willingly letting go at the right time is the only way to uninterrupted peace or enjoys the fleeting rollercoaster whenever bored and tired keep on rising enthusiasm in the life. Even so, all these waves of life are actually the school of God where there is something to be learned from time to time. But this school is a bit strange. Here exam is conducted first (means stumble or harmful experience) and then you get to learn. In that sense, every stumbling block has something to learn.
Never forget that only those who can enjoy being at the bottom enjoy the height of the sky and can reach the same height of the sky because it is impossible for a person living at a constant height to feel height. That realization is only possible for those who live at the bottom at least for some time. In short, understand the waves of life and enjoy it because life is wavy so that is life.
Shilpa Shah Director in-charge HKBBA College