“…jeene ke liye, socha hi nahin, dard sambhalne honge…”
“I never thought I have to deal with/manage pain to live Life!”
This line is from the soul-stirring, famous song, “tujhse naaraaz nahi zindagi…”, from Masoom (1983, Shekar Kapur, R.D.Burman, Gulzar, Lata Mangeshkar; male version by Anoop Ghoshal). I stumbled upon this song, which is among my all-time favorites, yet again, this morning. And I instantly sent out a prayer in gratitude to Gulzar saab…only someone who has seen Life, felt pain and experienced inner joy, can write with so much depth, and yet keep it so simple, so lucid. This line holds the key to why we struggle with Life.
Almost all of us have encountered pain__and have resultantly suffered__without being prepared for it. As kids, our painful moments would be anchored and cushioned under the protective care of our parents. But we are socked and numbed by the first episode of pain in our adult lives because we have never been educated about the true nature of Life in our early years. We haven’t been told that:
- Life never guarantees any fair-play
- Life will keep on happening to us – no matter what we want or expect
- Pain in Life is inevitable
- The only way avoid suffering is to accept the pain and not resist it
- When you choose not to suffer, you are happy
A Siddha yogi who I met some years ago taught me how not to resist pain. I had gone to meet him with Vaani. I was totally beaten, demotivated and confused with my Life at that point in time. And the man told us: “Embrace your pain. It is trying to teach you something. Learn from it. Don’t fight it. Don’t resist it. Let it just be. It will go away the same way it came. Treat it with dignity, as if it is a ‘guest’ in your Life. Don’t hate it. Embrace it.” Though I initially found his advice preposterous and absurd, over time, I came to appreciate how much truth and wisdom it contained.
Let me explain it the way I have understood it. You can’t choose what happens to you in Life. Life keeps on happening irrespective of either your wants or your expectations. When what happens to you matches your wants or expectations, you willingly accept Life for what it is. But when the unexpected and the unwanted happens, you resist Life, because this ‘unwanted guest’ is causing you pain. It could be a simple headache or a job loss or a cancer or a relationship break-down; anything that arrives uninvited causes pain. Now the event, the happening, as such does not cause you any suffering. Yes, it brings you pain. But your suffering is your own creation. And you are suffering only because you are resisting whatever is happening to you. So, when I internalized the yogi’s point of view, and I learnt – rather cultivated – the art of embracing and accepting my pain, I stopped suffering.
And that brings me to another great lyricist Indeevar and the sage lines he wrote for Samjhauta (1973, Ajoy Biswas, Kalyanji-Anandji, Kishore Kumar):
“…samjhauta ghamon se karlo…zindagi mein gham bhi milte hain…” meaning “…learn to embrace/compromise with your pain/grief…for you will encounter pain/grief in your Life…”
So, stop struggling with Life and decide to end all your suffering. Whatever be your source of pain, just accept it and embrace it. When you choose not to suffer, you can only be happy!