Renunciation, Grace & Choice!

When I was around 14 yrs of age we were living in a small town Lalitpur in UP, India. My father was a doctor, ENT Surgeon in the government hospital there. In the summer time when schools were closed on May 15th, 1989 a Super fast train Karnataka Express was derailed just on the outskirts of Lalitpur. More than 9-10 coaches of the train came tumbling down from the bridge over the small river. It was a really horrible disaster and everyone in the town was going there to help and when I learned about it, I just wanted to go there to help too, but my parents understood what could be there so they strictly denied and said it's not a place for children, and went there without taking me on the first day. So second day when they were out there, I went to my convent school's Mother & Sisters/Nuns and I saw them gathering supplies for Red Cross. I told them please admit me in Red Cross right away because I also want to go there and help. Mother Jude looked at me as no other kid was there, it was summer vacation, but somehow she said OK, you can help us distribute these water bottles and they took me in the van with them.

    Image Source - Web/News

When I reached the site of the train accident, what I saw I couldn't have ever imagined in my wildest dreams. Train coaches were scattered, were upside down as if toys lying here and there, two coaches were on fire, a ton of black smoke, dead bodies, burned, with limbs, without limbs, blood, flies, crows, vultures around, people screaming, crying, people's clothes soaked in blood. Few coaches got electric current passed in them when the speeding electric train broke the connecting wires, so some bodies were electrocuted, some fell into the river and their bodies were swollen. There were dead kids, their shoes with blood, many toddlers orphaned, people couldn't find their family, most of the bodies couldn't even be recognized, identified. So many injured were crying out loud looking for their family members and finding their bodies. Police and Hospital staff set up the makeshift morgue to put all bodies that they found around and in the Train coaches and were continuously pulling out. Many suitcases with costly sarees & jewelry were lying open as the train was coming from South India, Karnataka and was full of many wealthy people, families.

It was a highly devastating sight and very painful one showcasing the Dance of Death with utmost cruelty! I was making my way by crossing over the bodies and limbs around to get to the injured and give them water to drink and see how else I could help as I learned the entire first-aid from my doctor parents.

The first day when I was there, I was very angry at God, and painful and asked the question within myself - How can God do this to these people? Does God even exist? Why people are even born if everyone has to die? Why did I born? I was questioning my very own existence. The devastation, pain, and misery around me were just too much to take in and numbed my mind, made me thoughtless.

The second day that I was there, another question was echoing very loud within me, over and over again - Why should we live, if everything has to end so abruptly, suddenly? Why do people gather so much wealth when it's of no use, they died suddenly and left all their valuables which look like garbage now? I couldn't stop thinking that many people were going for celebrations and were about to meet their families & loved ones in Delhi, many had family members waiting at home to return. But NO! No one reached where they thought or planned for, instead hundreds around me are just lying burnt or electrocuted or butchered not even to be identified by their own family members due to the horribly distorted body. I had so much pain within me seeing the FUTILITY OF LIFE. This was my INITIATION into RENUNCIATION. It seemed Death is the Only Truth that exists, all else is just useless, false. How does that matter who and what one has when Death one day will end everything so cruelly? The bare naked truth of Death, Pain, and Misery was in front of me, that too in the incomprehensible amount.

The third day I was helping everyone there with super speed, I suddenly found the energy and speed thinking that I will die too and it could be tomorrow or any moment, so I need to get everything done really fast and today. I need to help these injured but alive ones and stop thinking about all those dead ones. In my past 40 years of life, people around me always wondered and questioned me why I was so short of patience (that's how they saw it) and why things couldn't wait? And my parents were seriously annoyed for the rest of their life due to my "sense of urgency" in everything that I did or wanted to do or wanted to happen. The sense that "I am mortal" took deep roots in me and after that day, I just lived in TODAY, NOW and there was no time to ponder or hang on to the past and no time to worry too much about future, no too much thinking, just doing whatever was in front of me that day, that hour, that moment. I excelled in everything that I did in a very short amount of time, without knowing what is fueling all outcomes, what is giving me the energy to keep going. It was that realization of "being mortal". It never let me hold on to yesterday, on to the past in any way and it did not let me procrastinate or dream about some future for which I may or may not even be alive. Letting go everything of yesterday, of past became my living practice.

After 3 days I couldn't eat, sleep or even cry and had a high fever and couldn't go there anymore. My parents scolded me for going there and not listening to them and they tried hard to make me cry as they thought I went into shock. But no I wasn't in shock.

That pain was consuming me but my burning questions needed answers, my focus was on my questions. I wanted to know what is this drama that we play whole life when death will take everything away from us. Why people born? Why should I live? This life is totally meaningless and death is the ultimate truth. After few days I asked these questions to my father and he thought that train accident had a deep impact on me and he said don't think too much about it, a human body is mortal, everyone who is born will die one day but Soul lives forever. But that answer didn't satisfy me. I asked him to get me Vedas, Purans, Gita, Bible, Koran, Torah everything that he could as I wanted to know, I was restless and needed answers. He got me everything and I started reading, within 3-4 months I was done with the reading and realizing that I still couldn't find my answers.
Because those answers couldn't be grasped by the mind, by reading, such existential wisdom is meant for experiential reality. But I never stopped asking those questions until Enlightenment happened.

I lived my life in so much pain, pain that couldn't be described, couldn't be attached to anything particular.

Before this train tragedy whenever I used to go to Hospital to my father I used to see sick and poor and dead around me and always I felt as if I could mirror their pain as is in me and I felt so painful that I used to write poetry after seeing all that, poetry full of pain, stories full of pain of life. Even the tree shedding it's leaves in autumn seemed so painful to me. The cause of my pain was "separation" and it is the biggest "illusion/Maya/ignorance" that we live in and it cannot be removed until it becomes our experiential reality through Enlightenment or Self-Realization. No matter how many Guru's or Religious, Spiritual scriptures tell us that "It's All One, we are in Union always", there is no way to mentally grasp it or understand it. Our perception has to change to bring it to reality, so we can live that Union.

Now the Pain that this train accident caused was seen as a curse by so many people around me who went there to help because it made them experience such horrible things and many became fearful and paranoid and some were haunted in their dreams for more than a year. I did not become fearful, I wasn't holding onto the dead or injured, I was holding onto my questions. I did not go into any depression as pain in me was pushing me to find the answers. I became true renunciate by heart and accepted my own mortality and started living from that. So this pain that I went through for so long was a GRACE bestowed upon me to show me the "futility of living life in a mundane way, gathering so much material wealth, losing love & compassion and choosing greed, choosing fear and not love to live life, constantly keeping oneself busy with mundane and refusing to look at the big picture" and all these became the foundation for my life and spiritual journey.

Grace is not just the good results of our efforts. Grace is also our capacity, the capability to make those efforts. Grace is the ability to see the choices and make the right choice. I could have gone into fear and mental imbalance after experiencing so much pain of that train tragedy, but it did nothing like that to me, instead transformed me, gave me the tremendous amount of powerful pain and forced me to ASK the Questions and LOOK for the answers, that everyone in the human body should be asking themselves and should be finding answers for. I chose that pain and looked at it as grace and became a renunciate in just a few hours. Since then, I owned houses, cars, relationships, but nothing could ever own me at all, I could leave everything behind in a moment, I had no fear of losing anything at all including my body. Kindness and Compassion were the only conditionings that happened to my mind. I discarded all bookish knowledge, so called religious rituals and practices, and wanted to have Direct Experience of Life. Belief systems couldn't take place in me. I became fearless in everything I did, like playing, catching snakes or climbing mountains or speed driving. I was very clear about the fact that "I am going to die one day, so I will not die every day in fear at all". I chose to live fully every day before that one day/moment of death comes to me.

All this was a very powerful way of living, living from the heart fearlessly, full of love and compassion. Neither keeping past/grudges/issues in my heart instead forgiving people quickly, nor keep dreaming of some rosy future, rosy life, lofty worldly or spiritual goal. After this incident I could never see the life, the people around me in the same way and realized that I need to put myself in their shoes in order to understand them because everyone's life is full of Pain. And on the other side, that pain kept pushing me to find answers so I can not only eliminate my pain but other's pain too. Helping others became my motto, as I realized life is hard, cruel and death is the ultimate truth. I lived in the world but never belonged to it, I was in the world but was outsider there.

So grace could be bestowed upon us in so many ways, pain is grace too.

Here is the link to that train tragedy news and pictures for curious & courageous ones.

- http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/karnataka-express-derailment-shows-indian-railways-basic-infrastructure-remains-inadequate/1/323468.html

Do not click on this link if you are a chicken by heart, as it has some really disturbing pictures.

Whatever it is that life is throwing at you, you could turn it into Grace by making a Conscious choice. Grace is always there, you have to let it work. Life has many possibilities and we have to choose which possibility we want to bring to reality and that's how we create, we write our own destiny. We can choose Love over Fear. We can choose Pain over mundane temporary pleasures of life. We could choose freedom over temporarily comforting beliefs systems of our society. We could choose the strength of our heart over living in fears. We could choose strong will power to survive anything in life over depression and mental imbalance.

It's our choice!

When we choose Fear, the bad astrological predictions, bad possibilities become our living reality. I could have chosen fear instead of pain as I was just a child/teen and could have lived with depression for many years to come. I could have chosen that horrible scene to dream horrible dreams. I could have let that train tragedy destroy me in so many ways. There were so many possibilities. But I consciously chose pain, pain as a Grace. I accepted that Pain and accepted that it is meant for something else which I do not understand now and I was OK with being miserable within, instead of surrendering to Fear. I refused to accept fear! And that choice changed the whole outcome as I am living here today in front of you as a WHOLE BEING. Not broken, not emotionally or mentally fractured, not fearful, doing everything with love and compassion, helping others without any expectations. Then will you say I made the wrong choice? Because I lived for 25 years in indescribable Pain until my Enlightenment. Just imagine how me choosing fear at that time would have turned out? Who or what it would have made me? What it would have done to me? Possibilities were so many, right? But we all have a choice ALWAYS. Any situation, event, person, circumstance in life always shows us so many possibilities and gives us many choices. It's up to us what we choose.

When one loves oneself, he/she will accept Pain rather than being fearful. Love over fear is a choice. And it's not necessary that choosing Love is going to be very comfortable, soothing for you. Love and Fear are the two sides of one coin. Self-Love is not about rejecting pain and always looking for comforts, easiness, peace. Self Love is the love for and love of your own Soul/Atma and could bring tremendous amount of unexplainable pain, could stir one's life very deeply. That pain could help one evolve, fear only makes devolution happen, it's a waste of time and life-energy. Choosing a difficult path than surrendering to fear is what makes us evolve and be wholesome some day. Letting fear consume you is easy, gathering your will-power and choosing pain, Self-love is difficult. But you can see how it can transform one for good forever. And this is not a one-time choice, we make that choice every day, it's a fight every day.

Just see what choices are you making in life and what your past choices have done to you. How many times you gave into your Fear? How many of your life choices were made out of fear? How many decisions you took to stay in your fear? And see what all it has gotten you into. Do you have PEACE in your heart when you sleep at night? Do you have really truthful, sparkling, smiling eyes? Are you joyful within? Do some retrospection and make the necessary changes. Living unhappy and dying unhappy isn't a good thing.

~ Adiguru


2 comments:

  1. Beautifully written, very honest and also very loving.

    Charlie

    ReplyDelete

Thanks!