Thursday, July 30, 2009
What causes Sorrow?
Each one of us, on various occasions, would have felt unhappy. It is not a pleasant feeling and we all wish to be happy instead. Yet, unhappiness makes its presence felt time and again. Someone once remarked that happiness is the interval between two sorrows. Is this really so? What causes unhappiness? If only we knew the real reason for sorrow, won't we make efforts to fix it?
Some people say that sorrow is caused by other people. When other people do or say things which hurt us, we feel sad. If only other people are more considerate, our sorrows would be lesser. Some say that distress is caused by some events. It could be death or accident or some other event which causes pain to us. Therefore. sorrow is accidental. Astrologers claim that distress is essentially caused by planetary influences in our lives. They say all things are pre-ordained and we are all bound to have alternating periods of joy and sorrow...
Wise seers of yore have gone deeper into this question and through contemplation and meditation have concluded and declared that sorrow is only a state of our minds. When the mind is disturbed by things not happening as per expectations, it gets hurt and upset. This becomes the root cause of all sorrow. The trick therefore is to look inward. There is no point searching for external reasons.
The cause of all joy and distress is our mind. If we can keep our mind & desires in control, it will become a mere observer of things. As an observer, the mind has no direct involvement and hence does not worry about the events. Then, we feel tranquil and have a smooth life. Just as a drop of water on a lotus leaf does not mingle with it, sorrow does not affect us.
You cannot prevent the birds of sadness flying over your head but you can prevent them from nesting in your hair – Swedish saying
"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain" - Kahlil Gibran