One day, I was doing some gardening in my backyard, when I saw a small bird fly right into the house. Wild birds do not belong in houses! I immediately went inside to free him.
I started in the kitchen, which is in the back of our house. I opened all the windows, but they made a rattling sound. So instead of going out, the little bird flew into the next room with fear in his eyes. I felt really bad that he was scared. He was so small and vulnerable and I must have looked like a huge giant, even though my only motive was to save him.
This went on and on, from room-to-room. I’d open all the windows in each room, and he’d flee in a panic to the next room. I finally got him all the way back to the kitchen, where we’d started by coaxing him in a soft voice, and closing all the doors behind me. But now, his two shiny, little eyes showed complete terror. And if birds could cry, he would have had tears streaming down his face.
At last, noticing an open window, he flew out. But, before he went, he looked at me one last time, as if to say, “You tried your best to kill me, but I escaped your reign of terror.”
After he was gone, I sat down at the kitchen table and I thought about what had just happened.
“I’m just like that bird!” Someone above me is constantly making arrangements to free me too, but in ignorance, I have no gratitude. In fact, I take all such opportunities that come to me as punishments or misfortune, rather than an invitation to improve myself.
Have you ever felt like the world is against you?
Even though it’s easy for us to feel like this, according to Srimad-Bhagavatam, an ancient book of wisdom, everything that happens to us in our lives is meant for our ultimate good. Wouldn’t we act differently if we knew that all our so called problems are there to help us?
That they are cosmic sensitivity training meant to help us become the best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be? Yes. Knowing this, we’d have the wherewithal to process adversity and loss. We might even have the presence of mind to feel grateful for our challenges?
The age-old practice of bhakti yoga is the path of gratitude. It teaches us, not only how to perceive this benevolent hand in our lives, but also how to use whatever happens to us in our lives as a means to improve.
In what ways have you seen a benevolent hand guiding your life. Please drop me a note with your realizations using ‘Ask Vaish‘ form. I would love to hear your story.0