Born for This Tsunami
Every now and then, satsangi, and nonsatsangi alike say that they are angry at God because of all the suffering in the world. It’s easy to relate to that assertion when everywhere we look, suffering is front-page news. Twenty-five hundred years ago the Buddha said, “All life is suffering.” Things don’t seem to have improved much or at all since then.
A few years ago when the tsunami struck in Indonesia, some of the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world were devastated by a huge wave that swept many to their deaths and left the rest wounded, bewildered, grieving and homeless, without food, drinking water, or medical attention.
A news magazine carried a striking photo of a sorrowful mother standing in front of her tsunami-devastated shack. The caption quoted her as saying, “My children were born for this tsunami.” It sounded like she really had a higher understanding of this occurrence.
Maharaj Sawan Singh says in Spiritual Gems:
The karmic law is supreme on the material and the mind planes, and nothing happens of its own accord, spontaneously, so to say. The law governs the planes; therefore, no haphazard happening of events takes place anywhere, whether the events are of microscopic or astronomical dimensions. In peace and in cataclysms or catastrophes, only they suffer who are destined to suffer.
In Tales of the Mystic East it says, “The law of karma is inexorable and inviolable. None, not even incarnations of gods, can escape it.” The net of our actions is not only vast, but the record of them goes back forever, far longer than we can imagine. We are accountable for things that happened long ago. We are participants in a self-balancing karmic system that has no concern for our individual needs or desires. It looks only at our past actions and fits souls into its next upcoming melodrama as it sees fit. We may play the part of a victim or a hero, a sacrificial lamb or an emperor, but it is all out of our hands. Some time back, Baba Ji said that if we really knew what was going on here, we would never leave our meditation.
If we truly understood the law of karma, we would do whatever it takes to get ourselves out of here. We wouldn’t worry about whose fault this is. We would take refuge with our Master and do whatever he tells us to do, and we wouldn’t stop until our stay here, as prisoners in a dungeon, is over. We would think of nothing except working toward our escape. The only thing that matters is keeping our attention at the eye centre. Our simran and bhajan can take us to the point where the Shabd can lift us out of here. Maharaj Charan Singh often said, instead of cursing the darkness, we should light a candle.
Dear world, I can offer
An intelligent explanation
For our suffering,
But I hope it really makes sense
To no one here,
And come morning,
You are again at God’s door
With axe and pickets,
Eloquent petitions and complaints.
Think of suffering as being washed.
The Gift, as rendered by Daniel Ladinsky