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“What, me worry?”1

Mark Twain, the American writer and humourist, once said: “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” Isn’t this the truth? That we worry about things all the time which never happen? There are people who worry if they find that they have nothing to worry about. Surely they must have overlooked something! If we are honest with ourselves, we all have to admit that we worry. This current global situation has given us plenty of extra things to worry about. It is human nature to worry, but we should understand that worry reveals a certain lack of faith. Maharaj Charan Singh described our tendency to worry this way:

If one is a satsangi, then there’s nothing to worry about. You see, we worry about things which we don’t expect to happen but which we think will happen. But when we say our destiny is set, the events of life are already chalked out and we just have to go through that, good or bad, then what is there to worry about? It’s not going to change the events of life. If we have that attitude, then why worry?2

We worry because we want certain things to happen in the way we want them to. We have certain desires, certain wishes to fulfil, certain ambitions to fulfil. And we are always worried about whether we’ll be able to achieve them or not, whether we’ll be able to satisfy those desires or not. That keeps us worrying. If we leave it to the Father, if we live in his will, he knows best what to give us. We just prepare ourselves to accept what he gives. Then what is there to worry about?

The purpose of meditation is just for that. The purpose of meditation is to train ourselves to adopt that attitude. It’s not easy; it’s a lifelong struggle, no doubt. But that is the purpose of meditation – to develop that attitude of accepting things as they come.3

What about surrender? The master has said that the most direct path of living in the Lord’s will is through surrender, but it is also the hardest path. Apparently meditation is the easier path. Surrender, like humility, is not an attribute that one day we can decide to have. “Today I have given up my ego and have become truly humble!” “Starting today I have submitted to the will of the Lord!” It just so happened that today’s Quote of the Day on the RSSB website was: “Well done is better than well said.” We simply cannot talk our way into becoming humble or surrendering to the Lord’s will. Maharaj Sawan Singh said:

Although hard to practise, sharan or complete surrender to the will of the Master has a very important place in Sant Mat…. When the mind has completely surrendered, its interference ceases. As long as the mind is active, we cannot claim to have completely surrendered. This is why saints say it is easier to meditate than to surrender.4

I will end with another applicable quote on worry from Mark Twain: “Worrying is like paying interest on a debt that you don’t even owe.” For us, the payment of “interest” is our attention, our focus, our trust in the Lord and the Master. Let’s not squander our spiritual wealth through unnecessary worry about imaginary boogie-men that never materialize. If we have not reached the stage of surrender, at least we have it in our power to reduce our tendency to worry with the understanding that the Master and the Lord are managing our affairs with our best interests in mind. We simply need to do our best and “leave the rest” to the higher power that is managing everything.

  1. Alfred E. Neuman, in Mad Magazine
  2. Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, 165
  3. Spiritual Perspectives, Vol. II, 165
  4. With the Three Masters, Vol. 1, p.104