Around this time of the year high school seniors are frantically busy for their college applications. Their careers and future depend on the college they get an admission. Seeing a few such seniors who are close to me and are worrying about their college admissions I decided to share my thoughts with them.
I told them that they should try hard to go to their dream colleges, but if they cannot get into them then the world does not come to an end. Since they are hardworking sincere students, I told them that whichever colleges they go to they will build up good careers.
Many students get upset, frustrated and/or get depressed when they get rejections from all their dream colleges. I told students that many times looking back into our life we find it was for our good certain things did not happen according to our expectations. For example, suppose you were forced to go to a college which was your last choice. You reluctantly went there with a heavy heart. But, in a year or two you find your life-partner which you could not have found in any other way or find an adviser who help you to build your dream career or find good friends, enjoyable classes and have a great time. What does it say? It tells us that, ‘Whatever happens is for good.’ We can apply this to any situation in our life. We sincerely work hard to get something or to achieve something and we do not get or achieve what we wanted. We get frustrated and become furious. In such situations, a devotee thinks that ‘May be there is some underlying reason that I do not understand for which thing happened differently. May be the Almighty, who created this universe, nourishes it, and dissolves it has a better plan.’
There is a nice story to remember.
There was a king who did not believe in God. Unfortunately or fortunately he had a very wise minister who was a great devotee of God. The King used to get annoyed listening to God’s talks from his minister. But, he was greatly benefited by his minister’s advice that he tolerated and ignored the minister’s talks on God. The most annoying sentence of the minister was, ‘whatever happens is for good.’ The King did not understand its significance and rationality.
One day, as a routine, the king went on hunting with his minister and a few soldiers. While chasing deer into a deep forest, the king and the minister were separated from the soldiers. It was getting dark and the visibility was very poor. The king was upset and angry that he could not get a deer and was separated by his soldiers. The forest was thick. At some places they had to walk on foot with the horses. While walking he was hit by a branch of a tree and he got a cut on his finger. It was painful. Blood was coming out. Minister tore his cloth and wraps it around the cut and stopped the bleeding. King was really angry about the whole situation. The minister tried to console him and said, ‘Whatever happens is for good.’ This was the last straw on the camel’s back. The king was so mad that he pushed the minister into a nearby big dry well and said ‘whatever happens is for good.’ The well was deep and the minister cannot come out by himself, but the king did not care. The king thought this will teach him a lesson. He went further with his horse.
All of a sudden he heard sounds of horses and people. He thought that they were his soldiers, but they were strangers and well-armed. Before the king defends himself, these strong and powerful strangers caught the king, closed his mouth with a cloth, tied him with a rope and carried him to a nearby place in the forest. They tied the king to a tree and started preparing for some rituals. From their conversations, the king found out that they were cannibals and the king’s life was an offering to their goddess. Then they will eat him. The king was helpless. His mouth was fully covered. He could not say a word. As a final ritual, a priest came to examine the king as an offering. Then he found that the king had a cut. The priest screamed to the other cannibals and said that he cannot offer this person because he has a cut. The goddess will be upset with this offering. It is like a fruit with a cut is not good for offering to God. The cannibals were upset that their efforts were wasted. They let the king go with his horse. The king was thinking of the minister’s words, ‘whatever happens is for good.’ He thought, ‘Maybe the minister was right. If I did not have this cut, the cannibals would have sacrificed me.’ The king found the minister, helped him to come out from the well, told him what had happened and apologizes to him for his rude behavior. The minister forgave him and said, ‘whatever happens is for good.’ After a few moments, the king turned to the minister and said, ‘Well, one thing is not clear to me. It was good that I got cut on my finger and I was saved. But, I threw you into the well. What good had happened through that act?’ The minister said, “O King! If you did not throw me into the well, then the cannibals would have sacrificed me instead of you. So, it was good that you threw me into the well.’ The king shook his head and said, “Really, God’s ways are mysterious.”
(1) The attitude described in this post is much deeper and is a mature way of living. It does not encourage to tolerate or ignore slavery, or injustice or inappropriate behavior. A person with such attitude respectfully opposes any such thing without hatred.
(2) I have found that a person with such attitude works hard to fulfill one’s responsibility, enjoys one’s work and have less or no distress. Also, such a person is always sensitive about the sufferings of other people and does everything within his/her control to remove these sufferings.