The doctor did a thorough examination and told the
man, �Sir, there is nothing wrong with your body. Your
finger is broken. That is why it hurts wherever you touch.
Get your finger plastered, rest it for a couple of weeks and
all of your pains will disappear.�
In life so frequently
it is our own perspective that causes us pain. As we go
through life �feeling� the world with our fingers, if our
finger is broken naturally we will experience pain
everywhere. But, we make the mistake of blaming the
external world for our ailments: �My job is over-taxing, my
husband is too demanding, my wife nags, my children are
disobedient, my in-laws don�t understand me, etc. etc.� But
if you look throughout the world you will be able to find
someone who has the same type of job, but is calm, or
someone who has the same type of spouse but is happy, or
someone who has the same type of children but is patient, or
someone who has the same type of in-laws but is grateful.
What is it that allows
2 people to experience the same external situation but
respond in 2 different ways? Our own perspective. Our own
perception. The key, then, is not to try to change every
situation in our life, but rather to change the glasses
through which we see the world. Sure, if we have a fixable
situation at the office or at home, we should definitely do
our best to improve it. But, what I have seen is that if
someone has the nature to be dissatisfied, or the nature to
be stressed, or the nature to be pained, that person�s
nature is not going to change simply by changing the
A massage for the back
or shoulder or legs would not help the man in our earlier
example because it is his finger which is broken. He could
spend hundreds of dollars to ease the pain in his body, but
unless he puts his broken finger in a splint, he will
continue to experience pain every time that finger touches
the various parts of his body. Similarly, we run around
through life trying to �fix� our jobs or marriages or family
life, but frequently the reality is in our own perspective.
If we spend the same amount of energy �fixing� our
perspective as we spend trying to �fix� our spouse or
children, everything would be fine.
This is not to say that
pains and troubles don�t really exist in our day to day
life. Of course they do. The man in our example may also
have a stiff back or sore shoulders. But the excruciating
pain he experienced was due not to the minor aches and pains
in his body, but due to the severely broken finger with
which he was touching them. Similarly, our jobs and our
families are taxing. They demand a lot of us. But the
unbearable pain many of us experience is due not to the
demands and commands from without, but due to the demands
and commands from within ourselves.
In the Gita it is said
that we are our best friend and also our own worst enemy,
depending upon how we live our lives.
Let us all take some
time to examine what our own personal �broken finger� is.
What is it within ourselves that causes us to experience
pain in the world? What irrational fear, what unfulfillable
desire, what selfish motive, what ego-driven need has broken
the finger with which we feel the world or has colored the
glasses with which we see? We spend so much time examining
others, but very little time examining our own selves.
The Source of all joy
and peace lies within us. We are blocked from that Source by
a host of desires, fears and ignorance. The key to finding
and tapping into that Source must come from within. Let us
find the key within ourselves and unleash the Ocean of
Divine Bliss in our lives.