See The Great Reality Even In Obstacles
Sri Swami Chidananda
This article is a chapter from the book A Call To Liberation.
Worshipful homage unto Thee, Thou eternal, all-pervading and indwelling cosmic Spirit Divine! May Your grace be upon all those sincere seeking souls who are assembled here in Your divine presence! Grant them the blessedness of an unceasing aspiration, and a determined resolution to fulfil this aspiration, no matter what the obstacles, what the difficulties, what the adverse circumstances.
Grant them the insight, the vision and the wisdom to see in these obstacles necessary disciplines that are meant to strengthen their inner sinews, necessary disciplines that are meant to awaken in them their hidden powers which may then be manifested and exercised for this great attainment.
May they not see adverse circumstances as adverse circumstances or obstacles as obstacles. Grant them the vision and the wisdom to see them as opportunities, to see You present as obstacles, not thinking them to be the manifestation of something opposed to You, contrary to You, a second factor, a cosmic dichotomy. For we are within the tradition of the great sages and seers of the Vedas and the Upanishads. We believe in a supreme, transcendental, absolute, non-dual Reality, which does not admit of any eternal cosmic dichotomy between the Divine and the undivine, the plus and the minus.
For us sarvam khalvidam brahma; ekameva’dvitiyam brahma; brahmaiva satyam; ekam sat—All this is Brahman; Brahman is one alone, without a second; Brahman alone is Truth; Truth is one. Therefore, grant them, by Your grace the wisdom to perceive the one great Reality even in the form of seeming obstacles.
Difficulties are not difficulties to those who are resolute and determined. The boatman who has to row across the flowing river only knows that hard rowing is necessary. He does not deem the rapid flowing of the river to be an obstacle. He just knows that he has to make it to the other shore. The only awareness in his mind is the need to persist in putting forth ever greater power until the other shore has been reached.
In this way, may Your grace manifest in them as resolute determination, as a vision and wisdom with which they face, accept and welcome everything that life is, and see in everything Your own manifestation, manifesting as an opportunity and an occasion for putting forth greater effort and as a situation brought in order to serve as a discipline through which to generate greater strength, to come out stronger.
Thus may Your grace manifest in them in these positive ways as spiritual qualities that will train them for the total perfection which is their great destiny!
Loving adorations to revered and beloved Holy Master who thus faced in his own spiritual life all that confronts a yogi or a monastic or a sadhaka upon this rugged path, and who emerged as a highly disciplined and determined Yogi and Vedantin. He not only emerged stronger, wiser and even more determined than ever, but greatly ripened and mellowed, with sympathy for seekers for all times, knowing through his own personal experience what they may have to face, may have to overcome, and may have to go through.
He used to say that suffering instils mercy and compassion in the human heart. Having undergone the same experience one is able to know and sympathise with the sufferings of others.
May his benedictions and glance of grace instil in us a sympathy and an understanding of the problems of sadhakas; and, above all, may it bring before us the necessity to generate from within ourselves a great perseverance, a powerful determination and a firm resolution. For these are our friends and assets on this rugged path. It is not only rugged, it is arduous. It is not a short cut, but a lengthy, continuous journey unto the last.
It therefore requires great patience, great fortitude. One should not think of its length, but as the wise Chinese philosopher said: “The longest journey is but one step.” Keep on taking this one step without stopping, without lagging behind, without sitting by the wayside, without wandering into the bypass of the pursuit of pleasure or satisfaction.
If we keep on taking that one step, no matter how rugged or arduous the path, then one day we are destined to reach that Goal Supreme. We are made to claim and obtain our birthright, our divine destiny. This is the truth.