Daily Readings from the Works of Swami Venkatesananda

Venkatesa Daily Readings Vol 2 (Insights and Inspirations) Transcending Sorrow

December 6, 2018

Transcending Sorrow

     The question of God's existence does not seem to be relevant to our daily life. Yet the great ones have somehow thought fit to introduce this inexplicable and extraneous concept called God into our lives. Why? It is not difficult to see that our fundamental problems arise from the 'me'. God does not seem to enter our lives either to cause happiness or unhappiness.   If the 'me' that creates endless problems could be understood, we could transcend sorrow, for that which both causes and experiences sorrow is the 'me', or the mind. Perhaps mind is only a word, yet it creates - not sorrow, but the thought of sorrow. This sorrow is merely a thought, yet having projected it, the mind feeds on it, becoming more and more unhappy. This is the most undignified way for a human being to live.

    Though sorrow is just a thought, can we wipe it out? Unless we can find its source, we cannot deal with it. Can we manipulate it? With what?  Can we drown it in drugs or alcohol? It will only come up stronger. If it is masked, it will only smell worse. We seem to be trapped.

    When drowning in quicksand, it is impossible to kick oneself out. When that fact is realised, we begin to look for something that transcends. In the lives of each of us there are occasions when thought is transcended. One is the simple phenomenon of deep sleep. In deep sleep everything seems to function except the 'me'. We wonder, is it not possible to transcend the 'me' without falling asleep? What is it that is awake during sleep? Can we not live on that plane, not caught in the world created by the 'me'?

    The state beyond the 'me', beyond thought process, which is awake during sleep, is given the name 'God'. That God which is beyond sorrow is not in the clouds, but in us. That which is deep within yet unaffected by sorrow, transcending the me, transcending all that causes unhappiness in our lives, is called God. By rising up to that point within ourselves, we transcend sorrow. The great ones have suggested that if we can find our way to that centre of our being, it is possible to live in this world without being subject to sorrow.

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