Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 29 Sep 2019


How can we overcome our worldly problems?

Shri Nava Chaitanya asked: Padanamaskaram Swamiji! Thank you Swamiji for granting this life and access to this wonderful knowledge. Swamiji, I have been reading Your discourses for the past few years, in which I have found a lot of wonderful information, different perspectives, underlying meaning and so on. I have a few questions, which I have presented below. My questions are basically related to how one can practically tackle worldly problems. My view is that we get problems because of our past deeds. So, there are two paths one can take. (1) The first is to realize that the omniscient God Dattātreya has arranged problems in our lives, which are the fruits of our past deeds, in best possible way so as to uplift us spiritually. So, if we ask Lord Dattātreya to remove those problems, it is a direct insult to God, His divine administration and the effort and interest He has shown in teaching us spiritual knowledge. The problems too are His practical teaching for us and if we ask Him to remove the problems, we are asking Him to alter His best judgement. (2) The second path is to adopt the option of temporarily removing the present difficulty through prayers. This second option is also given to us by our kindest Lord. As per this option, God will temporarily remove our present difficulty, provided we are deserving. He does so by borrowing some good fruit of our own deeds from future and bringing it into the present. The intensity of the difficulty can also be reduced by doing remedial action (parihāram) to the planets. This reduced intensity is also based on the person’s deservingness and involves the borrowing of good fruit from the person’s own future.

Inspite of knowing this wonderful knowledge described in the first path, I am still failing to tackle my problem when they get intense. It disturbs my mental peace and leads me to adopt the second path. I feel guilty whenever I use this second path. I am trying my best not to adopt the second path, but sometimes, I fail.

Swami, how can I enjoy happiness and misery equally? You have given the wonderful example of a movie, where we equally enjoy happiness and misery. How can we practically implement it in pravṛtti? How can we treat worldly activities as māyā? I have understood that if we are attached to the fruit, we will inevitably face tensions. Yet sometimes, I fail to achieve detachment, when the problems get intense. How can we detach ourselves from them practically, Swami?

Are all these questions arising in my mind because of not having proper faith in God? Is this a test by God? Am I on the correct spiritual path? I am entangled in all these thoughts and am confused. Please help me and remove my ignorance, Swami. Regards, Nava Chaitanya

Swami replied: God has absolutely no objection for canceling the fruits of all the sins of all souls and granting only the fruits of their merits, so that all souls will always be happy. He is not bothered about the systematic arrangement of the fruits of deeds or the good reputation of His administration. In fact, God had kept all souls happy in the kṛta yuga by keeping all souls under His full control, so that no soul could commit any sin. All souls, which are His children, thus, remained constantly happy. That way, He did not even have to interfere with the divine administration by cancelling the fruits of the sins committed by souls, in order to keep them happy. There was no violation of the divine administration because, when souls never committed sins and only did righteous deeds, giving constant happiness to them is perfectly justified. So, not only had God kept all souls constantly happy during the kṛta yuga, but He also did it without getting the bad name of violating His own administration. However, the continuous happiness bored the souls and they were craving for a change. How would it be, if God only created sugar for food and not salt, chillies, tamarind and other items with different tastes? Boredom is also a type of misery. God, the divine Father, never wants to cause any misery to His children.

Souls wanted a change from the constant happiness they were enjoying. Wanting a change from happiness means wanting misery, which is the fruit of sin. Now, God did not create any sinful atmosphere at all, to provoke His children to commit sins. He only relaxed His strict control over His children and gave them a little freedom. That freedom granted by God became the path to misery, which was the change from the continuous happiness that the souls had desired. At the same time, God personally descended in the form of Incarnations, several times, to preach against committing sins, which would lead to unbearable misery. What more can any father do for his children? Hence, the possibility of souls committing sins was opened by God by granting them some freedom. It was done only in the interest of the welfare of the souls. It was not done for the sake of His own fame or the fame of His administration.

To support this change, God also arranged for the good and bad fruits of the deeds of souls, to be delivered to them alternately during each life-cycle. That way, there is a frequent change from happiness to misery and back to happiness. This avoids boredom, which would be inevitable if any one of them persisted. Thus, God maximized the entertainment of all souls. But, in spite of this ideal arrangement, if some people cannot bear the misery when it comes or they want a change from it, they can worship the astrological planets (deites). This is done by distributing some food items among beggars. The food items to be distributed are made of the specific grains corresponding to specific planets. Such donation of food develops the attitude of service and sacrifice for the needy.

People have different psychologies due to their different stages of spiritual maturity and we cannot forcibly bring uniformity in the paths adopted by people who belong to different levels. A person having lower maturity uses astrological remedies to temporarily get rid of the problems. A person having a higher maturity enjoys even the miseries, by the grace of God. The ability to enjoy both happiness and misery to equal extents is possible only for the person who has been charged by God. For this Incarnation of God, the entire world other than Him becomes non-existent, even though it is visualized as if it were real. With God’s grace, such a view can even come to a devotee who is not charged by God.

But for the ordinary soul, the rest of the world is equally true and hence, such equality in the enjoyment (yoga) of both happiness and misery cannot be achieved. The state can be achieved only with a combination of human effort and God’s grace. This state is the highest stage because in it, you become equal to God in that one aspect of equally enjoying both happiness and misery in creation, just as you enjoy both comedy and tragedy in a movie. This is the only monism that the soul can attain with God. Total monism can never be attained by any devotee other than the devotee selected by God to become a Human Incarnation. No soul can have the power to create, control and dissolve the world. These three cosmic functions can only be done by God and they always remain impossible for the soul. A servant is unable to create and direct the movie, but he can sit along with his boss, the producer and director, to watch and enjoy the movie with a sense of equality towards the comedies and tradegies in it. This simile also has its limitations because a devotee can enjoy the comedy and tragedy in this world-cinema only by the grace of God. Your perplexity (confusion) will end if you analyze My spiritual knowledge with patience and apply the suitable portions to the proper situations in life. Each concept should be applied in the right situation and not elsewhere. Hasty application of all the concepts, without discrimination, will create confusion.

Dattatreya Kruta maya pravrutti