SUKHA AND DUHKHA are temporary

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SUKHA AND DUHKHA are temporary

Saturday, 23 July 2022 | Ajit Kumar Bishnoi

SUKHA AND DUHKHA  are temporary

Pleasure, misery are forever coming and going. Peace is what we need

Ihave used Sanskrit words to convey what I wish to state, because ‘sukha’ is mostly misunderstood and ‘duhkha’ has many manifestations. Sukha is neither enjoyment of our senses nor abundance of comforts. They constitute sukha only. But real sukha must have peace. That is why Lord Krishna states in the Bhagavad-Geeta, “From where could there be any sukha for one who is not peaceful?” (2.66) Unfortunately, we lull ourselves to think that we are sukhi when we are enjoying our senses and possess lots of comforts and facilities. If it was so, why would the rich class be so prone to serious problems like depression?

Duhkha has many sides. There are many kinds of suffering. Beginning with the physical kind, they are mental, emotional and others. The physical kind is pain from the body. The mental sufferings are accounted for by fears, anxieties, depression, and so on. Emotional sufferings also come from the sense of hurt due to perceived humiliation, injustice, etc. Examples will make the matter clearer. Enduring physical pain in some parts of the body and miserable living conditions are prime examples of physical duhkha. Severe financial losses and loss of livelihood are examples of great mental suffering. Untimely death of a near and dear one, being informed about a terminal disease, verbal humiliation by a close relative, fire of hate, rejection by someone who one loves, and failure to gain what one wants dearly are examples of emotional duhkha. Similarly, there are many types of sukha/happiness. But sukha with peace as its main ingredient can only be obtained by a good connection with God.

Whether sukha or duhkha, they are forever coming and going. Lord Krishna has stated, “Pleasure and misery, being temporary, they come and go.” (2.14) No one can escape sufferings in this world, because they are results of earlier impious acts, in this life and earlier ones. However, all suffering is temporary, while some may extend to the next life, but they ultimately cease. Lord Krishna has guided in the Geeta on a way to deal with sufferings and transcend them.

Similarly, there are pleasures in everyone’s life, because Earth is not a concentration camp where only miseries are heaped upon its inhabitants. There are many more pleasures in our lives than we realize. But our uncontrolled minds force us to keep our focus on miseries only. If detailing of all the enjoyment is done, one may be pleasantly surprised, as scales of pleasures will be heavier.

Fortunately, we, human beings, have been given the opportunity to enhance sukha and minimize duhkha. Lord Krishna has guided, “One whose eating and recreation are appropriate; of one who strives appropriately in activities; of one who sleeps and stays awake as required; there will be reduction in his duhkha.” (6.17) These instructions take care of physical health. Similarly, the Lord has guided about mental health in verse no. 6.35, “The mind can be brought under control by practice and detachment from harmful sense objects.” However generous help is required from God, because our minds are fickle, strong, obstinate, etc. (6.34) God is prepared to help if we take His shelter as He has instructed, “Take shelter of God. By His mercy you shall achieve supreme peace.” And peace is what we need for gaining sukha — the real thing, as mentioned earlier.

The Bhagavad-Geeta has detailed instructions about enhancing sukha and reducing duhkha. Spiritual health can be strengthened by developing a good connection with God. Similarly, intellectual health benefits by supplementing material knowledge with spiritual learning. Both sukha and duhkha have permanence. That is why Lord Krishna stresses on tolerance. (2.14)

(The author is a spiritual teacher.)

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