Lost and found
There is no connection greater than the one with the Divine, says Shivi Verma
Devi Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas, when prompted by Sri Krishna to ask for a blessing at the end of the Mahabharat war, had famously said, “Dear Lord, please keep me in a state of perpetual pain. Pain makes me closer to you than happiness. Pain makes me remember you all the time.”
When I had first read about this exchange, my mind had rebelled against the idea. God was not a sadist who derived pleasure from people’s pain. And if moving closer to God meant more pain, what was the incentive for ordinary people to shift from materialism to spirituality?
But the more I read about the lives of great seers, saints, and leaders, the more I realised that their lives were fraught with the greatest of challenges. I introspected. I realised that turning back was not an option for me anymore. After having a taste of Divinity, the material world did not seem so enticing to me. Secondly, on taking a careful look at the world, I saw that life certainly did not become a bed of roses if one stayed focussed on material well-being alone. I did not have a choice. All that I had was an all-consuming passion to find God. I simply hoped that God would take care of me and moved ahead. As I moved forward on the path, challenges surmounted and suffering intensified manifold. Yet, He never once failed me. During every storm, when I felt that my boat was sinking, He steered me safely to the shore. Every time I found myself on the brink of devastation, He rushed forth in myriad ways to rescue me—sometimes in the form of kind human beings, othertimes directly through inexplicable energy transfers.
As I was mulling over the challenges of the past year, I realised with a jolt that I had never been alone for a single moment. He had been intently aware of my trials, had held me gently from within, diminishing my ability to feel pain, and sent favourable people and circumstances to help me heal and bounce back. Yet, trapped in routine office life, I had begun to feel alienated from Him. I had begun to feel that He didn’t care. To get my faith restored in Him, He devised a plan. While on a trip to my hometown to attend a college reunion function, I lost and miraculously found my belongings several times during the trip. His intervention was too conspicuous to be denied. My luggage was simply a metaphor for my faith in Him which I had been losing for sometime. As I stepped into my room and lay on my bed, my stress evaporated, and I experienced a melting into the present moment. I was steeped in bliss as I experienced His deep care and love for me. The world faded into oblivion as I lay drinking in the Divine nectar seeping into my being through my breath. The intimacy and connection that I felt with Him were incomparable with any human experience.
The words of Devi Kunti came rushing back to me. I realised their profoundness. God was not a means to an end. God was the end. He was the fruit of all labour, toil, and human effort to attain happiness. And there was no better way to taste this ambrosia than by putting yourself through the fire of trial, by facing your fears, by treading into the unknown, and listening to your heart. He could not be found in comfort, for there His presence and intervention were not required. “There is a price to pay for every gain. And the price for Divine connection is the highest. You have to pay with your life,” said Osho. The only thing is that mortal life gets exchanged with eternal life when it gets touched by Him. God is the best alchemist and the greatest magician.
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