Why Do You Suffer Unnecessarily?
Swami Chidananda

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Blessed Immortal Atman! Beloved children of the Divine! Ever abide in your real nature. Then this phenomenal world around you will not have the power to influence and affect you in any manner that is likely to take away from you the truth, the purity, the bliss, the peace, the wisdom and the perfection which is ever your unchangeable, natural state, which is ever your essential nature.

The essential nature of a thing makes it what it is, and therefore, if it is taken away, the thing will cease to be what it is, which is absurd, untenable. Sweetness is the essential nature of honey, you cannot take it away. You cannot take away the burning property of fire, the coldness of ice or the softness of butter. You cannot take away the hardness of rock, the wetness of water or the fragrance of sandal paste. Effulgence is the essential nature of light, you cannot take it away. The essential nature of a thing or being is that aspect or that factor which is permanent to it, which is beginningless and endless, inalienable and changeless, and therefore it is the thing-in-itself.

Scriptures declare that your essential nature is sat-chit-ananda. Being your essential nature it cannot be taken away. It is your eternal identity; it is unfailing, invaluable, inseparable. You are sat, Existence Absolute, this is unalterable. You are chit, Consciousness Absolute, this is unalterable. You are ananda, Bliss Absolute, this too is unalterable. It is not something that qualifies you. It is not something that has come to you now as an added factor and was not before. You have ever been sat-chit-ananda, Existence-Consciousness-Bliss Absolute. You are this now as you are listening, you will ever continue to be this. This is the truth.

This establishes at least one thing: To weep and wail, to suffer and to have grief and sorrow, is not your mission in life. You have not come here for that. It may exist as part of this universal phenomenon, but you must know that you are distinct from it, that you transcend this universal phenomenon. You may be passing through it, you may come into contact with it, you may for the time being be brought into a state of proximity to what it constitutes—its imperfections, its dualities, its ups and downs, its pleasures and pains, its joy and grief, happiness and sorrow, but they are part of the phenomenal world, not part of you.

This very important point should be grasped. What you experience in this phenomenal world is not part of you. What you can ever experience without effort, and to which you have direct access, is sat-chit-ananda. It is ever there. Bliss is ever-present, without being affected by time or space, because you are Existence Absolute. It is valid and it is the truth in all the three periods of time. It is never absent. The ability to be aware of this, namely that you are eternal bliss, inheres in your own nature and is your birthright, because Awareness, Consciousness Absolute, is also your essential nature. A stone is not conscious that it exists, that it is hard, that it is heavy, because it lacks this awareness, consciousness or chaitanya tattva. It is not able to experience this, whereas you are endowed with the ability to be self-aware.

When this is so, why do you go a-begging? Why do you go a-sorrowing? Why are you depressed sometimes, elated at other times? Why? Now, this is not a question that Swami Chidananda should ask you. Rather, it is a question that you should ask yourself. It is for you to answer that is important, not for anyone else. “When bliss is my eternal, essential nature, because I am eternally existent, and to be aware of this bliss (because I am Consciousness Absolute) is also my essential nature, this being the fundamental truth of my very being, very existence, innermost being, why is it that I go about in the clutches of various moods?” Ask yourself this question. Try to ponder this question. Try to look into it. Probe into the scriptures and try to find out. Whether you find it out or not, the truth is that you are Existence Absolute, Consciousness Absolute, Bliss Absolute.

When a wave has risen in the middle of the ocean, where does it exist as a wave? Does it exist apart from the ocean? Definitely not. It exists as part of the ocean itself. So, in the finite name and form of the wave, there is the ocean as its inseparable, eternal ground which supports it, and having produced it is once again ready to absorb it back into its vastness, its immeasurability, its unfathomable depth. So, too, in your mysterious, inexplicable state of self-forgetfulness, which has no rhyme or reason, its secret puzzle has to be cracked if you do not want life to simply pass away, leaving you a miserable creature searching for peace and happiness but never finding it, ever swinging between dualities, sometimes laughing, at other times weeping, moving from pillar to post, always complaining, grumbling, “What is happening to me, why did God give me this pain?” This type of wasteful misdirection of this great opportunity God has given is not unavoidable, it is avoidable. It is unnecessary. You have come here to move towards this light, to attain this bliss.

Not without reason, in ancient times, the illumined, enlightened Vedic seers addressed humanity and called them children of Immortality. If you were subject to birth and death, they would not call you children of Immortality. Ponder this question. Find out. When it is unnecessary, why do you go through this thing called life, sometimes in distress, sometimes in frustration, sometimes in elation, sometimes worried, sometimes anxious, sometimes in a state of self-pity, sometimes in a state of acute sorrow? “You should not sorrow, you should not grieve.” This is the firm admonition that Lord Krishna gives to Arjuna in the Gita and the Upanishads issue this clarion call: “Awake, awake, be aware, be aware, open your eyes, become awake, become aware.” You exist in that immeasurable ocean of satchidananda, which is your beginning and your end—aham adischa madhyam cha bhutanam anta eva cha (I am the beginning, the middle and also the end of all beings). And It is always everywhere about you. Infinitely it is so and It keeps on calling, because It is Awareness.

It is ever-present; you do not have to move one foot to reach it. You do not have to put forth your hand even a little to touch it or grasp it and take it. If you want to talk, you have to make effort, exert; but for silence you do not have to try, or exert, to bring it about. Why? Because it is an eternal fact. It is always there; you do not have to make effort, you do not have to exert. You have only to stop disturbing it, stop bringing in something else. You are constantly bringing noise, sound; otherwise, the stillness, the silence is there, ever-present, the reality, the substratum, the truth. Even so, sat is ever-present, infinite, boundless. Chit is ever-present. Ananda is ever-present because you are That. So, be aware of this truth. Live this truth. Base your life on the truth of your being, the fact that you are satchidananda ever, ever and ever.

Ponder this truth within. Make use of this truth. “When I am ever Existence Absolute, Consciousness Absolute, Bliss Absolute, immeasurable Awareness, when It is ever right within me as my very own Self, what is this strange thing? Why am I needlessly depriving myself of this experience? Why am I unnecessarily running after sorrow and grief and all such contrary states, running towards something other than my ever-present, essential nature?”

It is a serious question. It is a fundamental question. It is a question you must put to yourself and find the answer, and then you will be liberated here and now. Launch upon this process with earnestness, with sincerity, with vigour, with enthusiasm, with determination, and let’s see who can deprive you of this experience which is your birthright. There is no power in this universe, no power in heaven or on earth that can take from you that which is your birthright, the ever-present Truth. May God bless you in your earnest Endeavour!

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