We are sometimes asked, ‘Why is that although you are yogis and meditate, some of you get sick and have serious illnesses?’. This question is based on the belief that when we attain God, then life will run smoothly, and no adverse situations will have to be faced.
However, the world is in a state of upheaval and conflict, so even yogis will experience difficult situations. Those who are able to connect their minds to the Supreme Consciousness, will face the challenges in a very different way to others, and will receive strength and clarity to find the solutions and acquire the courage that is needed.
There are six types of adverse situations that can come to anyone in the world as it is today.
Yogis are aware that the law of karma dictates that the consequences of all sorrow caused will have to be confronted. Sickness, and with that, sometimes pain will certainly come into the life of most.
With deep understanding, a yogi can, with meditation, go beyond the effect of pain, remain aware of the body being a separate entity to I, the soul, and can remain peaceful, cheerful and accepting.
They take medicine, and meditation, to overcome the illness. Yogis are free from worry and stress, which can actually make matters worse.
As the economic climate across the world deteriorates, unemployment rises and there is increased hardship. Yogis are not exempt from this.
However, employees who meditate have an attitude towards work very different from many others. They tend to be cheerful, cooperative, sincere and efficient. Employers value this kind of personnel and will tend to keep those employees for as long as is possible, even in times of difficulty.
Yogis are also very happy with very little. Their living expenses are smaller than others. They have no greed for the latest gadgets and fashion. They use what they have in the service of others and this means they will always have enough.
At times of stress and adversity, one of the first things to suffer is relationships. Insecurity and ego make maintaining healthy and happy relationships difficult and divorce rates tend to increase.
Yogis develop tolerance and the ability to accommodate difference of opinion, and their understanding makes relationships more cordial, loving and friendly, which is the key to steadfast relationships.
Road accidents or other types of accidents can happen to anyone. The calm acceptance and patience as things are dealt with in the aftermath and the concern for others, be it the others involved in the accident or those responding with help, make situations smoother and easier to bear.
The same applies to those involved in earthquakes, storms, tsunamis. In many situations across the world, yogis have been able to respond with peace, clarity, charity and benevolence.
Everyone loses loved ones at some time or another. However, when there is loss of this kind, if there has been great dependency and deep attachment to the one who has gone, then this loss is very difficult to deal with and some feel that they may not be able to carry on without the one they have lost.
Yogis too lose those closest to them, but because they have developed self-reliance and a connection with the Supreme, although they may experience sorrow, they will also have understanding, and will be able to remain detached, and have the resilience to continue on their own journey with courage.
The key to responding to adverse situations in life is yoga power. Accumulate this energy in the daily practice of meditation and in the development of a deep, loving relationship with the Supreme Being. What can then not be achieved?
B.K. Dr Nirmala is the director of Brahma Kumaris Rajyoga centres in the Asia-Pacific region.