Do we spend so much time focusing on suffering that we forget about joy?
So people begin to doubt the existence of happiness. “Is there any happiness in this world?” When they hear the scriptures talking about joy, love, delight, happiness, bliss, ecstasy, and peace, they react cynically. And, more often than not, they tell you about all the suffering in this world.
Years ago when Baba was in Boston, some Carmelite monks came to meet him. They were having a very nice conversation until the monks got around to the subject of suffering. Baba responded by talking about bliss and ecstasy. The monks thought Baba had not understood them, so they talked more and more about suffering. They got deeper into the subject as if they were trying to convince Baba of the rightness of their view of the world. And of course, the more they talked about suffering, the more Baba talked about bliss.
Finally, they said, “Baba, it seems to us that you are callous about people’s pain. You simply don’t pay enough attention to it.”
Without any hesitation, Baba said, “It seems to me that you are callous about God’s joy, and you don’t pay enough attention to that.”
The monks were speechless – which allowed Baba to go on and get his message across. He said, “Suffering is ordinary; it is samanya. What we have to do is tell people about bliss. Just because suffering exists, you don’t have to elevate it by putting on a robe of suffering. Put on a robe of joy so you can uplift others.”
The Yoga of Discipline, Swami Chidvilasananda