The silent power inherent in man to suffer with a dignified poise all the little pin-pricks of life is called “endurance” or “forbearance”—Titeeksha. Everyone in his life manifests some amount of this endurance-power, of course, distorted into an ugly “capacity to suffer”. The average man’s patient endurance is a not-too-well-veiled expression of his cowardice and an inherent fear to act.
When one has not the strength, courage and capa¬city to face a threatening situation, one often ducks under this noble virtue for self-protection and self-glorification. If a mosquito bites a person he will smash the insect and kill it; but if an elephant in rut, running wild, stampeding everything in front of it, approaches, he will run for shelter and blabber the glories of mercy, kindness, and endu¬rance!! He but adds these few feathers to glorify his own cowardice! This is not Titeeksha.
Forbearance is the attitude of poise found only in a superhuman hero. Such a man will have in himself a much greater heroism than the total heroism of all the warriors put together. He is one who can face all happenings, all adversities, peacefully, with understanding and patience, without complaining, without trying to waste his energies either for defense or for offense. He suffers silently, knowing that in all challenges there is always in its depth, a treasure of spiritual blessings secretly hidden. To face all challenges in life, conducive or in conducive, without getting excited by them or dejec¬ted at them, without planning and plotting to outwit them is the right attitude of a spiritual seeker—and this needs supreme personality-courage.
Every experience of the world—gathered from a scheme of relationships with the objects, as experiencer and experienced—can only be in the end a sorrow. Sometimes, some such contacts may appear, to some people, as happiness; and even to these few happy people, these very same apparent joy-experiences become, in time, the tearful springs of their future sorrows. Yet, due to the mood of one’s own mind, at any given time, his present sorrows themselves appeared to him to be his joys in the past! To any intelligent observer of life it cannot be very far and involved a problem to recognize easily that even his joy-moments are also producing some inner ulcers that must bleed painful sorrows for him. Man, at least a vast majority of them, is found unfortu¬nate to have been born into a field of sorrows and priva¬tions. All of us strive to remedy all our unfortunate conditions, physical, mental and intellectual, by our own efforts, exertions, knowledge, might or wealth. This endless and constant “struggle” with unpleasant condi¬tions and environments, we call as our “miserable” life. Each unfortunate one strives as best as he knows to turn and twist, to modify and change, to reshape and beautify the nature and attitude of his outer circumstances, and also the behavior of other people, constituting his personal world around him. Can an individual do this? Even at his best moments of success how little he changes! And those changes, brought out at such an exorbitant price of exhausting personal efforts, how short lived they all become? All biographies and every page of human history scream with the story of man’s failure to stem the tide of sorrows, or even to redirect their tragic might away from him.
Thus when sorrows assail within from unpleasant circumstances around us, why add to our personal tragedy the tiresome sweat of initiating ineffectual weary plans to protest, to strike back, to defend, to circumvent, even to fight out ? Are we not thoughtlessly adding to our own problems? Why whip ourselves and feel and suffer the self-created extra dose of pains?
Action and reaction are equal and opposite. The strength of my resistance adds a fresh vigor to the poignancy of the situation outside. I admit, sir, that there are always endless personal problems and miseries, and each one of us is called upon to face them as best as we know. But is it worthwhile to add to our own problems?
Supposing someone is attacking you…. you may try to give hit for hit. This invites greater and greater efforts on the part of your enemy. Supposing we, rooted in our under¬standing, keep quiet, silently receiving the beating, yet not lifting our hands even to defend, all the while smiling Buddha-like to console the wild and really upset opponent
he must calm down himself. Against the non-violent army of Congress Volunteers even British Tommies sto¬pped swirling their cruel batons! In Vietnam we witnes¬sed how the American boys even refused to fight!!
To stay quiet, watching the immoral tyranny, needs more courage than to enter into the fray. For the Pandava Princes to remain in their chairs while Dussasana insulted Draupadi needed enormous heroism. For the innocent Jesus to carry the Cross and to meet the blind foolishness of his vengeful age and allow Himself to be nailed to the Cross, smiling and forgiving— this is superhuman heroism…THINK.
Titiksa is the capacity to endure all sorrows and sufferings without struggling for redress or for revenge, being always free from anxiety or lament over them.
Unless they had a hold on a large vision, a greater ideal, from where else would such noble men discover their superhuman courage outside and their unshakable poise within?
A seeker gains his clear vision of his high goal from the study of his scriptures. The Science of Life, given out in Vedanta, had been so long neglected that today the very children of the Rishis are total foreigners to it. This treasure of wisdom is being now sought by forei¬gners with great urgency and thirst. It is to spread these ideas among our own countrymen that CHINMAYA MISSION is striving. Yagna sessions are mass exposure of the youth to this reviving Truth of Life. Our regular study groups make seekers get involved in the study. Our Postal Lesson Course helps those who have no convenience to attend our regular weekly classes. Books have been prepared to explain the theme of the Upanishads and ideas in our Bhagavad Geeta to the modern-educated, scientifically oriented generation. Gain the true View of Life, and discover the fresh springs of heroism and courage in yourselves I!
Thus, to be vengeful is cowardice: not to be venge¬ful and to live in peaceful equipoise, even when the world around us threatens to deluge us with sorrows, is true heroism: the most attractive spiritual manliness. To meet life as it comes to us, with cheerful appetite, without any complaints, without wasting our energy to avoid sorrow or to punish others who brought our sorrows to us…to maintain our calm equipoise born out of a Higher Vision and deeper understanding, is Godly heroism in life.
One who has not this heroism will be wasting all his energies always in little fields of purposeless preoccupa¬tions. Exhausted and weary, with these endless little frays, there will be no more energy left for the greater battle of self-evolution. To make a deep study of the Science of Life, the Scriptures, to reflect upon their deepest significances, to meditate and realize the larger states of Awareness demands enormous energy and steady self-application. To a seeker, who has not cultiva¬ted forbearance, the ability to meekly suffer the little inconveniences and discomforts of life, it is evident now; there cannot be much progress in his Spiritual unfoldment.
During the organization of the Yagna and during its day-to day running let our Mission members learn to work together, with their vision fixed upon the ideal for which we are all working. Strive to bring in a true spirit of divine dedication. Use every occasion to practice Titeeksha. Forgive all others for everything. Bring selflessness into every action. Keep constant remembrance of Him, who is the vital Essence in your heart. Then every action becomes worship. Only the one with Titeeksha can so perform effectively.