The world is suffering from a severe psychological crisis, due to negative elements, sorrow and sufferings around us. This is aggravated by the ongoing COVID pandemic.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT), WB is organizing an online Lecture Series “Sorrow-Depression-Joy”, based on what the sages of ancient India and other eminent personalities have told about overcoming this problem. They were truth realizers and this problem was foreseen by them. That is why they set the goal of life as complete removal of miseries, hence achieving bliss. The Honourable Vice-Chancellor of MAKAUT Prof. (Dr.) Saikat Maitra has been the key inspiration behind organizing online Lecture Series on topics of this kind, especially in this pandemic situation. The audience was mostly young students of MAKAUT, its affiliated colleges and other institutions. The teachers and other staff of MAKAUT were also present. The eminent speaker in the third lecture of the ongoing series on the 11th of May 2021 was Swami Sarvalokanandaji Maharaj, Secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Narandrapur.
The session started with the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of the University Prof. (Dr.) Saikat Maitra welcoming all the participants of the webinar and expressing his sincere regards to Swami Sarvalokanandaji Maharaj. He pointed out the importance of the webinar’s topic of discussion in this pandemic situation. Due to this pandemic, everyday we come across plenty of negative news and facts. This leads to apprehension which in turn is harmful for our mental and physical well-being. Within us a fear psychosis gets triggered. But we must remember that the human civilization always gets challenged by various crisis, be it man-made or natural. The crisis may leave us in ruins. However, just as the phoenix rises from the ashes, we must also rise up from the ruins. We must not accept defeat. We have to gain back our self-confidence and that must be key to do so.
Swami Sarvalokanandaji Maharaj started by reciting
Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya
Mrytyor-Maa Amritam Gamaya
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantihi
Lead me from the untruth to the Truth.
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality
Om Peace Peace Peace.
Swamiji expressed his sincere gratitude to the MAKAUT family. Although our anxiety levels have risen in the past two years due to the pandemic, we also experienced inquietude in the pre-pandemic days. Sorrow, depression and joy are experienced both personally and collectively by a community of people. In this session Swamiji explained the reasons for all these emotions from a spiritual standpoint. As we all know Gautama Buddha was a prince of the Sakya clan. He perceived sorrow, sufferings and depression of humans and uttered “Sarvam Dukham Dukham” (The world is full of sufferings). Buddha started analysing the reasons behind these sufferings and came to the conclusion that all sufferings are due to ‘Tanha’ or desire, ignorance and attachment. We get frustrated when our desires are not fulfilled. If we manage to fulfil one desire, we get influenced by many more. This is an endless path. In Bhagvad gita we see that as Arjuna saw his relatives and kins, he felt a sense of attachment towards them. He struggled to wrap his mind around the fact that he has come to the battlefield to kill them. A despondent Arjuna was brought back to his senses by Lord Krishna. He regained his unwavering self-confidence to fight against his relatives. Thus, we may conclude that attachment is the main reason behind our sorrows and depression. If we are detached from what we do, then we can be self-confident and achieve our goal.
Another story revolves around the Kalpataru briksha and a tired traveler. The Kalpataru briksha is believed to grant every wish that a person makes. The traveler sat under the tree and experienced hunger and desired for food. Immediately food was served to him. When he wanted to rest he received the comfort of bed. Then again he wanted all his physical pains to be soothed through massaging. That desire was also fulfilled. Finally he fell asleep and woke up at night inside the forest. He apprehended that he may fall prey to a tiger. His imagination became a reality. Ramakrishna Paramahansa puts forward the moral of the story in a beautiful fashion. He says we have to put a check to our desires and should be happy with whatever we have achieved and received.
In Bhaagwad we come across King Yayati. When he became old he thought that he had many desires left to be fulfilled. Hence he went to one of his sons and asked him to offer his youth to him. Once again Yayati became young. But as he turned old, this time, he realized that just as fire is not extinguished with ghee, desire cannot be fulfilled by more and more yearning.
Just as we accept our happiness gladly, we must also accept our sorrows and sufferings with similar gratitude. Hitopadesha says “Chakravat parivartante dukhani cha sukhani cha” (Like in the turning wheel, both happiness and sadness keep alternating). In the second chapter of Gita Lord Krishna says if we develop attachment, we will be overwhelmed by desire. If that desire does not get fulfilled we will be vexed. Anger will captivate us, which will play havoc with our mind and ultimately we will lose our sense of judgement. Thus, we must learn to adjust. There is no power greater than adjustment and tolerance. Tolerance is the main pillar of human civilization.
We are unaware of our true potential. We must realize that infinite power lies within us. To realise and explore this potential we have to enlighten our internal nature.
Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.
The session concluded with respected Controller of Examinations of MAKAUT, Dr. Subhashis Datta offering the vote of thanks on behalf of the University.
For more useful information visit https://makautwb.ac.in
To watch the full webinar visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymHhm4a850I