Life is a school in which everyone thinks their exam is the toughest
Suppose a school has an examination system in which each student gets a different question paper. The system might seem unfair, but actually, it is fair. How? First, all students get the test they need for their progressive education. Second, the difficulty levels of the tests even out in the long run – sometimes, the students get easy papers and sometimes, tough papers.
But suppose the students obsess over those of their tests that are tougher than those of others and become disheartened, angry or resentful. Overwhelmed by such negative emotions, they flunk in the tough tests and then do poorly even in the subsequent easier tests.
Similar is our predicament in material existence. The universe is like a university in which we all are tested for our wisdom and maturity. Wisdom comes from intellectual development and maturity from emotional development – and both come organically and synergistically when we evolve spiritually. Gita wisdom explains that we all are souls on a multi-life journey toward the supreme, to be united with him in unending love and bliss. During this journey, we all have to work through our past karma; that karma’s good and bad reactions come during this life as easy and tough situations respectively.
Though the problems of various people vary in their specifics, the world’s overall nature ensures that eventually everyone faces distress; no one escapes unscathed. Despite differences in levels of intelligence, beauty, wealth, talents and so forth, the world is a distressful place for everyone (Bhagavad-gita 09.33).
If we can appreciate and assimilate this Gita insight, then we can avoid both resenting our tough tests or envying others’ easy tests. Instead, we can best focus on our spiritual evolution by connecting with the Lord through devotion. By such devotion, we can gain a sublime absorption that helps us pass all tests.
Think it over:
- What is special about life’s tests?
- What happens when we see life’s tests negatively?
- How can Gita wisdom help us face life’s tests?
09.33 How much more this is so of the righteous brāhmaṇas, the devotees and the saintly kings. Therefore, having come to this temporary, miserable world, engage in loving service unto Me.
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