There is a purpose for everything we experience, even the things we don’t want to experience

Suppose we are forced to go through certain experiences that we just didn’t want to go through. When such things happen, it’s natural to feel hurt, frustrated, resentful. But letting ourselves stay stuck in those feelings is undesirable. 

How can we go past our past? By looking up with the faith that the universe moves purposefully — that the things that happen, happen for a purpose. Even if all that happens is not good, it can be for good. The Bhagavad-gita assures that the supreme is omnibenevolent (05.29); he oversees and sanctions whatever happens (13.23). Of course, we may not immediately understand why we are going through a specific unpalatable experience right now; we may need to wait and watch. But if we look back at some of our past pains, we may see that those experiences shaped us to become tougher, wiser, deeper. 

Even if we can’t perceive such a purpose in terms of material growth, we can perceive it in terms of spiritual growth. We are at our core spiritual beings. Life is not meant for getting palatable sensory experiences or avoiding unpalatable sensory experiences; it is meant for relishing spiritual experiences. And such experiences can be had only when we stay equipoised amid worldly experiences, both pleasant and unpleasant, and stay grounded in spiritual knowledge and realization (05.20). 

We can focus on the purpose of spiritual evolution and practice a process such as bhakti-yoga for spiritualizing our consciousness. Then, while going through unpalatable experiences, we can shelter our consciousness in spiritual reality, thereby making unpalatable experiences more bearable and more importantly making ourselves more attached to spiritual reality, ultimately to the supreme spiritual reality, Krishna. And that divine attachment is the way to an eternal life of ecstatic experiences. 

Think it over:

  • How can we go past our past?
  • Do any of your past pains seem purposeful when seen retrospectively?
  • How can materially unpalatable experiences stimulate our spiritual growth?


05.20 A person who neither rejoices upon achieving something pleasant nor laments upon obtaining something unpleasant, who is self-intelligent, who is unbewildered, and who knows the science of God is already situated in transcendence.

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