I should have known that if the question came from the Gita, the answer would probably be there, too. (I think I said before that I’m impatient, and this is pretty typical for me.)

I read a little from it every evening before I go to sleep. After Krishna tells Arjuna about selfless action, he proceeds to talk about meditation. And he says something that answers the questions I had about how to feel in bad situations:

When a person responds to the joys and sorrows of others as if they were his own, he has attained the highest state of spiritual union.

So feeling deeply sad for people affected by disasters, whether natural and massive or man-made and personal is all part of realizing that you are connected to each and every one of those people.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard it put in such a clear, understandable way before. Next time, I’m going to keep reading before I worry.

About HappyGoth

By day, I'm a graphic designer. By night, I'm a knitter. I'm doing my part to keep Hotlanta stylish. I imagine that if you don't already understand the title of the blog, you're probably confused and perhaps slightly annoyed, but never fear - I do have a reason (and it's a good one). Having gone to hear Stephanie Pearl McPhee, and then having been inspired to blog about knitting, I found myself wondering what to call the blog. I recalled a conversation I had with Mouse and the Chicken Goddess about why it is a Bad Idea to anger knitters - this conversation was following SPM, aka the Yarn Harlot telling the assembled throng about Those Who Do Not Understand Knitting and Therefore Belittle It Much to the Chagrin of Others, or TWDNUKTBMCO, which is not the acronym she used but is the one I'm using because I forgot hers - that is, we are numerous and we all have very pointy sticks, easily transforming into an angry mob. Therefore, knitters = angry mob.
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2 Responses to Aha!

  1. Tāṇḍava says:

    At the risk of bringing you full circle you now need to see what the Gita says about how we should deal with our own joys and sorrows…..

    Anyway, I thought I would look for Saivite perspective and I found this article “Waves of Distress” written after the Asian Tsunami of 2004. It mentions compassion while understanding a deeper purpose:

    The first and foremost response, of course, is the need to awaken our compassion and offer our prayerful thoughts to those who have passed on and give expression, inwardly and outwardly, to our deep-felt sympathy for the relatives and friends who survived. This is our response from the heart.

    The great Hindu saints all teach us that even harsh karma, when faced in wisdom, can be a catalyst for spiritual advancement. No one welcomes suffering into their lives, but when it comes we can choose how to respond. We can allow it to diminish our life or to strengthen and deepen it. That power lies in each one’s hands.

    • HappyGoth says:

      🙂 As I posted this, I had the thought, “So how am I supposed to react to joy and sorrow in my own life?” Reading the Gita inevitably brings up questions, but those questions are what keep me motivated to continue.

      The perspective you’ve shared is helping answer this particular question, though. It’s something I think everyone should try to remember.

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