Meditation: Taking and Giving

When you see the sentient beings troubled by suffering you can make the following wish enthusiastically from the depths of your heart and with great force of will.

 “ The person is suffering very badly and despite wanting the gain happiness and alleviate suffering, does not know how to give up non virtues and adopt virtues. May his or her suffering as well as its causes , ripen within me”

This is called as the practice of taking the suffering  of others within yourself using the instrument of compassion.

From the depths of your heart, you can also imagine the following:“ I will give to these sentiment beings without the slightest hesitation or regret whatever virtues I have accumulated in the form of good karma which will be auspicious for them”

This is called the practice of giving away your own happiness using the instrument of love.

Although such mental imaging may not actually bring the desired results, it does increase determination and will power while creating a peaceful atmosphere. These practices are performed in conjunction with the inhalation and exhalation of the breath—inhaling others pain and exhaling your own happiness into their lives.

Similarly when you are ill or suffer an unfortunate event imagine the following:“ May this illness or misfortune serve as a substitute for the suffering of all sentiment beings”

This will keep your suffering from getting worse by fretting about it, and it will enhance your courage. It is also helpful to thing:

May the suffering that I am undergoing now function as the ripening manifestation, and conclusion of many bad karmas that I have accumulated

According to Tibetan Buddhist texts , when you are happy, do not get too excited  about it, but dedicate to the welfare of all sentient beings and when you suffer, take on yourself all the pain of other sentient beings. We usually have ups and downs , but in this way you can maintain inner courage not allowing  either fortunate or misfortune to disturb your peace of mind— neither too happy nor too sad, but stable.

Enlightened Compassion

Since we aspire to be servants of the Lord, it is important that we not take a casual or dismissive attitude toward catastrophes and say, for example, “It’s just a fight among the materialists” or “People are just suffering their karma.” Were this to be the full extent of our response to these events, I think we would be deficient in our devotion to God. Why do I think this way?

Lord Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita (6.32) that a devotee should feel universal empathy. Srila Prabhupada translates this verse as follows: “He is a perfect yogi who, by comparison to his own self, sees the true equality of all beings, in both their happiness and their distress, O Arjuna!”

This verse, among other meanings, recommends a kind of universal empathy. In his purport Srila Prabhupada stresses the point of empathy: “One who is Krishna conscious is a perfect yogi; he is aware of everyone’s happiness and distress by dint of his own personal experience. In other words, a devotee of the Lord always looks to the welfare of all living entities, and in this way he is factually the friend of everyone.”

Devotional Empathy

We find another explicit, powerful call for devotional empathy in the Bhagavatam (6.10.9): “If one is unhappy to see the distress of other living beings and happy to see their hap-piness, his religious principles are appreciated as imperishable by exalted persons who are considered pious and benevolent.”

This is how we can apply such empathy in the case of the recent terrorist attacks:

First, we can imagine what it would have felt like for us to have been on one of the four planes that were hijacked and destroyed, or in one of the three attacked buildings. There is ample information available so that we can be quite specific and explicit in imagining the experience.

Second, we will probably have to honestly admit that we would feel significant discomfort, pain, or anxiety in such a situation. If we are capable of deep empathy, if we are able, as Srila Prabhupada states, to understand the experiences of others by comparing them to our own experiences, and we are “factually the friend of everyone,” then we experience true Vaishnava compassion.

In other words, we should not be more detached from the suffering of others than we are from our own suffering. We should not arrogantly dismiss the anguish of others, as if we are beyond anguish. A devotee who is truly transcendental to material suffer-ing, and who would not have suffered at all in one of those four airplanes, or in one of those three buildings, would be a most exalted pure devotee and as such would feel great compassion for the fallen conditioned souls. Those who are not compassionate, and who dismiss as trivial or unimportant such great suffering, are not actually demonstrating advanced detachment in Krishna consciousness, but rather they are demonstrating a disturbing lack of common empathy, and are in fact embarrassing our movement by their neophyte response.

Education in compassion

All human beings want happiness and do now want suffering and  use many different ways to remove suffering. It does not matter whether one is religious or not ,but we tend to seek a way to lessen our suffering, so that we can find happiness. Sometime we even tend to take on pan as a means to overcome suffering and gain a measure of happiness.

Everyone tries to remove superficial pain, but there is another class of techniques concerned with removing suffering on a deeper level. Spiritual practice is the deeper type. These techniques involve in adjustment of attitude, and adjustment of your thoughts in a beneficial way. This means that by adjusting counterproductive attitudes, you are held back from a particular kind of suffering and are thereby freed from it. Spiritual education protects or holds you and others back from misery.

After first understanding your won situation and then seeking to hold yourself back from suffering you extend your realization to other beings and develop compassion, dedicating yourself to holding others back from suffering. It makes practical sense for you, just one being, to opt for taking care of many, you also make yourself happier. Compassion diminishes fears about your own and increases your own inner strength. It gives you a sense of empowerment of being able to accomplish your tasks .It lends encouragement.

Lot of times when you are in pain and if you see someone else who has more pain and suffering tan you, you tend to forget your own pain. The reason this happens if because, you tend to value your pain less as compared to others. Compassion helps strengthen your outlook and with that courage you become more relaxed.