The Divine, the Greatest Therapist

By Desmond Yeoh

We were given negative emotions not as a punishment but as a red flag or a signal to tell us when something is not right. Negative emotions are like signboards which point the way to Divinity. It is not to be avoided but to be cherished. Unfortunately, most of us try our best to avoid or place a carpet over our negative emotions by distracting ourselves. We try to earn more money so that we can purchase more and more distractions.

When we are faced with negative emotions, it is best that we seek the help of our greatest therapist or counsellor, the Divine. We do so by spending time alone in meditation. When we rest in the silence that is present between our thoughts, we are surrendering our problems to the Divine[1]. We must have the courage to face our emotions and overcome the temptation to distract ourselves.

When the Divine talks to us, it is in the form of insights that are not subject to misinterpretation. When we talk to a human counsellor, he may give us an advice but we may misinterpret that advice because our conditioning forms a shade over our eyes. If the shade is green in colour, everything that we see is green. For example, he may say that one should love one’s children more. One may interpret it to mean that one should buy more gifts for them to make them happy. Is that what the counsellor meant?

With the Divine, there is no such interpretation. The advice that comes to mind through our intuition is crystal clear. What we hear is what the Divine wants us to know.

The other problem is that we are conditioned to have a fixated view about how a holy person should appear. Once, the great Trailanga Swami honoured Lahiri Mahasaya in public. A disciple asked the swami, “Sir, why do you, a swami and a renunciate, show such respect to a householder?” Trailanga Swami replied, “My son, Lahiri Mahasaya is like a divine kitten, remaining wherever the Cosmic Mother has placed him. While dutifully playing the part of a worldly man, he has received that perfect self-realisation for which I have renounced even my loincloth!”

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What I want to emphasise is not the swami’s answer but the disciple’s question. It clearly shows our conditioned view that a holy man should be a swami or a monk. We think that a householder cannot be holy. We know that is not true but we cannot help but to cling to that view.

The participants who attend Rudra Shivananda’s seminars sometimes do not know what to make of him. He exudes wisdom…. but he is not a swami. They get confused and do not know how to approach him. Many do not know that when he was younger, he wanted to be a monk but in the last minute before he was ordained, Babaji appeared to him in a vision and asked him to get married and lead a householder life. At that time, he did not yet know who Babaji was, but the Buddha he recognised, Guru Rinpoche appeared to him and asked him to follow the advice of Babaji. Only later on in his life did he stumble on a poster of Babaji and recognised him as the Saint who appeared to him a few years before. Obviously, Babaji wanted Rudra to live the life of a householder to show us that one do not need to renounce the world to achieve self-realisation. Only an inner-renunciation is necessary. Renouncing the desires of the ego is the all that is necessary.

We must all persist in our practice so that we can strengthen our ability to hear our Greatest Counsellor, the Guru within. He is always there for us and is never too busy or tired to listen and provide us with guidance.

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[1]  Please read our article ‘The Gap between Thought’.

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