30 Days of Yogi Wisdom – Day 1 featuring Swami Chetananda
“Never, at any stage, is there any certainty about what will happen to you in this life. However, there is one thing that nobody can ever take away from you – the growth you attain through your own search fro Self-knowledge.”
I’ve found over the years that some of the most valuable yogic wisdom has been centered around un-learning or letting go. In these two brief sentences, Swami Chetananda succinctly teaches us that we have control over nothing; this is without a doubt one of the most challenging lessons in yoga. The only thing we can embrace and find certainty in is our quest for spiritual knowledge.
Why is our complete lack of control so challenging for us to wrap our heads around? I think it’s because we spend our entire lives attempting to arrange our externals in such a way that will bring us endless happiness. The problem is that our culture has taught us that happiness comes from materialism and ‘looking good’. So, we seek out the perfect partner, we have the cute kids, we graduate from the right university, and we buy a house with a white picket fence because from a young age we’re taught that this is what we should covet in order to achieve success in life. And this works for some. But, when we don’t achieve this dream, or we actually find ourselves wanting something else, or something happens to us that we didn’t plan, we think we should be miserable. And, we are.
The solution? We must surrender to the things that happen in our lives that we can’t control. There is absolutely no use in bemoaning the ‘why’s of an illness, or the loss of a job, or the death of a family member because suffering is inevitable and can happen to anyone regardless of status or success. The moment we realize this is the moment we begin to recognize our freedom. That change will happen whether we are ready for it or not, and that ‘this too shall pass’. Instead, we must hold steadfast to the one thing we can be sure of which is, as Swami says, the growth we attain from our search for self-knowledge. Said differently, self knowledge comes from a place where we accept the change we cannot control as a way to grow.
This is my interpretation of today’s yogi wisdom – what’s yours? Let’s have a conversation in our Facebook Group! (if you’re not a member yet, just click join)