This too shall pass – यह समय भी बीत जाएगा (April 2020)
“This too shall pass” (यह समय भी बीत जाएगा) is the topic of assignment for this month. There are at least two angles to look at this idiom: one is obvious; the other, not so. But, both have deep spiritual significance. In the age of COVID-19 spread, this month’s topic, its different interpretations, and the lessons we draw from it become a lot more relevant. Kids are expected to cover both the angles in their assignments.
‘This too shall pass’ means nothing is static or constant. Be it external conditions or state of mind, nothing stays as-is forever. While this idiom is typically quoted/remembered in rough times, it is equally, if not more, applicable in good times too.
Say, you just got hurt and are in excruciating pain, or you are in a binding situation and abhor the condition you are subjected to. It is very easy to lose hope, feel glum, or, in the worst case, become pessimistic about life. Often, when we come out of that situation, we realize that the situation was not as unfortunate as we considered it at that point. But, next time, another painful situation demoralizes us. Why, why do we fall in the same trap every time? Because, we don’t remember the lesson: this too shall pass. In those despairing moments, contemplating on the meaning of this idiom is not only relieving but also uplifting. Remembering that the situation won’t stay the same, can act as a life saver and airlift us out of the sea of painful emotions.
This idiom equally applies to the complete opposite situations, too. Say, you have full freedom and feel jubilant, or everything around you is going precisely the way you always wanted and you feel on the top of the world. It is natural to have an exaggerated sense of self-worth, feel deep pleasure in thinking about your achievements, and, in some cases, feel so pompous that you become immodest and disrespectful. These are precisely the moments that start our downfall. Sooner or later, those situations, which gave the feeling of grandiose, fade. And, we find ourselves alone, miserable. If only we could remember this idiom, we would not have fallen prey to the dazzle of luxuries.
Contemplating on this idiom in bad and good times makes us level-headed, mature, and a better human being.
The above, however, is just one interpretation of this idiom.Let’s look at it from a different angle. In life, whatever we observe and/or experience, it goes in our memory. Those memories then define how we react and behave in future. Be it a ghastly scene from a movie or a beautiful scene from a documentary, every experience is getting etched in our memory. In Indian scriptures, this continuous storage of impressions in memory is called sanskars. Every living moment, we are collecting experiences and building sanskars. The more profound an experience, deeper are the sanskars.
Today, we all are undergoing an experience we never ever imagined before: neither heard nor fathomed. It is obvious that it is changing us. But how it impacts us depends upon our perception. The way we interpret, perceive, and feel a situation is really how it is. Events get stored in our mental storage as feelings. If we consider this whole experience to be negative, constricted, or helpless only, it will leave us feeling bitter. Even after the current situation passes, we will feel pain or resentment. On the other hand, if we pick the positives out of the current situation or resolve to avoid the current situation, we will come out a better, stronger, healthier person – and a conscious society.
This too shall pass. But, how we come out of this depends upon our outlook. Let’s make sure we pick positive nuggets for a better future.
As part of this month’s assignment, kids will cover both the angles of this idiom.
As communicated before, we will meet virtually – over video conference. Please consider the participation in the online hawan akin to a physical trip to a spiritual place. Please make sure you have dedicated a clean, comfortable, and well-lighted place to sit during the virtual hawan.
I am looking forward to seeing all of you and listening to the enlightening views of our hawan kids.
PS: please feel free to extend the invitation to your friends and family members who may benefit from it.