Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
I have got innumerable messages via the phone and mail as to why did I write on Reham…Mercy…rather than on Shukar….Gratitude and Thanks. Dada Vaswani spoke about Shukar and how His Guru, Sadhu Vaswani was a living embodiment of being in a state of gratitude even while going through inhuman pain and thus the messages and mails were about how the most important way a human being can show love towards The One is through constant thanks and gratitude.
I cannot agree more. Yes being in a state of gratitude is the most sublime and a true display of love to our Creator. I am of the firm belief that the one who lives in a constant state of gratitude humbles the very Heaven itself.
There is just one issue. How many of us have it in us to live in a state of true gratitude and thanks giving constantly, no matter what is going on externally in our lives or within us?
What is Shukar? Is it thanking The One for all the food we eat? Water we drink? Clothes we wear? Health and wellbeing of us and our loved ones? The happiness and joy in our lives? The ability to go about life in a comfortable manner? Our kids not turning into psychos? Our bank accounts looking good? The vehicles, houses and other valuables we posses? The monsoon coming on time and showering mother earth and the parched fields in a bountiful manner? Accidents avoided and speedy recoveries from illnesses? The boss having to go through four root canal surgeries?
Yes that is Shukar for sure. To be thankful for all that we have is being in a state of gratitude. And fortunately I know many who are in a state of gratitude and Shukar.
The problem is that this form of gratitude is one side of the Shukar coin.
The other side of the coin insists that we be in a state of gratitude even when we are getting a pounding of our lives or as one sage told the other, ‘getting the crap kicked out of all my openings and chakras’. This state of gratitude requires us to be thankful even when nothing is going as planned or desired, everything going about as though a living nightmare. The worst fears realised and materialized and yet being in a state of gratitude and thankfulness.
It is very beautiful to be thankful when things are going right for us but the true spirit of gratitude comes forth when things aren’t going as planned. Things going south in a ferocious intensity. When everything or something important, which means or meant a lot, begins to move away or stagnate or rot or is lost and yet we are in a state of gratitude. When one is going through the worst possible phase in one’s life and yet one can live in a state of gratitude and shukar is the true sign of spirituality and love for The One.
All the Perfect Masters and those who are firm on the spiritual path have shown gratitude during adversity and pain, not only to teach us mere mortal dimwits that this is the true way on The Path and the most genuine way of loving The One, but also to tell us that no matter what, being in a state of gratitude is the only true way of surrender, faith and the most profound way to express our love for The One. Through thick and thin They have whispered or shown forth gratitude to The One and it is here where true thanks and gratitude comes forth.
When things are going right we are in a state of gratitude. Some of us mean it. Some of us are so scared that if we aren’t in a state of gratitude then the blessed thing might be taken away from us, thus we are in gratitude through fright and fear. So many of us are in gratitude simply because of fear of loss or fear the wrath of The One to those who are living in in gratitude.
When those truly spiritual go through strife their love for The One does not question. They don’t look Heaven bound and say Bas Kya God, why me?
They don’t try to analyse as to why after all their spirituality and good deeds and moral code of decency are they still getting their noses rubbed into fresh manure. They go about their lives never once questioning the love of The One. They don’t get bitter or negative. Depressed may be once in a while. Defeated for sure once in a while. But negative, angry, bitter, hatred, no, there is no place for gratitude, faith and love with being bitter, negative and playing the victim card.
These brave one’s who live in a perpetual state of gratitude and thankfulness, just go about their lives in a state of firm faith and belief. Not firm faith and belief that all will sort out or that things will go as they wish or plan or that all will get fine or that things will take a turn for the better. No. None of that flimsy, two minute mumbo jumbo faith. They just go about with the faith that S(H)E knows best, no matter what the consequence or harsh or humiliating the loss or hardships.
They are certain, assured, convinced and in peace with the fact that their Goddess, God, Guru, know what is the best for them and their loved ones and as The One knows what is best for each one, then why grieve or get agitated? S(H)E knows best and if S(H)E knows best then all is well. There is no question of getting angry, bitter, negative.
It is like when a near one has to go through surgery and the hospital shoves a document under our nose and wants a signature from the family stating that if there is a mother of all goof ups and the loved one getting operated has to adorn wings and leave the highly sedated body in a state of an anesthetic high, the family shall not burn the hospital down or try to put the doctor under the knife or file a law suit against the hospital, the doctor and all those involved with the surgery.
Similarly those brave folks who truly live in a state of gratitude and Shukar are of the firm belief that their Goddess, God, Guru, know what’s ideal for them and if They have signed the document initiating a trying period, turbulent times, or as they say in spiritual lingo, the cleansing phase, or worse, something called as ‘being part of the Karmic Blueprint’ (where do we get all these solemn sounding words), then so be it. Sab theekhain, fikar not. Though in reality nothing may be right, it could possibly be the worst time ever for the individual, but s(h)e knows that The One knows what is best for the individual’s largest wellbeing.
This is the true state of Shukar. The real meaning of thanks and being in gratitude. Even when getting the shit kicked out of you, you only whisper Shukar.
Lord Christ on the Cross sought forgiveness for all those people nailing Him, flogging Him, cussing Him, humiliating Him. That is Shukar. Shri Ram lived a life which was fraught with deceit, separation, war and more and He went about His moments giving His best. That is Shukar. But why only the Big Boys, there are innumerable people, salt of the earth, who go through life in a state of gratitude and thankfulness, never once talking about spirituality, chakras, breathing, Kundalini, dimensions, Archangels and all the stuff we so love to keep talking about. They go through life silently in a state of grace.
Look around us and if you are fortunate you will see those who truly love The One living a life of Shukar. They are not Gods, Avatars, Prophets, Saints, just common salt of the earth folks refusing to get sucked into the abyss of hate, bitterness, negativity, the ‘poor me’ state of being. They truly believe that S(H)E knows best and that is good enough for these brave folks.
Yes I know life can be harsh, crude, mean, sometimes come cussing and frothing at you from every side like a bitch in heat and it takes a lot to remain in a state of gratitude when those whom you called your own or those who you never knew existed try to harm you, hurt you, deceive you, try to cut your feet and honour and to be in a state of gratitude when all that you want to do is castrate and/or/both, mutilate them in the most indecent and slow manner is high on the agenda and then you still have to be in a state of gratitude and fight the fight but with peace and compassion in your heart. Times when you have to live having your loved one snatched away from you or families playing politics or friends turning out to be worse than foes and you have to keep going about life forgiving, understanding, saying Shukar…. suffice to say does not come easily to most of us.
I begin to froth when my tea isn’t made right so I truly can’t say much about being in a state of gratitude but then this is each one’s individual journey and this path, the path of gratitude is the true path. It’s a painful path. But it is the only path where our love though is not only truly tested but weighed, measured and clothed, not by The One but by our own self. Our higher self decides where we have reached and where do we have to go and where have we failed and where do we have to descend.
Shukar is the faith that resides in the breath of all those who are truly brave enough to enter hell for a heavenly cause and enter heaven not because of any other reason but because that is where The One resides and just in case The One were to travel to hell and reside in the bowels of hell, they too would follow, as what is heaven without The One and thus the way of life is, ‘wherever Thou resides Oh Fulgent One with multi-coloured wings I shall tag along with you, like a mesmerized puppy’.
I know Shukar is the way to be. We may be miles away from The Path but this quality of not just being in a state of gratitude but living in a state of gratitude, is what makes The One pleased as a drunken sailor on a lengthy land break.
But this is not about Them. It is about our love for Them. This is not about heaven or hell. This is about whether we truly love Them or is it all about us, has been all about us, will be all about us. This is not about spirituality but whether we are doing business, dhandha in the name of love and spirituality.
As Baba Sai in channeling often tells folks, ‘bhogchadakarthooko mat’, crude translation would mean, ‘after preparing the holy offering don’t spit in it you daft virus’. Same way let us not be thankful for just a few things which are going our way but for everything going either way or not going anywhere rather than looking heavenward and wailing ‘why me bhagwan’.
Just as one can’t be partially pregnant similarly one shouldn’t live in a state of partial gratitude. That would be like a strange animal, wagging its tail one moment and going for the ankles and other parts of the anatomy whenever things aren’t going the way it wants.
If you live in Shukar then one never seeks Reham. But one asks for Reham as a penance that ‘forgive me, have mercy on me, for I have sinned’, not because the person is scared of the wrath of The One but because the person is genuinely torn apart by any wrong doing, knowingly or unknowingly.
Living by the philosophy of Shukar is tough. Leave Shukar for the brave ones.
Be blessed always
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha