By Pulkit Sharma
Whether we like it or not, loss is an inevitable part of our existence. It can come into our life in many different forms: the death of a loved one, loss of an integral part of our identity, disintegration of a trustworthy relationship, a debilitating accident, illness, unfulfilled dream, harrowing personal or professional failure, or the loss of a valuable possession. During such times, we usually end up feeling helpless, hopeless and worthless. It seems as if we have been in a black hole forever and that life would never be as bright as it once used to be. Consequently, some of us feel utterly depressed and do not feel like carrying on with life.
The wise ones say that everything is a manifestation of eternal consciousness and therefore we should participate in relationships and worldly activities from an evolved point of view – neither getting captivated by attachments, nor getting disturbed by losses. Sri Ramakrishna once enlightened a grief-stricken disciple by using the allegory of a palm tree.
‘But house, wife and children are all transitory; they have only a momentary existence. The palm tree alone is real. One or two fruits have dropped off. Why lament?’ Once we get anchored in this deeper awareness, we recover from the pangs of grief and there is a profound transformation within.
A powerful way of realising this truth is by meditating on the cosmic Self. According to Vedas and Upanishads, when infinite consciousness manifests itself, it takes the form the cosmic Self. Everything, including our universe, emerges in Him and disappears in Him. He is without beginning, middle or end, and within Him happens all creation, preservation and destruction. Only He exists from time immemorial and will continue till eternity. Awareness of the cosmic Self gives us the strength to overcome feelings of loss and grief by developing attachment to what is real and cultivating detachment to what is ephemeral.
We must keep in mind; we are neither helpless creatures made by chance, nor destined to suffer from vagaries and wrath of a vicious fate. We are a part of the cosmic Self and come into existence to fulfil the Divine agenda – that of the revelation and manifestation of Supreme Consciousness on earth. Therefore, we are never alone and at each turn of life, a profound beauty is waiting to unravel itself. Let us keep our faith intact and respond to the feelings of loss with unwavering surrender. Consequently, all the shadows of gloom that have been tormenting us will dissolve quickly, and we will bask in the luminous, celestial light.
The writer is a clinical psychologist in Puducherry
Views expressed above are the author’s own.