Depression, Suicide, Overcoming the Tests of Life with Guru’s Love ~ Bro. Pranavananda

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Once we can stop paying attention to our seeming separateness [from God] and become still we will become aware of the INFINITE LOVE within us.   We have to learn to keep the body and mind relaxed and still – not half asleep, but very alert, not striving or reaching or straining – and slowly the peace starts to overtake us,  and that is the Presence of God.  Just let the mind absorb itself in one thought, “Reveal Thyself,” or “I love You,” or just focus on feeling peace or love.  Stay focused on one thought and don’t let the mind roam around.

Master wrote in Whispers

“Bless me, that I do not through fear anesthetize my unlimited power, as Thy child, to overcome the tests and trials of life.  Make me know that whether I am awake or asleep, alert or dreaming, Thine all-protecting presence encircles me.”

Someone recently left a message in the Satsanga question box about depression, and they mentioned suicide.  It got us alarmed and I would like to say please see a counselor about this.  Questions like this cannot be addressed in a group – it must be one-on-one.  You may feel vulnerable, but talk to someone and tell them how you feel – someone you feel you can talk to.  My heart is breaking.  Please send me a note to let me know if you have sought out help.  I also brought up this satsanga question last week, and there are other devotees who sent notes offering to help – and some said they have gone through the same thing.

We don’t always appreciate how precious every single person is to God – it’s beyond human caring.  We cannot know until we experience it, and when we do, we will know that there is nothing we can do to deserve this Love.  It is this love which moved Jesus to endure all that he went through; it’s what made our guru come and endure the agony of the karma of others equal to the cross of Jesus.  Master took on much of the karma of others.  We are the most precious creation God ever made – that’s how God sees us.

Depression closes us in,  it makes us feel hopeless.  But know that you will get through this.  This is karma brought over from the past, but your current actions can change it.  Talk to someone.  And turn off the television.  No talk radio either.  No news … because these things will depress even a healthy person!  (Laughter)  These things are geared to stir us up with anger and fear.  Instead, listen to uplifting music.

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GYANAMATA suffered terribly — mentally earlier in life, then physically in her later years.  She was dying, but Master saved her.  In 1943 Master wrote her a letter.  Now, as I read it, imagine that Guruji is talking to you:

“You have always depended upon me for guidance, so I write this, as I feel you need me now more than all other times.  All the devotion, wisdom, faith, that you matchlessly acquired are being tested now by God.  Look how the soldiers are suffering (in World War II), and how Christ suffered on the cross, and how Ramakrishna suffered with the most painful of all human diseases.  Christ never forgot the Father.  Ramakrishna never prayed for healing or relief.  You who are so highly advanced must now use all your spiritual acquirements, that before my eyes you pass this test of God.  You are an example to all; so do not be overpowered by suffering or have self-pity, but smile away all your troubles.

“Many years ago, I begged your life from God; so do not throw away what God gave you by wishing to give up your body.  To wish to die is to evade the examination of the transcendental soul as to what it has learned from its experiences with the painful flesh.  You must finish all the lessons that God wants you to study in this school of life.  So smile and remember we all want you to live and be of service – to God, to me, and to all, who are so much benefited by your contact.

“Do not tie my hands by negative thoughts, but cooperate and wish to live and be of service to this work as long as a drop of blood remains in your veins.

“My faith in you is ever unshaken.  I deeply feel the impact of your test.  But no matter how severe your suffering is, you can endure, as have others who had even more severe tests with their bodies – day and night in horrible pain.  So be thankful to Him who is the Maker of our lives.  Do not wish to throw away before your time comes what He has given you.  Remember what Draupadi prayed to Krishna, “Lord, I care not what pain or test of punishment you give me, but do not test me with forgetfulness of Thy love.”   And this is what I pray for you,  that you ever remember and love God, and forget the body.   Draw closer to the Divine Mother, even if She beats you with pain. 

“As befits your name, keep your gyana, wisdom’s light, ever burning during the darkness of this test.”

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It’s a tall order, I know.  But those who have been through it say,  “I’d never want to go through it again, but it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”  Having gone through it, you will have unconditional compassion for everyone – and you will go down on your knees and surrender to God as you never have before.

from devotee notes, Encinitas Retreat talk, 2007

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See also~

“Do Not Be Discouraged” ~ Paramahansaji letter to a devotee

“Overcoming Moods By Right Attitude,” by Brother Dharmananda

Rising Above Suffering ~ Swami Smaranananda (devotee notes)

SISTER KARUNA, direct disciple ~ “YOU are BLESSED!!”

BACK TO  SRF MONASTIC TALKS

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