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The School Called Earth

The planet that we call earth is really an institution where we gain momentum on the sacred path, our sacred journey, toward self realization. In essence, the experiences we gain here, in our physical form, are meant to usher us toward the understanding that all physical/sense-perceived phenomena are perishable and ultimately lead us to misery and suffering. The lessons learnt in the school called earth are very valuable and greatly contribute to the progress of our spiritual journey.

The perception called “sorrow” and its counterpart “happiness” are really educational tools, teaching us the lessons of equanimity and impermanence. Why were the dualities sorrow and happiness referred to as perceptions? Generally, the term perception refers to something that is not real and subject to change. Our mistaken association with our bodies causes us to get so deeply involved with the opposites of joy and sorrow and we take them to be real. They are not, they are only passing clouds. Take a look at your own lives; wasn’t every sorrow or joy you experienced temporary? Didn’t it pass just the way it arrived? Some of these experiences lasted for a very long time, while others were of a much shorter duration. Yet, none seemed to be permanent.

With each passing experience, however, you became wiser, more mature, and understanding. The transformation to these adjectives were only possible because of life experiences. They were indeed great teachers.

Nature as a teacher. Nature is indeed a great teacher. Hot, cold, rain, drought, night, day—all these are the dual forces that nature puts forth to man. All of these have a purpose, a higher purpose.

Mother earth has a great role in the universe. It is here that we learn life’s lessons and get detached from the dualities that life throws at us and progress to the stage of equanimity—the gateway to liberation. Every experience we create for ourselves takes us a step closer to this goal.

It is only when children are growing that they feel candies and toys are the purpose of life. Take a toy away from a child and he would think that was the end of the world. As they grow, however, they realize that toys and candies are not everything. In a similar manner we, as adults, are attached to the bigger toys that this world offers and as we grow spiritually we realize that all the material things we ran after all our lives were really only toys and candies in comparison to the real goal of life.

Night and day must alternate. After every night there must be day and after every day there must be night. That is inevitable. Life also has its share of nights and days, but the spiritual individuals will learn to use the torch of God’s grace to continue surfing through the darkest nights of life.

Failure is the catalyst for growth. One grows only after failure. With every failure we evaluate causes and make an attempt to learn from our mistakes and as a result we grow.

Saints, the great ones, always welcome sorrow with a smile. They know that suffering is a great means to get closer to the Lord. Take the example of Jesus. He was crucified and yet He smiled and prayed to God to forgive those who subjected His body to pain. He was (is) a great master who maintained equanimity even in the face of physical death. The result? Today, He is universally recognized as one of the greatest masters and one who helps millions reach the shore of bliss.

It is only by going through the school called earth that we can enjoy the bliss offered by the supreme.

This learning is internal, though, and takes place without our realizing it. Remember no one fails in this school. The school is so built that all learn without fail and progress. Some souls complete this journey in one life, whereas others would require several lifetimes. Just as a child studies hard and gets promoted if they study hard, if we study hard (undertake spiritual discipline/prayers), our progress will be much faster and the goal much closer. We are all in the stage of schooling. Welcome sufferings with a smile; with every experience we get closer to our goal: perfection. Bon Voyage!

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