'Be' with Swami Venkatesananda

Acceptance

We should learn to accept the inevitable. As a famous prayer goes: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

Birth and death are inevitable; so why worry? Death is certain for that which is born and birth for the dead.

But, where is it said that the Self is born or it dies? Birth and death belong to the illusion (conventional or traditional usage), not to the Self, the substratum for the ‘I’. I am not born nor do I die; birth and death belong to the confusion. At best, ‘birth’ and ‘death’ are conventional expressions like the ‘rising’ and the ‘setting’ of the sun. For not even the ‘body’ dies finally.

Birth and death are two apparent stages in a ceaseless change. They have social implications, but cease to be true when investigated into.

When you drive along a tar road in the morning, you find a mirage. When the sun sets, the mirage disappears (dies). Oh, no, it is not dead; the next morning, when the sun rises, the mirage is born again!

We can accept the inevitable with wisdom and course only if we are firmly rooted in the truth or the permanent reality which is totally unaffected by these passing phenomena.