This article is shared by SP Sharma
“Man proposes, God disposes” has been an old saying and the realization of its validity is certainly helpful in the fulfillment of spiritual aspirations. Usually people claim that they got what they wanted from God.
I was in the 7th standard at the age of 9 (having gotten double promotions from the beginning), when I had to discontinue my studies before the half-yearly examinations, due to financial conditions. Till 14, I had no idea for studies and was happily doing composing in a printing press, where I had started at the age of 11. Then the foreman in the press suggested my father restart my education, and my father agreed, provided I worked part time. Till the 10th standard I worked part time in the press, and then I gave tuitions in Physics and Mathematics. I completed my B.Sc. but I couldn’t complete my master’s degree in Mathematics. However, my knowledge of composing helped me to become an accurate proofreader, and later I helped publish a scientific journal. The education I got, and the practical knowledge of printing made me job-worthy throughout.
I never wished to marry, seeing the condition of poverty in my childhood. I thought I would help my elder brother who, though he had gotten married, was not interested in worldly life. Our relatives brought 2 or 3 proposals to me, which I laughed away. But when a friend brought a proposal, I agreed (I was 24 then). It proved that it was bound to happen for my betterment, getting a good companion for my spiritual pursuit.
After having two sons I had no wish to go for a third child, due to economical reasons. But since it was already a case of 4 months, the doctor advised us to continue and she wished for us a daughter. That night I fervently requested God to grant me a daughter. The daughter proved to be of immense pleasure to all of us in the family, and is continuing to do so.
I tried to be working near my hometown, twice leaving a job at a far away place (2200 km). Once I resigned and rejoined after 10 months, and the second time I went on a deputation to New Delhi but returned, due to problems of pollution and the time wasted in the bus journey to the office. This too has proved to be in my favour, as the spiritual progress I am able to make, being away from my hometown, wouldn’t have been possible in the environment prevailing in my hometown.
After completion of the knowledge path in 1977 (Please see the article: Self-realisation and beyond, and Death – a great spiritual teacher, indeed!), I never thought that I would identify my own self with a spiritual Guru (teacher) and become his lover. In my wildest dreams, I never thought that I needed the help of any Guru, as God Himself is there to help me on the devotion path. But it happened to enable my last step in perfect devotion and for my utmost pleasure (Meeting my higher self).
I think these are sufficient indicative events, which have happened against my desired objectives.
Though it is not always to get direct instructions or advice from God, His omnipresence has guided me through other means, i.e. people, animals, and objects. When I started practicing the continuous repetition of the Name of God in my leisure time, the peculiar sound of home lizards reminded me when my mind had wandered away. (Hope readers will excuse me for this example, but it helped me for my good cause.)
Now it may easily be made out that in shaping the future our mind and intellect are of no use at all. Our outlook based on these may put us in situations which we may regret later. Then what is the use of these two in life?
Our decisions about anything are based on past experiences and on our views. The shaping of the future needs a wider look, for which we will have to consult wise persons who are ahead of us. Hence, we need to develop our field of view and concentrate on engaging our mind and intellect in the present. Also, the intellect needs to be made sharp in order to identify future needs. That is a difficult proposition, of course! In fact, we should follow the advice of saints, “Concentrate fully on the present that will shape the future, and leave the rest to God”.
In the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna advises Arjuna that a wise person should not even indulge in the work he likes most (one may like to remain in power adopting crooked means to save the chair). And on the other hand he should not neglect the work, which he is supposed to do, because of his personal disliking. The conclusion is that one should leave one’s personal feelings behind and only do what is expected of him.
This view goes very much against our ego and naturally keeps us away from His grace (i.e. peace of mind). There are situations where neither our limited wisdom is able to find a solution, nor our worldly relations may help us. But when one does the present duty sincerely and believes in the Lord, or in his chosen saints in any religion, He will take care of the rest.
It is only when we are gripped by despair that we may turn to Him. But those who turned to Him never had any regret for doing so!
SP Sharma, India