You have planned for a picnic and suddenly heavey rain starts. Your plan gets cancelled.
After spending whole week in busy schedules, at the weekend; you are lying on the sofa; watching your most favourite movie and suddenly DJ starts at your neighbourhood in full volume. You lose your peace of mind.
In the morning, you have promised your family to go for the dinner and in the night, when they are ready for it, you don’t want to go with them because of your off mood.
How often we face similar situations in our daily life? Whenever we plan for something, disturbances start coming one after another; making us miserable.
10th std board exam was going on.
Parents of one student didn’t have a vehicle; so they booked autorikshaw to take him at the exam centre. On 3rd day, the autorickshaw didn’t reach at the scheduled time. So the student and his parents became very anxious and worried. Somehow they managed another rickshaw with high fare and their son could reach the exam center.
Another student, who was regularly going for his exams didn’t appear on the last day of exam because he had an acute abdominal pain and had to get admitted in the hospital.
All of us know that disturbances/ obstacles do come in our way to achieve something…some of them can be overcomed but some are difficult to face.
According to our scriptures, to succeed in any plan, one has to overcome three types of obstacles/ disturbances. In Sanskrit; these are called Tapatraya/ तापत्रय.
These are the three sources of Tapa / ताप (literal meaning- heat/suffering/miseries/तकलिफे)
# Adhibhautik/आधिभौतिक and
These are the three kinds of miseries/ ताप; which human beings have to suffer in this world; some or the other time in their life .
Adhidaivik and Adhibhautik obstacles or miseries arise from external sources….external to ourselves. Adhyatmik obstacles arise from inside- our own body mind complex.
Adhibhautik/ आधिभौतिक – It is any disturbances or sufferings caused by another jivas/ bhutas/ living organisms or anything stemming from the world around us— pests, mosquitoes, rude neighbors, biting dogs, harsh DJ, mobile alarms, toxic relatives and friends.
We have some control over this category of disturbances. That means; we can use pests control to control the pests, complain to police for harsh DJ, we can move away from the toxic neighbors, we can leave the place and person, etc. Thus we can overcome these type of obstacles with our efforts.
You have an important call from your boss and there is so much noise around that you can not hear anything. To overcome this disturbance, you move away from the noisy place.
Autorickshaw didn’t come on time and that was the Adhibhautic obstacle for the student but he could overcome it by managing another autorickshaw with high fare.
Theft, robbery, cheating, deceiving, legal actions also come in a domain of Adhibhautik miseries.
With this much understanding, we can analyse our situations and anticipate the possible external obstacles in our way and keep plan B and plan C ready to achieve the goals by overcoming these obstacles.
Adhidaivik/ आधिदैविक- These are the forces in nature; over which we have no control, such as draughts, floods, strong winds, earthquakes,landslide etc. We can do nothing to overcome these obstacles except praying to the divine for His grace. These are the invisible forces; operating to make or not to make any particular event happen; and are ruled by our Karmic factors.
N number of times; you must have noticed that you failed to achieve something even if you had a strong will and did honest efforts, and you had favourable conditions too for the same. This is the Adhidaivik obstacle, arranged for you by the divine force, as per your karmic account.
Son of a poor rickshawvala; living in a remote village, with no adequate educational facility; cracks the IIT or UPSC exam. When such unbelievable things happen; we call it God’s grace. The divine just helps it to happen; removing all types of obstacles; to dispence the fruits/ results of your past karmas.
Adhyatmic – The third type of disturbance is the most powerful but over which we have much control. These are the disturbances stemming from ourself- our gross, subtle and causal bodies.
Fever, cough, asthama, wounds, heart disease, etc are the gross body related miseries. We can overcome these miseries with the help of medical science.
Negative emotions, attachments or aversion, mental turbulance because of our love- hate relationships, Lust, envy, jealousy, anger, sorrow destroys our mental peace. These are the subtle body related miseries. Religious study and mental health science help one to overcome them.
Ignorance of the Self/ our true nature is the root cause of all the miseries. It gives rise the notions of ‘I’ ness and ‘My’ ness_ Mr Ego. Only the Self knowledge/ Vedanta shastra can help us to protect from these miseries at the root level.
A good example of Adhyatmic obstacles is-
You are meditating and suddenly you hear piano music. You remember the pleasant memories of your past relationship in relation with piano music and thus you get lost in the thoughts of past events.
I have seen many patients with mental ailments who have good financial condition; sharp intellect, good opportunities of a career but just because of mental block; they are not availing them.
Certain diseases or distresses like dog bite, snake bite infectious diseases, injuries caused by accidents, are Adhibhautik. We can overcome them with medical treatment. Many children and adults suffer from some congenital disorders or birth defects which cannot be cured by medical treatment. They have to live and suffer with these defects. These are Adhidaivik miseries…beyond the reach of medical science.
So many times; you must have observed that you get something with the slighest efforts or without your will. The divine factor decides ultimatley whether to make your plan succesful or not according to your previous karmic account.
Most people argue- if it is true that you will get what is destined for you, then why should we exert efforts ?
To make the plan succesful, we need all the factors; Adhibhautic and Adhyatmic; even if success is destined for you. (Will/wish/desire+efforts+favourable environment+ the divine factor. )
So, if you want to live a fulfilled life, Have a strong will and with good mental composure; give 100% honest efforts. Then leave the rest to the divine. If you succeed; its ok… if not; it is also ok. (You are not destined for it now; continue the same efforts…you will succeed at proper time.)
During the exams, you plan to study whole night. So you take your study books and sit at the study table. There is no one to disturb you. Suddenly electricity/power goes off and there is a complete blackout. You try to arrange a solar lamp. You find it discharged. There is no inverter facility. What should you do ? Just close the book and go to sleep. ‘Studying overnight’ was your plan….not of the divine. Just chill…relax!
It is said that during the time of Maharaja Yudhisthira and Lord Rama, people were free from all these disturbances. There were no adhyatmik miseries (inflicted by the body,mind complex. That means people in their reign; were physically and mentally very sound), adhibhautik miseries- (those inflicted by other living entities because every living being was satisfied and contented), Adhidaivik miseries( no natural calamities.)
Previously there were Gurukuls. The Guru used to teach scriptures to the disciples in the forest/under a tree. Every discourse would start by chanting the shanti mantra which ended by uttering ‘Om shanti shanti shanti !’
Uttering ‘ shanti’ thrice was not for the weightage or emphasis but because to get rid of disturbances of these three distinct categories- Adhi-daivik, Adhi-bhautik and Adhyatmik.
The first utterence of ‘shanti’ is for removal of adhidaivik obstacle, “Oh God!May we be protected from the obstacles; that are beyond our control.”
Second ‘shanti’ is for removal of adhibhautik obstacle- “Oh God! May we be protected from the surroundings ( people,animals,etc).”
Third ‘shanti’ is for removal of adhyatmic obstacles- Oh God! May we be protected from the physical or mental ailments created by our own body mind complex.’
This is the reason, we pray to Lord Ganesha before starting any tasks- worldly or religious. (Lord Ganesha is ‘ vighnaharta’.)
How to get free from these three types of miseries completely?
Only the one; who has transcended his BMI, is free from all types of miseries.
It is the path of Reality by which we can attain the transcendental happiness of being freed from these three kinds of miseries. Because these miseries are material- falls under the domain of matter. That means, as long as we are attached and identified with the matter( everything other than the Self/ Atman/ Brahman), we have to suffer from these material miseries.
Our sufferings are due to our material existence only. If we start walking the path of Reality with the help/ grace of Guru and the God, one day we can transcend these matter vestures to be in our real nature of Pure Consciousness, never to get disturbed by any kind of miseries. There will be ‘no return’ to the material world again.
Hari Om !