Tests (adversities) are for our betterment. Life is the confluence of the dualities like sheetha (cold)-ushna (heat), sukha (happiness)-dukha (sorrow), jaya (victory)-apajaya (defeat) and labha (profit)-alabha (loss). Many do not know this fact and they have a misconception that life is meant for happiness. But, when they are troubled by sorrow, they approach elders, who advise that all these are the tests of God and that one must pass in it. When we listen to such words, those in distress get a doubt – “Why should Gods and Guru have to test? We feel sometimes that they can instead give happiness even without doing so. As soon as we hear the word “test”, we remember Indra from the Puranas. We know from many stories that Indra tests all those who sit for penance. But, only few know that such tests are meant purely for the benefit of the seekers. Rest of the people does not understand the principles of Indra and instead disrespect him. To get rid of such misconceptions, we must observe the history of sage Vishwamitra.
While Vishwamitra was doing penance to become Brahmarshi, Indra sent Menaka as a part of the test. She enslaved the sage. She used to request the sage to take her to a different place each day and Vishwamitra, by utilizing his power of penance used to roam with her in the sky. He lost his power of penance in doing so.
One day, Menaka requested that she wanted to go to Himalayas along with the sage. He agreed to her but he could not fly any more. So, the sage understood that his energy got wasted and the power of his penance got diminished. He had no energy either to curse Menaka or to scold her. She left for Indra’s world because the sage was of no use to her. Vishwamitra continued his penance further.
This time Indra sent Rambha to test him. The sage cursed her to become like a rock. But, now Vishwamitra came under the control of anger. Earlier, he was under the control of desires (kāma) and now he became a slave to anger (krōdha). Once again, his power of penance that was accumulated since 1000 years got wasted.
The next time, while he was sitting for penance, he strongly determined that he must not come under the control of Arishadvargas (the six inner enemies) because he already had learnt lessons by wasting his penance for kāma and krōdha. He then became a Brahmarshi by doing penance for 1000 years continuously. The actual resolve of Indra was fulfilled. Had he not tested, Vishwamitra would not have brought the arishadvargas under his control. He would not have acquired such experience. It is God’s resolve to give experience, make the seeker go higher and higher and let him attain the permanent position. Even the Gurus have the same resolve with respect to their disciples. Hence, during the time of adversities, we must never scold God/Guru for the tests we are facing. Instead, we must try to pass on the tests.
Parikshā hitakārini – This means that the tests are for our betterment. We must not rebuke God or Guru for that.
Jai Guru Datta! Sri Guru Datta!