A Sincere UPSC aspirant is like a truth seeker, like a sage who is doing Sadhana to get salvation. We sacrifice the worldly pleasures. We wake up late at night studying some random facts when others are partying, we wake up early in the morning when others are enjoying a warm nap, We control our appetite and limit our controlled diet when others are enjoying heavy meals.
Despite all these, sometimes, bad things hit us back to back. Our struggles grow harder and harder as the days pass. We say ‘Why Me?. Why existential force is so harsh and unkind towards us. What wrong have I done by choosing this less trodden path? Shall I escape to the comfort zone and enjoy the Life?”
What we need to understand the fact is Struggles make us stronger. Problems give us opportunities to think in a sharper way. Pains push us to evolve and mature in a positive way.
Below is the timeless story, which might illustrate the value of Struggles and Pains in Life.
There is an ancient parable — must be very ancient because God used to live on the earth in those days. Slowly slowly, he became very tired of man, because people would torture him continuously. In the middle of the night, somebody would knock and say, “Why have you done this? Why not do it this way?” Everybody was advising; everybody was praying and their prayers were contradictory. A man would come and would say, “Today let there be sun, because I am going to wash my clothes.”
And somebody else would come and he would say, “Today let there be rain, because I am going to plant trees.” Now what to do? They were driving God mad!
He had to disappear from the earth. He had to escape just to survive. He had to become invisible.
One day a man came, a farmer, an old farmer, and he said, “Look, you may be God, and you may have created the world, but one thing I must say to you: you are not a farmer, and you don’t know even the ABC of farming. And your whole nature and the functioning of your nature is so absurd, and this I say out of my whole life’s experience. You have to learn something.”
God said, “What’s your advice?”
The farmer said, “You give me one year’s time, and just let things be according to me, and see what happens. There will be no poverty left!”
God was willing and one year was given to the farmer. Now it was according to his will that everything was happening. Naturally, he asked the best, he thought only of the best — no thunder, no strong winds, no dangers for the crop. Everything comfortable, cozy, and he was very happy. The wheat was growing so high! No dangers were there, no hindrances were there; everything was moving according to HIS desire. When he wanted sun, there was sun; when he wanted rain, there was rain, and AS much as he wanted. In the old days, sometimes it rained too much, and the rivers would be flooded, and the crops would be destroyed; and sometimes it would not rain enough and the land would remain dry, and the crops would die… and sometimes something else, and sometimes something else. It was rare, very rare, that things were right. But this year everything was put right, mathematically right.
The wheat was growing so high that the farmer was very happy. He used to go to God and say, “Look! This time the crops will be such that for ten years if people don’t work there will be enough food.”
But when the crops were cut, there was no wheat inside. He was surprised — what happened?! He asked God, “What happened? what went wrong?”
God said, “Because there was no challenge, because there was no difficulty, because there was no conflict, no friction, because all was good, you avoided all that was bad, the wheat remained impotent. A little struggle is a must. Storms are needed, thunder, lightning is needed. They shake up the soul inside the wheat.”