Earlier this year, one of our very dear God-brothers who visited this temple, His Holiness Sridhar Swami Maharaja, departed from this world. He had a very difficult disease and physically he suffered for many years. But, do you know what his name was, amongst those you knew him? ‘The Jolly Swami.’ He was always laughing and he was always making everyone happy. This was his positive attitude.
He told me on many occasions, “Pain may be inevitable, but suffering is optional.” He regularly told me this, “It is our free choice whether we want to suffer or not.”
The experience of pain is there which may not be a choice, but what our attitude is and how we are going to perceive it, is optional. Even though we are hurting physically, we could see it as the grace of God, we can find deep fulfillment, gratitude, learn so many lessons, and we can feel ourselves the bliss having been purified, or we can simply suffer. Everything is a matter of choice of what our mood is and how we are going to interpret a particular situation. – Radhanath Swami
He was always grateful.