11/26/2012 11:24 am ET Updated Jan 26, 2013

Failure: A Stepping Stone to the Ultimate

"The current economic situation and the fear of failure have made me immobilized. How do I change this?"

For one who sees life as a stepping stone for a larger possibility, there is no failure. For one who looks at the simple events of life as the goal of life itself, there is failure and success. If you just see any situation as an opportunity for a larger possibility, then when you have a good deal, you use that for your well-being; and when you have a bad deal, you use that for your well-being.

When the economy was booming, every fool could be successful. It didn't take much, everyone got carried with it. But now that the economy is down and the taps are all closed up, it is time to meditate and walk in the mountains. There is plenty of time on your hands now, but when money was flowing, it took away your time and life. So it doesn't matter what happens in your life, if you see life only as a stepping stone for a larger possibility, then whatever the situation is, it is very, very useful.

Once there was a farmer who was tired of various natural factors ruling the quality of his crops. So he called upon Shiva and said:

I am tired of all this natural nonsense happening. Obviously, you are not a farmer. Why don't you leave nature in my hands? I am a farmer. I know when it should rain; I know when there should be sunlight; I know when there should be wind; I know everything. You are definitely not a good farmer. It's raining at the wrong time, everything is happening at the wrong time. You leave it to me.

Shiva was in one of those moods, so he said, "Okay, nature is in your hands." Then the farmer decided to plant a maize crop, so he snapped his fingers and said, "Rain." The land became soaked through with six inches of rain, so he said, "Stop." Then he ploughed the land, planted the seeds and waited for two days. Again, he said "rain," and rain came. Then he said "sunlight," and sunlight came. Then he said, "Today I am working in the field, so clouds." Everything just happened the way he wanted, and a beautiful maize crop sprouted. He was overjoyed and said, "See how good this is? Nature should be in the farmer's hands."

When the time came to harvest, he saw how nice and big the crops were, but when he opened up the maize, there was no grain inside. Then he thought, "What is this? What did I do wrong?" He couldn't figure it out because he managed the rain and sunlight properly. Then again he went back to Shiva and asked:

"What went wrong? I did everything right but there is no grain. Did you sabotage my crops?"

Shiva said:

You were in charge so I did not want to interfere, but I was watching what you were doing. The rain was great, the sunshine was great, everything you did was fine, but you stopped all the winds. I always sent fierce winds to threaten your crops; only then would the plants feel pushed and threatened enough to put their roots deeper into the earth, so grain would happen. Now you have a great maize crop, but no maize.

You can use the various situations in your life to make yourself stronger and better, or you can sit and cry. This is the choice you have. It doesn't matter what happens -- the most horrific event could happen in your life that can also be used for your growth and well-being. If you have set your life up like this, everything in life becomes beneficial. The economic boom is beneficial, and the meltdown is even more beneficial.

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