"Are problems any different?" he mumbled to himself. He was bamboozled. He felt as if all problems in the world had connived to assault him at the same time. He was thrown out of his job when his finances were drained to its last drop, his wife blamed him for everything that went wrong under the sun, his children seemed hell bent on making him feel terrible for having begotten them, his relatives and friends loped from his sight, lest he may burden them with his quandary, mentally or materially; and added to all this was his own body, which chose to revolt back at him, at this anomalous hour.
There once lived a poor farmer in a village. His elder brother was a rich merchant and his younger brother was an equally rich landlord. His everyday routine included tilling new soil, watering the fields, grazing his owner's cattle and cursing God, life and himself.
One day his mind switched into a prayerful mode. With deep pain he spoke to God, "I have never enjoyed anything in life as my brothers did. I haven't experienced the love of my mother as my brothers did. I don't have a roof over my head, which I can call my own, as my brothers do. I don't have the money, name and fame that my brothers enjoy. Why are you so biased?"
His prayers were heard and God spoke from heaven to all the villagers. "I am going to emancipate all of you. Till all your problems into a bundle and bring it to the village temple. There you can exchange your bundle for any other bundle of your choice. Henceforth your life would change according to the bundle you choose."The jubilant farmer packed all his problems into a bundle and marched out of his house with dreams of a colourful future. He freezed in disbelief as he stepped out. His elder brother was carrying a bundle five times the size of his own bundle. Following him was his younger brother who had employed a servant to carry two of his extra bundles not able to carry them himself. Thus swaggered the whole village, each one looking at the other in disbelief. When everyone had gathered at the temple the most unexpected thing happened. No one came forward to exchange their bundle with anyone else, however big their bundle was.Well, why would a rich merchant want to exchange his bundle with a poor cobbler, though the cobbler's bundle was much smaller? With the problems would leave his hard earned comforts and possessions. It was a tuffle between attachment and liberation. Each bundle was a package, and had desirable and undesirable state of affairs. No one could find a bundle that best matched his or her fantasy. Everyone returned home in contemplative silence and joyful acceptance. The farmer returned home merrily, never to lament again."
There are two ways to end a problem." says Sri Bhagavan. "It could either be solved or dissolved."The first method is to find a solution for the problem in the external world. If you have a big nose and a dark skin, of which you are embarrassed and cursing your stars for, the external solution would be to shell out money and set it right by doing a plastic surgery. There is also a straight forward and painless alternative that comes free of cost, simply to accept it! The problem remains externally but ends internally. The problem ceases to be a problem.Peace and happiness are the two things that one aims to achieve by solving a problem. Sadly, man is stuck with the idea that an end to his problem is possible only when it ends externally, least aware that an external solution is not the only criterion for a peaceful and happy living. A solution may put an end to the problem, but it may not bring permanent joy, as life is ready to bowl another problem. It is like a man trying to battle the waves of the ocean. No sooner than one subsides, the other is ready to swoop any minute. Anticipating a 'one-day-I-will-be-problem-free' thing is ignorance. If one cannot be happy in the 'now and here', one can never be happy anywhere. Happiness is an internal state. It does not depend on external situations. This is the reality of an enlightened person.It was this state of Enlightenment that kept Ramana Maharshi and Ramakrishna Parmahamsa equanimous inspite of their cancer. It was this state that kept the Buddha stress free in spite of facing lot of troubles from the king and his monastery. It was this state that made Christ say "Lord! Forgive them for they know not what they do" even he was tortured.
Enlightenment could make one either into a saint or a sage. It is a state where one lives and enjoys life completely without the burden of thought. For an enlightened person, his very existence is joy, unlike an unenlightened person who searches for umpteen reasons to be happy.
But this state cannot be attained by spiritual practices, penance or severe austerities. When you do get enlightened it is only through Divine grace.
Even for the Buddha, Mahavira and other enlightened masters, it was only a benediction.