Knowledge is the key to overcome sorrow, pain, grief, depression, anxiety, fear, etc., and is also the key to gain happiness, success and spiritual evolution. Insufficient knowledge about a subject leads to sorrow and pain. Right kind of knowledge helps one to overcome them, face the situation aptly and re-establish peace and happiness. The best example to explain this point is about the rope which is generally perceived as snake in darkness. There are three ways to deal with this perceived snake:
To run away in fear without bothering to know if it is a real snake or just the perceived one.
React aggressively — take a stick and hit the perceived snake till you feel it is dead.
Bring a torch light and see what it is.
In most of the cases your fear will be found to be imaginary and if it is a real snake then also it will run away fearing attack. In real-life situations also this example is applicable. Most of the time we run out of fear in a perceived painful situation even though the real situation would not have been so painful. We may sometimes react very aggressively and spoil the situation further. Only in cases where you face the situation with full knowledge, understanding and patience, you would overcome almost all the unfavourable and painful situations of life. It would only be a matter of time.
However, in extreme cases, even if you are left with an unresolved situation, you would have enough strength to deal with it with right attitude and positivity. To increase one’s knowledge one must attend satsang (guru’s company, interactive/Q&A sessions with guru). He alone is the ultimate clarification, solution and knowledge provider. Having evolved spiritually, the guru has the insights and vision, which, ordinarily, others would not have.
One must regularly attend satsang and seek knowledge. One must put questions for clarifications, better understanding, improved perception, higher vision and spiritual quotient. One should not shy away from asking questions in a satsang — even if the questions are personal. Chances are high that similar questions might be in the minds of many other people sitting in satsang, but are not being answered because no one is asking. In such a case if you are the one to ask questions that might help others get answers and improve their knowledge base.
Since Arjun asked questions to Lord Krishna, today we have Bhagvad Gita. Lord Ram asked questions to his Guru Vashishta, we have Yoga Vasishta and upon Parvati asking question to Shiv we have knowledge of enlightenment. In case one is not able to attend guru’s satsang regularly in person, then one should find other means of seeking knowledge like writing to guru, reading his articles and books, listening to his recorded discourses and messages, meditating on him, etc.
However, one should always try to find an opportunity to be with his guru in person at least once or twice a year, if not more, so that personal rapport and proximity is developed and clarifications are sought in person.