Guidance on Endurance, Forbearance and Obedience



In this life we may have to endure many different things. For example we may have to endure physical hardship, cold, hunger or pain. If we tackle these things positively and look on them as a test, or a learning experience, then we will endure well. If we resist, weep, wail, blame, we will suffer much more than we need to. We may even extend the suffering beyond what it might have been. Take the positive out of all negative situations and your spirit will grow and develop.


This really means putting up with other people without resentment or argument. While it is not appropriate to allow others to walk over you and treat you like a doormat, there are many occasions when forbearance can lead to a much greater understanding and love of the other person.


In recent decades people have rebelled against this niyama, so that it is almost unfashionable to obey. However, it is a fact that those who have greater experience and understanding of life are frequently in a position of power. It is often in our interest to obey them, because they do actually know what is best for us. Each individual needs to develop his own discrimination, so that he does not blindly obey, nor does he blindly disobey. A rebellious young person may disobey out of habit or resentment at being told what to do, without thinking much about the consequence of his disobedience. If adults are consistent, predictable and reasonable in their expectations of their children, they will get the respect they deserve. A child who feels he has to obey for no particular reason except the unpredictable whim of his parents, will soon find his own reasons for not obeying.

In the same way society, if it is lead by a hypocritical, unjust government, will disobey all sorts of rules and will get away with whatever it can. People will feel that their elected leaders are not working on their behalf. The people may come to feel that they are governed by an undeserving leadership, which commands little respect and therefore deserves to be disobeyed. This leads to lawlessness or anarchy*. This is not an effective way for society to develop.