Question to Radhanath Swami: What is better? Looking at an object as it is, or looking at an object with positive attitude? I was thinking about Gautam Buddha; if he had a positive attitude, he wouldn’t become Buddha.
Radhanath Swami: Actually, Buddha had very positive attitude. That’s how he became Buddha. He saw the realistic problems of birth, old age, disease and death. But he had faith that he could overcome those miseries and that he could teach the world to overcome those miseries; he had a positive outlook. Otherwise, what kept him going? What kept him from going into depression or committing suicide? Buddha was under that Pipal tree called the Bodi tree at Bodhgaya and he vowed, “I am not going to get up until I attain that state of enlightenment, where I can teach the world how to be free from miseries.” That’s positive outlook. He did not give up.
So, having a positive outlook does not mean being unrealistic or not being objective. In spiritual consciousness, positive outlook really means to see the grace of God, to see the opportunity to serve, to see the opportunity to learn, and to see the opportunity to help others in all situations. And such an opportunity is there in every possible situation if we look for it. Our consciousness can transform tragedy into something beautiful, though the situation may still be tragic on one level.