When I was a kid I was fascinated by superheroes.
Like many young kids, I used to imagine myself flying around through Earth’s atmosphere, or using super strength to lift rubble off people trapped underneath fallen buildings.
I collected hundreds of comics and trading cards. I had stacks and stacks of them.
My favorite superheroes were the X-Men.
I loved reading about the different characters and the incredible superpowers they had.
Super strength, flight, enhanced speed, telepathy, control of energy, regeneration, transformation… I was enthralled by all of them.
I used to love drawing and creating my own superheroes with their own powers too.
A thought used to cross my mind when I was collecting comics and immersed in the world of superheroes as a kid:
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
For a long time I thought it was telekinesis, which is the ability to move objects with your mind.
I reasoned that if I had telekinesis then I could make myself fly, move super fast, have super strength, and have complete control over my environment using the power of my mind.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve thought less about superheroes and superpowers, and more about sages and saints.
Curiously, the more I studied them, the more I discovered they seemed like real-life superheroes rescuing people and saving their lives.
Modern sages and saints like Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Nisargadatta, Paramahansa Yogananda, and my own teacher Rajivji are perfect examples.
These beings dedicated their lives to fighting against the ‘super villains’ of suffering using their own superpowers.
There’s countless examples from other spiritual traditions, and many unknown people who’ve lived superhuman lives too.
I’ve thought about what made these people’s lives so impactful, basically: what was their greatest superpower?
It wasn’t flight or super strength.
After much contemplation, I realized it’s their ability to transform suffering into joy and peace.
Forget about flying, super strength, or moving objects with the mind–being able to transform suffering into joy and peace is the highest superpower of them all.
Through the super attributes of wisdom and love sages and saints lift humanity up beyond the mundane suffering of the world into the heights of liberation, expansion, and divinity.
By cultivating the twin forces of love and wisdom we awaken the power to transform suffering into joy.
It’s the power of love to raise everything to its highest vibrational potential, and the power of wisdom to free us from the bonds that restrict our divine ascension.
This power of transformation is the supreme superpower, and paradoxically, one that we all have access to.
Through meditation, devotion, spiritual practice and study, we too can learn to cultivate this power.
The first step is to have faith that this power to transform suffering is within you.
You have the power to transform the challenges, problems, and suffering of your life into growth, peace, joy and love.
Believe in it.
Believe in yourself.
Try to cultivate your power a little everyday.
Be still. Breathe. Meditate.
You’ll be amazed as you spend timing cultivating yourself how powerful it can become.
And then you can help others too.
You’ll be super strong in a different kind of way than moving buildings or throwing cars.
You’ll be strong for yourself when you fail.
You’ll be able to lift your friends when they’re down, or when your family suffers a loss.
You’ll have the courage and bravery to stand up to injustices in your life.
You’ll become a real superhero doing the greatest good of removing suffering in this world.
Like the great comic book author Stan Lee famously said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”
It’s our great privilege, and responsibility, to nurture this supreme superpower within us, for our own benefit and for the benefit of all.
How do you empower your ability to transform suffering into peace and joy? What methods have helped you the most to connect to this power? What things have held you back?