The Wealth We Acquire Won't Accompany Us in the End!
The first step is vital.
Each journey starts with a first step!
Take the first step and other step will follow. If we are procrastinating forever, no good work could be done! Many people fear to take the first step imagining failure of their attempts. Hence the axiom, ‘start early, drive slowly and reach safely’! Hence never hesitate to take the first step. This is applicable to both mundane and spiritual life. Even miles of journey can be performed from the starting point provided we start the journey with the first effort. A spiritual master has told his disciple, “God’s name is rowing in a small boat to cross the ocean of miserable existence in this mundane world”. The disciple expressed doubts how a small boat could safely cross the ocean? The preceptor told him, each name is a row and continuously repeating the name take the journey forward. What is needed is faith and patience! Perseverance with faith is the sail. We have seen fisherman venture into the sea. The first few attempts will be torturous. As they row their boats forward, huge waves will chase it back. But no fisherman will retreat. He will row his boat intelligently as per the direction on the wind, cross the tides safely and reach safer distance away from the shore. Again the preceptor clarified him, ‘god’s name is like a small lantern light with which one can cross the deep jungle. The disciple expressed his doubt again. The light will illumine hardly three feet while the forest is many miles long! The preceptor said, “As one moves with the lantern in hand, it will illumine further distances and thus one safely cross the deep jungle called earthly life!
Today and Now!
The tortoise and hare race!
Many people do not succeed since they have not even started. Hence take the first step and proceed further. Swami Vivekananda has asserted, “Arise, Awake, stop not till the goal is reached! Let us not hurry at breakneck speed and stop at the middle. Have you noticed a snail how it moves? In half an hour, it might have moved one foot. Take the tortoise, how slowly it moves forward? Once they start, they won’t stop in the middle! We might have heard the story of a tortoise and hare. They participated in a race to cover about one hundred feet. The hare thought; let the tortoise move half a way. I will take a nap under the cool of the tree. The tortoise just started and moved inch by inch and reached half the distance after half an hour. The hare woke up and saw the distance yet to be covered by the tortoise. “I can enjoy one more nap and rush when the tortoise is three fourth the distance! Again it took a nap. The tortoise was moving in a steady pace and the goal post was few feet away. The hare was still resting and woke up to find the tortoise very near to the goal post. It jumped and ran at terrible speed but alas, the tortoise has reached the goalpost and the hare was few feet behind! Persistence and perseverance won the prize for tortoise. Even if we are slow to move, let us be steady and one fine morning we will achieve the goal post.
There is no competition in spiritual path!
In fact, spirituality is no race! Each individual tread his own path at his own speed and reach the summit at his time. There is no winner or loser. But we have to persist and never slack our efforts. The Bible asserts that even the lowest will reach the goal one day! In the material world, every thing seems to be competitive. But it is man’s own making. Even the children are forced to mug up and pass credibly to get admission in prestigious universities. This is a fallacy? Why one need to attain first few ranks? The parents think that their sons and daughters should become successful engineers or Doctors and earn in lakhs. They must amaze wealth and acquire palatial buildings and latest cars. They believe that their children will settle nicely and remain happy forever! Financial prosperity can never guarantee “Peace of mind”, which is the highest acquisition. Every one craves for peace but foolishly venture in many activities but end up in pieces. If we ascertain from the rich if they are really happy, they will pour their woes in volumes. Yes, the rich automatically gathers multiple problems. The poor need few morsels of food and some tottered cloth to cover them. After a day of toil, they purchase rice and grains and prepare their food afresh. They eat it with gusto and rest on the platforms. They sleep like dead logs.
The rich lacks compassion!
The rich versus poor!
The rich man eats in varieties which are tasty but affects his digestion. He gobbles up many capsules for his indigestion. He is unable to sleep on his soft bed, though lying in air conditioned chamber. His mind is pestered by many business problems in this competitive world. He has to escape from the tax authorities and he invents dubious means to hide his real income. There is no dearth of gold ornaments in the bank lockers. But he is restive that at any time vigilance authorities will check his income. Where to go? What to do? His children have become vagabonds since he doles them pocket money in tens of thousands. They eat, drink and engage in other nefarious activities with their friends. How long his wealth will last? Greedy relatives are often visiting his home in the pretext of seeing them. Jealous of his affluence, they plan many stratagems to extract money from him! Sometimes he feels that the wealth has really made him restless and he want to flee to some far off places away from the pestering of relatives and friends. The servants too wait for an appropriate opportunity to loot the wealth. The hut of the poor is always open and there may be some earthenware pots to cook and store water. Who will care to enter his hut? The guards at the entrance may not be dependable. They will connive with rogues and thugs and try to loot when the owner is away from the town! These stories and events are frequently depicted in TV news. One can not rely one’s own progeny. They too want their share quickly. Excepting god, we can not rely upon any in the world.
The sad part of the story!
People gather wisdom only in the last stage!
Many people gather wisdom only after sixty or seventy years of age. Till then, they were submerged in worldly problems and ills. Sheer experience made them wise. They become aware that nothing lasts. They cannot carry even a grain of sand when they depart! What is the use of this wealth which makes one miserable? Friends and relatives gather around the wealthy people only as long as he is wealthy. The moment he looses his money, even close relatives will depart. So long as the lake is full, frogs will gather round and make croaking sound all through the night. Once the lake become empty, even the frogs will depart without saying even a good bye! This is the nature of the world. Hence we should be cautious from the beginning not to be influenced by wealth, power or status and we must focus on the aim of human existence. Ultimately one has to merge back in the supreme!