Howsoever great a man may be in this world, there is always something wanting in his life. We may occasionally come across a person who asserts that his life lacks nothing, but even so he has the anxious desire that the status quo should be undisturbed; which means that he is not really happy. There may also be a person engrossed in sensuous pleasures or pursuits who appears to be carefree. A drunken person may not care whether he is naked or clothed, may even defy or challenge the king, but only so long as he is under intoxication.
Sensuous pleasures depend on transient sensuous objects that may leave us some day; or our senses may become weak; or we may die. And who will enjoy such pleasures if he is conscious of death, which is bound to claim him some day?
That abundance of ‘pleasurable’ things makes for abundant pleasure is an obvious misconception. Real happiness is that which is everlasting. It can only be found with God, who is Himself eternal. Sensuous pleasure is available to beast as well as to man. What, then, distinguishes man from beast? It is the faculty which enables man to think on the fundamentals of life, such as what he really is, and what the purpose of his life is. In everyday, worldly matters we think of gains and losses; but they pertain to a world which is itself impermanent; how can such thinking lead us to the truth?
We do not try and learn to be contented in the situation in which God has placed us, and crave for ‘better’ circumstances which, we imagine, will make us happy. Even our devoutness to God and submission to saints is, overtly or covertly, for some worldly objective. Isn’t such devotion or submission an attempt to exploit God or a saint for a mundane purpose? Even superstitions we twist and interpret to suit our wish and convenience. For instance, if a cat crosses the path we turn back, interpreting it as God’s premonition that our mission will not succeed; but if one wife dies, the husband does not interpret this as God’s hint but begins to think of marrying again! In short, to secure worldly pleasures is our aim, and we exert ourselves only for that purpose. Truly, a man who does not introspect on his experiences in worldly life can never become wise.
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