Wednesday, March 21, 2007

On the Whole, Life is Sorrow

On the Whole, Life is Sorrow

Lord Buddha says: "On the whole, life is sorrow." You will find an echo of this statement in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras "Sarvam duhkham vivekinah-All indeed, is pain to a person of discrimination." This is not the philosophy of the pessimists. This is wonderful optimism, as it induces deep Vairagya, weans the mind from sensual pleasures and directs it towards God, the Atman, to realize eternal and infinite Bliss.

"Mamsa-lubdho yatha matsyo lohasamkum na pasyati, Sukha-lubdhastatha debi yama-bandham na pasyati."

Just as a fish in its desire to eat flesh does not see the hook that lies beneath, so also man in his passionate desire to get sensual pleasure does not see the noose of death.

How to Eradicate Sense-hankering

Trishna means an intense craving or sense-hankering. Through constant repetition of enjoyment of an object, the longing for the object becomes very keen and acute. This is Trishna.

It is all easy to become a big research scholar in the Oxford or Cambridge University and to get an M.A., Ph.D., degree. But it is extremely difficult to eradicate these Trishnas. That is the reason why Sri Vasishtha says to Sri Rama : "You can even uproot the Himalayas. You can even drink the waters of the whole ocean. You can even swallow balls of fire. But it is difficult to destroy the Trishnas. Cravings cause incessant trouble in many different ways. These cravings are the seeds of this Samsara" (Yoga-Vasishtha).

A worldly man is always drowned in sorrow. He is ever struggling to get something, some money, some power, some position and so on. He is always anxious as to whether or not he would get it. Even when he is in actual possession of the things he so passionately longed for, he is very anxious lest he should lose it. There is pain in earning money. There is more pain in taking care of it. There is still more pain if the money gets decreased. And when it is lost, just imagine for a moment the magnitude of the climax and the intensity of pain it gives a man! Therefore renounce money and rest in peace in the blissful Self.

In the presence of light, you cannot have darkness. In the presence of sensual pleasures, Atmic Bliss cannot exist. Worldlings want both sensual pleasures and Atma Ananda in one and the same cup and one and the same time. This is an absolute impossibility. They do not want to renounce sensual pleasures. They do not want to develop real Vairagya in their hearts of hearts. They simply talk a lot.

Though a man knows he might die at any moment, still he thinks he would live for ever. To get oneself entangled in the meshes of Maya till death is simply foolish. He who is attached to wife, wealth and children will not derive even an iota of benefit in the spiritual path.

A bachelor who is full of passion from head to foot imagines that he is miserable because he has no wife! A householder who is tired and exhausted of worldly life thinks wife and children are a mighty hindrance in his spiritual march.

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