There is no medicine for the disease called desire. Desire for power is especially hard to shake off, because power, once tasted, only increases the desire for more power. Power is intoxicating.

But even those who have never tasted power and who have faced up to a lot of suffering in life are unable to give up worldly attachments. When we suffer, we think we can no longer bear to live in this world, but once the crisis passes, all our desires come back again.

Even if we think of God in times of crisis, we find it convenient to forget Him, once our problems are solved. Such is human nature. Elaborating on the hold that desire has on us, Akkarakkani Srinidhi said in a discourse that one’s only desire must be to serve Lord Narayana.

Sage Vyasa was passing along a path one day and noticed a worm scurrying across in great speed. He asked the worm why it was in such a hurry. The worm replied that it could hear the rumble of the wheels of a cart in the distance. It was running away to avoid being crushed.

Vyasa laughed and asked the worm why it was so keen on living. After all it was only a worm. What charms did its life have for it? The worm replied that it might be just a worm, but to it its own life was important. If a worm, which has few pleasures in life, has so much attachment to life on this earth, how much more would man’s attachment be, considering the various enjoyments possible to him?

Nammazhvar says kings who once ruled with pomp could one day be reduced to the state of beggary. Clad in loin cloth and holding a begging bowl as they do, they will be mocked at by the very women whose favours they once sought. They will be bitten by the dogs that roam the streets.

When they ruled, they would have had less powerful kings prostrate at their feet. But now, when power has been lost, they are no better than the dust on the street. No one has power for ever. The power of rulers is as lasting as a drop of rain. The rain drop dries up soon and so does their power vanish too. No one is wealthy and powerful forever. The only permanent joy is service to Lord Narayana.