Faith

Freedom from misery

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Sastras raise this question to all: Can any one claim to be really happy and peaceful in this world, including those who might have attained all worldly gains according to their individual expectations? Not all have the discerning power of Nachiketas with regard to the fleeting nature of the pleasures of this world of senses, pointed out Swami Paramasukhananda in a discourse.

Not tempted by Yama’s attractive offer of a long life of unlimited pleasure, the boy seeks only what is eternal. Sastras teach the truth that when people chase worldly objects with the hope that these can give happiness, they are totally mistaken.

The following analogy represents the plight of every jivatma who looks upon worldly happiness as enjoyable even when he is very much aware of its ephemeral nature. Imagine a person being chased by a tiger, running frantically to save himself and entering a dilapidated well. He manages to hold on to a creeper to avoid falling down where below he sees the threat of snakes, worms and scorpions. From a honeycomb that is disturbed, bees swarm around and sting him while he notices a rat chewing away the root of the creeper. In the midst of all this pell-mell, he still relishes the drops of honey dripping from the honey comb with his tongue stretched out.

The tiger is the Prarabdha Karma of each individual who is caught in the well of Samsara where fear of death is inevitable. The intermediary signs of prosperity such as health, wealth, status, scholarship, etc. that one enjoys are to last only briefly. The rat is the Kala Deva and the snakes, scorpions, worms, etc, represent the kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada and matsarya that keep one tied to this world.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 1:06:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/freedom-from-misery/article7905858.ece

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