Attachment causes problems

CHENNAI, DEC. 7. Attachment is at the root of all problems. The direction our minds take when embroiled in an issue affecting our friends or close family members will be very different from a situation where emotional trappings are not present. Even minor irritants can cause the mind to be focused on irrelevant trivia as though it were important for one's progress in life. Due to our love for our children when they suffer we undergo similar feelings on a larger scale. No parent can resist over-reacting when his or her child is criticised. Labouring under the mistaken notion that one is a saviour of human beings a person cannot hope to achieve his goal in life.

There was once a great king, pious and virtuous who renounced everything and retired to the forest, but by force of circumstances had to save a new-born deer. The extent of his kindness was such that he became deeply attached to the animal, and despite his accomplishments, renouncement of worldly riches and family ties, his last thoughts as a dying ascetic were of the deer. His attachment caused his ego to spurt — since he held himself as its benefactor — and caused him to be reborn as a deer. This king was none other than Bharata.

In his discourse, Sri Vidyasagara Madhva Theertha said that when we serve God it would not be a wasted effort, but act as an invisible fixed deposit carried forward. In the case of Bharata, the folly of his attachment remained with him even when he was recast as a deer and subsequently caused his rebirth as a seemingly idiot boy living simply on scraps thrown by others. So powerful was his score of virtues when he had been Bharata that in his subsequent births, his sense organs stopped working outwards, and he became an introvert thinking of God at all times. When he was targeted for human sacrifice, he maintained his mental poise, and his faith that one who loves God is taken care of by God was not misplaced. When forced to carry a king's palanquin the same wise man did so without a murmur. Neither criticism nor praise had any impact on him who had realised that the human body is like a rented house — impermanent; the soul alone is permanent.' Often, subscribing to the theory of leading a pious life, one often carries out rituals that are convenient to self, but such joyous acts are mere links, and not the end of the quest. A true believer should experience God, in every act, and with true nobility believe, ``God wanted this to happen, I am only a servant to Him.''

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