Thursday, January 22, 2015

You were not born into this world just to eat and drink

You were not born into this world just to eat and drink 

Once there was a bee who was young and strong and full of the hot blood of youth. One day he was flying blissfully from flower to flower, sucking nectar. He kept going farther from home, forgetting that it would soon be evening and time to return. 

He had just flown into a lotus flower when the sun set and the lotus closed. The bee was trapped. He had a sharp stinger and could and could easily have pierced through he petals and flown away, but he was lost his intoxication. He thought, I'll spend the night here drinking nectar, and in the morning, when the lotus opens, I'll fly home. I'll get my wife and my neighbours and friends and bring them here to drink nectar. They will be so pleased! They will be so grateful! 

Soon it was midnight. There was a young elephant roaming through the forest, and he was also very intoxicated. He was tearing down trees and ripping up plants and stuffing them into his mouth. When he came to the lake where the bee was revelling, he began to snatch the lotuses and eat them. The bee was still drinking nectar and thinking, I will bring my wife, I will bring my neighbours, I will bring my friends, I will have a great honey factory. Suddenly there was a loud crunch. "Alas!" the bee cried, "I am dying, I am dying, I am dead." 

All the bee plans remained in the lake. All his friends remained in their houses. His wife was still at home. And the bee was inside the elephant's mouth. 

Like that bee, we are going farther and farther in the world, imaging that we are making greater and greater progress, not realizing that we are leaving our source behind. Every day, the elephant of death comes closer, but we never notice his footsteps. 

This world is transitory. Although it seems bewitching, everything we see here is perishable. The great saint Kabir said, "You are like a traveller who comes and goes. You accumulate wealth and the pride in your riches. But when you leave, you will take nothing with you. You came into this world with your fists clenched, but when you go, your hands will be open" In this world everything changes, everything decays. Youth becomes old age, health becomes sickness, and beauty becomes disease. Kabir said, "As you watch it, your life turns to dust." A time will come when every empire, monument, and city will crumble. There have been so many kings, emperors, and the great leaders, but where have they gone? Only the inner Self is eternal. Only the inner Consciousness will last. 

Without meditation on the Self, without spiritual practice, the only thing you will attain is your death. Most people think that youth is a time for eating, drinking, and indulging in all the pleasures of the world, and that when their bodies have become old and worn out they can start thinking God. But what can you do when your body is old? Once your house is on fire, what is the use of digging a well? For this reason, the poet Bhartrihari wrote, "As long as your body is healthy and strong, as long as your senses still function, do something for yourself." Why wait? Contemplate the Self and attain it now. Know that the life is very short. You were not born into this world just to eat and drink and die.