Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Greed Remains ever Unsatiated
There are two kinds of diseases that harass man. One is, utter lack of appetite. No amount of medication produces desire to eat. What use would it be to place a sumptuous meal of choice delicacies before him? He would only plead lack of appetite and decline the offer. In the other disease, the patient's hunger is never satiated, no matter how much he eats. Exactly similar is our condition; only, we are afflicted not with one but both these diseases. There is a grand festival of spiritual exercises going on about us, worship, prayers, hymns, but we have neither love nor interest therein. We have no appetite for them. On the other hand, God has endowed us with so many material gifts, wife and children, vocation, property, that contribute to worldly happiness; but our avarice is insatiable, we want yet something more. How far, how long, is this to go on?
It may be true that we observe the moral and social codes of behaviour. But this is only under inhibitions or fear of social reproach or stigma; this cannot be called intrinsic improvement. Such good conduct may be only superficial, unless it leads to an improvement in human life as a whole. What we see in the world today is a plethora of amenities, conveniences, and gadgets, which, however, have not added an iota of contentment to human life. All this is really useless unless man's greed is lessened and there is longing for God. Popular 'religious' acts such as pilgrimages, worships, singing of hymns, etc., may only remind us of spiritual life but may not purify the heart; and without such real betterment, progress towards God is unthinkable.
There is no measure to decide how much a man needs to have in this world; whereas, one who is determined to feel contented will be happy with whatever he has. Life lived with proper understanding can certainly expedite spiritual realization without necessitating renouncement of worldly life. We may not have love for God today; it will be generated in due course by persisting in devotion to saguna and nama-smarana. This repetition of nama may be insincere or even forced in the beginning, but persistence will create love for it in due course and will lead to yearning for God. It is essential to feel that 'I am no longer my old self; I now belong to God'.
* * * * *