Stop Fancying, and Steady the Mind
If a villager visits the tahsil headquarters and is asked about his native place, he will give the name of his village; if he goes to the district headquarters, he will mention the name of his tahsil; similarly, in another state of the country, he will say he is a native of Maharashtra; whereas in a foreign country, he will say he hails from India. Thus, the larger one becomes, the less one minds the differences, and the more one tends to sink differences. Similarly, because God is the basic object of all religions, one who has attained God will treat all religions with deference. Till then, however, one had better follow the religion one is born in.
The various ideas man has had about happiness have failed to bring the expected results. One of these ideas was that money gives happiness; since even fabulous wealth has failed to give the desired satisfaction, the expectation has been proved wrong. Again, we see that what one person covets another detests. This shows that the thing is in itself neither pleasant nor unpleasant. A person often changes his own mind, that is, his likes and dislikes; therefore, there is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so. Even relationships may be more notional than real. Calamity may cause repudiation of facts and relationships. Since they are often figments of imagination, we can replace one by another, and finally get rid of both. If we must indulge our fancy, why not think of God, that He is the most generous among donors, that He is our protector, He is the one to bestow happiness on us? It is these thoughts that are truly in our interest, and will really make our worldly life happy. It is experience that verifies or disproves our fancies; when fancy ends and the mind becomes free of its flights and inclinations, we should fix them on a steady object; and God is the only steady thing in creation.
It is a hollow idea to feel that one is happy because one has a certain thing or situation. One should be contented, irrespective of any particular material thing or situation, and the mind and its inclinations should be steady in the meditation of God. This is the goal that paramartha seeks to attain.
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