Protect the Body Only for the Attainment of God
It is certainly necessary to take care to protect the body well, provided it is employed for attaining God. Such protection, however, should not be employed to make the body a medium of sensual enjoyment. If a man expends all his means to preserve past pomp, what is the net gain? It is sheer folly to do so. The utility of the hard outer shell of the coconut is to preserve the kernel. To preserve the external pomp is certainly not the ultimate goal of mankind.
The basis of all duality lies in 'I' and 'mine', and we get stuck in the consequent mire, so that we are always thwarted by the question 'Who am I'? When a man discovers that he is on the wrong path, he has to trace his footsteps back to the starting point. The mischief started when the 'body-am-I' feeling took possession of us, when we took the body and worldly things to be permanent, that is, true, which they are not. Despite repeated experience to the contrary, we stick to the misconception that there is true pleasure in indulging the senses. Is it not surprising that we still persist in that wrong notion?
Worldly things and situations constantly keep changing. In a sense we die and are reborn every day, for our going to sleep and rising again are equivalent to death and rebirth.
A jail holds a large number of prisoners. The crimes which have brought them there may be diverse; but one thing which is common to them is that each has committed one crime or another. So, too, persons whom we find suffering misery must be atoning for some misbehaviour in some past birth, under an inexorable law of action and reaction. God has however, mercifully granted the concession that one who forgets the body will not be conscious of the misery.
The problem of misery of some kind or another in the world as a whole, does not admit of a solution that will be satisfactory to human reason. Instead of worrying about it, try to alleviate the misery to the best of your capacity. Only he can forget the world and its misery who maintains an unbroken awareness of God. The more earnestly we utter nama, the more the involvement in it. We shall then automatically forget ourselves.
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