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Worldly Attachments are like Poison

Every day, at every time, there will be changes occurring in all the objects of creation. These changes are not artificial, they are not imaginary, they are natural and inherent in the very nature of the objects. Once you recognize that the world is basically a stage for the continuous natural occurrence of changes, and that change is inherent in the very nature of the objects of the world, then you will become free from suffering. Anyone who realizes that there is a lethal toxin contained in the fangs of a poisonous snake will not casually go near it. If you see an approaching scorpion with its poisonous tail held up, ready to strike, would you not run away from it? Only a small, innocent child or a totally ignorant person would go near it, get stung and die.

You make every effort to avoid a poisonous creature because you know its harmful nature. In the same way, you would make every effort to avoid worldly attachments if you knew their harmful nature. The Lord taught in the Gita, that instead of undergoing all the sufferings that go with developing attachments and then getting disillusioned when the inevitable changes begin to happen, it would be far better from the very beginning to remain unattached towards the things and objects of the world. But now you go on planning many things and attaching yourself to many things in order to gain some short-term joys. You exhaust yourself thinking and planning, "I should do this, I should do that" or "I should do this instead of that" and get yourself involved in countless projects and activities. But you will have to bear the consequences of all these actions in the future.

The seeds you have sown by your actions will mature and you will reap the harvest of those seeds. If the seed belongs to one variety, you cannot expect to get back a different kind of result. Whatever acts you have indulged in, the appropriate fruits thereof will be given to you in the form of an invisible garland which is hung around your neck. When you are born from the womb of your mother, no garland can be seen. Neither a garland of pearls nor one of precious gemstones nor a necklace of gold will be visible around your neck. Nevertheless, there surely is a garland there. That garland is composed of the consequences of your past deeds which you have performed during your previous births. That garland given to you by the Creator will adorn your neck, although it will not be seen by the physical eyes.

The person who recognizes the truth, that for every action there will be a resulting consequence, will take up only good activities and will spend his life indulging only in actions that will earn him good results. This has been taught by the Gita as a spiritual exercise of particular importance to devotees. It leads eventually to developing indifference and detachment to the things of the world, and it results in the acquisition of true wisdom. Here is an example which illustrates this illusory nature of the world and the detachment you should have to it.