XVIII - Page 177 Home | Index | Previous | Next

Realize the Transitoriness of all Sense Objects

A certain man went to a palmist who told people's future by reading the lines on their hand. The man showed the palmist his hand. The palmist told the man that there was a line on his hand which signified that he would become very wealthy. The moment the man heard this he was overjoyed. After looking at his hand some more, the palmist told him that the line also showed that he would get a lot of honors. The man felt even more happy.

Then, after examining the hand still further, the palmist said, "You are going to occupy a very high position." The man felt so happy, it was as if he had just been told that he would become prime minister that very day. After a while, the palmist told him that he was going to have many children. Joy was now heaped on joy. Then after telling him all these things, the palmist said, "But your life span is going to be very short!" The moment the man heard this, all his joy left him; he got totally dejected and shrank down in despair.

Whatever may be your property and wealth, whatever position you may occupy, whatever honors you may get and however many children you may have, if you only have a finite life span, then what will be the use of all these things in the long run? If you are not going to be alive then how can any of these things be of lasting value to you? How many kings and how many emperors have lived? In what circumstances have they left this world?

In the history of India, there once was an emperor who ruled over all the hundreds of kingdoms comprising this huge land. He was most powerful, but did he not have to leave this world? In ancient times, there was an even mightier emperor who ruled over the entire world; could he take even a handful of earth with him? King Rama built a magnificent bridge spanning the ocean from India to Lanka; where is that great bridge now? So many kings have come and gone. Not even one person can carry a handful of dust with him. If you think and reflect over the past history of mankind, you will be able to understand how impermanent this world really is. Therefore, two important defects to be noted about the worldly pleasures: They are impermanent and they are harbingers of misery.

All that you see in the external world is but a reflection of what is inside you. There is only one thing which is real and true and all-pervasive. That reality, that truth, is always within you. It is eternally true, it is eternally auspicious and eternally beautiful. Make every effort to realize that permanent truth. Live in that auspiciousness. Be one with that divinity. It is the very embodiment of all beauty.