XXXI - Page 316 Home | Index | Previous | Next

Aspire for the Supreme and Never Come Back

An inveterate thief was caught in the act of stealing and was put into prison. It was decreed in court that he be imprisoned for six months. The six month period soon passed and the day arrived when he was to be released. The jailer came and told the thief, "Well, by tomorrow evening your term will be completed and you will have served your punishment. You can make your preparations to go. Collect all the personal possessions that we are holding for you, and be ready to leave." The thief was not overly happy to hear this, but he was not unhappy either. He was just indifferent, for he knew what was to happen. "Let the articles remain here," he said.

The jailer asked him, "Why, don't you want to take these things with you?" The thief replied, "There is no point in taking them with me. In a day or two I will be back. Soon enough, you will see me again in this same jail. Since it will be just a few days, why should I bother with them?" So, this thief knew that he was going to indulge in stealing again, that he would be caught and punished again and, undoubtedly, he would land right back in this same prison.

In the same way, your actions may be compared to this coming and going of the thief. You perform actions in your life here on earth. In time, you are motivated to make all your actions good actions and they produce good results. Afterwards you go to heaven. When your term there has expired you come back again to earth. Krishna said, "This process of going up and coming down is not good." At this point, Krishna gave Arjuna the sacred teachings. He directed Arjuna to seek out the place of eternal truth and abide there. Once you are established in that permanent place, abiding in your immortal self, actions can no longer bind you. Then there will be no need to ever come back again, for you will be established in the permanent bliss of the atma. Compared with this exalted state, earthly and heavenly joys are like mere atoms in the infinite universe.