Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Let us Not Sacrifice The larger happiness for small pleasures

Kannada Article by: Subrahmanya Somayaaji
English Rendering by: M R Bhashyam

Once there was an ascetic who was absorbed in meditation on the banks of the river Ganga in the holy city of Vaaranaasi. A person sitting at some distance was observing the ascetic. The ascetic was so engrossed that he had forgotten day and night. Many days passed but the ascetic had still not woken up to the world. The person who was observing wanted to pay his respects and seek his blessings. As soon as the ascetic opened his eyes, he went near him with folded arms and said to him “Sir, what a great sacrifice you have made. You have been engrossed days on in meditation and sacrificed all worldly pleasures. I am blessed to have had a sight of you.” So saying he prostrated before him. The ascetic responded by saying “I have sacrificed only small pleasures to attain the almighty God. Look at you. You have sacrificed Him to get the small pleasures! So your sacrifice is much larger!!” How truthful his statement is! Is this not addressed to all of us?

We do not sacrifice small pleasures of our senses to get the unbounded inner joy and peace. To enjoy these, we sacrifice the greatest goal of our lives. A wise and elderly person used to say that if we allow small things to come too close, they make big things vanish. If we bring our finger too close to the eye, it makes even a hill, a mountain and the vast blue sky invisible. Our senses are such that if we allow their indulgence too much then they make the great effulgent source behind them to be invisible to us. That does not mean we should neglect the senses. We have to keep them on a leash and constrain them. We should enjoy tasty dishes. But in the process we should take care not to over-indulge and spoil our appetite for good food. Shri Sri Ranga Mahaaguru used to say “we have learnt to cry for wife, children, ornaments, worldly possessions and so on. We should also learn to cry for the Almighty”. Our sages brought into this country a way of life to establish a balance between the happiness of the senses and the joy of the self. The glorious history of our ancients bears testimony to the bountiful inner and outer joy enjoyed by them as a result of this way of life.

Note: The Kannada version of this article can be viewed at AYVM blogs