August 31, 2009
“I Inhabit the Home where Contentment Reigns”
Whenever I meet a person what I particularly observe is, how far he is happy. Perhaps you, too, do the same, only the criteria differ. Your test is his wealth, learning public esteem, and suchlike. People prefer the rich, I prefer the poor; people honour the learned and the scholar, while my preference is for the simple unlettered. My preference is poles asunder from the worldly man’s. That is why I enjoy contentment which other people lack. I searched deep to find wherein contentment can reside, and found it only in God. So I like to live in the house which is replete with contentment. Being contentment in and out, I find it difficult to live with one who calls himself mine but is discontented. All that I expect of you is that you should live in contentment, as I do.
To this day, I have meticulously observed one vow: I never hurt anyone’s heart or feelings. This I could do because I have never lapsed into forgetting nama. After all, I am a destitute by worldly standards : I have neither scholarship, nor art, nor wealth. And yet people seem to want me, find support in me; and this is solely because I love everyone selflessly, guilelessly, whole-heartedly.
I know fully well the way of the world, and therefore, I have never worried about what people say or feel about me; I have only taken pains to see what I should say to each person in his own interest. That you people come repeatedly to hear me speak may be due to one of three reasons. First, I may not have been clear and precise enough; second, you may not have understood me correctly; and third, you may be forgetting what I say.
I expect you to talk with me with the same open-heartedness that you would have with a member of your family. In any case, I always say to a person what I feel will be wholesome for him. I feel sure that he will profit if he follows my advice; by ‘profit’, however, I do not mean an apparent improvement in his worldly life, but something conducive to contentedness in the circumstances as they exist.
It is my mission in life to create in the listener’s mind a relish for nama. Whoever comes to meet me, I ensure that he will take to nama sooner or later.
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August 30, 2009
Lasting Contentment is Nowhere but in Rama
Everyone devotedly engrosses himself with worldly matters, but nobody ever obtains contentment. He experiences a mixture of happiness and unhappiness. One sometimes feels disgusted with worldly matters, but we cannot shake them off. Handling coins tarnishes the hands, but that is not the fault of money. So, excessive regard for money leads to worry and misery. Too much regard for worldly esteem has a similar effect. One should follow the course of the world and behave as occasion demands, but all the while maintain calm contentedness at heart. In practical life, do as you would be done by. We must preserve our respective relationship with everyone. Be practical in your behaviour, but take care that you hurt nobody’s feelings.
Choose your associates carefully, without being carried away by mere honeyed talk. Avoid associating with smooth-tongued persons who, however, harbour evil intents at heart. To everyone give the respect he deserves; keep young ones contented, humble yourself before elders. Be noble of heart and submissive, agreeable, in behaviour. Talk not insultingly to anyone, but rather, agreeably to all. Beware of indolence, for it may well render merit ineffective.
Dependence is undoubtedly rankling, but remember everyone has it in one form or another. However, be not under obligation for sheer indolence. On the other hand, do not overrate and overtax your physical capacity. Do not worry unnecessarily about what has been or what will be; act as may be appropriate to circumstances, without being a victim of indolence.
In financial matters, accept what you earn today, and try to earn more in future. You can’t get anything for nothing, so work hard in your job. Save something from your earning, instead of spending all. If you are in debt, pay it back, in instalments if necessary, and beware of contracting fresh debts. Be loyal to your employer, obedient in his service.
Be cautious in worldly transactions, and direct your effort properly. Follow the path of truth. Act with care so that nobody is put to loss on your account, even unwittingly. Remember in your heart of hearts that you belong to God. Lasting contentment is to be had in Rama, nowhere else. Therefore be in contentment with circumstances as you find them, with nama as your constant companion. Never expect that you can achieve self-interest without proper effort.
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