Realizing the imminence of his death a patient started pleading with the doctor to save him at any cost. He told the doctor that money would be no bar in organizing the best treatment available in the hope of gaining an extra lease of life. The doctor was perplexed as the whole system of the patient had almost collapsed. Even a miraculous survival would make the patient’s life miserable beyond imagination. The fact remained that the patient still felt some fulfillments on his part due to his attachment, and moreover he had never pondered on the real purpose of life; let alone the necessity to fulfill it. In fact, the disgust in the end is created by the single fact that our actions are directed towards a desired outcome with egoistic considerations. The said patient still felt some liabilities beside the natural will to prolong his life.
Again, a person two years before his retirement was restless and sleepless. His son was still not employed and his daughter was not married due to a shortage of the required funds. There seemed no solution and he died silently in a desperate condition. About 3-4 months after his death the son was employed in the same organization out of compassion and his daughter’s marriage was fixed as the necessary amount was now available due to the father’s provident fund, insurance, gratuity et cetera. The family was happy now due to his death even though he died in a condition of hopelessness.
Hence our craving to prolong life is a hindrance, sometimes, in the welfare of our dear ones, too!
Would it be a better proposition to do our duties sincerely and not desire to see the expected results in our life?
Some saints have said that it is all a Vanity Fair! In fact they are referring to those people who consider their body as their own and pursue materialistic objectives for its sake. Such people are performing their duties for the sake of their own good, knowingly or unknowingly, however, they are very particular in demanding their rights, too, in advance, if possible. Even a naive devotee desires a vision of God, foremost, to begin the spiritual practice.
It is said that vices are introduced uncalled but it is very difficult to gain virtues. Normally, wisdom is measured by us in terms of worldly achievements which seem to be real and solid, materially. Though, we feel sometimes to remove certain vice and/or gain certain virtue but find ourselves helpless to do so. Here we need a wise person to assist us in such ventures. Those wise people are the real benefactors in this Vanity Fair who help us leading a satisfying life. These wise people present before us a synthesis of the needs of the physical body as well as those of the soul. One can’t neglect the needs of the physical body to pursue the need of the soul, which is felt by the mind as peace and absolute pleasure. In an effort to find the Truth, Lord Buddha fasted to near starvation making His body fragile. He happened to hear a song by passerby rural ladies, the meaning of which is : “Neither tighten the string of a Sitar (Guitar like) so much that it breaks nor leave it so loose that it doesn’t produce the proper note.” He understood the hidden meaning and kept his body nourished reasonably to achieve realization.
Until we get a wise person to assist us we can ponder wise sayings, keep good company, study scriptures and follow what is good for us. This world is not a Vanity Fair; we can really enjoy this fair provided we don’t develop an attachment to it and serve others in a real sense.
SP Sharma, India