Life has to be Lived

From Karma Sannyasa, Swami Satyasangananda Saraswati

From the moment you are born into this world, you are compelled to act. If you had no desire to act, you would not take birth, but as the architect of your own life, you have to make a firm decision regarding the kind of life you are going to create for yourself. Remember that you are the sole creator of the heaven or hell in which you live. The life you have been born into is the medium for you to express your higher faculties and dormant potential. Life is a treasure trove full of opportunities, but by the time you realize its importance, most of your life has been spent. The secrets, the mysteries, the bliss, the heaven, are all within your grasp in this very life, but you miss out on them due to your lack of discrimination.

I will tell you a story which illustrates this. One morning before sunrise a fisherman went to the river. Near the bank he felt something hard under his feet. He picked it up and, fumbling in the darkness, concluded that it must be a bag of stones. He was waiting for daylight to break in order to start the day’s work. Immersed in thoughts and anxieties, he absentmindedly picked up a stone from the bag and threw it into the water. Plop! came the sound. He mused over it and threw in another stone. In this way, to amuse himself he started to toss away all the stones, one by one.

Slowly the sun rose and by the time it was light, the fisherman had flung away all of the stones. Only one was remaining in his hand. His heart almost failed him when he looked down and saw there, shining in all its lustre, was a beautiful diamond. He cursed himself many times over when he realized that in the darkness, lost in his sorrows, he had thrown away many rare gems. Full of remorse, he sobbed, cried and went almost out of his mind with grief. Accidentally he had encountered a mass of wealth which could have enriched his life many times over, but in the darkness, unknowingly, he had flung it all away.

For most of us, too, there is darkness all around. Time ebbs away, and the sun never rises. So we throw away the gems of life without ever realizing their value. Life is a bag of precious gems, but in ignorance and darkness we take it for granted that life is nothing but a collection of worthless stones. If you have a mind to see, you will find there is a lot of good in life. In every situation, there is a mine of riches and wealth, but you regard it as worthless stones simply to be thrown away.

Throughout life you are moulded by the way you think. Ultimately it is your attitude towards each event and situation in life which makes or mars you. It changes and shapes your life and helps you to awaken your soul. Your attitude towards life influences the path of your further evolution. When you realize that your attitude towards life will mould you for the future, you may immediately try to change your way of thinking. You may begin to view life from a completely different standpoint.

The problem does not lie in your husband or wife, your child, your parents, your home, your wealth, your happy or unhappy circumstances; it lies within yourself. Change yourself and automatically your whole life changes. Just as the whole world is bathed in light when the sun rises, in the same way, you can brighten your life with the intense fames of discrimination and proper understanding. To adore life is the greatest sadhana.