By Swami Sivananda
The goal of the life is the attainment of Self realization or God–consciousness. There is one Supreme Undying Principle or Essence the Brahman or the Absolute Self which dwells in the chambers of your heart and everywhere.
In the whirlpool of fleeting sensual pleasures you have forgotten the purpose of life and its goal. in your pursuit after the phantoms shows of worldly vanities you have annihilated the spiritual instincts and longings of the soul. What a sad state Mysterious is Maya! Mysterious is Moha.
You cannot remain even for a day without self-shaving. The razor, the mirror and the shaving stick are your objects of worship, as soon as you get up from bed. You cannot walk bare-footed even for a few yards. You want servant to put on the socks and the shoes and ties the lace. You cannot walk even half a mile. You want a rickshaw or a Tonga. How effeminate you have become! How much degenerate you are!
You have lived in vain! You have wasted this precious life. Hotels, restaurants, cinema housed are your abodes of immortality. Really you are leading a miserable life. If you can talk something on dry polities, you think you are a great hero!
Why do you roll in this miserable Samsara? Are you not ashamed? If you have real manliness you must break the chains of earthly bondage the bondage of birth and death, old age and disease hunger and thirst! That is courage that is heroism! That is real manliness. Do not be cowards; start now; fight against worldly delusion against the mind and the sense!
To wear spectacles at the age of ten, to wear wrist watch, to buy a car by borrowing money, to wear fashionable dinner-uniform and Ell-wood hat, health boots, to have a French crop or bobbed-hari, to smoke Three Castles cigarettes of Navy cut or Manila cigars, to constrict the neck with stiff collars, to walk along the beach with ladies in clasped hands, to have newspaper in their pocket, to have a trimmed or Kaiser mustache at the middle of the upper lip, to take meat and drink brandy, to play bridge, to gamble, to dance in ball-rooms, to borrow money to go to talkies and in short, to lead a life of dissipation — this is modern civilization! Fashion and style have made you beggar of beggars.
There are scorpion stings on one side, flies bugs, mosquitoes, thorns, trouble you form another corner. Sun scorches you in summer and the biting winter sucks your blood. Influenza, plague, leprosy, fashionable appendicitis, Pyorrhoea, small-pox are ready to devour you. Fear delusion, grief sorrow and misery kill you every moment.
Desire, anger, jealousy, worry, anxieties and cares and excitements torment you every second. Deaths of persons whom you loved most give severe shock. Yet you will never renounce this momentary pleasures of sense of this unreal mundane existence. Such is the depth of sensual enjoyment! You will speak with pride: “Oh, I am a powerful man. I am very clever and intelligent. I can do anything. There is no Isvara.” O fool! you twist your glued moustache and when the scorpion stings you sharp you will call out bitterly: “Oh, Narayana, help me!” If the hair becomes grey you will invent monkey-gland grafting for rejuvenation. If the teeth are fallen you will put on a new false dental set. You will never leave the will to live and enjoy and enjoy. Hopeless specimens!
Just reflect for a while your state. As a baby in the womb, you are covered with urine and pus and scorched by the fire of hunger. As an adult you are puffed up with the enjoyment of the sense-objects, wife, etc. As a senile man, you become extremely weak in body and mind. A life of delusion amidst women. Money and sensual objects in your pitiable lot.
Life is transitory. Death is incessantly staring at you like a venomous serpent ever ready to strike. Various dire diseases cause much havoc to this body. Youth abandons the body quickly and old age grips it. He alone is saved who makes haste to utilise this precious life in striving to attain the Summum Bonum of life.
Maya, the great juggler, prepares a skeleton, covers it with flesh and hides the various impurities with a shining skin. O deluded man! How long are you going to call this body as yours? Give up this deluded imagination and identify yourself with your real natural the Satchidananda Svarupa. Are you not tried of saying: “My son is ailing from typhoid. My second daughter is to be married. I have much debts to pay. My wife is worrying me to purchase for her a good necklace. my eldest son-in-law died recently.” Indeed such miseries should open your eyes now at least to the Grand Goal of life.
Human love is hollow. it is mere animal attraction. It is passion only. It is carnal love. It is selfish love. It is ever changing. It is all hypocrisy and sheer show. Dear Man! You can find real lasting love in God and God alone. His love knows no change.
Tell me friends, how long you will be a slave to fleeting things of the world? How long are you going to repeat the same sensual enjoyments? How long do you wish worship mammon and woman? When will you find time to meditate on the Lord and to do virtuous deeds? Think and reflect. Is there really any pleasure or happiness in this world? Why do you cling to these mundane objects? Why do you stroll about here and there like a street dog in search of happiness in this earth plane? Search within. Look within and introspect and rest in the Supreme Abode of Peace and Immortality now. Never delay a second even. Plod on. March forward. Realise now and be free.
(pgs. vii-xi, Vairagya Mala)