We experience momentary satisfaction for the superficial changes we adopt in life.
With morning the paper comes. It gives you all the information to make your life that "much more comfortable." The entire world is in your living room... If you switch on the TV, you are told what soap to buy, what shampoo to use, what blade to shave with. This does not stop here. You are given advice about pens, mixers, soft drinks, Ruf & Tuf Jeans, etc. In short, it covers the entire gamut of your daily existence. It is a feast to your eyes. Does it soothe your heart, too?
"Your teeth are stained" - use this toothpaste to get back the sparkle... You are short, use this medicine... You are overweight or underweight... let there be a glow on your face... wear this... wrap this around yourself... The advice is endless... When you wade through this ocean of information you are made to realise what a fool you are for not knowing these things in the first place. You feel that those who know these things are wise, handsome, etc. You are made to feel inferior to others. You become a victim of mind haemorrhage. It is a sort of brainstorming. If you want to have an insight into it, let us meet two youngsters -
"Why don't you attend the Satsang assembly?"
"Just like that."
"This is not the real reason, tell me why you don't come?"
"I feel ashamed..."
"But of what?"
"I am short. Swamiji! Bless me that my height may increase." This is youngster No. 1
Now youngster No. 2.
"How are things at home?"
"So, so. Father stays at home. Mother goes to one or two houses to wash dishes. Sister is ill. There are two brothers. One is in class IV and the other is in class V."
"Do you deliver the papers, work in a hotel or pull a larri..."
"I deliver papers or pull a larri? Certainly not! I feel ashamed to do such things. If my friends see me doing these things what impression will they have of me?"
This is called paralysis. A youth stricken with polio is unable to run. Even if you want to realise your ambitions, you can't because you are handicapped with shame! Even if you want to lead an ideal life with simplicity, you hide from friends and relatives! Simply because you are worried that they will think little of you. But why forfeit the values of life for the sake of earning another's opinion?
Gunatitanand Swami was the Mahant of Junagadh Mandir. Even at the age of 80 he swept the grounds of Junagadh mandir. When Shastriji Maharaj visited the fields in Shrijipura he was in his late seventies. Once Soma Bhagat was channelising water in the fields. There was a breach in the mud built channels and the water was going waste. It had to be stopped. Without hesitation Shastriji Maharaj lay down across the breach and asked Soma Bhagat to throw mud on him.
Once Yogiji Maharaj was having his pagh made from a tattered piece of cloth. It had 30 to 32 holes in it. Ramanbhai who was standing by asked, "Bapa! Why don't you change it? The cloth is frayed and worn out."
Swamiji asked with a smile, "Does the pagh say don't use me?"
Those noble souls were never bitten by the "Change me bug".
In 1984 Swamishri went to meet Pope John Paul II at the Vatican city. The previous night a journalist asked, "Tomorrow you are going to meet the Pope. What clothes are you going to wear?"
He replied, "Throughout my life I have been wearing these clothes; the same design."
"I need a change" is an American refrain picked up by Indians. There are several brands of change - change in food, clothes, entertainment, etc. and the change in life.
Once when an American commented sarcastically about Swami Vivekanand's attire, the latter replied: "In your country tailors make a man. In our country character makes a man."
Tell me, are you striving for a change of your inner core or for a mere superficial, cosmetic change!