How can such renunciants, who have nothing, get robbed?
Once, there was a guru and a disciple. The disciple was good and pious. The guru had a gold brick and some other things in his cloth bag (jholi). Once, while they were walking through a jungle their journey became difficult. The guru asked his disciple, “Disciple, have a look whether there is anything to fear.”
The disciple replied, “There is nothing to fear. All is well here.” After walking a little further the guru asked again, “Disciple, have a look over there to see whether there is anything to fear.” The disciple answered, “There is nothing to fear, so let us keep on moving.” So, they continued ahead. However, after every few kilometres, the guru asked repeatedly, “Is there anything to fear or not?” The disciple felt that there must be some reason behind his guru’s persistent enquiries. When the guru was not present for a short while, the disciple searched his jholi and found gold and money. The disciple threw them away in a nearby well.
Both then resumed their journey and after travelling for some time, the guru asked again, “Is there any fear?” The disciple replied, “Yes, there was fear and I threw it in the well.” The guru asked, “What?” The disciple advised, “As an ascetic why do you keep fear with you? The things that you were afraid to lose were themselves the root of fear. So, I threw them into the well. One who keeps only Bhagwan with him has peace and happiness.”
In this way when an ascetic harbours worldly desires and things, then he too is unhappy and miserable. By merely renouncing home one cannot be liberated. A lot more is required to renounce after giving up one’s home. One has to give up ego, jealousy, anger and material desires. A householder, too, has to become free from material desires. Only when an ascetic and a householder devotee become free from material desires can they attain God’s divine abode. Through spiritual understanding a householder has to give up his worldly desires from his soul.
Muktanand Swami says that whoever harbours such worldly desires is unhappy and miserable. Then who is happy? The answer, “Sant sukhi sansãr me,” – “A Sant [true saint] is happy.”
A Sant has no desires and expectations for anything in this world. He is happy only by attaining the bliss of God. He is satisfied and happy with whatever he gets by God’s wish. He remains unruffled whether he gets or does not get anything. He remains happy towards those who give him and also for those who do not give him anything.
The causes of misery and pain lie in having worldly wishes and expectations. As long as one has worldly wishes there will be miseries. One who has `5,000, desires for `10,000. Subsequently, he is unable to enjoy the `5,000 he has, and because of his worry and goal to acquire `10,000 he starts manipulating and deceiving others. This consequently invites more misery.
Nobody’s desires have ever been completely satisfied and will ever be so. Acquire things only according to one’s needs. It’s fine if we get them, but believe it to be God’s wish if we do not get them. Make efforts or work hard, but do not become obsessed about them. Never forget God while making efforts and also thereafter. We become happy through God’s blessings and powers, thus never forget that he has given us everything.
When we attain spiritual knowledge through God or guru then we experience divine joy. For a devotee, God is his greatest wealth. “Re Shyãm tame sãchu nãnu, biju sarve dukhdãyak jãnu…” – “God is true wealth, and believe all else to be full of misery…” God’s bliss is spiritual wealth.
Narsinh Mehta did not possess anything other than God. He did not have any land, factory or money. But he had God as his wealth, and so he remained ever blissful. Today, we hear the verses of Narsinh Mehta’s kirtan, “Sãchu nãnu Shyãmalo re…” – “God is true wealth.”
Mirabai, too, gave up her royal opulence and enshrined God in her heart. We also hear the bhajans of Shriji Maharaj’s paramhansas. They, too, had God as their wealth, and that is why we remember them: Brahmanand, Muktanand, Nishkulanand, Nityanand and others.
Spiritual wealth is true wealth. The more we take care of it, the more our material wealth will make us happy, and even things which give misery will eventually lead us to experience happiness.
Using our material wealth for the sake of God and for good purposes will provide us happiness. Using everything for God and the Sant will make us happy. Whatever is not utilized in the service of God leads to misery and bondage.
Dada Khachar had dedicated his wealth, home and family in the service of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. So, for him, maya became a bestower of happiness. There are countless such devotees whose names have been noted in the shastras. As a matter of fact all our wealth and belongings will one day perish; either they will break, get destroyed or someone will take them away. So, it would be better to utilize them for Bhagwan and his Sant and thus serve their highest and true purpose. Draupadi cut a strip of cloth from her clothes and used it as a bandage for Shri Krishna; Sudama offered a fistful of rice grains to Shri Krishna and Jivan Bhagat (Koli) of Jetalpur offered a rotlo and cooked spinach to Shriji Maharaj – all have been immortalized in the shastras.
We must firmly believe that God is our true wealth. When we take care of this wealth by doing Bhagwan’s bhajan with faith, we will experience bliss.
Be determined that we will not give up Bhagwan no matter what magnitude of material joy or misery comes our way. The Pandavs faced untold pain and misery, but they did not give up Bhagwan. We take great care of the land and property we inherit from our forefathers, likewise, we must also preserve the satsang and dharma we have inherited. Increase and consolidate the role of satsang in our life. Make efforts to inspire all the members of our family to become satsangis and virtuous.
This understanding is the foundation of happiness. Constructing a house without a foundation will lead to its collapse and destruction. How strong are the foundations of high-rise buildings! People can happily reside and sleep inside them because of strong foundations. Similarly, when our spiritual foundations are strong, we will remain unaffected by the buffeting storms of life. Thereafter, our life will be priceless!