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If you think on these lines, you will know that the wife, the children, the possessions, the relatives, are not yours for long; they are yours for a short time only. So, why waste away worrying over these impermanent things? A millionaire can eat only one bellyful, not more. Man has to come to this world, like the traveller taking refuge at nightfall in a caravanserai; when dawn breaks he departs! He goes towards his goal, from caravanserai to caravanserai, stage by stage. It is good to think of life in this light.

Animals with many legs have to creep along the ground; man has only two legs and so he can freely move about. The larger the number of legs the greater the bondage, the tighter the restriction. Now, suppose he marries. Then he has four legs, he has become a quadruped; later, when he gets sons, daughters, sons-in-law and grand-children, he is transformed into a regular centipede, capable of moving only by crawling along the ground! He cannot stand erect; he loses the freedom of movement; he has to creep slowly along the mire of material objects; he has no time or inclination to secure the Lord's Grace.

The attachments of the world are shortlived. People have been born many times before and have lived out their lives; loving and getting immersed in love, and attaching themselves to others. But does any one now know where all that has gone? Does he worry about any one of those he loved then? Does he remember them at least, now and then? No. The same love and attachment were there then also; but with the passage of time it has been forgotten. So too, when one departs from this world the love one had for others and the joy, pain and happiness one had through that love, will be forgotten. Like the playgrounds of children, the senses of action of Man will also be changing, from here to there and from there to somewhere else! Fixing their minds on the insecure, changing love, how tragic it is that people forget the cultivation of the disciplines that will give them the permanent Bliss of the Lord!

Man is everywhere plunged in worry, all the twentyfour hours. Is it right to increase his burden? Who can be so cruel as to torture instead of lessening the suffering of a dying man? Already the sea is rough; dare we blow a typhoon over it? Learn, therefore, to spread a smile on the faces of the desperate. Keep smiling yourself and make others smile. Why make a sad world sadder by your desperate counsel, your lamentation, and your suffering? Adopt Japa and Dhyana to assuage your own grief; overcome your own sorrow; and plunge in the cool waves of the sea of the Grace of the Lord.

Why should the travellers wrangle through the night over useless things, instead of getting ready to leave the caravanserai at dawn, and starting out on the next stage of their pilgrimage? By wrangling, they lose sleep and deprive themselves of rest; they will not have the energy to continue the journey. So do not worry over-much about things of the world. Worry ends in meaningless hurry and waste of time. That time is better used in meditating on God. Next