Sathya Sai Baba

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Happiness, Misery and Desire

What do you spend most of your life trying to achieve? Whatever your answer to that question I can guarantee that the ...

What do you spend most of your life trying to achieve? Whatever your answer to that question I can guarantee that the end result that you want is happiness. Yet this sort of happiness is only fleeting and can never last.

For example you might say that you want a new car. So you save up your money but find that you are still short. Now you might think of God and pray oh God please find me the rest of the money for the new car. You must know how badly I need a new car. By chance you might get some extra money when you win some money on the lottery. You obtain the car and it is a wonderful silver colour. You are happy for a time and are driving it to work everyday. Now you see that silver colour has gone out of fashion. You want the car re-sprayed. You save up and have the car re-sprayed. Later, you realise that the car is no good for you as it only has a cassette player. So you try to find some more money. However, you have spent all the money on the spraying the car. So you pray to God Oh God don't you realise that I cannot play your Bhajans in this car, please get me a cd player for the car. Your brother has obtained for you a cd player at a discount price so you fit it. No doubt this will not be the end of the matter. There will always be something missing perhaps a spoiler, perhaps the car will become too old and need replacing. The list never ends. Yet we are never happy and remain in constant frustration and angst.

This is the plight of every one of us. We are never satisfied with what we have. If we simply remained content rather than adding to the list which is already quite excessive we may remain quite happy.

The overall purpose of life exists outside of the material matters that exist in the world. As Buddha has quite rightly shown, if the cause of suffering is rooted in desire, greed and envy, then the simple solution to acquire happiness is to remove desire, greed and envy.

The above scenario is somewhat of a parody. It is not to deny the immense amount of suffering that exists in the world, or that individuals experience. However we must at some stage realise, no matter what the intensity of our suffering, that the world is only a temporary stage. The purpose for which we are born is much greater than any kind of happiness that is found in the material world. There are noble spirits born into the world who endure much suffering. Take for example Jesus who experienced condemnation, torture, betrayal and ultimately the relinquishing of his body. Yet he knew of the higher purpose for which he was born. He knew of the reality. Worldly matters did not affect him. As Baba has said:

"So misery is a real friend; happiness spends out the stock of merit and arouses the baser passions. So it is really an enemy. Really, misery is an eye-opener; it promotes thought and the task of self-improvement. It also endows one with new and valuable experiences. Happiness draws a veil over experiences that harden a person and make him tough. So, troubles and travails are to be treated as friends; at least, not as enemies. Only, it is best to regard both happiness and misery as gifts of God. That is the easiest path for one's own liberation."

Sathya Sai Baba - Geetha Vahini - IV - Page 19

Jai Sai Ram

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