The saints and mystics are always telling us that if we place our attention only in the activities of the world, then we will have turmoil in our life. This is a world of illusion; this is a world of Maya. There is a time associated with how long everything is going to last here, and finally everything will deteriorate and decay. When we try to connect with that which is not permanent, those moments of happiness are temporary and we never attain lasting joy. For us to be in the state of eternal happiness and joy, we need to connect with that which is permanent.
There is a story from the life of Alexander the Great that illustrates the result of engaging in the desires of the world. Alexander the Great had conquered many people.
He was leading his army into the north-western part of India to conquer those people. When returning home, he asked his astrologers to tell him how and when he would die.
The astrologers told him, “0 great King, our calculations show that you will not die until the earth turns into iron and the sky is transformed into gold.” The king was overjoyed and said, “This is great news. It would take many ages for the earth to turn to iron and the sky to turn to gold. What a miracle! I am going to live for a long time.”
Alexander the Great next decided to go to Persia. On the way he had an attack of malaria, and told his chief minister who was riding alongside him on his horse, “I have a terrible fever. My strength is fading. I cannot ride any longer.”
The minister grew worried and said, “0 great King, let us ride a few miles more. We can then find a tree and you can lie down in the shade.” However, Alexander could ride no longer. He got off his horse and lay down on the hot ground.
The minister could not bear to see the great king lying in the hot sun, so he made a couch for the king by removing his own coat of iron armour that was lined with forty layers of silk so that the king could rest upon the silk. The minister then held his own shield over the king’s face to keep the sun off him.
When Alexander opened his eyes and saw the shield decorated with strips of gold, the astrologer’s prediction came to his mind. “Oh, no,” thought Alexander. “I was a fool to be happy with the astrologer’s prediction. I thought it meant I would live a long time.
Now, the prediction is true. I am lying on iron as if it were earth. The sky above me is now the gold shield.” Suddenly, the royal physician rode up on his horse to treat the king.
He examined Alexander and told the king, “I cannot deceive you. You are lying at the door of death.” Alexander cried, “Is there no remedy?” The doctor said, “No, great King, the fever is too severe. No medicine can help you.”
The king fell into despair. Although he was so weak, he could not believe his life was about to end. The king turned to his minister and said, “Please announce that I will give half my kingdom to anyone who can enable me to live long enough to have a last glimpse of my mother.” The doctor said, “Sir, that is not possible. You have only a minute or two to live.” Alexander panicked, “Whoever will let me live long enough to see my mother will receive all my conquests. I will live only on alms.” The doctor said,
“It is useless. Nothing can save you now.” Then, Alexander the Great, who had terrorized and plundered thousands of people as he conquered their nations, began to cry.
Suddenly, a saint wandered by. He looked in silence at the dying king. He then said to the minister that it was a shame that Alexander threw away all his life for temporary desires of the world. He added that the conquest of all the world is nothing compared to spiritual bliss.
This anecdote from history says that although people may drink the wine of the world, such wine cannot offer any salvation or eternal bliss as compared to the nectar of
In the scriptures it is said that what is true today, was true in the beginning of creation, and will remain true until the end of creation. The scriptures tell us that to know God we need to be still and focus our attention within ourselves. As long as our attention is in the world outside, that is the area from which we get input into our system. When our attention is not on the objects or the activities of this physical world and instead is focused on the Holy Word or the Naam or Shabd within ourselves, then everything that comes to us comes from a source of permanent happiness, of permanent joy. That is why there is so much emphasis laid on us being able to experience the divine for ourselves.
In the Sant Mat tradition, the technique that we use is called Shabd meditation. We recognize that Power of God within ourselves as the divine Light and Sound of God.
When we sit to meditate, we experience that creative force within ourselves, as divine Light and Sound. This Light is coming from the creative force, which is within each and every one of us. As we experience the Light and Sound of God, we start to truly experience the divine, and this connection makes us happy automatically. That happiness shows in our face, it shows in the way we talk, and it shows in the way we act or deal
As we become more and more in tune with this divinity within ourselves, the love of God will permeate each and every part of our being. No riches of the world, no gains at the mental level, the physical level, or the emotional level can make us attain this state.
This is a state that comes when we are in tune with the divine Light and Sound of God, and we open ourselves to the will of the Lord.