Symbols of the world's religions



Meher Baba

Fulfillment of desires does not lead to their termination; they are submerged for awhile only to reappear with added intensity. When a person is hungry, he eats to satisfy the desire, but soon feels hungry again. If he eats too much, even in the fulfillment of his desire he experiences pain and discomfort. It is the same with all the desires of the world; they can only yield a happiness that is fleeting. Even in the very moment of their fulfillment, the happiness they yield has already begun to fade and vanish. Worldly desires can therefore never lead to abiding happiness. On the contrary, they invariably invite unending suffering of many kinds. When an individual is full of worldly desires, a plentiful crop of suffering is unavoidably in store for him. Desire is inevitably the cause of much suffering: this is the law....

Desirelessness makes an individual firm like a rock. He is neither moved by pleasure nor by sorrow; he is not upset by the onslaughts of opposites. One who is affected by agreeable things is bound to be affected by disagreeable things. If a person is encouraged in his endeavors by an omen considered auspicious, he is bound to be discouraged by one considered to be inauspicious. He cannot resist the discouraging effect of an inauspicious omen as long as he derives strength from an auspicious one. The only way not to be upset by omens is to be indifferent to auspicious as well as inauspicious omens.

The same is true of the opposites of praise and blame. If a person is pleased by receiving praise, he is bound to be miserable when he receives blame. He cannot keep himself steady under a shower of blame as long as he is inwardly delighted by receiving praise. The only way not to be upset by blame is to be detached from praise also. Only then can a person remain unmoved by the opposites of praise and blame. Then he does not lose his equanimity. The steadiness and equanimity that remain unaffected by any opposites is possible only through complete detachment, which is an essential condition of lasting and true happiness. The individual who has complete detachment is not at the mercy of the opposites of experience; and being free from the thralldom of all desires, he no longer creates his own suffering.

DISCOURSES, 7th ed, pp. 389-392
1987 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust


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