Pleasure and Pain Arise from Desire
"In this world we often find the unrighteous happy and prospering, while the righteous frequently meet with failure and sorrow. Why then should I, too, not adopt unrighteous conduct?" This is a question that often besets a common, 'God-fearing' person. If we investigate this matter deeper, we find that the common man is not a true seeker of God at all; he is 'God-fearing' because he has a lurking fear of punishment by God, or of social disapproval, if he deviated from accepted standards. He hopes to keep God' pleased' so that He may not allow snags to arise in his worldly life, or to straighten out those that exist. This is asking the Lord of the Universe to pay attention to the apparent difficulties of an insignificant individual; isn't it as ridiculous as calling in a professional brick-layer to build a doll's house? In worldly life it is our own duty to exercise proper care and caution; if we fail to do so and suffer as a consequence, how can we expect God to step in and set things right?
We pray to God for trifling mundane favours. Even if He were to indulge us, we must be prepared to accept both sides of the coin, including the attendant ill effects or sorrow. Imagine that a 'pious' thief regularly prays to God before embarking on his mission of thieving. He may occasionally succeed; but if he happens to be caught and convicted, shouldn't he accept the punishment, too, as His dispensation or pleasure?
Unless and until we realize what we are in reality, we shall not get peace and contentment, not even if we are at the peak of success and prosperity. We should get to know our real self and the Creator of this universe, for true peace and contentment.
Any conclusion based on an unsubstantial hypothesis, such as the permanence of the body, must also be unsubstantial. To look for happiness in this worldly life is as foolish as hoping to get white paste by rubbing and grinding coal. Our sense of pleasure and pain depends on our mental outlook. In worldly life we get no more and no less than what we are destined to; therefore, both pleasure and pain will vanish if we cease to desire anything different from what it is–that is, merge our desire with that of God.
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