Once, a bee was sitting on a lotus flower, drinking its nectar. As the sun began setting, the petals of the flower began shutting. But the bee was so attached to enjoying the object of its senses that it refused to fly off. It thought, “There is still time for the flower to close. Let me suck some more nectar while I can.” In the same way, we can see old age coming as a sure sign of death, but like the bee, we remain engrossed in enjoying worldly pleasures.

In the meantime, it became dark and the lotus flower closed, trapping the bee. It thought, “Never mind! Let me remain inside my beloved flower for tonight. Tomorrow morning, when its petals open again, I will fly away.” “A bee has the power to cut through wood. But look at the attachment to the sense objects that the bee which can cut through wood is stuck inside the soft petals of the lotus.” In the meantime, an elephant came, broke the lotus from the stem, and swallowed it. The bee along with the lotus went into the stomach of the elephant. The bee was thinking, “My beloved lotus is going somewhere, and I am happily going along with it.” It died shortly thereafter.

Source: Swami Mukundananda’s explanation of a verse from the Bhagawad Geeta

In just the same way, we humans begin to realize the importance of the present moment, all but when it has passed. And then it is present no more. We get so busy focusing on the outside that our personal growth normally takes a backseat. I have been guilty of that too in the past. Once we get caught in the material desires, they just continue to grow. There seems to be no stop to it. The clothes, the gadgets, the devices, the bills, the EMIs – it goes on. We don’t even have time to realize that the very things that are apparently making our lives simpler (supposedly) are in fact making us redundant. The more we have, the more we want to have. The only thing that is wrong here, is our focus.

This need to want more is like an itch. The more we scratch, the worse it gets. I’m not anti comforts. No, that’s not it. There is certainly nothing wrong in wanting the comforts that money can buy. Just some awareness, some mindfulness, some discipline, some inner peace. In addition to seeking material wealth, some wealth of knowledge to help bring in balance. Balance, so that we don’t miss this opportunity to live consciously while we are alive.

Nidhie Saagar
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