(1 Sep '00)
Today is Tiru Onam; it’s a day of celebration, enthusiasm and joy. It’s a day when even the most sorrowful tries to forget his sorrows. Right remembrance is the remembrance in forgetting. While operating on a patient, if the doctor is thinking about his wife and children, the operation will not be successful. Or if the doctor is thinking about his patient when he comes home from work and his children run to him calling out, “Father, Father,” he wouldn’t be a good father.
So also he won’t be a good husband, if he is not able to give attention to his wife when she wants to talk to him about her problems. One should be able to fix one’s attention on the work he is doing. A good doctor forgets about his home when he is in the hospital and forgets about the hospital when he is in his home. Success in one’s work and happiness in one’s life depends upon one’s ability to forget what is not relevant at the moment.
Is it enough that we rejoice only on Tiru Onam? No, our entire life should be full of happiness. If we rejoice only on one day and remain sorrowful on all the rest, we won’t be able to really be happy even on that one day. Children, think about this.
All the 365 days in a year have to be filled with happiness and joy. The whole life should become a festival. Spirituality shows the way to such lasting happiness. It calls for surrender, total surrender to the Paramatman. Truly Mahabali exemplified that surrender in his life. He was born an Asura. However he was able to offer himself — his ego — to the Supreme Self. The only thing that the Lord asks from us is surrender. God is the all-merciful one who with outstretched hands is ever waiting to receive our ego. That is the dakshina (offering) he expects from us. And what Mahabali offered him was verily that. If we are not prepared to offer Him our ego, He will somehow extract it from us, for that is the only way we can become happy. When we offer ourselves to the Paramatman, our mind and intellect become purified, our sorrows come to an end and our entire life becomes a festival.
It is said that we can be happy only if there is tyaga (renunciation) in our life. Often we do small acts of tyaga in our lives. Those who are fond of cricket are prepared to bear the rain and sun for its sake. Parents are ready to forego their work and sleep in order to look after their sick child. There are so many such small small acts of tyaga in our life that we willingly undergo for the sake of something we consider important. We derive a sense of satisfaction and joy from them. Now in order that we experience the supreme ever-lasting joy, there is a need for the supreme tyaga — the sacrifice of our ego.
The happiness that we derive from small acts of tyaga is short-lived. Perhaps you remember a story that you might have studied in the first or second grade in school. A lump of soil and a dry leaf went out to play in the fields. When they were engaged in play, suddenly the wind began to blow. The lump of soil was sorry to see the suffering of the dry leaf. Out of compassion it stood over the dry leaf and protected it from the wind. After the wind was gone, they continued with their play. After sometime there was rain. This time, the dry leaf protected the lump of soil by shielding it from the rain. However after some time rain and wind came simultaneously. What was the result? The dry leaf was blown away and the lump of soil was washed away.
Our lives are like this when we depend on others. Of course, we are able to obtain some consolation and happiness from them for some time. However when a calamity overtakes our life, none can save us. Then only God can save us. Only the surrender to the Supreme Self will be our sole refuge. Infact surrender to God is the only guarantee for our protection. Self surrender to the Supreme Self — that’s the only way how we can remain blissful in all our lives.