Life is a lodge. Learn to check out happily

All over India, there is a tradition of drawing rangoli each morning in the front yard. Usually, the rangoli drawn the previous morning will have faded away or been erased. However, we try to make each rangoli special—even more beautiful than the previous one. We do it carefully and try to add to its beauty. Our life should also be like this. Nothing is permanent. However, as long as we live on this earth, we should try to make our actions as beautiful as possible.

Our life can be compared to a stay at a hotel. When we enter the hotel, we know that we will have to leave it soon. So, although we enjoy our stay, we are not unhappy when we check out. Our body is like a hotel; we should enter it happily, stay in it happily and when we leave it, we should do so without grieving. We should know that we have to leave when the time comes and that we have not come to live here forever.

A man who has gone on a sightseeing trip never forgets his home. He understands that he has just come out for a trip and that he will soon be returning home. Similarly, our primary goal should be the Paramatma. We should live with this constant awareness. All our actions should be with the attitude that this moment alone is ours; the next breath is not in our hands. Every action should be performed with discernment, alertness, enthusiasm and a smile.

The goal of human life is God-realisation. We are not separate from God. A drop of this awareness is already present in us. What we need to do is expand this awareness and strengthen it. We should not let go of our awareness of this goal. We should use our human life and this body towards that end.

Once a man entered a house and saw a chenda (drum) lying in a corner of the living room. He asked the small boy in the house, “Is that your chenda?”

“Yes,” replied the boy.

The man asked, “Do you know how to play it?”

“Not yet,” replied the boy. “However, I am able to earn money with it.”

The man was surprised. “How do you manage that?” he asked.

“Well, in the morning, my mom gives me 10 rupees not to play the drum. And then, in the night, my dad also gives me 10 rupees for not playing it.”

Without learning the proper use of the chenda, the boy was using it to get money, but he never realised its true purpose. The proper use of the chenda is to awaken the rhythm and harmony in it. In the same way, only when we realise the infinite supreme consciousness within us will the purpose of this life be fulfilled.