There was a once an emperor. Thousands of people were under his command, all the wealth at his disposal, all the pleasures at his beck and call. He could snap his fingers and get anything he wanted. But all the riches of the world couldn’t satisfy him. It made him more and more restless and miserable.
Then he went in quest of some spiritual knowledge and solace. He went from place to place, collecting things here and there, but nothing worked. Finally, he got so tired he wanted to renounce everything, but as he was an emperor, even that didn’t work.
One day, being exhausted after a long journey, he sat under a tree. At that moment, a dry leaf fell from the tree. His gaze fell on the leaf. The wind was making the leaf fly in all possible directions. The leaf was flying wherever the wind was taking it. Looking at this, something in him suddenly snapped. The ‘want to achieve something’ simply disappeared in him and at once, he felt peaceful and satisfied.
Make your life like that — become like a dry leaf — agree with what the Divine has provided for you, float with the moment; do not regret the past, do not anticipate the future. Keep going on your own and when you feel you can’t do so any more, that it’s all too tiring, you surrender.
Look at your whole life. Your life is like a play with displays of wants and desires. As a child, you always got tired of playing with your old toys and wanted new toys. Tired of playing with toys, you then wanted people to play with, and when you grew a little older, the object of the game changed and you wanted new friends.
As a teenager you look for something else. Which is the new movie? What is the new fashion? Then, as you grew, you wanted the best job and then perhaps the best match for you. You are married and the two of you make a good couple. Then what? You want to have a home and children. When you have children you want them to grow and settle in their lives so that you can be free.
Those who are single think that married people are better off. Those who are married think that single people are better off. Some think that people with children are happier. People with children wish they had someone to take care of their children so they could get a break and relax. Over a period, everything is tiring!
It is the desires, the wants in the mind that tire you. Desire, action and awareness of the self, are all manifestations of the same energy that is “you”. Among these three, one dominates at a time.
When desire dominates, stress and sorrow is the result and self-awareness will be at its lowest. That’s why all the philosophers around the world have always advocated renunciation and dropping of desires. When actions dominate, restlessness and disease is the result. But when awareness is dominant, then happiness dawns. And when your actions and desires are sincerely directed to the Divine or to the welfare of society, then awareness and consciousness are automatically elevated, and self-knowledge is sure to be attained.