By Roshan Shah, New Age Islam
09 June 2018
There is no
other like the Lord—there is no equal to Him. He embellishes this world and the
world hereafter, and He gives us our permanent home there. He rescues us from
the world-ocean; never again do we have to run the cycle of reincarnation.
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 136)
Tira had been living in the city for over a
decade. In this period, he had changed houses half a dozen times.
Tira was tired of shifting every now and
then. He didn’t want to continue living as a tenant in someone else’s house. As
a tenant, you never knew when your landlord might ask you to vacate.
Tira really wanted to have his own house.
“How I wish I could have a place which I’d never have to leave!”, he would
One day, Tira was with his friend Boki and
was telling him about how fed up he was of being a tenant and how we wished he
could have a permanent home of his own (Of late, this had become almost his
only topic of conversation).
“You say you don’t want to be a tenant,”
Boki interrupted Tira. “But do you realize that you have absolutely no choice
in the matter? You just have to be a tenant till the time you die!”
“What do you mean?” asked Tira, startled.
“The fact of the matter is that we—all of
us—are just tenants in this world. We reside here for a while—maybe 70 or 80
years or whatever—and then our ‘lease’ expires and we have to vacate the world.
And then off we go we don’t know where! That makes us like temporary tenants
here, doesn’t it? Some people’s ‘tenancy’ may be for just a few years. Others
are longer-term tenants, but they’re tenants all the same!”
“Hmmm...I never thought of it like that
before,” Tira murmured.
“Okay, you didn’t, but you could do that
now!” Boki laughed. “It also means that people who own a house actually aren’t
owners of it in the absolute sense—because God is the actual owner of
everything. Whether it’s a palace or a hovel, they have to vacate it one day,
when God calls them back. So, from that point of view they are temporary
“This is really interesting!” Tira remarked.
“And we’re tenants in another way,” Boki
“How?” Tira asked. He was finding what Boki
was saying really fascinating.
“We’re tenants of our bodies as well. Our
bodies are houses that we temporarily occupy, for the period we’ve been
allotted on Earth. Then, one day, God orders that we must exit our bodies and
move on elsewhere,” Boki explained. “If you consider this, you’ll realise that
every creature on Earth is just a tenant, temporarily inhabiting a body that
itself is temporary.”
“My goodness! Boki, what you say makes real
sense!” Tira remarked.
“I don’t say you shouldn’t look for a place
you can call your own,” Boki explained to his friend. “But do remember that
there’s no place on Earth that can be ours for all time, our permanent home
that we’ll never ever have to quit. It’s good to be aware that even if we have
a house that we call ours, we’ll always be tenants in the sense I’ve explained
as long as we are in this world,” Boki said.
The two friends fell silent as they
reflected on the words they had exchanged.
After a while Boki spoke again. ”So, the
next time someone asks you for your ‘permanent address’, you tell them what
they want to know but you could also tell them that there’s really no permanent
address for anyone in this world in the ultimate sense and that we’re—all of
us—just temporary residents here, for just a while,” he said.
“Boki, I didn’t know you were so wise!”
Neither the kings, nor their subjects, nor
the leaders shall remain. The shops, the cities and the streets shall
eventually disintegrate, by the Hukam of the Lord’s Command. Those solid and
beautiful mansions—the fools think that they belong to them. The treasure-houses,
filled with wealth, shall be emptied out in an instant. The horses, chariots,
camels and elephants, with all their decorations; the gardens, lands, houses,
tents, soft beds and satin pavilions—Oh, where are those things, which they
believe to be their own?
(Sri Guru Granth Sahib, p. 141)
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