By Sant Rajinder Singhji
Dec 23, 2016
We need to eliminate the various blockages
by leading a positive life of love.
The joy of giving can surpass the happiness
of receiving. In return, we can receive far more than we give.
A way to eliminate greed is to analyse its
cost to our soul. An anecdote from the life of Abou Ben Adhem
illustrates this point. Abou Ben Adhem (known as Ebrahim ibn Adhem) was the
king of Balkh when an incident occurred that aroused self-searching about his
aim in life. While sitting on his throne with his ministers on either side, he
gave audience to the masses. Suddenly, a man approached him. He had such a
terrifying expression that even the king’s ministers did not want to look at
“What do you want?” asked Abou.
“I am only stopping off at this inn,”
replied the stranger.
“This is not an inn. This is my palace. You
must be a madman,” replied the king.
“Who owned this palace before you?” asked
the man. “My father,” said Abou.
“And who owned it before him?” asked the
“My grandfather,” responded Abou. The
dialogue proceeded further with the stranger continuing to ask who owned the
palace prior to the last one mentioned.
Finally, the stranger said, “To where have
all these owners departed?” “They are all dead,” said Abou.
‘Then,” concluded the stranger, “is this
not an inn in which one person enters and another leaves?” With this statement,
the stranger disappeared. This exchange initiated Abou ben Adhem on his search
for God, as he realised that the things of this world were transitory and that
what was more important to him was finding his soul and God.
In order to realise our self and realise
God, we know that it takes time and attention. We need to spend time in
meditation; we need to eliminate the various blockages by leading a positive
life of love and we need to think about what greed will cost us in terms of
achieving our goal.
Can we replace greed? The joy of giving can
surpass the happiness of receiving. In return, we can receive far more than we
give. The blessings that become ours for giving and sharing cannot be measured
on earth; we are showered with God’s love and grace. When we find ourselves in
the clutches of greed, we can consider doing a selfless act in its place. Over
time, a new habit can form, and we can begin to look for opportunities for
giving rather than taking.
Whenever we feel we desire more objects and
possessions, we are losing control of ourselves. To regain our balance, we can
sit in meditation. As we contact the light and sound and venture above body
consciousness, we realise the impermanent nature of this world and the
permanent nature of our soul. We experience our soul beyond the physical body.
With that new perspective, we can look at the objects of this world as
temporary bubbles that vanish in the twinkling of an eye. We realise that what
is important is our soul and God. We come to see that what matters in the
beyond is how much we give of ourselves to others selflessly.
By developing a selfless, giving attitude
we can find that the spots covering our soul due to greed begin to fade. Our
spiritual progress can advance much further each time we empower our soul to
give and share.