What can you take along?

man wearing white bottoms in water near brown wooden canoe
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From birth onwards we spend a lot a time looking after grooming, preening our bodies. This ‘Kaaya’- the physical self is something that we feel is intrinsically ours. We own it. We take pride in it. We groom it. We nourish it … we feed it etc. If we count the number of meals that we consume in our lifetime, the amount of cereal, fruits, vegetables, milk and water that we take in, are a mind boggling figure. Come to think of it, a normal human adult consumes about 2kg of food and 1-2 kg of water/ fluids every day. But only a minute portion of what we take in is absorbed by the blood and flows as energy in our body. An even more miniscule portion is absorbed to make the mind.

So really speaking, the body that we love so much is not really the ‘I’ in us. We say ‘My body’, ‘My head’, ‘My feet’.  So the ‘I’ is definitely separate from the body and its organs. So who is this ‘I’? This is the soul! It is the spark of Divinity immanent in each one of us. It is a micro miniscule portion of the supreme soul! It is the spark of divinity immanent in each one of us. It is that which is eternal. It is indestructible and ageless. Think of it this way. There is a candle or a diya with a nice, big flame. You take endless small candles and light them by touching their wicks to the flame that burns bright and strong. Does the original flame diminish? No! The original flame is God. We are the small candles. We burn for some time when our ‘fuel’ gets exhausted we die!

concrete building

So the body is a vehicle for the ‘I’ that’s all it is! We must tend to it and keep it in good working order just like we clean our car every day, send it for service periodically, keep it fuelled etc.

But when the time to go from this world comes; just like you can’t take your car, you can’t take your body along too … this ‘kaaya’ shall be left behind here. Have you ever seen that when you walk in the sum or if there is a light source, your body casts a shadow? This is your ‘Chaaya’. If you are in darkness, your shadow vanishes. This is true in life too, if there is a lot of light on you, if you are famous and rich, people flock around you. If you are going through hard times, and everything around feels dark, people around you vanish. And when life comes to an end- just like the kaaya, the chaaya too stays here. What about the ‘Maaya’ or wealth that we slog from morning to night to earn? We yearn to earn it. We may have a huge bank
balance. We may have a large amount of jewels, property, cars etc. But when it’s time to go, everything gets lefts behind here. ‘Maaya’ stays here. Because Maaya belongs to the Earth! Comes to think of it, Kaaya, Chaaya and Maaya all belong to the Earth. It is a misconception that they belong to us. Sometimes I see that people love their pets so much that pets start behaving like they own the master. Likewise we too start to feel like we own the Earth. Actually the Earth owns our Kaaya, Chaaya and Maaya! We don’t own them. We get to use them for a short period of time.

If you have a house guest who comes to stay for a week, you do expect that he will leave after seven days right? But if he feels that he can stay on forever and he starts to own your place he is in for a kick right?

So let’s work on earning that, which we can take along. Our good deeds are what we can take along. If we help others, if we do whatever little we can to reduce the pain of another, to wipe the tears from another’s eyes… the fruit of that is what can go with us. Do accumulate some good karma… even a little bit, if not too much!

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