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Divinity in simplicity

india Updated: Jan 01, 2012 21:45 IST
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“If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness”: Dalai Lama.

Lal Bahadur Shastri, simple, honest and with humble beginnings rose to be the prime minister of the country. Short of stature, he always wore khadi and had a smile on his angelic face.

Simplicity and divinity go hand in hand. To an average person, it would seem foolish to reject charms of the world, but a spiritually-awakened soul would be indifferent to them attaching value to that which is permanent.

Spiritual souls have the vision to realise the worthlessness of material things and the tremendous worth of remembrance of their deity. They raise themselves to divine status. No one is ever satisfied with worldly gains.

Life presents choice between the preya, that is, the pleasing and attractive; and the shreya or what is good and substantial. The former is an invitation to chaos, while the latter lends moral power.

Rabindranath Tagore said: “Give me something to clasp, something that can last longer than pleasure that can endure even through suffering.”

To find that something one has to look beyond that which just pleases momentarily. One has to go to the soul to hear the inner voice. To reach that state of bliss, the first step is to seek out the shreya over the preya the insubstantial has to be foregone for the worthy and meaningful. It means attaching true value to it.

“Serenity, simplicity, gravity, self-control and purity of thought are the austerities of the mind” (Bhagvad Gita 17.16).

Worldly success, fame, honour all these appear very inviting but ultimately prove to be mirages. The soul is not appeased, it keeps asking something else. Body and mind are just physical entities. The moment of transformation comes when you heed the soul.

As gold and silver are hidden under the earth, peace and joy bounce from within. You turn your gaze away from the litter of worldly possessions to the magnificent bounty of spirit.

In the final, Lao-Tzu says: “Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires. Simplicity is the nature of soul.”