“If only I had…”
This is a sure recipe for personal disaster. Even if the intention is noble, these words and thoughts lead one to sorrow and inaction.
One should not lament for not having things that are presently beyond one’s reach. When you see someone superior to you in health, wealth or wisdom what can you do? Feel happy.
Feel happy to see those who are superior to you in status. When you see someone living a palatial house, say, “Good to see you enjoy a good house. Radhe Radhe!” Wish them well and move away. Be happy for the state that they enjoy.
Feel pity on those who are lower to you. When you see a poor man, sympathize with him for his state and offer whatever is within your ability.
Be friendly with those of status equal to you.
One who leads his life in this manner shall never know sorrow.
A man once approached a Mahan (saint) and said, “Swami! If only I had a large piece of land… (sigh) Please help me get a piece of land.”
The Mahan asked, “Why do you need a piece of land?”
The man said, “I desire to perform puja.”
The Mahan told him, “Do puja with what you have.”
The man replied, “Swami! I have nothing. That is why I have sought your help in obtaining a piece of land. I have a Deity with me. I need puja articles for the worship.”
The man elaborated on all his needs for his worship of God.
The Mahan repeatedly said to him, “Worship with what you have.” Finally the Mahan advised him, “Think over what I have said.”
The man sat down to think over the words of the Mahan.
He thought, “I have nothing with me and I sought a piece of land, articles for puja, food for offering, etc. from the Mahan. But he keeps advising me to do puja with whatever I have.”
At last he understood what the Mahan was trying to tell him.
“I have the mind with me. The Mahan is advising me to do puja with my mind. That is ‘manasika puja’ (mental worship). Don’t I have a mind? Can I not do puja with a silver or gold mantap and even more valuable articles created in my mind?’
Just as we enjoy seeing the moon, the stars, etc. we need to learn to enjoy seeing beauty in others. Feel empathy for those who suffer. Do not get attached to anything.
From Sri Swamiji’s discourse on Srimad Bhagavatam