If only I had…

‘If only I had…’

Such a thought is a sure recipe for personal disaster. Even if the intention is noble, these words and this thought lead one to sorrow and inaction. One should never lament for not having for things that are presently beyond reach.

When we see someone superior to us in health, wealth or wisdom what can we do? Feel happy to see those who are superior to us in status. When we see someone enjoying 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 empathy for those who are lower than you. When you see a poor man or someone suffering, 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.
There once lived a Mahan. A man approached him 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, “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? I can do puja with a silver or gold mantap and other articles or even costlier articles created in my mind!”

Just as we enjoy seeing the moon, the stars, and other things in nature, we should learn to enjoy seeing just the beauty in others’ possessions; we should feel empathy for those who suffer. But we should never get attached to anything.

Based on Sri Swamiji’s Srimad Bhagavatam upanyas on Dhruva charitram


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