This too will not last forever!’ ‘Shakir’
A Dervish (a member of any of Muslim ascetic groups) was travelling. At night, he asked the people of the village he had arrived in, “The night has fallen. Where should I halt? Is there any religious man in the village?”
People said, “There are many religious persons in the village and quite a few of them wealthy also but there is one who is Shukragujar (the man of gratitude). For this reason, he is called Shakir. You should better go to his place.”
The dervish reached the house of Shakir. He received a warm welcome. Shakir served him reverentially for two days, doing whatever he could to make him satisfied. When the saint was leaving, he gave him tried vegetables, some sweet and some spicy rotis, pickles, dates etc. for the way and bade him an affectionate farewell.
The dervish said, “Shakir! Even though you are rich, you are humble. And you are keen to serve the saints. May Allah give you more wealth!”
Shakir laughed, “Even what I have will not last forever”.
It was thought provoking for the dervish. But then he remembered what his Gurudev had said – if somebody says something profound, don’t start debating but think over it. The dervish left the palce.
That dervish went on a hajj (a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca). After two years, be came back and found that Shakir’s mansion, buildings, shops were nowhere to be seen. He asked somebody, “How did it happen?”
People told him, “All that was washed away by the river flood. Now Shakir is a servant of a landlord, named Hamadaad. He milks his buffaloes, cuts fodder for the live stock, and waters his fields in cold nights. He has two daughters. Such a rch farmer has become so poor that he does not find bridegrooms for his daughters.”
The dervish thought, “ I had treated so well at his house. Now he has become poor. Yes I should go to see him.’ Shakir, who then was a servant of Hamadaad, spread a torn mat for him to sit, and gave him whatever coarse bread he had. When the dervish was about to leave in the morning, he said with tears in his eyes, “Shakir! What Allah has done to you.”
Shakir laughed and said, “You must have heard in satsang that no state or circumstance remains forever. Why should I grieve recalling my good days? And why should I worry taking this poverty for real? This too will not last forever.”
There was satisfaction in Shakir’s eyes. There was sweetness and eloquence in his speech, and the effect of satsang on his heart was reflected in his behavior. The dervish said, ‘I am a fakir in outward appearance but this householder is a true fakir, a saintly soul by virtue of satsang and Guru’s teachings.”
I wish you too to become a real saint within. Make up your mind. I am ready to help.
After a couple of years, that dervish passed through that place while going on a pilgrimage. What did he find? Shakir, who had been a poor labourer working at Hamadaad’s farm eating dry breads, and working day and night had become a rich landlord. On enquiry, he was told that Hamadaad had died heirless, and bequeathed all his properties to Shakir and had also showed him the place where a pot of gold filled with gems and jewels was hidden underground. Now Shakir was richer than what he was when the dervish had met him the first time. The dervish said, “Wonderful! You hade rightly said your poverty would go away. It has gone. May Allah keep you in this state forever!”
Shakir laughed, “O Fakir! Richest men of the world, kings, emperor finally lost what they possessed. How long will my possessions remain with me?”
“Will this also go away?”
“Either this will go or one who believes it to be ‘mine’ will go. Nothing is permanent. Meeting and parting are two sides of the same coin. Have you not heard this in satsang? I have assimilated the words of saints.
The Muslim Sufism is based on the knowledge of Vedantic saints of Hinduism. Both the Sufis and the Vedantists say, ‘Everything is passing away. The ‘knower’ of that is the eternal inner Self. And it is in substance same as God, Allah, Rama, Rehman….’
The dervish went away. After a couple of years, he came. The palace was there but it was inhabited by pigeons.
कह रहा है आसमाँ यह समाँ कुछ भी नहीं |
रोती है शबनम कि नैरंगे जहाँ कुछ भी नहीं ||
जिनके महलों में हजारों रंग के जलाते थे फानूस |
झाड उनकी कब्र पर है और निशाँ कुछ भी नहीं ||
‘The sky is promising that the present state is not everlasting. The night dew promises that the attractions of the world are unreal. Those whose palaces had a thousand festoons, now, except the dust on their graves, nothing remains.’
Shakir was consigned to the grave in a graveyard. His palace was emptied. Both of his daughters got married. Shakir;s widow was lying in a corner. The fakir thought, ‘O man! What is it that makes you proud?’
मत कर रे भाया गरव गुमान गुलाबी रंग उडी जावेलो |
मत कर रे भय गरव गुमान जबनीरो रंग उडी जावेलो ||
उडी जावेलो रे फीको पड़ी जावेलो रे काले मर जावेलो ,
पाछो नहीं आवेलो....... मत कर रे गरव .............
धन रे दौलत थारा माल खजाना रे ........
छोड़ी जावेलो रे पलमा उडी जावेलो |
पाछो नहो आवेलो ........ मत कर रे गरव ........
‘Don’t be conceited of your youth; it will fade away. Don’t be conceited of your beauty of youth; it will wither away. It will go away; it will wither away; it will destroyed. It will not come back; don’t be conceited….. Wealth, money, treasures of gold and jewellery; Leaving here you will depart this life in a second. You will not get it back; don’t be proud……’
What makes you conceited? What makes you troubled? Even the greater wealth possessed by others will not remain with them forever. Even the troubles of the troubled persons will leave them eventually. Pleasure and pain, both will go away; the Supreme Being, the knower of both, will exist forever. Be firmly convinced of this fact and you will attain bliss.
पुरे है वे मर्द जो हर हाल में खुश है |
मिला अगर माल तो उस माल में खुश है |
हो गे बेहाल तो उसी हल में खुश है ||
‘They alone are perfect men, who are happy in all circumstances. They are happy in richness. They are happy in abject poverty.’
Shakir! You knew the secret of life. Blessed is your keen appreciation of satsang. Blessed is your Sadguru who gave you satsang who gave you satsang. I am a fakir only in appearance but you are a real fakir. Now I want to see your grave Shakir! I will go there; pray for you and offer flowers. You are great Shakir! Even being a householder, you taught asceticism to fakirs.
The fakir went to Shakir’ grave. He was amazed to find an inscription on Shakir’s grave, ‘This too will not last forever!’ The Fakir was wonder-struck. He thought, ‘Wealth will pass away; poverty will pass away; all these are bound to change but where will the grave pass away?’ The fakir went on his pilgrimage. On his way back, he thought of praying at Shakir’s grave. But the graveyard was nowhere to be found.
People told him, “An earthquake razed the entire graveyard to the gound. Now large buildings stand at that place.”
O world! You don’t remain unchanged even for a moment! And O man! You have wasted many a birth trying to keep it unchanged! ‘Let my youth be permanent; let my fame be permanent; let my promotion be permanent, let my post be permanent….’ You constantly desire. With every breath, your life is fittered away. How can you keep anything permanently?
ऐ गाफिल ! न समझा था , मिला था तन रतन तुझको |
मिलाया खाक में तुने, ऐ सजन ! क्या कहूँ तुझको ?
अपनी बजूदी हस्ती में तू इतना भूल मस्ताना |
करना था किया वो न, लगी उलटी लगन तुझको |
‘O careless one! You didn’t realize. You were given a jewel in the form of human body. You wasted it away. O dear! What should I say to you? You are so puffed up about your petty ego-identity that; you haven’t done what you should have but have done the opposite.”
We neglect the job of God-realization that we are meant to do. We are engrossed in what we have to leave behind. We pass all tests and examinations to get such things. We obsequiously say ‘Sir’ ‘Sir’…… But those whom we called ‘Sir’ themselves passed.
मोह निसा सबु सोवनिहारा | देखिअ सपन अनेक प्रकारा ||
‘All are sleeping in the night of delusion and they see dreams of all kinds.’ (Shri Rama Charita Manasa, Ayodha Kanda: 92.1)
‘I am a student. O God! May I become a graduate! May I get a good job! May I become IAS, IPS; May I get a fine house, a car! May I get married and live happily.’ Even if all these things are obtained, they will certainly be lost.
The Supreme Self, Truth- Consciousness-Bliss Absolute, Brahman, the Supreme Controller of the universe is abiding in your heart as your Self. And you are lamenting over the past! And you are scared of future! You are afraid of losing what you have at present! Whatever be your state, it will go away. Why should you fear? The old will be replaced by new. This body will be replaced by a new one. If one doesn’t get a new body, it will mean liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Because you don’t know this, you are needlessly fearful, sad, worried, sick and miserable.
You too should become Shakir. Say to the Lord. ‘Your Will is sweet to me.’ That is all. if you are insulted, be happy; if you are honoured, be happy; if you get something, be happy; if you lose something, be happy. Never complain, ‘It is not good. It should be like this.’ Never complain. Be happy.
तेरे फूलों से भी प्यार, तेरे काँटों से भी प्यार |
चाहे सुख दे या दुःख, हमे दोनों है स्वीकार ||
‘I love thy flowers; I love thy thorns. Give me pleasure or pain; I will receive it as your blessing.’
You alone are the giver. You arranged for breast feeding when the foetus was in mother/s womb. It is your artistic work of connecting the navel of the foetus with mother’s placenta to nourish it. O God! O my Lord! O my dear one! You are great. Know the truth and be grateful to the Lord. Nothing else is required. If your present is full of joy, the memories of past too will give joy. The future too when it comes, will come after