Use life properly

There was once a real miser. He collected all his wealth and kept it underground. He dug a hole in his own backyard and inside the hole he placed all his most valuable things —- so much gold, so many pieces of jewellery, items of pure silver and so forth. Once a day he would go into the backyard and uncover the hole only to watch and admire what he had amassed.

One day a thief happened to observe the miser go to his backyard and uncover the hole. That night, the thief returned with his tools and dug up all the miser's precious possessions. Nothing remained of the miser's hoard.

The following morning, when the miser went to look at his wealth as usual, he discovered his loss. Immediately he started screaming and shedding bitter tears. He was saying, "I do not understand! How has this happened? How is it possible?"

When the neighbours heard him screaming, they came running and enquired, "What has happened?"

The miser was wringing his hands most pathetically. He said, "Every day I used to come at a particular time and uncover this hole. It was my secret hiding place. Inside I kept my gold and other valuables. I did not spend anything. I was only hoarding and hoarding it. And now, look! It is all gone!"

One neighbour said, "For years and years you have never spent anything. Your only joy has been in seeing your supply of gold increase. But what is life for? Life is for enjoyment. We earn money and then we buy things. When we use the things we have purchased, we get joy. In your case, you get joy only by seeing your gold, not by using it. Life has to be utilised to do something good. You fool, you did not use your money-power to give joy to your life. Your whole life consisted in watching your money grow.

"I have an idea. From now on, continue to come here every day. Since you were enamoured of your gold and you became happy by seeing the gold and not using it, you should come here every day and watch the hole and try to get the same joy. As you could not use the gold, even so, you cannot use the hole. But you can try to get the same joy from watching the empty hole as you did when it was full of gold. The gold has been removed, but the hole itself does not move. So now you have to come to the hole!"

The neighbour was wise. Life is like that. If we do not use life properly, if we are not on time every day to pray and meditate and so forth, then we shall fail. Always, life is for activity, activity.

If you have anything, appreciate it and utilise it. If you have a flower, appreciate the beauty of the flower. Then give it to your friend. Or place it on your shrine. By using the flower, it becomes really perfect. But if you just see the flower and enjoy its beauty, tomorrow it will fade away on the plant itself.

Life is always movement, movement, movement. If I have something, then it must go from me to you, and from you it has to go to somebody else.