Sunday, 4 January 2009

Building castles in the sand

Every week I witness thousands of people come to the temple from faraway places. They stand in front of the temple shrine and with folded hands make their heartfelt prayer to God. I often wonder what they are actually praying for. Good health? Wealth and prosperity? Success in exams and career? Many of us may have made these prayers in our own lives. Many of us still do. However, are these the best things we can petition God for?

A great saintly king from thousands of years ago compared such material benefits to broken glass. Firstly, broken glass is completely useless. Will our material aspirations really bring us the peace, satisfaction and happiness that we are longing for? Nobody can deny the temporary comfort and pleasure they provide us, but in the ultimate sense they fall short. Secondly, broken glass can be extremely dangerous. In the same way, material aspirations can dominate our time, energy and resources. In the frantic pursuit for these goals we are diverted from our real purpose and actual source of happiness.

Can we afford to spend our valuable lives building castles in the sand? Castles that will inevitably be washed away by the indiscriminate waves of time...

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