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The realization that worldly things are fleeting creates hunger for a higher life.
It is the nature of the mind to be attached to something or the other. Even if someone is by force of circumstances freed from the burden of family and other concomitant worries of worldly life, he perchance keeps a cat or a dog and pours forth all his love upon the creature. Even by mistake he doesn't turn to God, says Sri Ramakrishna. This is because there is within him a strong attachment to the world and it has got to find expression in one way or the other.
But what about the person whose attachment to the world has been drastically reduced, if not altogether destroyed? Seeing the ephemeral nature of life he is firmly convinced: Uncertain is the life of man as rain-drops on a lotus leaf; The whole of humankind is prey to grief, ego and disease.(Sankaracarya's Bhaja Govindam)
It becomes impossible for him to feel strongly attached to any worldly object. Life appears, at least for the time being, so meaningless, so much full of contradictions. Is there any way Out? — he asks himself. Somehow, in one way or the other, the answer comes to him. Yes, there is a way. Life has a higher dimension. Strive for it, reach it and live in it. All the so-called contradictions are resolved there.
Life becomes meaningful in its true sense only when this struggle for the 'higher life' begins. Now the aspirant begins to feel hungry to taste the joys of 'higher life'. This is the second change that takes place in one who has realized the evanescence of everything around him.
To be continued
About the author
This article is an excerpt from Swami Tyagananda's “The Passing Shadows" which reveals the truth that fleeting nature of worldly things creates thirst for higher life. Swami Tyagananda belongs to the Ramakrishna order.