Nothing lasts forever

Gold melts away
Night becomes day
Birds become prey
Nothing lasts forever!
Blue rivers become dry 
Truthful men begin to lie
Friends say goodbye
Nothing lasts forever!
Tears become a smile 
Seconds turn into a while
Footsteps become a mile
Nothing lasts forever!
Yesterday becomes today
Closed door opens the way
Mud pot returns to clay 
Nothing lasts forever!
Life comes to cease 
Youth ends in old age and disease 
Leaves wither with breeze
Nothing lasts forever!
-Yogamaya 9

The essence of the poem

This poem emphasizes the transient nature of life. Everything that we see around us has an expiry date. You buy nice fragrant colour flowers to put beside your bed. You water it everyday and take good care of it. But the very next day the petals and leaves of these flowers turn brown and the stems start to cripple and the following day the flowers have withered. This is just one example to show how temporary everything is. This supports why in the Katha Upanishad (one of India’s key scriptures) Nachiketa, a young lad went to Yama (the lord of death) and asked him to show him the path to eternal life rather than being content with the temporary pleasures, which Yama offered him. We think that change is the only constant, but once we get to know our Supreme Self, we realize that only the Self is the eternal constant. The Self is the energy behind all the changes (Maya Shakti) that we see. Knowing the “Self” means that you know everything about the entire universe – the Self is everything! Change is an illusion. Because, what changes for person ‘X’ may not change for person ‘Y’. Just like time is relative in space. Even the time for a person in New York is not the same as for a person living in New Delhi. Whatever keeps changing is not eternal. This comes to the conclusion that things around us are all temporary. But one cannot attain this realization by being immersed in materialistic pleasures of temporary nature. You have to know the eternal Self to realize the change around you. Change is like ripples on a river. Our thoughts are the stones, which cause those ripples. Once the thoughts cease upon knowing our Self, the ripples also cease to exist.

People tend to worry a lot about their past and future. Most of our time goes in worrying about a moment that has gone by or is yet to come. We must focus ourselves in the present moment and make the most of it. Liberation does not necessarily need to be attained in old age. It can come to anyone at any age under any circumstance. A lot of old people whom I meet ask me “Why are you interested in spirituality at this young age?” My reply is threefold: Firstly, I have no age. Age is just a number and the Self has no number or name. Secondly, even if you believe that I have an age, there is still no justification for me to seek truth only at a particular age. Thirdly, what is the guarantee that someone will live up to his 80’s or touch 40 in this current body? The body is just a dress to the soul and at any point that the dress is torn we must remove it. So, we can only think about the present moment. Which is why it is called ‘present’ as it is a gift to all those who wish to attain spiritual knowledge.

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