Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Reward of All Rewards

From the time we are born into this world, we can be easily seduced into thinking and believing that the greatest rewards this world has to offer us are: worldly honor and fame, prestige, glamour, power and wealth of all manner. And along with this, we are culturally taught that the pursuit of and accumulation of more and more of these things, is what will bring us more joy and happiness. As a society, we are drawn to game shows where people win large sums of money, or expensive material gifts. The treasures of this world are indeed charming and alluring, such as fine jewelry and adornments, fancy clothing, large, glamorous houses and expensive, sleek cars. The problem with these things though, is that they originate from outside of us and history proves these things alone do not satisfy the inner longings of our souls. Some of the wealthiest and famous people of all time have ended their lives tragically, brutally, or have even ended up strung out on drugs and alcohol.

It is not until we attain some of these worldly treasures that we begin to realize it was all a lie from the beginning-that these things would indeed bring us happiness. All these rewards are like sand that you hold in your hand, which at anytime may be blown away by a sudden windstorm in a fraction of a second. They are perishable. All the riches and rare treasures in the world don't bring the highest pleasure, the highest happiness. There is a reward though, that is imperishable. There is a jeweled crown that most of the world knows nothing about. Its splendour is stunning, shimmering beyond the beauty of the Taj Mahal, or a storehouse of red rubies, green emeralds, glittering, sparkling sapphires and diamonds, opals, pearls, bars of shiny gold, and metallic silver. And unlike earthly treasures, this reward cannot be taken from you once you attain it. It is a permanent gain. So what is this treasure I am referring to you may ask?

In the Bhagavad Gita (Hindu holy book) in chapter 6, it speaks of this sacred, holy treasure. I am going to paraphrase here. It refers to a man of Yoga attaining a state of consciousness where he knows there is no higher attainment, where his mind becomes clear and peaceful and he enters absolute joy, his passions are calmed forever and he is utterly absorbed in God. In this state he gains true freedom and finds an infinite joy.

This state of consciousness is known in eastern religions as SAMADHI or NIRVANA. Samadhi means oneness and union with God. Nirvana, on the other hand is the state of being free from suffering. Nirvana literally translates to "blowing out" — that is, blowing out the fires of greed, hatred, and delusion within oneself. It is considered the highest happiness. In eastern religions such as Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism, when you reach this level of peace and bliss, you are considered by many to have graduated so to speak, to have reached enlightenment and attained the crown of life, or The Reward of All Rewards. To reach this state is to graduate life with Honors. This inner treasure of inner peace, or true satisfaction and inner bliss is The Reward of All Rewards I am referring to here.

A great cause of many peoples miseries in this world is seeking for impermanent treasure that never satisfies. You can have it all and yet feel miserable, and empty inside. The Upanishads, an ancient Hindu text says that "bliss is our natural state, our birthright, but mankind remains unhappy since he hasn't learned how to obtain it, and that the inner self, or spirit within is the place where bliss and lasting happiness can be found. And the closer we get to the inner self, the more happiness we experience."

Bliss is the fruit of being charmed, or allured into a mystic union with God, or universal energy. It is The Reward of All Rewards, because once you attain this peace and happiness, you will never hunger and thirst solely for pleasures, treasures and desires of this world, which are so unquenchable. This constant thirst and hunger keeps us always striving for more, without giving us what we are really after. Ultimately, everyone wants happiness, peace and bliss. We can all have it too, once we tap into the source of the mystic fountain within and let go of our attachment to worldly treasures, worldly rewards. There is a reward waiting for you that is so lavish and rich, and once you taste it, you will hunger for nothing else. Wayne Dyer said in his book Your Sacred Self, "When the divine light within you is experienced directly, it adds a radiance to life unlike anything that can be described with words, or pictures." Seek it, this divine light and inner ecstasy. It is the ONLY thing that will really satisfy and it is much closer than you may realize!

Copyright Justin Topik 2009

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