Tomorrow Never Comes Essay

 A talk given by Shri Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari
on 21st December, 2002
at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA

 There is a saying in English that a rose by any name smells as sweet. So, what you have to understand is the meaning-what is being said, not the language. Language is only a vessel. If you have majjigai [buttermilk] in a silver vessel or a gold vessel, or a clay pot, it is still majjigai, avuna? [buttermilk, is it not?] So, what is inside is what matters. That is what we have to try to understand, and then to practice, and then to achieve.

It is a sad thing to see people wasting a lot of time. You know, there is a saying in English that wealth lost, nothing is lost, health lost, something is lost, time lost, everything is lost. I hope you understand what it means. We can afford to lose wealth, because we can always become wealthy again. Health, to some extent, we can regain, but time, we cannot recreate. We see so many people around us who say, "Tomorrow, I will do it," and then he is gone. Tomorrow never comes. In a real sense, tomorrow rarely comes, because, if you don't achieve what you have to achieve today, you are not going to achieve it tomorrow. So, the main message is that don't waste time.

You know recently, for the last 2 - 3 years, I have been watching the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, you know, all these serials. While all these fellows, the Kauravas, the Pandavas, the Kosala desa vasis, they are all busy fighting, making money, and trying for power, like our modern political scene, the people who are really meditating are Brahmadeva, Shiva Bhagvan, Narayan. They are eternally meditating, I don't know why. Every time Brahmadeva comes, he is in his lotus, you know. Then Narada comes. "What Narada, why have you come?"

So people who don't need to meditate are meditating all the time, and people who should be meditating are wasting their time, fighting for power, for money, for position, for territory. We all see all these things and we say, "Wonderful!"

Lankeshwara came and gone. What happened to Lankeshwara? Then you know, the second message is-don't ask, achieve. Because we are always asking, "Please give me this, give me that." It's no use. There is the well-known story that Ravana was a great tapasvi, and he was a Shiva bhakta. Shiva appeared, and he said, "Ask, what do you want." And then he said, "I should not be killed by rakshasa or asuras or devas or kinnaras," but nara and vanara he forgot. He thought they were too small. "I am Lankeswara. What can a nara do or vanara do?" So the Lord came as a Nara, Ramudu. And his sahayakas were all vanaras.

So, we don't know what to ask for. We don't know how to ask. So, don't ask. What you cannot do properly, you should not do at all, no? Whether it is asking, or giving, or taking, or leaving.

Meditation, meditation, meditation. It is always disturbing for me to see people coming a few minutes after we begin meditation. Now those few minutes count. See, this is not like dinner or lunch, where, you know, when others are eating dahi bhat [curd rice], you can start with sambhar. It is not like that. If the train has gone, you cannot catch it. Maybe another train will come. In India we don't know. But one train gone, one train gone. So for every sitting you must be there in the beginning, otherwise it is better to stay at home. If you are thinking you're going to be late, stay at home and sit down and meditate. Now you are neither here nor there.

Your preceptors should tell you all these things. I'm sure they don't because they are afraid. "If I tell Ramalakshamma she may not come again, she may leave the Mission," things like that. But Babuji said that it is better to have 5 lions than a hundred sheep. I mean you have heard this so many times, again and again.

So I am always looking for the lions. And the pity is, there are so many sheep and there are no lions. So, when are we going to wake up and make use of the time? We don't know how much remains. Babuji Maharaj used to say, there was one preceptor. Some abhyasi went to him and he said, "Come tomorrow for a sitting." The abhyasi was very disturbed-some problem, you know, really bad problem. He said, "No, no, I must have some solution now." The preceptor said, "I am telling you, please come tomorrow morning." Babuji was very angry. He said, "Only God can say, 'Come tomorrow morning,' because God knows He will be there, and God knows whether you will be there or not. No preceptor has the right to say, 'Come tomorrow.'" Now it applies to us also. "Start meditation." "I will do tomorrow, Sir. Today I have to go shopping." So many things, you know. "I am waiting for the cinema. I promised my daughter to take her to this modern craze-fashion show." Tomorrow may not come. Then what should we do?

You see, only two days back, an abhyasi had been very unwell for 12 days, but he recovered. He was hospitalized, he had a minor stroke, and he went into coma, but somehow he recovered. His wife was ill, and so they were taking her to the hospital. They were concerned about the wife. But on the way to the hospital, the abhyasi passed away. Now who could have said who is going to die? He thought he was taking his wife to the hospital, and he went, just like that.

So please don't be complacent. "I am only 18, Sir. I want to live life before I start meditation." You hear this from all young girls, more from young men, who think living life only means shayanasukham, bhojanasukham, you see, things like that. Ee prapanchaplu sukham ekkadai duruguthante? [Where can we find this infinite bliss?] Dining table-lu [At the dining table], bed-lu [in bed]. Anthe [That's all].

For this, we give our life, isn't it? Lopala choodandi [Look within], what you have inside. Aiswaryam, arogyam [Wealth, prosperity]. Aiswaram enduku, arogyam enduku? [Why wealth? Why prosperity?] Lead a healthy life, ante ? So that you must be sexually potent. Andu kosarame [That is why]. But that is not where life is, you see. That is where destruction is. That is where death is. In fact, in one of the foreign countries I visited long ago, every sex act is called a little death. Forgive me for talking about it, but every time you indulge in it, it is a little death. Little death plus little death makes big death. 2 plus 2 makes 4. But after that, the whole world is running. To make that possible, we have so many vitamins, so many other things, to keep me healthy, potent, virile, you know. To make that possible, we need money. All this fraud, you know, of making money so that I can live well, "nice life, Sir, my children must come up well." Children are also the product of lust. You know Shastra defines children in two ways, dharmaja and kamaja. All other ajas in Andhra Pradesh are different. Sarvaprathamam, dharmaja, kamaja. So you see, the Shastra is very clear about all these things. We don't read the Shastra, we don't listen to elders, we don't practice what we should do, and therefore, we are praying you know, like this fellow who is rattling away like a frog.

It is said in the Shastras that every priest will be born either as a dog or a thavalai, ante as a frog. Because they pervert even what little they do. They pervert, they lie in the temple, they cheat the bhaktas, so called. But I think they are better. They are at least trying to cheat others. We are cheating ourselves. Are you meditating? Avunu sir, appudu appudu. Appudu appude ante what is the meaning? Bhojanam chestunnara? O saruga chestunnanu. Meditation chestunnara?Appudu appudu. Samayam dorakaledandi. Ayana office-ku velthunnaru, chinnapillane school-ku pampiyalli. Appudu appudu. ["Yes, Sir. Now and then." What is the meaning of 'now and then'? Have you eaten well? "Oh, yes. I have eaten well." Do you meditate? "I do not get time. He (husband) has to go to the office. Children have to be sent to school. Now and then…"] Who are you cheating? You are cheating yourself.

Babuji Maharaj told me once, he said, "It is not important about telling lies to others. The important thing is not to tell lies to yourself." Because, the more you say, "I am meditating," and you are not doing it, the more you are convincing yourself that you are meditating. Then one day you will say, you know, "Sir, 20 years I have been meditating (chuckles), 20 years. Babujigaru undinnapude nenu... Emi dorakaledandi induvarku. Daya cheyyandi." Daya enduku? Naku daya oddu. Daya for papis. Ikkada papam ante emi? Meditate cheyyaledu, cleaning cheyyaledu, constant remembrance cheyyaledu. But rozu memu cheptunnau, preceptor daggara, Master daggara, ayana daggar. Avunandi, appudu appudu chestunnanu. Emi cheyyali, samayam doraka ledu. Ippudu samayam dorakaledunte akkada kooda samayam dorakledamma. Bhagvanthudu cheptadu, Babuji Maharaj. ["When Babuji was there, I… I have not received anything so far. Please have pity on me." Why pity? I do not need pity. Pity is for sinners. Here what is sin? "I do not meditate. I do not do the cleaning. Do not do constant remembrance. I do it now and then. What can I do? I do not get the time." If you do not have the time now, He too will say that He does not have the time.]

So if you want time There, you must give time Here. What you give, you will get. You give lies, you will get lies, you will give bribe in temples, you will get bribes. You give love, you will get love. What you do not give, you can never get.

So that is the final message-give and take. Love God, you get. Love the Master, you get love. Remember, neither God, nor Master, nor anybody exists. This is like the pratibimbam [reflection], you know, what you put, you get. I pray that Babuji Maharaj will bless all of you. Thank you.

Every day young people die. Whether it is from a sickness or a “freak accident”, a life is lost and, one more person will always be missed.

One day Billy Pope was playing outside. He was one of my classmates and a close friend, when I was in first grade at Celeste Henkel Elementary. He began to cross the street on his bicycle and was hit by an oncoming truck. He was seriously injured and not long after the unfortunate accident, he died. When I was five years old, I did not fully understand how death can change a person’s life so drastically. As I have gotten older, I have begun to get a better grasp on it. Billy’s life had just begun, so he never got to experience the fullness of life. He was not able to have his first double digit birthday. He was not able to have his first girlfriend or experience his first kiss. He was not able to go to high school or graduate with his friends as the class of 2011. He will never be able to attend college or get his dream job. He will not be able to get married and start a family, kiss his kids goodnight, or hold his sweet little granddaughter in his arms. He was only able to experience a second of an entire lifetime.

After reminiscing about Billy’s death, and just recently experiencing the death of several of my other peers I have come to realize that we should live each day to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised. We need to cherish the moments that we are living in right now and not take things for granted. We should try to fix our relationships when they are broken because after today there might not be one more hug, one more kiss, one more goodnight. After today, it might all be over. Life is too short to get caught up in all of the high school “drama” that drowns us every day. We should not worry over what other people think of us, nor, in turn, spread gossip about others. We should live our own lives because those are the only ones that we can control. We should do everything that we can in this lifetime because we do not get second chances to live our lives; we should live this one to the fullest, and this I believe.

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