Parables of Rama

by Swami Rama Tirtha | 102,836 words

Stories in English used by Swami Rama to illustrate the highest teaching of Vedanta. The most difficult and intricate problems of philosophy and abstract truths, which may very well tax the brains of the most intellectual, are thus made not only simple and easy to understand but also brought home to us in a concrete form in such an interesting and ...

Story 89 - The Greatest Obstacle

Atlanta and the Gold

There is a very beautiful story in the old mythology of Atlanta. They say that every man who wanted to wed her had to run a race with her. Nobody could get ahead of her but one person consulted his god Jupiter and asked the advice of his favourite god as to the way of outrunning Atlanta and winning her. The god gave him a very queer advice. He told this man to bestrew the path along which they had to run with gold bricks. You know the god Jupiter could not help this devotee of his to outrun Atlanta in any other way. This Atlanta had got from the highest deity a boon which made her the strongest and swiftest being in the whole Universe. But this devotee of Jupiter threw gold bricks all along the race-course, and challenged Atlanta to run a race with her. Both began to run. This man was naturally much weaker than Atlanta. She outruns him in one second, but as she had lost sight of him, she saw gold bricks lying along the path and stopped to pick them up. While she was picking up the gold bricks, that devotee went ahead of her. There after a minute or so she overtook him again and again saw to the left of the race-course another brick. She went to pick up that brick and got it. In the meantime that devotee of Jupiter went ahead of her and after a while she got him again, and there she found some more gold bricks. She stopped to pick up those; in the meantime that fellow outran her and so on. Towards the close of the race, Atlanta had got with her a very heavy load of gold. It was very difficult for her to carry it and also outrun him. Finally that man got the better of Atlanta who was won. All the gold that Atlanta had got also fell to the share of the man who outran her, it went to him and she herself went over to that man. He got everything.

Such is the way with most people who want to tread the path of Righteousness and the path of Truth. When you commence to tread the path of truth, you find all sorts of base lucre and worldly temptations around you. You stoop to pick them up, but the moment you do so and enjoy these worldly temptations and enjoyments, you find you are lagging, behind. You are losing the race, procrastinating, making your path dreary, and losing everything. Beware of worldly attachments and materiality. You cannot reach the Truth and also enjoy worldly pleasures. The saying goes that if you enjoy the Truth, you will no longer be able to enjoy worldly pleasures. Enjoy worldly pleasures, and Truth will elude your grasp, get ahead of you. Get rid of attachment, and at the same time shake off all hatred and jealousy, which is inverted attachment. Have all your attachment severed from every object, and concentrate yourself on one thing, the one fact, one truth, your Divinity. Immediately on the spot you gain realization.

MORAL: Attachment with worldly objects and pleasures is the greatest obstacle in the path of Realization, while worldly detachment with full concentration on the one Truth, the Divinity within, gives immediate Self-realization.

Vol. 2 (4-5)

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