Rishi Prasad - Sant Asharam Bapu
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|This too will not last forever
A Dervish (a member of any of Muslim
ascetic groups) was travelling. At night,
he asked the people of the village he had
arrived in, "The night has fallen. Where
should I halt? Is there any religious man in
People said, "There are many religious
persons in the village and quite a few of
them wealthy also but there is one who is
Shukragujar (the man of gratitude). For this
reason, he is called Shakir. You should better
go to his place."
The dervish reached the house of
Shakir. He received a warm welcome.
Shakir served him reverentially for two
days, doing whatever he could to make him
satisfied. When the saint was leaving, he
gave him fried vegetables, some sweet and
some spicy rotis, pickles, dates etc. for the
way and bade him an affectionate farewell.
The dervish said, "Shakir! Even though
you are rich, you are humble. And you are
keen to serve the saints. May Allah give you
Shakir laughed, "Even what I have will
not last forever."
It was thought provoking for the dervish.
But then he remembered what his
Gurudev had said – if somebody says something
profound, don’t start debating but
think over it.
The dervish left the place.
That dervish went on a hajj (a Muslim
pilgrimage to Mecca). After two years,
he came back and found that Shakir’s
mansion, buildings, shops were nowhere
to be seen. He asked somebody, "How did
People told him, "All that was washed
away by the river flood. Now Shakir is a
servant of a landlord, named Hamadaad. He
milks his buffaloes, cuts fodder for the live
stock, and waters his fields in cold nights.
He has two daughters. Such a rich farmer
has become so poor that he does not find
bridegrooms for his daughters."
The dervish thought, "I had been treated
so well at his house. Now he has become
poor. Yet I should go to see him." Shakir,
who then was a servant of Hamdaad, spread
a torn mat for him to sit, and gave him whatever
coarse bread he had. When the dervish
was about to leave in the morning, he said
with tears in his eyes, "Shakir! What Allah
has done to you!"
Shakir laughed and said, "You must
have heard in satsang that no state or circumstance
remains forever. Why should I
grieve recalling my good days? And why
should I worry taking this poverty for real?
This too will not last forever."
There was satisfaction in Shakir’s eyes.
There was sweetness and eloquence in his
speech, and the effect of satsang on his
heart was reflected in his behaviour. The
dervish said, "I am a fakir in outward appearance
but this householder is a true fakir,
a saintly soul by virtue of satsang and
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I wish you too to become a real saint
within. Make up your mind. I am ready
After a couple of years, that dervish
passed through that place while going on a
pilgrimage. What did he find? Shakir, who
had been a poor labourer working at
Hamdaad’s farm eating dry breads, and
working day and night had become a rich
landlord. On enquiry, he was told that
Hamadaad had died heirless, and bequeathed
all his properties to Shakir and had
also showed him the place where a pot of
gold filled with gems and jewels was hidden
underground. Now Shakir was richer
than what he was when the dervish had met
him the first time.
The dervish said, "Wonderful!
You had rightly said your poverty
would go away. It has gone. May Allah keep
you in this state forever!"
Shakir laughed, "O Fakir! Richest men
of the world, kings, emperor finally lost
what they possessed. How long will my
possessions remain with me?"
"Will this also go away?"
"Either this will go or one who believes
it to be 'mine' will go. Nothing is permanent.
Meeting and parting are two sides of
the same coin. Have you not heard this in
satsang? I have assimilated the words of
The Muslim Sufism is based on the
knowledge of Vedantic saints of Hinduism.
Both the Sufis and the Vedantists say, "Everything
is passing away. The 'knower'
of that is the eternal inner Self.
And it is
in substance same as God, Allah, Rama,
The dervish went away. After a couple
of years, he came back. The palace was there
but it was inhabited by pigeons.
Shakir was consigned to the grave in a
graveyard. His palace was emptied. Both of
his daughters got married. Shakir's widow
was lying in a corner. The fakir thought, 'O
man! What is it that makes you proud?'
What makes you conceited? What
makes you troubled? Even the greater
wealth possessed by others will not remain
with them forever. Even the troubles of the
troubled persons will leave them eventually.
Pleasure and pain, both will go away; the
Supreme Being, the knower of both, will
exist forever. Be firmly convinced of this
fact and you will attain bliss.
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Shakir! You knew the secret of life.
Blessed is your keen appreciation of satsang.
Blessed is your Sadguru who gave you
satsang. I am a fakir only in appearance but
you are a real fakir. Now I want to see your
grave Shakir! I will go there; pray for you
and offer flowers. You are great Shakir!
Even being a householder, you taught asceticism
The fakir went to Shakir’s grave. He
was amazed to find an inscription on
Shakir’s grave, ‘This too will not last forever!’
The Fakir was wonder-struck. He
thought, 'Wealth will pass away; poverty
will pass away; disease will pass away;
health will pass away; all these are bound
to change but where will the grave pass
The fakir went on his pilgrimage.
On his way back, he thought of praying at
Shakir’s grave. But the graveyard was nowhere
to be found.
People told him, "An earthquake razed
the entire graveyard to the ground. Now
large buildings stand at that place."
O world! You don’t remain unchanged
even for a moment! And O man! You have
wasted many a birth trying to keep it unchanged!
‘Let my youth be permanent; let
my fame be permanent; let my promotion
be permanent, let my post be permanent…’
you constantly desire. With every breath,
your life is frittered away. How can you keep
We neglect the job of God-realization
that we are meant to do. We are engrossed
in what we have to leave behind. We pass
all tests and examinations to get such things.
We obsequiously say 'Sir' 'Sir'… But those
whom we called 'Sir' themselves passed
away. We are asleep.
'I am a student. O God! May I become
a graduate! May I get a good job! May I
become IAS, IPS; May I get a fine house, a
car! May I get married and live happily.’
Even if all these things are obtained, they
will certainly be lost.
The Supreme Self, Truth-Consciousness-
Bliss Absolute, Brahman, the Supreme
Controller of the universe is abiding in your
heart as your Self. And you are lamenting
over the past! And you are scared of future!
You are afraid of losing what you have at
present! Whatever be your state, it will go
away. Why should you fear? The old will
be replaced by new. This body will be replaced
by a new one. If one doesn’t get a
new body, it will mean liberation from the
cycle of birth and death. Because you don’t
know this, you are needlessly fearful, sad,
worried, sick and miserable.
You too should become Shakir. Say to
the Lord, ‘Your Will is sweet to me.’ That is
all. If you are insulted, be happy; if you are
honoured, be happy; if you get something,
be happy; if you lose something, be happy.
Never complain, ‘It is not good. It should be
like this.’ Never complain. Be happy.
You alone are the giver. You arranged
for breast feeding when the foetus was in
mother’s womb. It is Your artistic work of
connecting the navel of the foetus with
mother’s placenta to nourish it. O God! O
my Lord! O my dear one! You are great.
Know the truth and be grateful to the Lord.
Nothing else is required. If your present is
full of joy, the memories of past too will
give joy. The future too when it comes,
will come after being dipped in the joy of
the present. It will be joy every time and