Once a tourist met a fisherman on the coast of Goa. Looking at the type of fish he had caught, the tourist asked him how long it took him to catch them.
“Not very long,” answered the fisherman.
“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the tourist.
The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The tourist asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?
“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, spend time with my family and friends.”
The tourist interrupted, “I have an MBA from IIM-A, and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”
“And after that?” asked the fisherman.
“With the extra money, you bring a larger boat, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to some other city. From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”
“How long would that take?” asked the fisherman.
“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the tourist.
“And after that?”
“Afterwards? Well my friend, That’s when it gets really interesting,” chuckled the tourist, “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!”
“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fisherman.
“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish and spend time with your friends and family”
“With all due respect sir, but that’s exactly what I am doing now. So what’s the point wasting 25 Years?” asked the fisherman.
Moral of the story:
The moral of the story is that we can easily be happy by leading a simple life and so we should not complicate our lives unnecessarily. Life in the present world is indeed a rat race. Many who have good qualifications too do not know where they are going in life.
In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam verse 2.2.3. Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī explains us very nicely about the minimum necessities of our life.
ataḥ kavir nāmasu yāvad arthaḥ
syād apramatto vyavasāya-buddhiḥ
siddhe ‘nyathārthe na yateta tatra
pariśramaṁ tatra samīkṣamāṇaḥ
“For this reason the enlightened person should endeavor only for the minimum necessities of life while in the world of names. He should be intelligently fixed and never endeavor for unwanted things, being competent to perceive practically that all such endeavors are merely hard labor for nothing.”
In this purport Śrīla Prabhupāda explains that “the whole universe, or for that matter all material existence, is moving on as jagat, simply for planning business to make one’s position very comfortable or secure, although everyone sees that this existence is neither comfortable nor secure and can never become comfortable or secure at any stage of development…….
The whole material creation is a jugglery of names only, in fact, it is nothing but a bewildering creation of matter like earth, water and fire………..
Since every second of human life is important, an enlightened man should be very careful to utilize time very cautiously. One second of human life wasted in the vain research of planning for happiness in the material world can never be replaced, even if one spends millions of coins of gold.”
We should lead a simple life and not a complicated one. We should wash using our hands and not using washing machines. We should avoid traveling by vehicle if the distance can be covered by walking; avoid unnecessary use of mobiles, laptops, electronic appliances etc. We should not be addicted to the latest technologies. Instead we should follow Vedic ways of living.
By the mercy of Kṛṣṇa if we have good flow of Lakṣmī we should utilize it properly in the service of Kṛṣṇa. Thus we should concentrate more on the transcendental necessities rather than our materialistic necessities. But most of us are neither feeling it as urgency nor as a necessity. We are thinking that we should care for these transcendental necessities once we settle down in our material life or once we get old and retire from material life, which is impossible. We should try to settle down in our transcendental activities first and the result will be peace and bliss. There won’t be any material anxieties troubling us.
We all struggle so much in this material world to gain a little happiness.
But throughout our life we only struggle and forget to enjoy the real happiness, we are in so much anxiety and worried always for the future that we forget to live today. And in the hope that we may enjoy tomorrow we struggle so hard throughout our life, and that tomorrow never comes. As we are in this material world, the nature of this material world itself is distress.
We all lose our peace of mind and run around just to earn money and reach a position which we call it as “status”.
We determine our path by seeing what others are doing rather than our interest for the particular subject and run only for the sake of name and fame.