Monday, April 20, 2009

We are just tenants,not owners

Do we ever confuse the house we are living in on a rental basis as our own and invest money on it adding facilities and beautifying it beyond what is necessary for our day to day living? We are aware that once the period specified in the lease, that has a clause of no renewal, is over we must vacate it. We keep in mind our temporary occupancy in the house and do not bestow much attention on it beyond the essential for keeping it clean and habitable. If we remember likewise that we are mere tenants in the impermanent body, we will get a new perspective on the meaning and the purpose of life. The whole problem arises due to our confusing that ‘I’ am the body and the mind. In actual fact, we are neither. We are mere tenants. The body is just a house on lease to be vacated on the appointed day that cannot be deferred even by a second. With such impermanence on our retaining the body, would it not be foolish to spend time and money in acquiring things to satisfy it lifelong? Remember the house one lives in crumbles immediately the lease is over just as the body starts to stink with a disgusting odour. It is so unbearable it is burnt or buried immediately. Does it make sense to pamper this impermanent body and its cravings and spend our precious life in pursuit of them?
If only we are able to detach ourselves from the transient body and have a look at our lives and those around us, we would realize the utter foolishness of our lopsided priorities in pursuit of material happiness and wealth. A mere realization that we can take nothing of our material possessions with us would expose the futility of acquiring wealth except for service to fellow beings. We would then realize that this body given us is to be used as an instrument of service to serve ourselves in the real way and others. The body that we are living in is to be paid only that much attention to keep it healthy, strong and clean for serving the society. There is no need for decking it with avoidable fineries, costly apparels and exotic scents. The body is meant to facilitate one’s moral and spiritual advancement and as an useful tool to serve others.’Paropakartham idham sareeram’ is an adage always to be kept in mind. Swami Vivekananda said that “They alone live who serve; the rest are more dead than living.” Let us bear in mind that we, the souls, are mere dwellers of the body and that mind is our servant and that we are neither. Without the soul the body dies. Body and mind are two servants. The body keeps always asking for satisfaction of its physical needs while the capricious mind would take us away from our goal by undesirable thoughts and eventually ruin our lives. Both these servants are to be kept under strict control and the mind under tight leash if we are not to waste our lives.. As wise people, we must employ the body and mind for the nobler pursuits of realizing ourselves and for service to the needy and hapless..


  1. Very well written Sir. Your words are very true. Body is only a rented house for soul. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. Shree Krishna has said in the Bhagwad Geeta that above the body is the heart, above the heart is the mind, and above the mind is the soul.

    Thus, it is clear that the soul is our true identity and the heart and mind move along with it from birth to birth till it reaches saameeppya moksha and interacts, in bliss, as a dear friend, with the Supreme Soul, Krishna Himself.

    Your post clearly expresses not just the futility but also the underlying perversity in being obssessed with the body.

    Thank you, Parthasarathi, for this outstanding post. I am also stating here that I am grateful to you for always encouraging me to write.

    Best wishes,


  3. yes its true that at times people spend too much on external appearances and materialistic needs.. i would say that, to an extend, its needed to keep oneself happy.. but not beyond limits..

  4. now you must know, this is a topic i have been almost always hearing for the last 10 years or so ....

    we are in the world, but not of the world!!! ha?

  5. Body is a temple where the soul resides. Just like we clean the temple where the diety presides , so also the human body given to us by god has to be preserved by taking care so that the sensory organs funtions to their fullest ability in our spiritual endeavours.
    May be what can be avoided is the total concentration at psysical level by cosmetic dressings with utter disregard to spiritual aspects.