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Where is your shelter?

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Where is your shelter?

Sunday, 05 January 2020 | Ajit Kumar Bishnoi

Where is your shelter?

If we take shelter in God, we will never be deprived of our basic necessities, including a place of residence, says AJIT KUMAR BISHNOI

The word shelter to a common man usually means the fact of having a place to live or stay, considered a basic human need. Then, there is a philosophical meaning, which is dependence — the state of needing the help and support of something or somebody in order to survive or be successful. For example, a devotee takes shelter in God, as instructed by Him in the Geeta for gaining peace and the eternal abode. (18.62)

Let me start with the physical aspect of shelter, that is, where we normally stay — our residences. Is that your shelter really? Why then are you forced to take shelter in a hospital when you are sick? Because your usual residence is not your real shelter. It is at best a temporary shelter. Don’t we change our places of residences in our lives? Don’t we go and stay in hotels for brief periods? The reality is that what we identify as our shelters/residences have been given to us according to our karmaphalas. In one interesting instance, a person was destined to live in large bungalows, as predicted by his astrologer, and he did till his death.

Let us try to understand this with an example of a person, who has died some time back. Let us imagine that the soul returns to his earlier place of residence in another body; the building, he owned earlier still stands. Will he be allowed to reclaim the property? No, because the soul did not own the property; he was given the facility temporarily based upon his karmaphalas, and this was related to his earlier body. Once someone dies, he takes with himself all his balance karmaphalas, both good and bad; nothing is left behind related to his earlier body. He gets another body, which has no relationship to his earlier body. The property he owned earlier gets transferred to another soul/other souls, and he has no right left over it.

Then what is our permanent shelter? But before I answer this question, let me also discuss the other types of shelters, not residences, those we seek. The most common is money. We feel that when we have adequate amount of money we are okay. Is it true? If it was, then, why do some well off people leave their homes and seek shelter in some ashrama? Because having sufficient money for one’s needs is very nice but that is not really your shelter. The same is true of power. Many strive ceaselessly for gaining power and then what happens when that power, if gained, is taken away from you and you are left ruing. Fame is another shelter desired by many. This proves to be hollow in not so foreseeable future. Beauty, as a shelter, has a date of extinguishment for sure.

Now we are ready to identify our real shelter as many sannyasis, the genuine ones, do. They leave their homes and become totally dependent on God. What does God do? He provides them shelters day after day throughout their remaining lives. It is no wonder that such sannyasis never return to the residences they had left behind. If it wasn’t so, no one will ever opt to become a sannyasi, and the ashrama system will become invalid. It hasn’t so far and will never become because it is God’s creation, and He ensures that what He decrees stays. As a matter of fact, those surrendered to God are never bereft of this basic necessity of a human being. There is the entire creation available to such persons; God ensures that they are always taken care of no matter where they are.

Therefore, let us take shelter in God, as instructed by Him. We will never be deprived of our basic necessities, including a place of residence. Rather those linked with God are blessed to have opulence, victory, wealth and moral principles. The choice is ours.

Bishnoi is a spiritual writer and can be reached at spiritual@ajitbishnoi.com

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