The legendary Steve Jobs was asked the secret of his tremendous productivity. What he said took everyone by surprise, he shared that every day on waking up in the morning he would think
“Supposing today I am going to die, supposing today is my last day, what would my priorities be?
If I would not do some activity, it means it is of lower priority. Let me focus on the more important tasks.”
Steve Jobs, however, would have probably been surprised to know that this art of thinking is a regular recommended one in spirituality.
“Do Batan Ko Bhool Mat Jo Chahat Kalyan,
Narayan Eik Mout Ko, Doojo Shri Bhagwan”
– Shri Narayan Swami, Anurag Ras
दो बातन को भूल मत जो चाहत कल्याण,
नारायण एक मौत को, दूजो श्री भगवान्।।
– श्री नारायण स्वामी – अनुराग रस
It means if you wish to achieve welfare, don’t forget two things.
What do you want us to remember, God?
Well everyone knows we are supposed to remember God.
He says “First of all remember your death and then remember God”.
Because otherwise, we will keep postponing. I know, I should do it, I will do it later, and so on. This disease of procrastination results in us squandering away all the graces that we have received.
That is why to counter it, remember your death.
Once one man came to saint Eknath and said “Maharaj, what should I do, I try so hard to take my mind to God as you instruct, but the mind just doesn’t stay in the Lord.”
What is the remedy, Maharaj?
Santa Eknath looked at him from head to foot and foot to head and said you are talking about the mind not staying in God. What I am seeing is really worrisome. You are going to die in seven days.
That man was blown off his feet. This Samarth Saint is saying like that, possibly he is Trikhal Darshi, he can see into my future and he’s sharing I will die in seven days.
He fell at the feet of the Santa and said “Maharaja, please save me what can I do?.” The saint said, “Look, death is inevitable; do one thing, you sought out all your matters and come to me on the last seventh day.”
That man returned. Now, his perspective on life in the world changed.
When he has only seven days to live, how does it matter which political party is in the lead?
How does it matter whether his neighbour has got a bigger car than him or not?
These kinds of prapanch (all these worldly thoughts) disappeared from his mind.
Slowly, the raag and the dwesh, attachment and aversion started evaporating. He reached Santa Eknath on the seventh day and said “Maharaj, today is my last day. Please tell me what should I do? I am at your mercy.”
The saint said: “Are you able to think of God today?
“Hey Maharaj, I am not forgetting him for a moment”.
Saint Eknath said, “Do you know why?”
Because you are thinking today is my last day. It has changed the perspective of your intellect. That is how this intellect is, it’s like a vessel. Whichever knowledge we lift up, it gets activated and the concurrent sentiments get created in the mind.
He then shared: “Look, every day when I wake up, I think supposing today was my last day, what would I do? With this piece of knowledge in my intellect, I’m able to remember God always.”
This is the art of how to move ahead in life with speed putting aside carelessness. The problem is we people keep on postponing. We should take a leaf out of the book of king Dashrat.
He had such opulence, his name was dash rath because his chariot would go in ten directions. He was also an ati-rathi. In Indian history, charioteers who could fight a thousand warriors were called Maharatis and those who could fight a thousand Maharatis were called Ati-rathi.
There have been just a handful of Ati-rathis in history and Dashrat was one of them. Beyond that, he had the privilege that in his human form whenever he wanted he could go to Swarga, the celestial abodes and sit on half the throne of Indra. And Ram, poorna Brahma became his child. Such a great privilege.
That Dashrath, once while combing his hair he found a few white hairs over his ear.
श्रवन समीप भए सित केसा। मनहुँ जरठपनु अस उपदेसा॥
He started thinking, this body is made of mud and the mud has started deteriorating. I must now leave all this opulence and move in the direction of Atma Kalyan.
Let me now hand over the kingdom to Ram and go and do my sadhana. That was his wisdom just seeing a few white hairs he became detached.
God gives us so many indications that life is temporary, we must take them and if we wish to progress with great speed on waking up every day like steve jobs and santh Eknath, think if today was my last day, what would I prioritize, let me focus on that.