It is not a coincidence that Mahavira, Buddha, all the tirthankaras of Jainas were kings. They came from the palaces, they had left their kingdoms. For a king, the beggar is always the attraction. This country has been the country of kings and beggars, both. At the one extreme kings have existed, at the other extreme the beggars. And we have raised beggars to the highest peak of glory. Buddha called his sannyasins bhikhus – beggars. He was a king. He was fed up with all that being a king implies. He was fascinated with the simple life, the innocent life of a beggar.
But ask some beggar…he is not happy. If kings are not happy how can beggars be happy? He is unhappy and he is just waiting for the chance when he can also become a king. Go into his dreams and you will find him always becoming an emperor. Beggars dream of kingdoms, kings dream of becoming sannyasins, renouncing everything. Beggars dream of possessing the whole world, kings dream of not possessing anything at all.
For the mind the opposite is magnetic, and unless you transcend this through understanding, the mind will go on moving from left to right, from right to left, and the clock will continue.
It has continued for many lives, and this is how you have been deceiving yourself – because you don’t understand the mechanism. Again the distant becomes appealing, again you start traveling. The moment you reach, that which was with you is now distant, has appeal, it becomes a star, something worthwhile.
I was reading about a pilot. He was flying over California with a friend. He told the friend, “Look down at that beautiful lake. I was born near it, that is my village.”
He pointed to a small village just perched in the hills near the lake, and he said, “I was born there. When I was a child I used to sit near the lake and fish; fishing was my hobby. But at that time, when I was a child fishing near the lake, airplanes always used to pass in the sky, and I would think of the day when I would become a pilot myself, I would be piloting an airplane. That was my only dream. Now it is fulfilled, and what misery! Now I am continuously looking down at the lake and thinking about when I will retire and go fishing again. That lake is so beautiful…”
This is how things are happening. This is how things are happening to you. In childhood, you long to grow up fast because older people are more powerful, young men more powerful. A child just longs to grow up immediately. Old people are wise, and the child feels that whatsoever he is doing is always wrong. Then ask the old man – he always thinks that when childhood was lost, everything was lost; paradise was there in childhood. And all the old men die thinking of childhood, the innocence, the beauty, the dreamland.
Whatsoever you have looks useless, whatsoever you don’t have looks useful. Remember this, otherwise meditation cannot happen, because meditation means this – understanding the mind, the working of the mind, the very process of the mind.