This the situation of the fool. This is the situation of every man on the earth. How sweet it tastes! But how long can this taste remain? Soon death will be arriving from all directions. But that’s how we go on living – living for momentary pleasures, indulgence, food, sex, money, power, prestige…just drops of honey. How sweet it tastes, and in that moment we completely forget what is going to happen. The moment takes possession of us and we become oblivious of the reality of life: that it is rooted in death, that it is going to disappear.
Buddha says: For a while the fool’s mischief tastes sweet, sweet as honey. But in the end it turns bitter. And how bitterly he suffers!
Watch yourself. What are you doing here on the earth? What have you done up to now? What does your life consist of? Have you done anything really real, or have you just been living in dreams? Have you approached in any way the eternal? Or are you too much occupied with the momentary? Have you made any plans, any projects, for the ultimate truth? Or are you just remaining drunk with the mundane, with the ordinary, going into the same rut every day, moving in the same rut every day? The morning comes and you rush to the marketplace, and the evening comes and you are tired and you come home…and the same circle goes on moving, the same wheel. And this has been going on and on for so many lives. When are you going to become bored with it? When are you going to become a little more alert about what you are doing to your life? This is a sheer wastage.
But Buddha says: Certainly, there is some sweetness, momentary, and one suffers for that sweetness. It turns, inevitably, into bitterness. Watch your life. You can earn much money, and while you are earning it tastes sweet. But you are not aware that you are losing your life in earning rubbish, that life is slipping out of your hands, that it is a very costly affair that you are pursuing, utterly foolish, stupid.
The life cannot be bought back; not even a single moment, with all your wealth, can you purchase back. It cannot be claimed back. Such precious time being wasted! You are piling up wealth which will be taken away by death, and you will go empty-handed…as empty-handed as you had come to the earth. Then you will feel the bitterness of it, that you wasted your whole life for something which is not going to be with you. You wasted your whole life in power, politics; you wasted your whole life in becoming respectable, and now death has come and all will be taken away. And you have not tasted a single moment of your eternal reality – you have not tasted anything deathless.
This is what Buddha calls the fool’s approach towards life. Everything turns bitter: your love, your friendship, your family, your business, your politics…everything, finally, proves to be poisonous, turns into bitterness. One who is wise will become aware while there is still time and something can be done.
For months the fool may fast,
eating from the tip of a grass blade.
Still he is not worth a penny
beside the master whose food is the way.