A Simple Life Is More Desirable Than a Life of Extravagance, Vanity & Show

by Pulkit Mathur, The Spiritual Bee

The enclosed teaching of Mother Mirra, the God-realized sage and spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo, is extremely relevant in today’s times when there is a tremendous pressure on the common person to aspire for an extravagant and luxurious lifestyle.

Rather than compelling a person to lead a noble and a good life dedicated to the useful service of others, the pressure on the common person instead, is to become more and more individualistic, vain and greedy, to waste his or her time, money and resources on accumulating phones, cars, mansions, jewellery, clothes etc. far in excess of their needs. By elevating the wrong ideals in the eyes of the common person, our society is wasting its wealth and consequently its vitality, as its precious resources get diverted to satisfying the egotistical desires of a few, instead of offering succour and help to the many.

This constant pressure to make unnecessary items a necessity, without which one cannot elevate one’s social stature, comes not only from corporate entities, whose sole goal is to make profits and who shoulder almost no responsibility in shaping and nurturing the society they flourish in; but this pressure also comes from a compliant and unthinking media, which likes to advance Corporate and Bollywood celebrities – their luxurious destination weddings, humongous houses, lavish Ganpati pujas etc. to a divine and desirable stature. External beauty, designer clothes and wealth are the sole qualifications on which today’s media slavishly judges a person; whereas simplicity, honesty, courage, empathy, generosity are the values that it largely ignores and shuns.

In such an environment, the enclosed teachings of Mother Mirra are especially important where she points out that a thoughtful, empathetic and spiritually evolved person always embraces simplicity over extravagance and reckless indulgence, which only serve to inflate the person’s ego and vanity.

These teachings have been excerpted from Mother Mirra’s book: Words of Long Ago (Free Download).

"Vigilance is indispensable for all true progress. In each human being there is a beast crouching ready to manifest at the slightest unwatchfulness. The only remedy is a constant vigilance."  - Mother Mirra, Sri Aurobindo Ashram

“To a healthy soul the simple life offers more happiness than any other.”
– Mother Mirra, Sri Aurobindo Ashram

THE PROPHET Mohammed, who devoted his life to teaching the Arab people, cared not for ease or riches. One night he slept on a hard mat, and when he awoke his skin bore the marks of the knots and fibers of his bed.

A friend said to him, “O Messenger of Allah! This bed was too hard for you, and if you had asked me I would joyfully have prepared a softer one, so that your rest might have been better.”

The Prophet replied, “A soft bed is not for me. I have a work to do in the world. When my body needs rest, I give it rest, but only as a horseman who ties his horse for a little while under the shade of a tree, to spare him from the heat of the sun, and soon sets off once more.”

“I have a work to do in the world,” said the Prophet. That is why his noble life was a simple one. Believing in his mission, he wanted to instruct the whole of Arabia. He did not care for luxuries: his heart was set on loftier thoughts.

* * *

In all countries, many people are beginning to understand that a simple life is more desirable than a life of extravagance, vanity and show.

There are more and more men and women who though they can afford to buy costly things for themselves, feel that their money can be put to a better use. They take a healthy diet instead of rich foods, and prefer to decorate their homes with furniture that is simple, strong and in good taste, rather than with cumbersome, ornate and useless articles meant only for display.

In every age, the best and most energetic servitors of earth’s progress have known how to lead a quiet and frugal life, which keeps the body in good health and enables man to take a more active part in working for the common good. Their example will always put to shame all those who pile up useless treasures and become slaves to their vast quantities of servants, clothes and furniture.

You cannot make a heap without making a hole; and too often the luxury of some represents the poverty of many others.

There are too many beautiful, great and useful things to be done in the world for those who are not wholly devoid of intelligence to be allowed to waste their time, money and thought in futile pastimes.

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