Richard Harvey—Psychotherapist, Author and Spiritual Teacher

Richard Harvey

connecting psychotherapy and spiritual growth for human awakening
Follow my work on TwitterFollow my work on LinkedInFollow my work on Facebook

Follow me on:

Seeking For Worldly Pleasures

The likelihood by far is that the pleasures of this world will overwhelm us, and when they do, we will forsake the invisible, transcendent, spiritual, and divine realms – forget about them entirely, or at least delay.

The story of Narada and God is one of the most beautiful and revealing in the Hindu pantheon. One day Narada was walking with God in the high mountains when God turned to him and said, “Will you go down into the valley and fetch me a glass of water?” Narada left and made his way down to the lovely picturesque village at the foot of the mountain. He found an attractive little cottage and knocked politely on the door. His knock was answered by a beautiful young girl with shiny hair and a wonderful smile. Narada was enchanted. He entered the cottage and was so taken with the girl and the friendliness of her family that he wound up staying for dinner. When it got late he was invited to sleep in the guest bedroom and in the morning he awoke under warm soft sheets to bright sunlight streaming through the windows and the smell of a warm breakfast cooking on the hearth.

He fell in love with the lovely maiden and in time they married and had children. Narada’s life was full and absorbing, and he was blessed with abundance. Then one day a terrible flood came to the valley. The houses and cottages, the farms and farm animals, people and belongings – all were swept away in the violent torrent. Narada struggled bravely and desperately to save his family and their treasured belongings. Eventually however he could only watch, exhausted beyond belief, as both his children and his wife were borne away by violent flows of muddy water. Then he himself was caught in the great waves and surrendered to their overpowering force. Losing consciousness he was washed up on the sodden edge of the valley. As the waters finally settled, reviving amid the devastation, he realized that he had lost everything.

Narada wandered disconsolate, disorientated, and alone, hardly feeling his feet on the earth or his body breathing life into itself. Dimly aware, through tear-soaked eyes, he lurched and struggled with his weary body, weak and frail after his ordeal, up the sides of the valley. Finally, he cried out and it was a plaintive heart-rending cry, “Oh God, why have you done this to me?” Immediately he heard, “Narada, where is my glass of water?” And just over a little mound of earth, God stood smiling serenely at him among the trees.

No matter what we are seeking for, if it’s the way to enlightenment or various forms of worldly pleasures, the ego is the seeker. The seeker is reinforcement for the ego, the coat, the appearance, the shroud, the mask, the figure that stands in the darkness. The act of seeking is the ego itself. Not seeking too is the ego; merely the flip-side of the same coin. Spirituality transcends the quest by uniting us with the Divine through dropping seeking altogether. Enlightenment is the end of seeking; the end of seeking is enlightenment.

This article is an excerpt from Richard Harvey’s book Your Divine Opportunity.


Share this article

This article was published on this site in March 2024.

Related information