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Chapter 5 Substance And Shadow
The Absolute Truth or God is so beautiful that many sages, saints and devotees have left everything for the sake of attaining that Truth. Every one of us in this world is attracted to someone very beautiful, e.g a cinema actor; or we are attracted to someone who is very strong, e.g boxer Mike Tyson; or someone who is very wealthy, e.g Bill Gates. Why are we attracted? We are attracted because originally these opulences are present in God, who is supremely attractive. The great sage Parasara defines 'Bhagavan' as one who is full in six opulences - Beauty, Wealth, Knowledge, Fame, Strength and Renunciation. This makes God all attractive to everyone. The word 'Krishna' means 'all attractive'. Since Krishna possesses all opulences in full, when He plays on His flute He is attractive not only to humans but also to animals like deers, monkeys, cows and birds like peacocks and rivers like Yamuna. All the living beings of this world possess a tiny fraction of God's opulences and thus if God's potencies are compared to sun, the living beings' potencies are like that of tiny rays of sun, namely the sunlight.
When the soul leaves the spiritual world and comes to material world, He forgets his true identity as soul and foolishly thinks himself to be the material body made up of flesh and bones. Thus he becomes attracted to the glittering illusion of false beauty of the objects of the material world which is simply a poor imitation of the spiritual beauty. The bodies of beauty queens, who in their youth make men go crazy, become dried up in old age like grapes turned into raisins. Why can't the beauty of this world remain permanent? Why cannot the beauty of this world give us happiness? Why does the happiness obtained from the objects of this world vanish so quickly? The answer is that we should know what is substance and what is shadow or imitation of the real substance. The real substance (spirit soul) is forgotten - the shadow (material body) is given all importance. This is the root cause of all the problems in the world today.