A moment of religiousity

PRAYING WITH DASTUR DHALLA

LIFE AS PLEASURE

Life is pleasure, they say, who preach that human self is nothing more than the sum total of desires and appetites and passions and the object of life is to attain their gratification. They live well, who derive the maximum of pleasure out of life. Let all therefore enjoy as long as life endures.

There are those who find pleasure in the satisfaction of emotional desires, organic impulses, and bestial instincts. Life is a riotous revel of merry-making, and they experience great joy in its frivolities. The morally degenerate are slaves to unruly passions and sensuous desires, and they seek a vulgar gratification in profligate pleasures, in drinking places, gambling houses, and brothels. Pleasure for these consists in the peccadilloes of the prodigal and the joys of sensuality, in sumptuous feasting and revelling in drinking bouts, and in the gratification of instincts uncontrolled by intelligence. The more the vulgar desires and appetites are gratified, the greater is their clamour for more, and they plunge deeper and deeper in the mire of moral filth, until they sink down to utter degradation and ruin.

Protect me, O Protector thou, from such a mental disposition which leads man to live on the scale of animals. Insatiable is human appetite for pleasure and no pleasure satisfies man for all time. From pleasure to pleasure man passes, but knows no abiding satisfaction. Assailed by desires and appetites, he cannot meet the demands of all, and his unsatisfied desires and ungratified appetites make his life more miserable.

Guide me to see, 0 thou my Guide, that self-indulgence brings physical exhaustion and leaves no spiritual resources to sustain life. Teach me to discern that neither is pleasure the supreme end of life nor the highest good. Life has loftier purpose, than pleasure indeed, I avow, Ahura Mazda.

(Homage Unto Ahura Mazda, Dastur Dr. M.N. Dhalla, New York, 1941)

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