During our trip to Puri, as we came out of the main temple, I saw one young boy selling beautiful figurines of Lord Jagannath in 100 rupees. I got fascinated & just imagined keeping it on my office table. After a lot of bargaining & heckling with the boy, I purchased it for 95 rupees. Later on, I felt glad that using all my intelligence, I saved 5 rupees. With great pride, I kept it in my bag. After a while, as I was walking towards Akshaya Patra kitchen, I saw another vendor shouting to sell the exact same figurine in just 40 rupees. As soon as I heard that. I felt terrible & started trembling in anger. I was cheated on!
Being cheated is described as depriving of something valuable by the use of deceit or fraud. You are given something of a very less value in return, for a highly valuable thing. The experience of being cheated is very disturbing & annoying. You just can’t get a peaceful sleep that night.
That’s exactly what Srimad Bhagavatam says. Durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma, this human form of life is so rare & valuable. We are foolishly getting continuously cheated by exchanging this life for very cheap things. It is exactly like using a currency note worth two thousand rupees for wrapping a laddoo. Although intent is taken care but we are using it for a purpose much below its real potential. In the same way, hankering just for ahara-nidra-bhaya-maithunam in life is underusing the great capacity & potential of the human form.
Just like a butcher keeps his goats very safely & cares for them by providing green grass, clean water & appropriate shelter. The goats feel very pleased with the love & care offered by the butcher. But in reality, the butcher doesn’t care a bit for the goats & in fact is just waiting to chop them off at right time. Unfortunately the foolish goats can’t understand that the so-called taking care is actually a cheating. In the same way, we get cheated by the allurements offered by this world of names. During a job interview, the employer offers various perks. But on the name of giving a little money, they take our life itself.
Do you think your life is not valuable? If it is, you should know how to use it without getting cheated. Jīvasya tattva-jijñāsā nārtho yaś ceha karmabhiḥ, a human being is meant for inquiry about the Absolute Truth & nothing else should be the goal of one's work. If we don’t get answers to the fundamental questions of our life means we are getting cheated on. Therefore, please wake up & become aware of this cheating business. Mere survival should not be the only goal of life. We are supposed to spend time to know the truth of life which can only be attained by taking shelter of a bona-fide guru, sadhu & shāstra. That will be the real exchange we can get in return for investing our life.