After a month long fasting on Ganges Richard (now Radhanath Swami) rejoiced at the prospect of eating some peanuts. However a huge brown monkey seized the bag of peanuts and ran away. Even the few peanuts that had fallen on the ground were scooped by another monkey. Radhanath Swami writes his realization that compared to the treasures of spiritual experience worldly acquisition is like these peanuts. Richard realized that people fight and struggle for worldly glory which is like peanuts. And any moment, another man’s greed, or even the inevitable march of time will plunder from us all our cherished peanuts.
To consider the riches and fame of this world to be peanuts requires deep spiritual realization. The world is mad for material success but a true spiritualist gives it no more value than peanuts. And as Radhanath Swami reveals in this section of ‘Journey Home’ people are always ready to snatch our assets and Mr Time stands above all to usurp every ‘peanut’ that we have in our possession.
As compared to material assets, spiritual credits are our real assets and Radhanath Swami implores us to not waste our time by forsaking the pursuit of these. “The most valuable thing we have is every precious moment that God has given us. Time is priceless. If you lose money, or estate, or reputation, then by hard work you can gain it back. But one moment that is wasted, you cannot buy it back for all the wealth in the entire creation.” As the saying goes, ‘Time and tide wait for no man’. Radhanath Swami explains that as little kids in the school, it seemed like centuries even when we were just waiting for the weekend. but, as we grow old, days pass like minutes. Soon we are at the threshold of departing from this particular body. We look back and think, ‘Where has my life gone? It seems like it has only been a moment!’
Therefore, we must understand the value of every precious moment. How we invest each moment of our life is the most important consideration of our human intelligence. Radhanath Swami appeals to us to utilize every moment to the greatest benefit of ourselves as well as others. He explains that with every rising and every setting of the sun we are one day closer to death. “But those who utilize their precious time to understand the true purpose of life and hear and chant the glories of the supreme Lord, with every rising and setting of the sun they are one day closer to eternal life”