PARAMAHAMSA SRI NITHYANANDA - Heaven is now, don't lose it! AS WE go through our daily life, we expect better things to come our way. We dream that when that better thing, or person, or event comes along, we will renounce all our old habits and possessions and move on. Some people take this foolishness to great heights. Let us say one is tempted to consume alcoholic drinks. That person may suppress that desire feeling that drinking alcohol is a sin and that it would lead him to hell. He believes that if he stops taking alcohol on earth he will ascend into heaven. He will then be entitled to his share of the divine nectar of gods. Based on what we have been led to believe will happen after our death, many of us lead our lives today. Even as we lead our life on earth, facing its everyday challenges, we are constantly worrying about what will happen after we die. We think that by suppression of our desires, through some form of penance, we shall get a better after life. I say to such people: ‘Don’t be foolish. Who can tell us if the drink in heaven is better than on earth? Who knows that? Who knows if we will get a drink in heaven at all? And who can say if it is of the same quality or quantity?’ Please understand that I am not encouraging you to drink. I am asking you to examine your intentions. This is the state of our life. We lead our lives expecting something better to come from somewhere, sometime, and through someone. The simplest and most profound problem this habit brings is that it stops us from living in the present. It completely obliterates our living here, now, upon earth. We are setting ourselves up for a life of disappointment and stress. We think that we are going to get something better elsewhere. We keep hoping that an event of great significance will happen in a place far removed from where we are. Drop these thoughts. Don’t suppress what you wish to do now with the anticipation of getting something better, something more, elsewhere. If we believe that we are giving up something for a better thing, or exchange it for more than what we had, we are merely speculating. Instead, let us enjoy what we have now without worrying about what may happen in the distant future. Let us cultivate the practice of living in the here and now. Let us remain in the present. When we are totally in the present moment, it expands filling itself with endless possibilities. Living in present keeps us in Bliss, Nithyanandam.