Crave for a thing, you will get it. Renounce the craving, the object will follow you by itself.
– Swami Sivananda
A man came to a Sufi fakir. And he said, ”How can my craving be fulfilled?”
The fakir said, ”Come with me. I am going to the well to get water, at the same time I can instruct you. When we reach, there will be no need to speak. You will be able to see it and understand.”
The enquirer was a little surprised, thinking what kind of instruction is this that can be given at the well. And is this man in his senses or not?” This fakir was carefree, very ecstatic. His eyes were as if he had just drunk wine. They were red. He was in ecstasy. His feet wobbled as he walked the way a merry drunkard walks. The enquirer started to feel a little afraid, the matter of the well, if he gives a shove? If he does something or he himself jumps in and I am caught? But still he was interested in the answer he will give. Okay let’s go, I will stand back a little and watch. And what he saw surprised him even more. He thought, he is completely mad.
He dropped a bucket in the well that had no bottom in it. The bucket made a great racket inside the well, made a huge noise and sank in the water. It didn’t take any time to fill up, because there was no bottom in it. Then he pulled, but got nothing. The bucket came up empty, then he threw it again. Two or three times the man watched. He said, ”Brother, are you in your senses? I had come to be instructed by you: it seems you yourself are in need of instruction. What are you doing? Are you mad? Will this bucket ever be filled?”
The fakir said, ”You have understood something? I am dropping this bucket in the well for you. The bucket of craving has no bottom. You go on filling it your whole life, it will not fill up. No one has ever filled it. There is no bottom: what can I do, what can you do? This is why there is sorrow. Then when the bucket… you make so much effort, reach the well, manage to reach the edge of the well with great difficulty, because there was a line there, a crowd. With great difficulty, somehow you get the chance to drop the bucket. You drop the bucket and it fills up too: when you look into the well you find the bucket full, you see it submerged in the water. You are in high spirits, you start pulling. You pull with great expectations and when it reaches your hand – not a drop in it!
”How many desires have you had? How many times have you felt that now I am satisfied? But were you ever? How many times have you felt that now the bucket far away in the well is full? – by the time it reached your hand it was empty. Again and again this has happened, but still you didn’t wake up, still you weren’t startled out of your sleep?”
Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.
– Erich Fromm