A man came to Shri Nathji and said: Sir, you say that happiness comes from the peace within one’s own heart and does not exist in the external objects of the world. But I can assure you that the external objects of the world give me happiness. What, therefore, does that have to do with the peace within? I go to a cinema hall and I enjoy the film there! So the external objects of the world do provide happiness!
And Shri Nathji said: Listen to me! You go to a cinema hall and you enjoy the film and then you say that the film is giving you happiness. But this is wrong. There is nothing in the film that gives you happiness. It is the peace within you which you see reflected outside. Let me explain. You are sitting inside the cinema hall and are laughing, along with your friends. The actors and actresses fill your heart with great joy.
Then, suddenly, your servant enters the cinema hall bringing with him a telegram which he hands over to you. You read the telegram and it says that someone very close to you has died. You are shocked beyond measure. You stop laughing. The very same actors and actresses, who had been making you laugh a moment before, become meaningless. You look at the screen feelinglessly; you are even irked by the scenes of humour. Your friends ask you to laugh but your mind is too upset to even look at the screen. What has happened? Your peace of mind is gone. It was that peace within you which had been making the film outside enjoyable. The moment that peace disappeared all the objects of the world lost their attraction!
Take another example: you have an upset stomach. Someone brings you the best of foods prepared by the best of restaurants – you look at them and feel like vomiting. In a like manner you cannot enjoy the world if your mind is not at rest. It is the peace within your mind that makes the world beautiful. Without that peace the entire world takes on a dreadful shape.
Take the example of a room with beautiful furniture. If there are no lights in the room you will stumble against each and every piece of furniture lying there. But put the lights on and you will enjoy the furniture and not stumble against it. If there were just the light but no furniture even then the room would look barren. Therefore you need the furniture as well as the light. You need peace as well as prosperity both. But peace is the first essential thing. Without peace you cannot enjoy prosperity. My mission is to give you peace so that you can enjoy prosperity! You need peace and prosperity both.
In these simple examples, Shri Nathji explained the greatest of spiritual truths. The examples were relevant to the modern world and even a child could understand them.