A note on impermanence.

Adorning the night sky,
Enticing the young lover,
Arousing the spirit of inquiry in philosophers and thinkers,
Glittering like there’s no tomorrow,
Stars have apparently existed forever and will exist forever.
They are symbols of permanence to us, humans.

The same stars that once enticed Aryabhata, allure young astronomers today.
Such is our conviction about their permanence that we humans have devised systems around them,
systems and rituals of importance such as marriage are devised around them. They are, for us, symbols of permanence.

What if I tell you –
Stars have a beginning. Stars have an end.
Stars are born. Stars die.

Our symbols of permanence are not truly permanent, eh?

What, then, can you consider permanent, O human?
Nothing! Nothing at all!

Your sorrows are not forever. Be hopeful; be patient.
Your joys are not permanent. Be thankful; be grateful.
Your knowledge is not forever inseparable from your being. Be humble.
You aren’t promised good health for eternity. Be watchful.
Your wealth will not remain with you till death and beyond. Be helpful.
Your faculty of reasoning is not permanent. Be thoughtful.
Your family’s love for you is not permanent. Cherish it. Protect it.
Your friends’ company and care aren’t guaranteed forever. Savour it. Reciprocate it.
Your faculty of speech is not permanent. Be mindful (of that which you utter). Be kind.
Guidance/advice from elders. Listen while they offer.
Your success is not eternal. Aim higher. Aim for excellence.
Your failures are not forever. Persevere! Persevere! Persevere!

Stars have a beginning. Stars have an end.
Stars are born. Stars die.

What, then, would you consider permanent, O human?

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