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There was once a great king of ancient times with a magnificent kingdom who held a grand exhibition and invited all the citizens of the realm to visit, enjoy, and take any items that brought them joy and pleasure. One beautiful lady came, walked all through the exhibition, but left without taking anything with her. The king noticed this and wondered what about the exhibition displeased her so much that she refused to accept something as a gift from the generous monarch. He questioned the lady, and she replied softly, "It was a fine show, Your Highness. I admired many things, and enjoyed myself very much. The king asked, "Indeed, but why did you not take even one item, as it is my wish?" The lady humbly excused herself and said, "Dear king, it is not my intention to displease you. But, I know that if I accept one item, I will soon want another. This desire for more will bring about no peace, but only disturbance in the mind."

So pleased was the king with her answer, and out of his unbounded kindness, he requested her to reconsider and express a wish that he could fulfill, as it would bring him immense happiness. The beautiful lady said to him, "Then, I confess to you that the only thing I really want is YOU, my Lord!" The king was overjoyed to hear this and he made her his queen. And so, she got not only the king, which was what she truly wanted, but, as his queen, she also got the whole exhibition. Everything was now hers. The name of that lady, Swami said, was Detachment.

The moral of the story is that when we detach ourselves from the things of the world and attach ourselves firmly to God, and are accepted by Him, then everything that is of lasting value becomes ours.

Thirty years ago our beloved Swami initiated the COD program as a simple and practical means to sublimate our desires. As we continue this practice of reducing the waste of food, money, time and energy, we will grow to realize that the true love and happiness available at the hands of the Lord cannot be compared to any material object or sensory pleasure. We will experience in our own unique ways the divine grace of Sai. With His blessings, may we continue on this journey till the day when we finally 'desire' only for Him.

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