Poetry wisdom in Finding Life’s Satisfaction

Solomon, an ancient king famous for his wisdom, wrote several poems around 950 BC that are part of the Old Testament in the Bible. In Ecclesiastes, he described all that he did to find satisfaction in life.  He wrote:

“I thought in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.’ …I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.

I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone … before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well—the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone … before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me….I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.” (Ecclesiastes 2:1-10)

Riches, fame, knowledge, projects, women, pleasure, kingdom, career, wine… Solomon had it all – and more of it than anyone else of his day or ours. The smarts of an Einstein, the riches of a Lakshmi Mittal, the social/sexual life of a Bollywood Star, along with a royal pedigree like that of Prince William in the British Royal family – all rolled into one. Who could beat that combination? You would think he, of all people would have been satisfied.

In another of his poems, Song of Songs, which is also in the Bible, he records an erotic, red-hot love affair that he was having – the very thing that seems most likely to provide life-long satisfaction.  The complete poem is here. But below is a portion of the poem of the love exchange between him and his lover


I liken you, my darling, to a mare
among Pharaoh’s chariot horses.
10 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings,
your neck with strings of jewels.
11 We will make you earrings of gold,
studded with silver.


12 While the king was at his table,
my perfume spread its fragrance.
13 My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh
resting between my breasts.
14 My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
from the vineyards of En Gedi.


15 How beautiful you are, my darling!
Oh, how beautiful!
Your eyes are doves.


16 How handsome you are, my beloved!
Oh, how charming!
And our bed is verdant.


17 The beams of our house are cedars;
our rafters are firs.


Like an apple[c] tree among the trees of the forest
is my beloved among the young men.
I delight to sit in his shade,
and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
Let him lead me to the banquet hall,
and let his banner over me be love.
Strengthen me with raisins,
refresh me with apples,
for I am faint with love.
His left arm is under my head,
and his right arm embraces me.
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.  (Song of Songs 1:9 – 2:7)

This poem, almost 3000 years old, has the romantic intensity of the best of the Bollywood love films.  The Bible in fact records that with his immense wealth he obtained 700 mistresses!  That is much more than the most prolific lovers of Bollywood or Hollywood will ever have.  So you would think that with all that love he would be satisfied. But even with all that love, all the riches, all the fame and the wisdom – he concluded:

“’Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ … I … devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:1-14)

“…when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun… So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun.… This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun?… This too is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 2:11-23)

The promise of pleasure, wealth, work, progress, romantic love to ultimately satisfy was shown by him to be an illusion.  But today this is the same message that you and I still hear as the sure road to satisfaction.  Solomon’s poetry has already told us that he had not been able to find satisfaction in these ways.

Solomon continued his poetry to reflect on death as well as life:

Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless.  All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?” (Ecclesiastes 3:19-21)

All share a common destiny—the righteous and the wicked, the good and the bad, the clean and the unclean, those who offer sacrifices and those who do not. As it is with the good man, so with the sinner; as it is with those who take oaths, so with those who are afraid to take them. This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. … they join the dead.  Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!  For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even the memory of them is forgotten. (Ecclesiastes 9:2-5)

Why would the Bible, a Holy book, contain poems about the pursuit of wealth and love – the very things we do not associate with Holiness?  Most of us expect Holy Books to discuss ascetism, dharma and moral precepts to live by.  And why does Solomon in the Bible write about death in such a final and pessimistic way?

The path taken by Solomon, so commonly pursued all over the world, was to live for self, creating whatever meaning, pleasure or ideals that he chose to pursue. But that end was not good for Solomon – the satisfaction was temporary and illusion.  His poems are in the Bible like a big warning sign – “Do not Go here – it will disappoint you!”  Since almost all of us will try to go down the same path that Solomon took we are wise if we listen to him.

The Gospel – Answering Solomon’s Poems

Jesus Christ (Yeshu Satsang) is probably the most well-known person written about in the Bible.  He too made statements about life.  In fact he said

“… I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

When Jesus says this he gives an answer to the futility and hopelessness written about by Solomon in his poems.  Maybe, just maybe, here is an answer to the dead-end of Solomon’s path. After all, gospel literally means ‘good news’. Is the Gospel really good news?  To answer that we need an informed understanding of the Gospel. Also we need to examine the claims of the Gospel – to think critically about the Gospel, without just being a mindless critic.

As I share in my story, this was a journey that I took.  The articles in this website are here so you too can begin to explore

Diwali and the Lord Jesus

Diwali lampsThe first time I experienced Diwali ‘up close’ was when I was working in India. I had come to stay for a month and at the beginning of my stay Diwali was celebrated all around me. What I remember most were all the firecrackers – the air was thick with smoke and it made my eyes sting slightly. So with all that excitement going on around me I wanted to learn about Diwali, what it was and what it meant. And I fell in love with it.

The ‘festival of lights’ inspired me because I am a believer in, and follower of, Yeshu Satsang also known as the Lord Jesus. And the main message of his teaching was that His Light would overcome the darkness within us. So Diwali is a lot like the Lord Jesus.

Most of us realize that we have a problem with darkness in us. This is why so many millions participate in the Kumbh Mela festival – because millions of us know that we have sins and that we need to wash them off and cleanse ourselves. As well, the ancient prayer of the well-known Prartha Snana (or Pratasana) mantram acknowledges this sin or darkness inside us.

I am a sinner. I am the result of sin. I am born in sin. My soul is under sin. I am the worst of sinners. O Lord who has the beautiful eyes, Save me, O Lord of the Sacrifice.

But all of these thoughts of darkness, or sin, inside us is not encouraging. In fact we sometimes think of it as ‘bad news’. This is why the thought of light overcoming the darkness gives us so much hope and celebration. And so, along with the candles, the sweets and the firecrackers, Diwali expresses this hope that light will overcome the darkness.

Lord Jesus – Light in the World

This is exactly what the Lord Jesus has done. The Gospel in the Veda Pusthakan (or Bible) describes Jesus in the following way:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1: 1-5)

So you see, this ‘Word’ is the fulfillment of the hope that Diwali expresses. And this hope comes in this ‘Word’ from God, which John later identifies as the Lord Jesus. The Gospel continues by stating that

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:9-13)

This is explaining how the Lord Jesus came to ‘give light to everyone’. Some think that this is only for Christians, but notice that it says that this offer is for ‘everyone’ in the ‘world’ to ‘become children of God’. This offer is one that everyone, at least everyone who is interested in, like Diwali, Light overcoming the darkness inside them.

Lord Jesus’ Life prophesied hundreds of years in advance

What is extraordinary about the Lord Jesus is that his incarnation was predicted and foretold in many different ways and instances from early human history and they are recorded in the Hebrew Vedas. So he was written about even before he was on this earth. And some of the predictions of his incarnation are also remembered in the most ancient hymns in the Rg Veda, which praises the coming of Purusa, and records some of the earliest events of mankind, such as the flood of Manu, the same person whom the Bible – Veda Pusthakan – calls ‘Noah’. These ancient accounts depict the darkness of the sins of people, while offering the hope of the coming Purusa, or the Lord Jesus.

In the foretellings of the Rg Veda, Purusa, the incarnation of God and perfect man, was going to be sacrificed. This sacrifice was going to be sufficient to pay for the karma of our sins and also to cleanse us on the inside. Washings and pujas are good, but they are limited to our outsides. We need a better sacrifice to cleanse us on the inside.

Lord Jesus prophesied in Hebew Vedas

Along with these hymns in the Rg Veda, the Hebrew Vedas prophesied of this Coming One. Prominent in the Hebrew Vedas was the Rsi Isaiah (who lived about 750 BC, in other words 750 years even before the Lord Jesus walked this earth). He had many insights into this Coming One. He anticipates Diwali when he announces about the Lord Jesus that:

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned (Isaiah 9:2)

Why would this be the case? He continues

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

But though he was the Incarnation, he would become a Servant to us, to help us with our darkest needs.

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by Him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:4-6)

Isaiah is describing the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. He does so 750 years before it happened, and he also describes the crucifixion as the sacrifice that heals us. And this work that the Servant would offer would be such that God would say to him

I will also make you a light to the Gentiles (non-Jews) that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6-7)

So you see! This is for me and it is for you. It is for everyone.

The example of Paul

In fact, one man who definitely did not think that the Lord Jesus’ sacrifice was for him was Paul, a man who opposed the name of Jesus. But he had an encounter with the Lord Jesus that caused him later on to write

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Co 4: 6)

Paul had a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus which caused light to ‘shine in his heart’.

Experiencing this Light of Jesus for you

So what must we do to get this ‘salvation’ from darkness and sin becoming light that Isaiah had prophesied, the Lord Jesus has obtained, and which Paul experienced? Paul answers this question in another letter where he writes

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)

Notice how he says this is a ‘gift’. A gift, by definition, cannot be earned. Someone simply gives you a gift without you earning it or you meriting it. But the gift will never benefit you, never be in your possession unless you ‘receive’ it. This is why John, who I quoted at the beginning wrote

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12)

So you simply receive him. You can do so by asking him for this gift which is freely given. The reason you can ask is that he is alive. Yes, he was sacrificed for our sins, but three days later came back to life, just as the Rsi Isaiah had prophesied hundreds of years earlier when he wrote about the suffering servant that

After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied. By his knowledge my righteous Servant will justify many (Isaiah 53:11)

So the Lord Jesus is alive and can hear you when you call out to him. You can pray the Prartha Snana (or Pratasana) mantram to Him and He will hear and save because he sacrificed himself for you and now has all authority. Here again is that prayer that you can cry to him:

I am a sinner. I am the result of sin. I am born in sin. My soul is under sin. I am the worst of sinners. O Lord who has the beautiful eyes, Save me, O Lord of the Sacrifice.

You are welcome to browse other articles here. They start at the beginning of human history and show from the Sanskrit and the Hebrew Vedas this plan of God to save us from darkness and bring us into light, simply as a gift. And I will continue to add more articles as I have time.  You are also welcome to contact me if you have some questions.

This Diwali, as you light candles and exchange gifts, may you experience this gift of inner light from the Lord Jesus like Paul had experienced and had been changed by many years ago and which is also offered to you. Happy Diwali