Life’s Purpose

We get totally astounded when we think of the Cycle of Nature. It is an unprecedented cycle encompassing a wide range of creatures from the smallest to highly evolved human beings. Every component of this cycle has a set purpose of life and a certain role to play in it.

As far as animals are concerned, it can be said that the only purpose of their life is continuation of their kind by fulfilling basic needs like thirst, hunger and sexual desires. The mental evolvement of animals is far less than human beings and therefore we, humans occupy the top most position in the evolutionary process.

The progress made by human beings in last 4 to 5 centuries is stunning. What seemed to be impossible and unimaginable has been made possible by science and technology. Inventions are reaching new heights every day and the progress is incessant. This must have led man to ponder over the real goal and objective of his life.

But on the other hand, I also wonder whether there really is any need to think over this? Is it imperative to know the goal and objective of life? Can all human beings have the same goal? Nowadays, there are so many discrepancies in society at the economical and psychological levels that it is impossible to find uniformity in thoughts. When a person is worried about making both ends meet, does he have enough time to think over such matters? It is also difficult for an affluent person to think on similar lines as he believes that he has earned his wealth through his efforts and his only goal is to safeguard and increase it. Still there are many, who are obsessed by questions like Who am I? What is the purpose of my life and What connection do I have with this world? And this profound curiosity for self-realization makes them restless.

Rebirth” is one of the important tenets of Hinduism. Since this is not acceptable to other religious schools of thoughts, their way of thinking is totally different. Then I questioned my own belief in Rebirth. Whenever I see inequalities among people in terms of bodily structure, psychological profile and economic status, I do not think that any person in his right state of mind will ask for sorrow in his life. Had a choice been given, every person would have chosen only and only happiness, joy and satisfaction, but this never happens. Then where do these sufferings and enjoyments we experience arise from? (or why do we suffer or flourish in our life). Subsequently, I realized to some extent that these could be the result of our past life deeds. Hence, depending on the good or bad deeds committed in our previous lives, we experience enjoyments or sufferings in our present birth and this will be continued in births to come.

Once the concept of rebirth is accepted then questions regarding aims and goals of the present life start boggling the mind; and then spirituality seeps into our life. But what really is spirituality? Being superstitious or indulging in worship and ritualism? If it is so then it is very difficult to embrace spirituality; and if it is not so then what is it? The primary and most important issue is whether we believe in the existence of God or not? Though mankind has made remarkable progress with science and technology, there are many questions far beyond the scope of science. So, though not superstitious, I do reverently believe in God.

When spirituality is mentioned in modern times, the words “seekers”, “meditation”, “restraint” are heard along with. If the subject is discussed with anyone, we are bombarded with instructions to begin practising and meditating. We are told that once we start doing this, we will soon get used to it; when the mind becomes absolutely free of thoughts only then can one start attaining self-realization and many more such things. When each person is made of a different mould, then how is it possible to apply the same yardstick to everyone? The mind cannot be focussed just because someone else has said so and then there is no continuity in it. One tends to procrastinate and keeps putting off the starting to some later date, with the result that it never happens. Speaking of myself, I tried to meditate to some extent but I could never succeed in focussing.

When I think of myself, I feel I am one of the few fortunate people. I was born in a wealthy family and was lucky enough to have good parents, siblings, wife, children, friends and everything. I never had to crib for anything. Then I felt that if life is full of happiness and satisfaction and if there is no longing or attachment left for anything more, then why shouldn’t maintaining peace of mind be the only aim of life?

Every person wishes that his state of happiness should be permanent. However, since the feeling of joy and sorrow is entirely subjective to our thoughts and imaginations, any event that happens as per our desire gives us happiness while anything happening against our wishes begets sorrow. We find it difficult to live without having something to concentrate on and that is why we need a material object or a person for enjoyment. Therefore the moment that object or person goes away from us, our joy dampens. Then we try to “create” happiness in our imagination and revel in it. But who can guarantee that such an imaginary joy and happiness would be eternal? This would never be possible because change is the only permanent thing in life.

The real proof of spirituality is connected with these issues. It is extremely difficult not to get perturbed or lose our mental balance, no matter whatever worse happens in life. And this is where we realize the importance of ज्ञानमार्ग (the Path of Wisdom), कर्ममार्ग (the path of an Action) and भक्तिमार्ग (the Path of Devotion) as explained in the Bhagvadgeeta.

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन” (You have the right to perform your prescribed duty, but fruits of action are not in your control) are words written in Bhagvadgeeta. This verse is easy to read and interpret but tremendously hard to put into practice. The real essence of a fulfilled life is to perform all your deeds from the heart with complete dedication and keep remembering God while doing so.

In my opinion, if one is able to do the juggling exercise of performing an action and at the same time consciously realizing that “I am not the doer of the deeds done by me” then one’s confused state of mind will gradually reduce. One should always keep reminding oneself that – “I am not the Doer, I am only a detached observer, and I am indifferently witnessing the things happening in my life“. In order to achieve this, each person must choose the path which is tolerable to him and is suitable to his temperament. Spirituality is not attached to any particular religion or cult. I believe that one has taken a correct spiritual position if he does not do the things to others what he would not expect others to do to himself.

My honest opinion is that discarding Doership and Continuance of Limitless Happiness (सत् चित आनंद) should be the ultimate goal of spirituality as well as of life.

Yeshwant Marathe

yeshwant.marathe@gmail.com

#Spirituality #Life_Purpose #Rebirth #Meditation #Religion #अध्यात्म #जीवन_ध्येय

6 Comments

  1. Prashant Deosthali says:

    Fantastic, extremely well summarised in a simple language and shortest possible length. Loved your clarity of thinking

    Like

  2. Anil Joshi says:

    Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.

    Ayn Rand

    Like

  3. Ujwal Thakar says:

    umthakar@yahoo.com
    Excellent
    Very well articulated and summarised.. I have a bankers or investors view on life ..
    Maximise shareholder value principle of the capital markets holds except that you are the sole shareholder in this case. What that value is for each individual to define ..
    if you believe in rebirth and continuity of the soul then it has to be an exercise in creating more credit balance than your opening balance .. by just being a detached observer that is unlikely to happen .. so to me a constructive doer combined with detachment is the key to purpose and salvation

    Like

  4. Shubhada dandekar says:

    Well written
    Very appropriate for a person like me a common man as we want only happiness
    And peace of mind

    Like

  5. Madhuri Gawande says:

    Simple and superb expression of spirituality

    Like

  6. Sonal Bhide says:

    Loved this article .very well written ….happiness ,being content is the only thing one strives for .

    Like

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