Article published in 'Sadguru's Blessings' magazine - November,2013 issue.
Journey of Life
Life is a perennial journey of discovery. But that discovery, in most of the times, is aimless or purposeless. That is majority of us have no defined or fixed thing to be pursued or attained in life. To that extent, our journey has no definite destination!
Most of our time and energy in life is spent on fulfillment of our material and physical needs. But man is really an extra-ordinary animal. His material, physical and also intellectual desires are such that they have no limitations. They are, in a way, insatiable. They raise their heads in one form or the other again and again making it extremely difficult to get out of its fetters. The result is that man gets entangled in this vicious cycle of ‘Maya’ (illusion) which blinds him in seeking the right thing in life. The different circumstances, experiences, happiness, sorrow, dejection, separation etc., makes a man, at least at some point of time in life, to ponder over the exact purpose and meaning of life. Only such a triggering of positive and benign thoughts can lead a man towards the right path of understanding the true value and aim of life. In fact, the emergence of such thoughts, in the first instance, is the first step towards attainment of emancipation in life.
Of course, the path of seeking ‘truth’ in life is not an easy one. It demands lot of commitment, perseverance, patience and above-all a perennial pursuit. The reading of great Indian epics Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Bhagavadgeeta, Upanishads and life-stories of great saints and scholars will ignite in us divine thoughts and hold a torch to lead us in the dark path of our lives. But they can only act as a hand-post. Having grasped the essence of such great works and lives of great people and having regard to the exact nature of pursuit which is hidden in one-self, it is up to each individual to pick the right path and move firmly.
Basically, birth, living and death, are the real truths of life. The various issues and factors that revolve around these three are really interesting, complicated and very difficult to understand. An honest attempt to understand these concepts will widen our extent of knowledge and help us to come out of many dualities in life. But the thing remains that what exactly is the real “truth” is still elusive to many because the concept and understanding of “truth” varies from individual to individual. The “truth” resembles a vast ocean. An individual can only pick up that much of water as his both palms permit; but that itself is not the whole “truth”! In other words, depending upon one’s ability, knowledge and pursuit, one can get a glimpse of the real “truth”. It, therefore, becomes essential for one to have an open mind on every aspect of life. Deciding things on merits, having no pre-conceived beliefs, avoiding taking decisions in times of high emotions, strict adherence to righteousness in life etc., lead us in the path of pursuit of truth. Ultimately, what appeals to our internal soul and what we genuinely think as the right thing is the real and ultimate truth.
The attractions of this material world, though appear permanent, are really temporary. They can only provide happiness or comfort for a limited period of time. They are not the end in themselves. On the contrary, getting lost in these material comforts results in a life which is no different from animals. Real happiness or bliss is something which is above all these worldly things. This is the ‘hard truth’ that everyone must understand first before getting over it.
Our Sanatana Dharma has taught us to visualize the presence of God (Brahma) in all living and non-living entities on earth. Such a feeling should be present within us at all times. This will help us to view our surroundings in a dispassionate and loving mind. This, in the process, will also cleanse our hearts and minds. We have, therefore, to first prepare our mind to this basic reality and train it to prepare for a journey – which is long-lasting, pleasant and full of elixir!
- Kavi Suresh