When Arun and Vishal came to see me today, after some common talk they asked me, ‘what is the purpose of this life’? ‘The purpose of the life is live it’, was my response. ‘But we need to understand the purpose of life first and set some goals to achieve it. Otherwise we won’t have satisfaction in the life and at the end of the life, we may not have the satisfaction that we led a good life’, was their question again.
‘The purpose is already set for you when you born. Your family and society gave the base from where you have to launch. Of course we have to plan, but we cannot execute all of them at the same time. And when we began to execute the plan, it may get changed and shaped by other factors. So we cannot live the life after some understanding about it. As we live the life we will began to understand it and as we gain some experience then we have to set the purpose and goals based on our temperament, personality, character, nature, vision, ideology guided by that experience. Of course our ‘experience’ alone would and should not decide the course of the life. Here the guidance and advice of our family, community and society comes to our help. Though there will be peer pressure and expectation of others (parents, family etc.), yet we cannot blame or simply pass the bug for our failures, because we are part of the society. We are what we are what the society makes us and the society is what it is what we make it collectively. And there is no point in blaming by pointing the society as if we are not part of it. When we began to accept our personal responsibility first then alone we can understand the pressure as well as the contribution by the society. For this we have to stop all kinds of blame game by pointing others for our failures of lack of understanding the life or confusion in setting the purpose in goal. Of course, as part of the society, we are naturally will be succumb to all kinds of pressure around us. But others can influence us both for good and bad only to that extent as we allow them to do it.
Finally, though we should have what we call as ‘job satisfaction’, yet we should not be satisfied in our job or life. The day one feels satisfied in any area of her life with her achievement, and then the day of her doom begins there. A person who feels satisfied in any of her achievement becomes stagnant and becomes a dead person. She is like a dead fish which will be carried away by the current of the water and finally pushed to the river bed to be get rotted. But a living fish will always swim across the current. Never be satisfied in any area of your life. When you feel achieved, then set for a higher goal. Of course we should be careful in setting higher goal, which should be practical, motivating and achievable one. Dreaming is good. But with out keeping a clear vision, merely dreaming is like fighting in the air’, was the summary of my response.
When Arun said, ‘I had a good childhood and received good education, got a nice job. Now I am expected to get married, beget children, earn money, take care of my family, then retire, settle the children and then die. Is this the purpose of this life?’ I said, ‘yes that is the life. And no one can escape from this cycle. But those who understand each stage properly and enjoy that part of life by serving others and also accepting others to serve, then the purpose of life is achieved. And amidst this routine alone we have to choose our goal. Even mukti and moksha fall within this routine.’
So the purpose of the life is to live and also to realize that you are living that life receiving help from others and also helping others to live. In short ‘live and let live’ summarizes the purpose of life.
Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam, November 21, 2009.