Success

May be it has something to do with Saturn retrograde, or maybe I’m just created with a peculiar mind. Yes, I’ve been learning Vedic astrology since a few years now, and it has been the most calming influence, so far, in my life. No, I don’t tell you where to look for money or when you are going to get hitched. I’m more interested in what you are, how you have been living your life, what patterns you follow, and what is your life purpose. I don’t have a magic potion to end your suffering. Oh my god, why am I even writing all this! This post is not about astrology.

Astrology was just one source which has led me to understand this:

We follow certain ideologies in life, which lead us to material success. If we do not play the ‘observer’ in life, these ideologies are so deeply imprinted on our selves that we refuse to look beyond these though processes. After all why would we, if they guarantee success? Why would we, if our actions fulfill our desires. Why would we, if our actions fit the norm followed by the society? Why would we, if we are surrounded by hypocrites or well-wishers, who are in awe of our achievements? So, the moment success knocks on our dead doors, we think we have achieved our life purpose. What I have realized that people have a very limited understanding of the term success. It is mostly limited to material achievements and nothing else. This makes them disregard so many other things in life, at which they are truly successful!

When I was young, the thought that I have to study so that I can use my knowledge to earn a living, was never impressed on my mind. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your world view, I was brought up differently. I was allowed to study psychology when I was fascinated by it. I was allowed to study literature when I wanted to. I was given the freedom to explore and not be bound by the rigid norms of my surroundings which at once showed shocking disappointment when I did not choose to study science, engineering or medicine!

But now that I see the entire picture, I realize, I had to choose psychology and literature so that I could share my views on this blog, so that I could understand the subconscious patterns described in astrology. So that I could help people understand why they suffer! Again, I was only following a pattern that was shaping my life purpose. Some call it destiny in a mythical sense.

Our entire life is a small part that has to fit somewhere perfectly in a puzzle. But we fail to see the whole picture and our heads are filled up with pride. Pride in our bloody existence! I do not discount that. Pride becomes a sort of defense mechanism to help us self-validate our existence and stick to our life purpose…to help us play our part perfectly and confidently in this society. After all, a doctor needs to know he is necessary for his service towards humanity, for his service towards his fellowmen!

So, as we follow these subconscious patterns, we may feel confused, if our views and actions do not lead us to material success. This limited view of material success is toxic because it tells us whatever you do, it has to fetch you materials! And things that do not bring material success are mere hobbies, to be dabbled in, in your free time. And the way we treat people, stems exactly from this thought process.

According to me, our ability to think beyond this, to understand how people are created differently and have unique life purpose will help us become more loving and friendly fellow men. In other words, success should make us better human beings…but, here’s the catch…even if it doesn’t, you are still playing your unique part…

The Life Purpose

What is the purpose of my life?

Every time I face a difficult situation, this question makes its way to my head, making me believe for a while that I’m indeed an existentialist. But before long, I argue myself out of it in an agreeable fashion. This time the conclusion I’ve reached is so fascinating that I’ve decided to share it with my readers. Read on…what if I am able to help you fix this problem called life? Maybe I’ve found an answer which you would only be too glad to understand and analyze!

Well, this question first came to me when I was an adolescent. I even tried to share it with one of my literature professors, but he just smiled and shrugged, thinking that an ambivalent attitude would be the best way to get out of the dilemma. He was a poor man who had received a scholarship and a gold medal at the end of his university years. Once I watched him long enough from a train, when he was standing just on the opposite side, on a platform, looking at the ground near his feet, contemplating hard. What was he thinking about? I do not want to define the feelings that I experienced at this sight. It is enough to say that, that image of my professor has stayed in my mind forever. The reason I bring him here is because, what he conveyed to me was, in spite of all the odds he had decided to look at the brighter side of his life, and somehow he had turned that into a life purpose.

Yes, that is what I’ve been taught by everybody ever since I have faced any difficulties.

Now as an exercise, let’s erase all that we have been taught. Let’s unlearn what has been drilled into our heads since childhood. No, I’m not going to tell you how bad the world is. I don’t want to talk about the entity called soul. Neither will I dive into Karma theory. I won’t even bring in quantum mechanics.

What I’ve discovered when I unlearned all these theories and facts about life and living is that our life indeed has a purpose and it makes me smile because just a decade ago I was so full of doubts about it and wished I was never born. I looked for answers everywhere.

I looked at the people around me who told me earning a lot of money was the true purpose of life and I tried doing that. But I soon realized I was not ambitious for material things. Then there were others who said that work is worship, and I took a job to dedicate myself to some purpose. But, it got tiring after a while and still I do not have a clue why I was doing it. A quick resignation followed. Then I went to the temples to understand what religion has to offer. Other than faith it had nothing to offer and alas I could not pray. So I turned to books to seek answers and I found many interesting people and guides there who had interesting theories that stimulated the mind and for a while I wanted to trust them and adopt their ways. But then, again, the wisdom they shared was too difficult to imitate and adopt. So then I turned to spirituality which took me on a journey to seek my soul. But again it was an arduous journey. I soon learned that I couldn’t eliminate the petty desires of my senses.

So, did that mean at the end, I had not found any purpose? Any concrete evidence of what I was supposed to do with my life?

No.

The answer that I was seeking was beautifully hidden in the question itself. The word ‘LIFE’ which I considered as a noun was in fact a verb. The purpose of life was life itself. To live and experience life. To see it ripen and embrace the nature from which it had risen for a brief time. To see it falling down, getting charred, and then rising like a phoenix, innumerable times. To see it rolling a stone up the mountain like a Sisyphus forever and ever. To see it condemned to Hell like Satan. To experience the anguish of being banished from the Garden of Eden again and again. But to also enjoy the brief period of bliss before the Fall.

The only logical question that arises here is about death.

How could the fact, that we die, also retain the meaning and purpose of life? What is the life purpose of a body which has been mutilated, raped, abused? What about mental illness, what about cancer, hunger, famine, poverty, incarceration? How do these experiences give meaning to life? Why do we experience such intense and extreme realities, if we can call them so?

So, as we say, youll never know until it happens to you. The people who suffer such extreme realities, are here to experience life as it has been given to them. And when we learn to take an experience for its own sake, we actually learn something consequential from it. Some of us somehow need to experience that variation of our existence. It is an experience ‘meant’ for some of us to lead us on some other path. It is an experience not ordained, but perpetrated by the desires of an uncivilized, discontented race of human beings.

And there is nothing pessimistic about it. Just like there is nothing optimistic about gaining fame! We are not here to argue if experiences are good or bad, but just that these are the experiences that have to be experienced.

So each life has a unique purpose. And that is to experience the unique journey of life that has been charted for you. Your experiences are going to be unique and all your own. These are the real treasures of your existence. And no amount of experiences borrowed from others, ‘wise or otherwise’, is going to make the journey any easier or difficult for you.