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.

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The Colours of Navratri

Navratri is as much a festival of reflection as it is of music and merriment. For those whose energies reverberate on a higher plane, it is also a festival to experience the intensity of energies that surround them for the nine days. For the pious ones, who experience God through rituals, it is a festival of re-living the myths and inviting the blessings of deities. And then for others, it is just dressing up and flaunting their traditional dresses on these nine days.

The tradition of wearing a different colour everyday, is the first thing that attracts us to this festival, if, of course, one does not have a family tradition of engaging in the elaborate worshipping procedures. And just like all festivals, the merriment and apparently mindless rituals are just a way by which an uninitiate is directed towards the path of enlightenment. That is the beauty of rituals.

However, what usually happens is that the devotee or the fanatic becomes so obsessed with the rituals, that he cannot see the bigger picture and the destination where his actions are supposed to lead him to. Navratri, is much more than the colours that we adorn or what the eye beholds. In fact, the colours correspond to the energy centers in our bodies and are supposed to make us focus on different areas of our life. These nine days have been given to us to reflect deeply about our life, cultivate spirituality, and grow an inch closer to goodness and love.

But then, it is easily said than done. Given our busy schedules, I know it well enough that it is not possible to engage in spiritual activities in the middle of office work and deadlines. So this is what one can do.

The sole aim of every colour that we adorn is to bring about a balance in our life by healing the energy center that the colour represents. This year, the first colour was Red which represents the root chakra located at the base of the spine. This area represents the issues of safety, security and stability in our life. So as a reflective exercise, one can think what do I need to feel safe, secure and stable in my life. How am I going to achieve that? What changes do I need to make in my life to feel secure? Though apparently the questions look simple, one can arrive at the most profound realisations by honestly reflecting on such questions.

In fact, a true self-assessment in this way, can actually tell us what are we missing and what we actually ought to do in our life. So similarly, the rest of the colours deal with different areas of our life.

Indigo/Blue: Can I differentiate between reality and illusion? Do I have a tendency to escape in my dream world? Do I have escapist tendencies, how can I control them?
Yellow: How do I feel about myself, my appearance, my self-esteem? Do I fear rejection? Why?
Green: How open I am to give and receive love? Can I feel love for others? Why do I fear loneliness, why do I feel jealous?
Grey/Black: is the unknown, mysterious elements in our life. What role such elements play in our life?
Orange: What do I need to experience pleasure, what are my desires? How are my sexual needs expressed/met, or how can I express them effectively?
White: Does my life have an element of purity, of spirituality, what can I do to feel enlightened, awakened to the source energy?
Pink/Purple/Violet: Do I have self-knowledge? What is Self? Who am I?
Sky Blue: How do I get my message across to someone? Why do I feel shy? Do I need to improve the way I express myself?

Enlightenment is nothing but an honest evaluation of your self and working on these issues. So, make use of this Navratri to reflect a little more about yourself..!

Wishing you all A Happy Navratri!!