What is life? Life is living and life is death. The interval between living and death is life. You send invitation to death as you take birth. Birth is decided as it is pre-destined, but not death. Death can strike at any place and at any time. It is uncertain. So, it’s difficult to define life concretely. What you call life is not life at all. It is mere physical existence for a defined period.
Play writer defines life as entry and exit of character in the stage of earth for specific limit of time. It is a journey from cradle to grave. You start inching towards death as soon as your life starts with first breath. You accumulate things of comforts to make your family life lavish and enjoyable. But these things adds burden more than giving satisfying life.
King or soldier, billionaire or penniless, famous or forgotten—all die in the same way. Many ask the purpose of life, although they never taste a real life. Merely breathing, growing, procreating is not life at all. A man who has not lived a meaningful living can’t understand the purpose of life. A hermit taught the true lesson of life to Alexander, the Great.
Some people curiously ask, “What is the purpose of life?” The question seems to be simple, but the answer is complex one. Without understanding the meaning of life, one can’t know its purpose. Life is more than merely waiting for the death. The process of “in & out” on earth can be seen even in lower creatures like cat, dog and single-celled amoeba. What’s the difference?
The sum-total of all life is called super-consciousness, self-illuminative light, self-knowledge or in simple words—Almighty. He is all-pervading in all creatures, in all objects and in all planets. The life with focus on connecting bond with disappearing objects, but avoiding never-changing consciousness is not life at all. Life has no external purpose, but it’s a mean to achieve higher.
Life offers an opportunity to rises above the dimension of pain and pleasure, attachment and detachment & failures and success. In the philosophy of yoga, the purpose of life is to cross over the ocean of attachment & allurement. Buddhists call it “enlightenment”. For Hindus, it is salvation from recurring trap of life and death. The choice is up to you.
Joy is fulfillment & sorrow is adversity. Ordinary living is mixture of duality. There is neither permanent joy nor everlasting sorrow. It comes by turns. Just like sun arises in the morning and set in the evening of the same day. A day is followed by darkness and vice versa. No living-being is free from the flavor of joy and sorrow, be it the life of landlord or landless farmer.
Life is blend of extremity. If joy comes to your life, don’t forget, it is always followed by sorrow. Accept it or deject it, the choice is yours. Every rose has its own thorns. You can’t complain of hardships in life. You enjoy the joy at its fullest, when you have tasted the sorrow. The people living in severe drought areas can enjoy the onset of monsoon season.
For a worldly person, life is symbol of joy, and death signifies sorrow. His whole focus in life is to avoid sorrow at any cost. He maintains healthy lifestyle to ensure longevity. But sorrow comes without any invitation. But all his efforts go futile, and disease and death overpower him. A man with pure heart and spiritual bent of mind accept life and death with equanimity.
Attachment is preoccupation of mind. It never allows you to live in present moment, so it brings misery to life. Life is living fully the present moment. In attachment, every moment becomes fleeting moment. You may be attached to your body, family and profession. The mind remains occupied in the objects of attachment. Life becomes burden, and not a celebration.
Are you worried that what would happen to my small children, if I die early? How my spouse will live a lonely life? You are only mediator or facilitator; only doing your duty with sense of responsibility. You are merely puppet whose strings are attached to the unseen director who watches you all the time. Break all the veils of attachment to see the magician of universe.
Yoga and meditation never advocate attachment of anything. That’s why the philosophy of yoga stresses on the emptying of mind to prepare it for concentration and meditation. The real peace of mind comes from silence meditation, where you focus on your breath. And, the experience of meditation begins when you detach your mind from sensory objects.
Life is wild-goose chase for pleasure-seekers. It remains oasis who joins the caravan in vast sea of sand. A family living in congested flat dream of shifting to a duplex. For a miser, seeing more “zeroes” at the bank passbook gives him more pleasure. They never live in present moment. A sailor watching the ups and downs of waves can better realize the purpose of life.
The ultimate aim of life is to live in the present moment. But you waste a major part of life in chasing a mirage. You run after the name, fame and money, which give you only momentarily pleasure. You think that accumulating wealth will make your future safe. But the doors of closing stages wait for none. When death snatches you from life, there remains nothing.
You can’t change the past, nor predestine your future. The future is in the womb of time. Live life fully and live-fully every moment of life. Time is fleeting and it’s eternal and continues in the coming ages too. Make your life the infinite moments of celebration. Life has no meaning of its own. You are just waves which appear & disappear in the ocean of life.