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Goal of Human Life?
Question: How are we to know that our aim is exclusively and only God (Self) Realization ? Since wealth is also worthy of being acquired, honour and status are also worth attaining, comforts and conveniences are also desirable, so many things are to be achieved, the question arises as to how to be sure that “God Realization” is the goal of our life?Swamiji: Is there anyone among you who wants such happiness that is not complete and perfect? Does anyone want happiness that is incomplete and transitory? Does anyone want a life that does not remain; that we live at times and other times we do not live? Does anyone here desire knowledge that is incomplete?We all desire happiness that never ends, a life that is eternal and knowledge that is perfect and complete in itself, knowledge that does not have the least bit of incompleteness in it, knowledge that is supreme and perfect. In fact, this longing within is the longing for the Supreme Truth of Life, God (Paramatma). Besides God, there is nothing which is eternal, perfect and absolute.We continue to suppress this desire to seek Truth by petty worldly desires and become happy and unhappy at times and intervals. Even a dog is pleased by happiness in small measures. A donkey too is pleased that way. That happiness should be achieved which is in no way incomplete, which is perfect in itself, that is not mixed with the least bit of sorrow or unhappiness. The world is incapable of offering happiness that has no deficiency or shortcoming. Thus worldly pleasures or happiness is not our goal. It is not our destiny. When we inquire on this deeply, we will realize that, that kind of happiness which is eternal, indivisible, without permitting any deficiency is only in one Supreme entity, the Lord-of-all ( Paramatma). In whatever measure the worldly things may be achieved, wealth, money, possessions, position, posts, name, fame, glories, kingdom, honour, respect, status etc., may fall to our lot, but that cannot give us contentment or full lasting satisfaction. On the contrary, let there be “more of it”, yes, still “more of it” such grows the greedy desire for them.We want to live, it means that we are dying or else why should there have been a longing to live? It is true that there is a desire to live. Having understood and known much in the world, there still lurks a desire to know ever more. Having obtained things in plenty, the desire to have more and more persists. Having done a lot in life, there is always a keenness to entertain the idea that though much has been done, yet this much has still to be accomplished. This sort of deficiency or incompleteness which is felt is knowing, gaining, doing etc., need to be recognized by man. It must be realized that this deficiency the world can never remove. This whole world may be achieved and yet this emptiness can never be filled, because the world is impermanent and ever changing. But think a little, what will happen once God is realized. In this regard, the Gita says - “yam labdhvaa chaaparam
laabham manyate naadhikam tatah.”
i.e. Having realised whom there is no gain higher than that.” Such is his experienced belief which none can shake. Having established himself in such a perfect state of God Realization, even the heaviest affliction born of stormy situations in life cannot in the least shake him from his solid rock like faith.
“yasminsthito na dukhena gurunaapi vichaalyate”
Even if he is sandwiched between the two conflicting mighty rocks and his body is crushed, then too even by that excruciating pain he is not dislodged or dissuaded from his unison with the Supreme Self. That pain has no access there. The pain cannot even touch that soulful state. Happiness is so much there that there can be no higher bliss than that. No sorrow can even cast its shadow on it. Tell, who wants such a blissful blessedness? People get contented even in small shares (alpa); that is a very big mistake.
The seekers do commit such a big error that while following the path, they get pleased or contented with elementary success midway. There is a Marawari saying; “adhe kutte kholana hi kheera hai.” i.e. for a blind dog even the “Kholana” (water from strained vegetables etc) is as good as rice cooked in milk (kheer). Similarly there are people that become highly pleased even with the acquisition of a little wealth, wisdom, honour, and fame in the world. What is truly achieved? The worldly achievements whatever it is, is indeed a deception. We need to realize the Supreme and the superior most truth! Even if we need wealth, it must be of the best and highest nature. Whatever we want, whether wisdom, riches, honour, status, praise, life, we want it to be of the noblest, purest and highest order. None can uproot this fundamental desire of man’s heart! And, nothing short of God Realization can satiate this deep-seated longing, because the supreme Tattva is no other than God Himself.
Arjuna says -
Na tvatsamo’styabhyadhikah kuto’nyo
lokatraye’ pyarpratimaprabhaava (gita 11/43)
i.e. Thou are of illimitable power and effect”; there is none like You; how can then anybody be more higher than what you are! Achievement of such a supreme thing should thus be the goal of our life.
That Tattva which was realized in ancient times by the earlier great ones, that sages and seers, saints and Sadhus, Sanakaadika and Devarshi Narada, Brahmaa, Shankara etc., - that very truth is realizable and can be realized even now in this Kaliyuga today. The worldly goods can not be obtained by one and all, but God can be realized by everybody. There is not a single man for whom God is inaccessible! Realization of that supreme truth, God alone, is the goal of human life.
My aim is God realization - only man is capable enough to realize this thing; not any other living being! Amongst living beings, cow is very holy animal, but we cannot make her understand this truth. Ponder a little, please, on the point. You come to Satsanga so early in the morning from very far distances and that too daily. Do you get any money here? Or any sensual enjoyments? Or any honour? Or any gains? Or any profits that you earn over here? If none of these then tell me what brings you here for satsanga so early in the pre-dawn hours?
Listener: We get peace and solace to our soul!
Swamiji: Peace perfect and full is what we need. If you get some or little amount of peace here and then you go away; and if your peace does not stay for long thereafter, then what is the use or value of such incomplete or transitory peace? We need the highest kind of peace which never comes to an end. But the mistake occurs when we get pleased with only petty peace of worldly nature!
One man was going to his village on a camel. He reached a mid-way village at the fall of night. There at one place a marriage ceremony was taking place. Drums and trumpets were being beaten and blown. That man was a Brahmin. Having reached the spot he came to know that “Bhoora” was about to be disbursed. “Bhoora” in Sanskrit is known as a special gift given to Brahmins on wedding occasions. That Brahmin fastened the camel outside the house and went inside to obtain the “Bhoora”. The thieves who happened to be there, saw the camel and they rode off with it. The Brahmin receive four annas for his “bhoora”, but when he came outside and saw the missing camel, he realized that his loss was significant – Rs 500, the cost of the camel.
The purport of the illustration is that in the petty achievements of transitory worldly things, some honour, some wealth, some pleasure, some status, some exotic foods – the camel of God Realization is forgotten and lost sight of. Such is the plight! The great Bliss is forsaken in favour of temporary glitter of worldly pettinesses, and small pleasures!
Eternal happiness is being lost in ephemeral happiness! People become happy in small doses of honours. One saint was told by some people that he was highly honoured and respected by them. The saint said : “What honour you can confer! Dust? All of you people can hardly pay any honour. We are honoured by God! What power have you to honour us? Truly, indeed, God alone decks His devotees, the saints, with the honour of immortality! How does a worldly person know what the real honour is?
The supreme gain which you crave for is in reality, the deep longing for God Realization. You may call, if you so desire, this longing “the urge to know”, “the urge to love” or “the urge to be happy for ever”. “the urge to see God face to face” “the urge for God Realization”. All mean one and the same thing. Only this is our goal. Be firm and fixed on this objective. Do not be pleased with the incomplete. If you do not get stuck up in the half incomplete, you will realize, the full.
This human body is the best of all the living forms. So, its ultimate goal should also be the best. There should be no higher goal than that ever thinkable. It is thus self-evident that God-Realization is the highest and the noblest goal of human life. Human life is meant only for this supreme purpose. Listener: Where is the guarantee, Holy Sir, that by giving up worldly pleasures, the highest truth of life will be attained? If we give up one and do not gain the other higher one, then shall we not remain empty altogether?
Swamiji: Arjuna also posed a similar question that if a seeker of yoga dies midway on the path of Yoga without realizing the Supreme, what plight would be of the poor one? Does he become “ubhaya-bhrasta” or fall from both the ends (Gita 6/37-38)? The world was renounced and God was not realized before he left his mortal coil – then will he only hang in between them? The Lord answered: “No Partha! He suffers no fall: neither in this world, nor in the next world; because O’ dear he who walks even little on the path of spiritual well-being never slips into any wretchedness or plight “durgati” (Gita 6/40).
If you happen to come across any traveller on the noble way of Welfare Supreme, you will yourself realize this truth. His gaiety, his bliss, his God intoxicatedness will have a peculiar halo, a specifically distinctive ring. The seekers of truth do register spiritual progress and they certainly enjoy extraordinary and ecstatic joy of life whereby they can never give up their search or Sadhana. That which is Supreme Bliss is obtainable by all, there is no doubt about it. Why is there no doubt? Because when we undertake spiritual practices, the peculiarities of divine life reveal themselves to us. Let you go in for soulfulness of divine discipline and then, the mysteries will be unfurled unto you too. There is an immense gain or joy in the association of the holy persons (satsang). We have not seen any other “upaaya” or means of realizing the highest goal of life. Countless are the means and people do follow one or the other of them, but the gain we obtain through Satsanga, we cannot acquire through any other means which we may adopt even for years.
From book "Be Good" by Swami Ramsukhdasji
नारायण ! नारायण ! नारायण !
It is human nature to take the support of one or the other. Every living being wants to get the shelter of someone, wants to make someone his support. Why is there this sort of nature? It is so because the being is the inseparable part (ansh) of the Supreme Lord (Paramatma). If he takes the support of only the Lord, then he will have no need for any other shelter. But till he gains resort of the Supreme Self, he goes on seeking shelters one after the other. He needs to take God’s shelter, but instead he takes the support of various others. He seeks the shelter of wealth, of his abilities, his strength, his family, his knowledge, his talent and skills, but these shelters do not last.
Only God’s shelter should be sought – this idea seems to make sense in mind and understanding, but we do not give up other shelters! Though you are not bound in giving up others shelters, rather you are altogether free, yet by taking special support and shelter of others, and by continuing to gain consolation and pleasures there from, an illusion has arisen in the heart that how without this support or how by giving up this shelter you will be in a position to live at all! How will you be able to sustain? How will you be able to manage your livelihood? By the surging of this kind of emotion, a sort of cowardice has taken root in the mind, that you cannot leave their shelter!
Whose support is there when we are under the spell of deep sleep? No one else’s dependency or support is there, not even of God’s! In that state, there is a certain sort of semi-unconsciousness, a kind of swoon. In that state, the shelter of the world is automatically given up, but that of ignorance (moodhataa) persists. Thus it is a sheer illusion that we cannot live without someone’s shelter. Or, else, tell me on whose support do you exist or live during deep sleep? In deep sleep “shushupti” you exist even without or in absence of world’s shelter or support.
Please be kind and do pay attention to this one point of great importance. We do not get as much happiness from depending on the world, as we get in sleep from leaving the dependence on the world. The extent of joy and freshness that we experience, the energy that we accumulate from leaving the dependency of the world, these do not come from taking the support of the world. What to speak of conservation of energy, it is exhausted away! By continuing to depend on wealth, family, intellect, abilities, etc. you become restless, tired, and exhausted. Your energy is used up, and then you leave every one and fall off asleep. And while sleeping you once again regain the energy. In this manner, by sundering of worldly shelters a distinctive and refreshing power will grow in you. And by taking the shelter of God, boundless will be the strength, so limitless will be the power that no fear or anxiety will ever haunt or trouble you! For this reason alone it is said -
“yam labdhvaa chaaparam laabham manyate naadhikam tatah.” (Gita 6/22).
“Higher than this there has been no real or great gain at all.” There is no higher gain than this, nor can, nor shall it ever be! But this will occur only on giving up all the ephemeral or perishable shelters of the world. The mistake which is often committed is that you do not give up the shelters which are believed and known to you as being perishable. You repeat and recite the Divine Name of God, you meditate, you sing God’s glory and contemplate on spiritual matters, but simultaneously you keep shelter of the perishable things! Without totally relinquishing the shelter of the perishable world, one cannot entirely and in toto take the shelter of God. Without seeking complete support (of God), total power cannot be secured.
There is no dearth or paucity from God’s side. To the extent you seek God’s shelter, to that very extent you will get consolation, power and gain. You will undoubtedly get illimitable power if by totally giving up the shelter of the world, you depend on God alone for everything.
Where is that God? In this regard, may I tell you one thing that He is in the heart of all beings’ – “sarvasya chaham hrdi samnivistah” (Gita 15/15); “isvarah sarvabhootaanaam hrddeserjuna tishthati (Gita 18/61). He is the Indwelling Spirit of all the beings; but the difficulty is that the being looks only outward, he does not look deep within. You regard yourself that “I am”. Of that “I-ness,” Atman (Self, Spirit) is the support; and God, the Supreme Self, Supreme Spirit is the shelter even of the Atman – mamaivaamso jivaloke (Gita 15/7). Your Atman is an inseparable part of the Paramatman. You (amsa) are in one “ksetra” i.e. body and your “amsi” (God) is in all the bodies (ksetras) - “ksetrajnam chaapi maam viddhi sarvaksetresu bhaarata.” (Gita 13/2). The Gopis said - “na khalu gopikaanandano bhavaanakhiladehinaa mantaraatmadrk” i.e., “you are not mere the child of Yashoda, you are the witness to the Inner Self of all the beings, of all the bodies in living and inert forms, whether they be gods, demons, ghosts, or spirits or be they the residents of hells or heavens, devotees or meditative and contemplative seeker of Truth or God-loving fellows. But how are You here, when you are all these?”
“Vikhanasaarthito vishvagupte sakh udeyivaan saatvataam kule” (Srimad Bhagwat 10/31/4) - “you appeared when Brahmani prayed to you”. Why did he pray? “Visvaguptaye”
i.e. he prayed for the protection of the universe. For, Thou alone are the saviour of Creation, none else has this power to protect. Besides, you have “appeared” – not born – in the Yadava clan “udeyivaan saatvataam kule”. When the sun rises, no body says that the sun is born, because the Sun is present even before it appears to rise in the eastern skies! Likewise God descends in divine ways. He is not born like our bodies are born.
Mind, intellect, senses, body, individuals, things, objects, money, wealth etc., nothing belongs to you, nothing stays with you; every moment it is parting from you, and yet you seek their shelter! Here in lies your mistake. Relinquishing the shelter of such things, please seek the shelter of God alone - “maamekam saranam vraja” (Gita 18/66). “Tameva saranam gaccha sarvabhaavena bhaarata, tatprasaadaatparaam saantim sthaanam praapsyasi saasvatam” (Gita 18/62).
Seek the shelter in Him alone, wholeheartedly. By His grace you shall attain supreme peace (total unconcern from worldliness) and eternal abode. We are all free in seeking the shelter of God, no one is dependent. None is incapable of taking His shelter and support.
This very moment you “can” seek the shelter and support of God, because He is with you and you are with Him. Neither He can ever be separated from you nor can you be ever separated from Him. If He parts from you, then there will be two Gods; one He, and the other one you. His indivisibility, omnipresence and supremacy will be disintegrated. His significance will not remain if he separates from you. He cannot, therefore, be separated from you. Nor can you be separated from Him. Yes, you may regard yourself separate from Him, but you cannot be separated from Him. Similarly, you can certainly regard yourself dependent on the world and seek shelter of worldly goods and materials, but cannot be dependent upon them for all time. You took the shelter of wealth, family, friends, intelligence, ability, power etc., but could you and can you really be dependent on them permanently? You know it, believe it and yet you seek their shelter. What an illusion! What an error! It is so because such supports will not last. Therefore, turn your back upon them all and seek only God’s shelter. Do not take the support of anyone or anything else. Make use of wealth in the best possible manner. Do all work but trust only in the ever-abiding shelter of Almighty and Eternal God. The Saints have said:
Pativrataa rahe pati ke paasaa
Yom saahiba ke dhiga rahe daasaa.
i.e. “Just as the chaste wife lives under the shelter of her husband, so also the devotees of the Lord live under God’s support and shelter only.”
Jagajjanani Janaki used to pay great respects to her parents-in-law much more than her regards for her parents-in-law much more than her regards for her own mother and father; but when her Lord Bhagavan Sri Ram left for the forests, she gave up even the in-laws. King Sri Dasharatha said to such an extent that if Janakadulaari stayed back in Ayodhyaa, his life would be saved; and yet she chose to live for and with Lord Sri Ram. She could not think of staying or living without Lord Sri Rama. How can moonlight remain in absence of the moon? How can the daylight remain without the sun? How can the bodily-shadow live without the body? So also, no Jiva (being) can ever live apart from God. But, since he seeks the shelter of the world, alienating himself from God, he time and again suffers misery. If he did not take the support of that which is going to separate, and takes the support of that which will stay forever with him, than he will undoubtedly be greatly benefited and joyful.
Please, decide right now and once and for all, that you will not take the shelter of the world. You earn money, do all the work that is to be done, but do not make wealth and world your life’s resort or shelter. So far you have taken much from the world, so you work for the world to repay your debt to it, not to seek it’s shelter now. As a matter of fact, the world is not worthy of being a shelter, for it is constantly changing. It changes with such dynamic speed, that we cannot see it twice. Only that which changes is called “samsara” - “sam sarati iti samsaarah”. As God is Mercy Incarnate – “prabhu murati krpaamayi hai” (Vinaya-Patrika 170/7), so is this world change incarnage. There is noting in it except change. You have wrongly regarded worldly as worthy of your shelter. Now turning away from it, only take shelter of the Lord’s Lotus feet, right now! Yes! Just now!
“Mere to Giridhar Gopa, dooseron na koyi”, “ek baani karunaanidhaan ki, so priya jaake gati na aan ki.” - Do not take the shelter of others. With complete sentiments take total refuge in the Lord. “Tameva sharanam gaccha sarvabhaavena” (Gita 18/62), “Sa sarvavidbhajati maam sarvabhaavena” (Gita 15/19); “Sarva bhaav bhaj kapat taji moho param priya soyi” (Manav 7/87 Ka). Verily indeed, your kinship with God is self-evident and profound. Yoke yourself not with the changing world – this is the entire thing. The only thing! That is all there is to it!
From book "Be Good" by Swami Ramsukhdasji
नारायण ! नारायण ! नारायण !