Understanding the purpose of birth

Develop unshakable faith in God and tolerance, this is the only way to get rid of sorrows. Bhakti alone can give us the strength to put up with sorrows.

Published: 03rd September 2013 08:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd September 2013 08:52 AM   |  A+A-

Develop unshakable faith in God and tolerance, this is the only way to get rid of sorrows. Bhakti alone can give us the strength to put up with sorrows.

In spiritual life whatever progress is gained is never lost even if one does not experience the ultimate state of self-realization in this birth. Spiritual knowledge which one acquires remains with one and in the next birth one is born in an environment conducive to spiritual growth.

Meditation and spiritual practices involve a certain amount of reorientation of life, a turning away from material pursuits for the sake of a higher value. Naturally, a spiritual aspirant who is practicing meditation sincerely, at some point might get a doubt whether all his efforts would be futile if he does not attain moksha in this life.

The Bhagavad Gita says clearly that for one who has practiced meditation and has not realised the end in this life, two possibilities are possible. Whatever good merit (punya) that would have accumulated had he performed karma instead of meditation will accrue to a yogi and hence he would after this life go to heaven and enjoy the pleasures there. Otherwise such a yogi is reborn immediately in a noble family where his spiritual growth will not be hampered.

That which is within all, which is seen as ‘This’ is the source. He who is within and sees as ‘This’ is God. It is the reality. It is in yourself. What is limited is sadhana; what is unlimited is the end. He alone is an Acharya, who, after clearly understanding the conclusive teachings of the shastras, makes the people of the world gain their welfare by making them stick to the path shown in the shastras.

Many acts relating to God, like building temples, digging tanks are performed. While executing them, there would be many difficulties. There would come also several kinds of dishonour. Not minding any of these, they would complete their tasks with mental one-pointedness removing impurities from their minds and letting the mind wander. By straightening their mind, they acquire mind control and at the end, they realize the reality that is to be known.

Limited availability of resources and their limited potential is everybody’s concern. But the Self within a human being has unlimited potential. That’s why the concept of self-management is of utmost importance. Self-management improves efficiency. It bestows peace, cheer and equanimity and equips us to handle the many complexities of life well.

All religions advocates overcoming pesky vices like anger, vanity, sex, and greed. Also, ahimsa is the greatest value of all. Violence could be in thought, word or action. Ahimsa means love of humanity and this is possible only when all the barriers and prejudices are removed, by controlling those factors that choke us, degrade us and make us unhappy. Ahimsa harmonizes one’s relations with others and springs from self-understanding and self-knowledge.

Greed is one of the root causes of unhappiness. The principle of non-possession which involves negation of material desire is a foolproof remedy to rooting out corruption from our system. Practice of penance and meditation is the art of living in the present. We normally choose to recollect our past or predict the future, rather than think about the present, leading to tensions and stress.

Through meditation, we can control our emotions. We strive for superiority in every area of life, but we seldom bother to delve deeper into why we are angry, greedy or fearful. Meditation can help a great deal in understanding more about this.

The purpose of birth is to avoid re-birth. Except man, all animals grow horizontally. Only man grows vertically. Instead of growing horizontally, it is God’s will that he should grow vertically in order to look up. God has given to animals devices for self-protection; to man alone He has given intelligence. By doing nothing, we avoid re-birth; by giving up attachment, we avoid sins. 

This article is an ‘Ashirvachana’ given by His Holiness Sri Balagangadaranatha Mahaswamiji, 71st Pontiff of Sri Adichunchanagiri Mahas stana Math                       


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