Amma Bhagvan Sharnam: Bhagavan, what is the purpose of life?

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bhagavan, what is the purpose of life?

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Seeker: Is nothing perfect in the universe?

Bhagavan: It depends on how you view things. You could either say nothing is perfect or everything is perfect. Perfection or imperfection is only in your thought. As long as thought is controlling your life there will be opposites; perfect and imperfect, good and bad, right and wrong because thought is divisive in nature. It postulates the opposites and compares. Without comparison there can be no thought at all, hence the problem of the perfect and the imperfect. Where thought is not involved, there is no division, no measurement and no conflict. It is direct perception. Everything is. The universe is.


Q: Bhagavan, what is the purpose of life?

Bhagavan: The ultimate understanding or the ultimate enlightenment is, you realize there is no purpose to life, just to live. If you watch a cricket match, if somebody, India is scoring very well and hitting sixes, then you jump up and shout. Is there a purpose to your jumping up and your shouting? No, but there is a cause to it, that is joy. Because there is joy you are jumping up and you are shouting but there is no purpose to your shouting. It is just there. So this creation is there just because there is too much joy because the stuff of creation is love and joy. Therefore it is there; there is no purpose to it. You just dance away because there is joy, what’s the purpose to your dance? You can see lot of people dancing away for no reason. If you are truly living you won’t ask the question - what is the purpose of life? Because you are not living you want a purpose to live. And you don’t understand how could you live without a purpose because you don’t live. If you live as I said, just to breathe is ananda, just to be is ananda, just to walk is ananda, to drink to eat to talk, look at somebody there is ananda. That is the stuff of life, which is what we are trying to do for you.


Q: What should we do to attain peace in our lives?

Bhagavan: If you want peace you should not search for it. You must realize when you put in effort to get peace, that very effort destroys peace. Effort in any form in the inner world is conflict. You are here; you want to go elsewhere. So, you put in effort. That effort is the conflict. But if you would realize that effort is destructive and that effort does not take you anywhere, it would automatically drop. Absence of effort is peace.


Q: Bhagavan, kindly tell me how to experience the suffering of the other as vividly as I do my own?

Bhagavan: Very often you try to explain away your suffering. You try to understand. If on the other hand, you stop doing these things, experiencing automatically happens. Let us say, you are married and your wife is shouting at you, and if you have read a lot of books on psychology you would try to explain her behaviour, or would be busy trying to understand her. If you do neither of these, then you actually begin to experience her nagging. That is when something very strange and beautiful happens. It is only in the absence of explanations, judgments that we could experience another. That's why in the Movement many have learnt to experience each other. Hitherto they complained about the nagging of the husband or the wife, today they are in ecstasy the moment the nagging begins. Hitherto they would run away from their homes, but now they don't. You could very well start with your intimate relationships.


Q: Bhagavan, where does self-doubt come from? How can I come out of this self-doubt?

Bhagavan: For this, you must understand the nature of the mind. When we say the nature of the mind, we are referring to the ancient human mind, not the individual mind. Since the mind is an illusion and has no real existence, one of its qualities is self-doubt. Remember, it is not the quality of 'your' mind but 'the' mind. Hence, any attempts to change the mind would be futile. Once you discover this, there is no more trouble at all. Self-doubt could go on within the mind and you can watch it. There is nothing you could do about it because that is its nature.


Q: Bhagavan, I have searched all my life for God. I have attended many spiritual discourse, seminars, visited all holy places of worship but I have not had an experience of Him.

Bhagavan: You need not search elsewhere for God. All you need to do is to look at your own life and you would see Him. Throughout your life the hand of the Divine has been continuously helping and guiding you. You are just not aware of it. When you reminisce your life, you would discover there is a higher intelligence, a higher energy, which has been there with you all the time. When you awaken to this truth, you discover the presence of God in your life.


Q: Bhagavan, should we do away with the mind completely?

Bhagavan: No, you would not be able to survive without the mind because the mind is necessary. But instead of being functional only when necessary it seems to be operational all the time. Suppose you are going out in the snow, you might have to wear some shoes. But if you are going to wear them in the bedroom, in the dining hall, they certainly would be a matter of great discomfort. The mind does have its place. However, it seems to be all over, all the time and hence a nuisance.

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Contemplative Questions

Here is a set of questions that would provoke you and put you through some soul searching. They are not about religion nor about ethics. They are merely about you.

They are not meant to serve as solutions nor are they meant to lead you anywhere. These questions are meant to serve as tools to discovering yourself.

1) Do you perceive the Presence of a benevolent force guiding, protecting and shaping your life? What name do you give that Presence? When did you best feel this Presence?

2) What is your opinion of God? Is your opinion drawn from religion, books, parents and or your personal experience of life?

3) Do you pray? Do they get answered? How often?

4) Do you think it is possible to relate to the Divine? What relationship would you opt?

5) Here is a story for you - Two fierce enemies once did a penance to placate god and receive boons vying with each other. God appeared to the first man and asked what he wanted. He said "give me twice of whatever you give my enemy". Then God appeared to the second one. Even before God could say anything he asked, "God, would you please tell me what my enemy asked for? On knowing his prayer request, he said, "then God, blind me in one eye."
Now what would you wish for yourself, your best friend and your worst enemy if God gave you a chance?

6) Have you ever experienced a coincidence or chance that seems to have involved so many people and factors that you can't stop wondering if a mastermind was behind this operation? If yes, do you savour the experience often and have you shared it with someone close to you?

Namaste Amma Abhagvan Sharnam

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