Most people think that the goal of life is to be happy. Of course, it is. Who doesn’t want to be happy? The whole of humanity seems to be flocking towards destination happiness, but they haven’t realized the Truth.
I realized that we start our life thinking that success is happiness and so we chase achievement. But there is no fulfillment. Although we experience pleasure and happiness, it is temporary and transitory. A few people are lucky, maybe about 20 percent of the human race evolves and gets out of that rat race. They live a life of contentment, fully satisfied and fulfilled.
However, I realized that both achievement and fulfillment cannot liberate us from misery and sorrow. Thus our Ultimate Goal of Life is Mukti or Liberation. What is Liberation all about? It starts with the realization of the Truth – the realization that we are not the body and not the mind. We are the Divine Life Energy that gives us the power to live.
What happens if we do not experience self-realization and Liberation? In such a case, we live like prisoners in this body-mind complex and suffer pain of the body and misery of the mind. Unless we achieve the Ultimate Goal of Liberation, we cannot escape from misery and sorrow.
Religions around the world and spiritual masters talk about Liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth. Even the Buddha – the Awakened One, advocated this. But whether or not we subscribe to an afterlife, we all want Liberation from misery and sorrow today. Therefore, this should be our Ultimate Goal. Otherwise, we will enjoy pleasure from achievement or the joy from fulfillment but we will not experience the everlasting, eternal peace that we attain as we discover our true purpose and realize the Truth about life. This is the third and ultimate peak of happiness – Enlightenment.
Those who believe in the concept of rebirth, Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists amongst others, believe that we human beings will be reborn in a new body based on our Karma, our actions. Other religions believe that our actions, good or bad, are recorded and these decide our destiny. The seeker of the Truth, the one who wants to achieve the Ultimate Goal of Life, tries to find out the reality by going on a quest. It doesn’t matter which religion one believes in, what matters is to discover the Truth. If we really go to heaven or hell after our death, then where is this heaven or hell located? Further, we have no doubt that the body is cremated or buried right here on earth and becomes one with it. Then who is the one who goes to heaven or hell? Finally, while we may be promised all kinds of pleasures and rewards in heaven, but without a body, how can we enjoy these pleasures?
Liberation is, therefore, something that has to be achieved during our life on earth. We cannot be liberated after we die, although, the final reward of Liberation will come after death. A true seeker who realizes the Truth transcends ego, mind, and body and realizes that he is the Soul that must escape and transcend the Law of Karma. This universal law states, ‘As you sow so shall you reap.’ Most of the world is aware of this law and accepts its governance on earth. But a very few people know that we can transcend Karma; we can escape from this law. However, this is only possible if we transcend the ME- Mind and Ego and realize that we are not the body. When we realize we are just an instrument of the Divine and we surrender our actions without being the doer, then the actions are not ours and so the Karma doesn’t belong to us. A tiny minority is fortunate to realize this Truth. They are also the ones to escape from the constant cycle of death and rebirth. This is Liberation. The one who wants to escape from Karma must give up his ‘I’ – his ego to arrive at this final destination.
This Liberation is only possible through realization. But our own mind and ego are our biggest enemies. Those who realize the Truth continue to experience a war within. The Mind is a rascal and along with the Ego, stops us from both Realization and Liberation.
All religions advocate this as the Ultimate Goal of Life. Some call it Enlightenment, some Salvation just as others call it Nirvana, Mukti or Moksha. I realized that they are all one and the same, different names for Mukti, Liberation, our Ultimate Goal.March 31st, 2021