Tell me why I should continue to live. I have been brought here by a force unknown to me and I do not know the purpose for which I am kept here, if there is a purpose at all.
Life is indestructible. It changes its form, but it is not destroyed. You know physical science; tell me, can heat, gravitation, cohesion or electricity ever be destroyed? How can you imagine, then, that by ceasing to live, you will be putting an end to your life? It may change its form, but it will continue. By destroying a flute you do not destroy the wind that blows through it. No force outside yourself has brought you here. You are a conditioned aspect of the universal force which is expressing itself through you. It has evolved the unit of force which you are and it is expressing itself through you. The force that moves the planets in their courses, that regulates the rotation of the earth on its axis, that issues as light from the distant stars—that force is breathing in your lungs, thinking in your brain, beating in your heart and sparkling in your eyes at the sight of beauty.
This force is Consciousness. In its self-conditioned aspect, it is the Lord omnipotent and omniscient. Its one great feature is Love-Compassion.
Live, and live as a part ought to live, in co-operation with the whole, in harmony with the universal force. Expand in knowledge, in love and in the deeper insight. Do not try to know what you cannot know at this stage. More and more light will be shown to you when, and only when, you have lived well according to your present light.
A child is born to be a king. He is to be the king’s successor one day and rule the kingdom of his father. The child will not understand the purpose of his life when he is one, two or five years old. So you are yet a baby in spirituality and you must grow before you understand the purpose of life. In India, a child of three years may be married to a girl of eighteen months. Will he understand the purpose of marriage at that stage? But one day he will when he is grown-up enough to do so.
This seems to be vague.
Is it an attempt to explain or to convince?
Think more and still more. There is no conscious action without a purpose. It is logical to infer from the complex machinery of the human body, its physiological functions, its emotional motives, its rational trend, that it cannot be purposeless.
You want to enquire into the causes of things around you; you love objects of beauty; you are uplifted by the sight of Nature, poetry, music and deeds of benevolence and self-sacrifice. There must be a purpose for all these urges and impulses. They cannot be meaningless.
I tell you that the whole life points to one purpose—its universalization through greater harmony and expansion of personality and transcendence of the existing conditions. You as a conscious agent must direct your being to that end.
What you say seems reasonable enough, but tell me—has anybody attained that purpose in life or is it only a Utopia to amuse us?
Yes, many have attained. I have known quite a few of them. Shri Dada, Swami Mangalnathji, Swami Rama Tirtha, So Ham Swami, the late Tashi Lama, Swami Sat Chit Anandaji, Pundit Baijnath and many others.
Please see also Shri Shankara Acharya’s Vakyavritti Verse 25