By Anil Bhatnagar June 2003 Each one of us has a unique purpose in life, and in its realization lies our happiness, growth and success. Here is how you can discover and fulfill your purpose, and in the process move further towards the ultimate goal-self-realization Creating FulfillmentLife creates, destroys and recreates itself each moment and fills all creation with a throbbing effervescence. This alone is the purpose of life. As the river flows to merge into the ocean, thus we live to connect to the source and find that purpose. I look at the sun as it bathes me in its bright golden light, and ask: ‘‘What is the purpose of your being?‘‘ Its beaming rays throw back the question at me. ‘‘Don‘t you know? To give life and sustain it. I have been doing it for eons-from the beginning of creation.‘‘ The river playfully saunters along, tickling my feet. I am sucked into its playful mirth and watch it flow and flow and flow-endlessly. The soft, gentle breeze infuses fresh life into all beings and moves on. Seeds sprout forth from the womb of mother earth, flower and die out with the rhythms of seasons. Each night I search for newer stars in the vast skies and watch many others die out.Life creates, destroys and recreates itself each moment and fills all creation with a throbbing effervescence. This alone is the purpose of life. As the river flows to merge into the ocean, thus we live to connect to the source and find that purpose. What we do in our lifetime is merely the itinerary we draw for ourselves as we move towards our destination, towards completion. A blade of grass delicately holding the morning dew, a freshly sprung rose, bees hovering over the flowers, ants busy building their forts, little birds foraging to feed their young, the eagle swooping down on its prey, the tiger out on the prowl… they all fulfill the role Mother Nature assigned to them. They fulfill the purpose of their life as they grow and dissolve in harmony with Nature, joyously living their part in the greater design, happy just being. What is the purpose of human life?The purpose of human life is to know its true self, to realize the purpose of its being, to find its source and return to it and to know that it is the soul and not the body. The only vital difference between human life and any other form of life in the universe is that the former is capable of living its life‘s role with acceptance and awareness, while the latter live their role with acceptance but without higher consciousness. Both are journeying, evolving, moving to a higher state of being, towards the same destination. The more aware you become, the closer you are to the destination. Whatever we do in life, whatever the people we come across, whatever we accomplish-or do not accomplish-whichever way we choose to live are all a part of our journey. The purpose of Mother Teresa‘s life was not to save millions from destitution; she was just a tool to bring smile and cheers into many a life as she moved on the journey to her Life‘s destination. Her aim might have been to provide for the poor of the whole world, and she could have succeeded or failed in it, but she knew that was not the ‘purpose‘ of her life. That is why she was happy and fulfilled. She did not confuse the journey with the purpose of her life. Neither do the thousands of other aware and enlightened souls. The purpose of each individual‘s life is the same. But he or she can make the journey more interesting, happier and more fulfilling. He can choose a cart or an aircraft as his vehicle, ride a horse or go bungee jumping as he journeys along. However, whatever the consequences thereafter, are the result of the choices he exercised. If you feel you are going slow, well, you chose the cart. If you break your leg riding the horse, curse yourself. If you are ever miserable, blame yourself for the choices you made. But the clue to happiness and fulfillment in life is to accept cheerfully what comes our way, since we have caused it to happen. And in future, exercise the choices that make our journey more rewarding and satisfying, and which hasten the progress towards our destination. The key is to joyfully accept and flow with life; flow in a manner that the swiftest currents take you fastest to the ocean. You could resist the current for some time to satisfy your ego, but flow with the current you must. When you let go, Mother Nature steps in to make the journey smoother. - Anuradha Vashisht Had I not noticed it in time, I would have crushed the apple seed under my feet. Who knows for how long it had been lying on the concrete pavement of Delhi‘s urban jungle? Elsewhere, another seed, having found the right soil and conditions in some salubrious orchard, was probably sprouting into an apple tree. The seed on the pavement, despite my careful sidestep, will obviously not grow into its inherent potential. Like a seed, we too have the potential to grow and come to fruition if we can find the environment and conditions to nurture us. And just as an apple seed requires conditions different from a rice seed to flourish, each one of us is born with unique qualities and capabilities that require specific conditions and climate. Very few are lucky enough to identify and find the right soil, conditions and nurturing to transform this potential into a reality. A majority, like the seed on the concrete pavement, barely manage to go beyond the survival issues. However, if we follow the inner voice and sustain the urge for unfoldment, we can surely fulfill our life‘s purpose. It is this commitment that creates a Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan or Kalpana Chawla. They too would have been among the nameless masses had they focused on mere livelihood and not dared to chase their dreams. Are you a Sachin trying to be a salesperson, an Amitabh struggling to get his next promotion or a Kalpana looking for a break in an MNC? If so, pick yourself up from the pavement and plant yourself into a more nurturing environment-that is just right for your needs. That single step could be a giant leap towards leading an extraordinarily fulfilled life-the life of your dreams! But why do we need to do this?The deeper inner purpose of life, as we all know, is to rediscover our oneness with the unity consciousness that is-and be with it. The more sincerely we adhere to timeless principles that are the very nature of Nature, by virtue of which God puts this universe together, the more our own nature becomes one with that of Nature. And we cannot follow these timeless principles of Nature in vacuum-we need a context or a ‘field of action‘. Therefore, interwoven with that deeper inner purpose is an external purpose allocated specifically for this current incarnation, which provides us with a context or ‘field of action‘. You become aware of the inner purpose when you become aware of the outer one. You take a quantum leap and begin moving faster towards the inner, when you discover and dedicate your ‘current life‘ to the outer, against all odds. Lama Surya Das puts it succinctly when he writes in his book, Awakening the Buddha Within: ‘‘Perfect work is what helps us live here and now while keeping us connected to, and making us evolve towards a higher, more timeless reality.‘‘ The happiness, success and fulfillment that we are lacking or enjoying in life is Nature‘s feedback on the extent to which we are living in accordance with our twin purposes-inner and outer. Life gives us ample opportunities to realize our dreams. To do so, we must be able to make the most of our talents and capabilities, have the courage to go off the beaten track, be motivated by inner rewards such as growth and fulfillment rather than money and fame, and lastly, navigate by faith instead of reason. When our lives are thus led by intuition, Nature herself will rally around in our favor. How then can we move towards this state of mind? 1. Resurrect and fulfill your abandoned dreamsThere are only two kinds of people in this world-those who pursue their dreams and those who pursue excuses. Our dreams are the only truths in our lives. If we discover and fulfill them, we live the true life; otherwise, we merely exist. As children, we were not afraid to dream. Over the years, minor failures and well-intended but unwise rebukes from parents and mentors threw dust over our faith in our hidden potential, until finally getting obliterated by the daily struggle for existence. Nothing is more painful than the realization at our death-bed that we failed to achieve our heart‘s desire. We are all born with the seed of our dreams but it is amazing how few among us are able to sow and nurture it properly. True success is not an accumulation of impressive external attachments but a growth from within. Our life is not a product of chance; we are here on a purpose. Martin Luther King Jr said: ‘‘If you have not discovered something you feel like giving your life for, you have yet not begun living your life.‘‘ Nothing could be truer. To really succeed in life, forget the career and look for the unique purpose for which you are born, and give your life to it. The history of this world is the history of those few who, having discovered their life‘s purpose, consciously or unconsciously, pursued it relentlessly against all odds. This life has not been given to us merely for the sake of making a livelihood but to endow it with the meaning it deserves. We are obliged to live in a way that will compel God to say: ‘‘I give life to everybody but this one did not go in vain.‘‘ 2. Listen to your inner voice and go for that radical vision Mother Teresa was like any other woman when she taught geography in a Calcutta school. The day she chose to listen
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