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The purpose of life

The purpose of life

What is the purpose of life? This is a very common question that people always ask. It is not easy to give a satisfactory answer to this apparently simple and yet complex question. Although some people have given certain answers according to their way of thinking, it seems that they are not very satisfactory answer to the intellectuals. The reason is that they have not learned to see life objectively and to understand the proper perspective of life. They have created imaginations about life thorough their limited understanding that many religious teachers, great philosophers, well-known poets and great thinkers are also not satisfied about the nature of life. Some have said that life is full of suffering; uncertainty and unsatisfactoriness. Some have said: “How nice if we had not been born.” Some others have asked: “Why were we born to this world to suffer for nothing?”

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According to their saying we can understand that they are the people who have learned to see life objectively, as it really is. But the ordinary man always sees life as it appears superficially, not as it really is. “Life is not that we think ‘life’ but what we think becomes life.” This is another saying of a great thinker.

Some people say that there is no specific purpose in life; yet it can be utilized for any purpose. There is something in this saying for us to ponder wisely: to make use of life for purpose beneficial to ourselves and to humanity instead of wasting it foolishly. In this manner, the purpose of life can be said to be dependent on the way we handle and use it. If we misuse it by violating our human dignity and committing wrongful actions by giving way to our weakness, it impossible for to us to achieve something worthwhile and noble as the purpose of our life. But, if we act wisely and mindfully by observing universally accepted moral and ethical principles, exercise patience, tolerance, sympathy, humility and kindness, create understanding and render selfless service, and train the mind to gain wisdom we should be able to achieve something noble and beneficial to all as the purpose of our life. Those who cultivate such virtues would experience peace, happiness, calm, satisfaction and tranquility. Life would then be worthwhile- it would be a pleasure to live! (Serially: Next Page coming soon…….)

Nature of Life

“Life wastes itself while we are preparing to live,” says one learned man. “Sickness, old age, and miseries are making for occupying this body as a house, “says another learned man. “We have to pay the price of fear and worry in order to live as human beings.” This is yet another saying of a religious man. When we consider all these views, we can find the nature of life and judge it there is any purpose in life.

If we are going to please only our senses as the as the purpose of our life, then, we must be prepared to face various problems arising from that as no one can enjoy pleasure without facing problems.

Although scientist has discovered wonderful things in this universe yet day too do not know the purpose of life. In regard to the behavior of man, one scholar has said. “Man is not what he is, man is what hi is not.” According to him, man does not behave as a real ‘Man.’ According to Buddhism, man is not a fixed substantive entity but an expression, existing literally only from moment to moment on the basis of energy. Another scholar has said: “There is no cure for birth and death, save to enjoy the interval.”

We cannot understand the real nature of life due to our ignorance and strong craving. That is why we are here to suffer. That is why it is difficult for us to find out whether there is any specific purpose in life, in this world, and this from.

Life has been described as a combination of mind and matter. As a result of this combination a being comes into existence and it goes on changing until dissolution takes place. However, departed mental energy again combined with elements or matter reappears in various forms and in different spheres as life in accordance with the nature of one’s previous life. This continuity of the life-stream goes on again and again as long as the Karmic energy and craving for existence remains. ………..after next page.

The Five Aggregates

In according with the Dhamma, life is compromised of five aggrates. They are: Rupa- matter, Vedana- feeling, Sanna- perception, Sankhara- mental formation and Vinnana- consciousness. Four kinds of elements such as solidity, fluidity, heat and motion comprise matter. Matter plus the four mental factors classified above as feelings, perception, mental formation and consciousness combined together from life. The real nature of those five aggregates is explained in the Teaching of the Buddha as follows: Matter is equated to a heap of foam, filling is like a bubble, perception is described as a mirage, mental formations are like a banana tree and consciousness is just an illusion. With such an analysis of life, it is difficult to ascertain the reality or purpose of life as constituted.

This analysis of life posed a big challenge to many philosophies and religious beliefs at that time.

There no such thing as permanent life that exists without changing and without dissolution.

Body is nothing but and abstract generalization for a constantly changing combination of chemical constitution. Man being to see his own life as a drop in an ever-flowing river and is glad to contribute his part to the great stream of life.

A world of Waves

The scientific analysis of the universe shows that the world is nothing but unbroken continuity of movement. Dr. Einstein said: ‘All matter is made of waves and we live in a world of waves.’

“We are part of the same waves.

If a man can be aware:

of the states of his body,

of his fillings,

of the states of his mind

and of the states of mental objects,

such an awareness will lead him to find out whether there is any purpose in life.” …………….

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