Lessons Of A Lifetime

Part: 1

We are all in ignorance. In the sea of ignorance, we’re all drowned, and occasionally we gasp to come out of it, to breathe the liberating air of truth. 

We don’t know who we are, where we came from, where we’re going, what we want from life, how to be at peace, how to be joyful and how to end our indescribable sufferings. This is the story of all of us. 

There are many things we take for granted and keep living like blind souls throughout our lives. Often, when some crisis or problem hits us, do we realise how foolishly we’ve been living, how blind and ignorant we’ve been. Before we even realise, life comes to an end. 

To avoid this catastrophe, we must listen to the words of the wise, question our existence and go into this question of ‘what all this is about’. One who does not do this lives in the dark and die in dark. They live an ignorant life and perpetuate that ignorance. So, pay heed to what Socrates said—

“An unexamined life is not worth living.”

It’s true that light and darkness, knowledge and ignorance, joy and suffering will always remain in this world. We cannot wipe away the entire canvass of darkness from this world. The least we can do is to light up our own souls, to be a light to ourselves. The radiance of that light will naturally light up others. 

Somethings we should never forget. Here is my list of truths which I always try to hold in my consciousness, so that I don’t drown again and again in the waters of ignorance and illusions. 

Here are they…

Part: 1

I. We Will Die One Day: We all intuitively know we’re mortal. But tell me honestly, how many times in a day are you aware of your mortality? Does this thought ever come to our minds? Rarely so. This is the biggest fact of life, yet how effortlessly we remain forgetful of this—is really, I mean, wow! Every day, almost 1,60,000 people die worldwide. Any day and at any moment, we can be the next. But how brutally we live! And how ignorantly we live! We have plans for the next 25-30 years, endless dreams and goals to achieve, things to do, moments to enjoy. 

Is there God or not, are we souls or Atman, will we be enlightened or not—we really don’t know. But one thing that we all know without fail is that we’ll die, without any exceptions! But we always keep death at bay, never look at it directly, never accept it. We don’t talk about it, don’t want to hear about it, as if it is something inauspicious. Yet we worship Shiva,  the God of dissolution, who lives in cremation grounds, smears human ash as his vibhuti—how contradictory lives we live! 

If we are always aware of our mortality, we’ll do less inhuman things; we’ll live more consciously because life is a limited amount of time. We cannot afford to waste our life in meaningless pursuits; we’ll behave more sensibly; we’ll understand the importance of all the people in our relationships…one day they will die. So, we’ll try to live, as long as we’re here, with love and care. There will be no time to hate or keep fighting with each other. We’ll only do what is needed and beneficial for others. 

Nothing can make you spiritual if this thought doesn’t shake you! Nothing can change you then. 

II. At The End Only Three Things Matter: At the end of life, only three things ultimately count—

  1. How Well We Lived.
  2. How Deeply We Loved.
  3. How Much We Learnt.

I have written a complete post on this. Do check it out. Click here.

III. Time Changes: This is the best thing about time—that it never remains the same. Days of darkness and suffering end eventually. But, the funny thing about time is—at the same time, this is also the worst thing about time—it changes! It never remains the same! No, I am not playing paradoxical games with you. Again difficulties come and clouds of pain darken our lives. 

But, this is where the great wisdom lies: in times of difficulties, it gives us solace because we know, eventually, it’ll pass…and in times of happiness, it gives us the foresight to see that even happiness and joy are transient. Eventually, our sorrows or joys, nothing matters. So, instead of pursuing or chasing happiness, we must learn to be content within ourselves.

‘Time changes’—this thought saves me from unnecessary worries and anxieties, and at the same time, brings in me the maturity to foresee that we have to go beyond all this transient phenomena, have to be free from this endless cycle of joy and suffering. 

Summing Up

Okay, the first part ends here. My list of truths does not end though. I’ll keep bothering you with my second part. Until then, live, love, laugh and give. But, remember: some things we should never forget! 

Thank you 🙏

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Alok Singha

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