What is the purpose of your life?

earth's timeline

Last Sunday, as I was trotting towards the nearest bus stand with two of my friends as we hurried to catch up our show of  Transformers:Revenge of the fallen, we were halted in the middle of the road by three young chaps. They hailed from a Christian society and were very polite. One of them threw a question at us – “What is the purpose of your life?”

Now, imagine yourself in such a situation. You are all excited and ready to see the latest machine war flick and someone pops the “purpose of life” question in front of you. Its like asking a soldier to choose the menu for the dinner while he is busy dodging bullets in the enemy’s firing line.

“Right now, the purpose of my life is to reach IMAX on time.”, I said and smiled.

“Would you like to have a postcard from us which will entitle you to a dvd about Jesus Christ? Its for free.”

“Yes!”

I could not believe this. They were young kids who could be watching a movie or going on a date. Instead, they were stopping people in the middle of the road and asking them the purpose of life!?! I found those guys too spiritual, in the same way in which they would have found me too materialistic.

When Swami Dayanand saw the mouse trampling on the ShivaLingam, he was devastated. He could not understand that how can the Almighty Lord possibly allow a mere mouse to just walk over his statue and eat the offerings? Asked in another way, if God wants Earth to be the Garden on Eden, then why does he allow evil to breed? Yes, we have all heard about the balance between the Good and the Evil, but isn’t that too lame an excuse for God’s incompetency?

Sometimes I feel that we are obsessed with the unknown. Aliens, werewolves, mermaids, witches, vampires, yeti, fairies, dragons, heaven, hell. God. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I don’t believe in God. I know there is a power which drives us. Its not all about probability, serendipity or theory of randomness. There is something more to it and I am sure that that shall never be revealed to us. That is our destiny. To understand God is to unscramble scrambled eggs.

What I hate is the Glorification, the Spiritualization of the rest of us by a selected few, the sanctification, the cleansing and the conversions. If someone has to come to me and ask me the purpose of my life then either that person is absolutely confused about the purpose of his own life OR my face gives an impression that I am completely purposeless and I am sure that the latter is not true. 🙂

If we have not realized this by now, Religion is a business in modern times. It always was, but now its booming. We have billions riding on it. When a temple can raise a donation of Rs 5 Crores(approximately 1,046, 684 $) in 7 hours, then the sky is the limit. The terrorism industry is an offspring of religion. The politicians use religion to get to the seat of power. We use it as a reason to rape women. We use it to forcibly marry off our children without their consent. Its a way to make instant money on the internet. And if you have no reason to hate your neighbour, religion can be a very tempting bait. And so where is God in all this? Well, maybe he is sitting in a corner and doing this :

LaughingCartoon

I am sure I am born for a purpose but I am also sure that a priest or a spiritual Guru cannot reveal it to me. No one can. I am sure this is something which can’t be revealed. Maybe there is nothing to be revealed, but to understand. I am also sure that chanting a deity’s name or lying in the feet of the lord or donating crores for a yagya cannot be the purpose of my existence.

If you look at the chart of the Earth’s evolution at the top, humans have just appeared. Its amusing how we have pushed the Earth on the brink of collapse in such a short span of time. The rate at which we are going, we will end up being nothing more than a faint flash of existence on the vast timeline of the universe. We can either live for thousands of years in harmony or we can end up like the dinosaurs.

The existence of each generation of humans is a story with a moral at the end. It is us who will be writing the moral for the next generation. Its us who will be deciding whether the next generation will live a life better or worse than us. To give them a better life, all we have to do is to just live our lives without any hatred and everything else will fall into places. Just live.

Now how is that for a purpose?

Severn Suzuki and THE One tight slap

It was the year 1992 and Severn Suzuki was a 12 year old kid. She raised money with the members of the Environmental Children’s organization (ECO) and attended the United Nation’s Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro. She gave a six minutes speech there which received a standing ovation from the delegates of the various countries. According to her, a few of them cried too. Her speech was nothing less than a one tight slap on the face of all the “Adults” who think that spending money on War related activities and developing new weapons is more important than spending it to remove poverty and illiteracy and on environmental Issues. Her speech was hard hitting but whether it lead to some action or not was something Severn herself wrote 10 years later in a Special Report in the TIME called “The young can’t wait”. An excerpt –

I spoke for six minutes and received a standing ovation. Some of the delegates even cried. I thought that maybe I had reached some of them, that my speech might actually spur action. Now, a decade from Rio, after I’ve sat through many more conferences, I’m not sure what has been accomplished. My confidence in the people in power and in the power of an individual’s voice to reach them has been deeply shaken.

You can read the full report here.

This is the video of the speech. Don’t miss the expressions on the faces of the delegates.

You can read her speech here.

Since her bold foray in the UN Summit, Severn has been an active environmental activist, speaker, television host and an author. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Ethnoecology.

(The photograph is taken from Wikipedia)

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