One can take it for granted that passing a final examination of one’s studies is half the purpose behind getting educated. Getting a satisfying career is the better half of it. Alternatively, one can begin a career based on available knowledge and while continuing the career enroll in a distant education course and attain more qualifications.
Likewise, the life of an individual is successful when one is awakened or gets self-realization. This is attained through the intellectual path, and is blessed when one becomes a devotee of the Lord through obeisance and firm belief, following the way that wise persons have travelled.
In education or Awakening, curiosity, patience and perseverance play a major role in achieving the goal. This achievement is accomplished by pursuing one’s career sincerely or through devotion to the self or God.
Worldly knowledge is for the sustenance of one’s life. It also connects the curious mind to the knowledge path of spirituality. The mind analyzes various existing theories and tries to propound a new one to establish its superiority. Sometimes it gets entangled in its own web of thoughts. It is said that Lord Buddha used to become unconscious, due to intense thinking about the mystery of life. To solve the mystery one has to be prepared even for the sacrifice of body and life. Such a degree of determination and urgency make the truth dawn in the seeker’s life, turning it into a successful life. This is one half of the personal objective. The better half is revealed through service to mankind.
Inculcating faith in the pursuit of truth, encouraging good character, service to others, removing doubts and illusions, reminding and spreading the glory of God – the immortal element present in all – are some of the occupations which a self-realized soul takes up for its sustenance and pleasure. This, of course, is conducted through selfless efforts, and beneficiaries also feel indebted forever. There is nothing that could be considered more, or even equal, in comparison to this gain. The leader is happy to see the follower successful. In fact, both become one (not physically) in the process.
The other way one can start in spirituality is by rendering devotional services, without a feeling for self-realization, which is, however, bound to dawn on such devotee in the due course of time.
In fact, rendering devotional services is an independent process for attaining real happiness and true pleasure. Here is an example:
A super fast train stopped at an intermediate junction station. Three elderly passengers (two ladies and a gent, aged 65-70 years) got in the second compartment with about ten items of luggage. The coolies dumped the luggage in the compartment telling those passengers that the train was about to leave and they could shift to their compartment (No. 7) through the vestibules. The train moved and these passengers had no option other than to remain standing by the side of the luggage in the corridor, causing inconvenience to other passengers. The train had to cover 280 km in just 4 hours, in daytime. Hence it had all sitting seats reserved and the next stop was after 2 hours away.
Suddenly a young fellow got up from his seat and told the old man that he was traveling with his mother-in-law and asked her to confirm it to the old man. Then he explained his plan of shifting their luggage to their compartment. In the first round he collected 3 items, took one of the ladies with him, noted the seat numbers and proceeded to their reserved seats. He left the first old lady there and, for the second round, asked the old man to accompany him. Crossing five compartments through corridors was not easy for the old man, so he occupied his reserved seat and asked the young man to make the next round himself, believing in the genuine motivation of the young man. The young man made a third round alone with luggage. Finally, on his fourth round he was accompanied by the second lady. After finishing the job he came back to his seat and his mother-in-law asked: “Why did you do this laborious job for them?” The young man simply replied that now he was enjoying his rest – physically as well as mentally. A sense of satisfaction dawned on him and his eyes smiled.
Untill one becomes self-realised, letting one’s ego subside is a form of unique selfishness. Then starts divine pleasure, through service to mankind. After all, God has to take care of His creation through such people and in return a devotee receives a unique kind of peace and pleasure through his relationship with Him.
See also my articles: The spectrum of the love of God and Paramour Love – enjoying the eternal relationship with God
SP Sharma, India