The Purpose of Life

Today Gurudeva answers a question about the purpose of life--which he explains as Realization of the Self. In answer to another question, he cautions that religion is not an intellectural study, so one should try to keep it simple and strive put into practice what one understands. He recommends karma yoga, service without thought of reward, as the sure cure for discouragement and many of life's ills. He talks about gifts, and the best gift, something made with one's own hands.

Unedited Transcript:

Today at Kauai Aadheenam. 24th of February.

We have a couple of questions today. But first, we had a beautiful havana. There are some guests from Vancouver. Very, very lovely people and they are travelling with us to Anchorage, Alaska on our cruise where we will have classes and study and conversations and get to know each other in a very wonderful way. All aboard, everyone! In the middle of June, we are on our way to Anchorage, Alaska on an Innersearch Travel-Study program, starting off in Vancouver.

We have a question from Wayne, who is in Vancouver, British Columbia. Wayne is a true devotee. He is listening every day to our website and appreciates it very much. He wants know how to find his life's task and know the correct path.

Well, there is a higher path and a lower path. A higher path is the path of seeking the Self within and the lower path is producing babies to hopefully seek the Self within themselves. That is the way it has been and that is the way it has been and that is the way it will probably always be.

Wayne is having a back problem. I suggest a chiropractor. That has nothing to do with your life's work! Send us your date and time of birth and place of birth, Wayne and we will run out on our computer for you, a career chart. That might be helpful for you in finding your way and I will see you in Vancouver, in June.

A question from Marcos, in Brazil. This is a very complicated question, Marcos. Stay with 'Dancing with Siva'. It is a very simple contemporary catechism. I am glad you are studying it. But don't go into a lot of other books. That is very, very complicated. Approach Sanatana Dharma from your heart, not from your intellect. It is not an intellectual study. It is a religion. When you get ready and are confident enough, join the religion fully. Rather than being on the outside of the window looking in, make a commitment. Become a Hindu and then you will be on the inside of the window looking out. We are thinking Sivathondu, karma yoga, service to your temple. Sweep the paths. Bring in wood for the fire. There are many different things one can do for a Hindu Temple, like making garlands for the Deity. This takes your mind off your personal self. You can't think of your personal self when you are making a gift for someone, a dear friend, a parent, or a God. You are involved in thinking how they will feel when they receive the gift.

So if you are discouraged, if you feel down, if you are depressed, make a gift for somebody with your hands. In the United States, fifty/sixty years ago, it used to be that a gift was not a gift unless it was made by somebody's two hands with their love put into it. Now of course, you can send an e-mail and have a gift sent to anyone all over the world. It is a rather cold gift, but the thought is nice.

Karma yoga, or Sivathondu is a wonderful medicine for perhaps, bad backs and depression, feeling sorry for oneself, and all kinds of worriment. Do something for others, do something for your local temple and the good karma will come back to you in many unseen ways.

We will be with you again tomorrow. We just enjoyed a wonderful two-day retreat reflecting on what we did previously and reflecting on the future just a little bit, while endeavoring to live in the eternity of the moment.

Aum Namah Sivaya.