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The ultimate truth May 3, 2009

Posted by eods in The Journey.
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What is the ultimate truth of life?

Many say it death some say its love. I think the ultimate truth in human life is the pain and sorrows. What provoked Muhammad or Gautama Buddha to search that eternal truth? It is something that everyone has to go through. A king who has the power to get everything, a destitute who has nothing to lose, or anyone between these to extremes is equally sad and has sorrows of equal magnitude.

In Gita, Shri Krishna says that often a person develops a desire, that desire when not fulfilled causes anger, anger makes him lose his capability for rational thinking which eventually make him do things which he should not be doing and causes sorrows.What if he fulfills the desire? Then I guess there are more desires, of still higher incentives which are still difficult to fulfill and the chain continues which we call greed.

Then one argues, that the scriptures tell us to be happy with what we have do not aspire for more. Isnt that life dening we are asked. Shouldnt we work to make this world a better place, to do the best of our abilites, think and dream big? Einstein’s research and contribution to field of science has been massive, if he had believed in those scripture he probably would have done all that ?

The feeling of desire is more complex. It is a state where in the person attaches an undue importance to the “destination” and doesnt bother about the path he takes. Most of the people in life has a sole aim of making money, there is nothing wrong in having this sort of objective but, they dont bother about how they will earn it. They dont bother about provind value to the world and then getting money in return. They dont bother to improve the service they provide and earn more money. They will cheat, they will take bribe and earn more money. That is because they “just want money” which is their desire and when they dont get money they get angry. A government servant refuses to do you work and gets angry if you refuse to give him a bribe.

Einstein never worked to invent E=mc2. He merely worked to demystify the relationship between mass and energy. He would not have got angry if he had not reached any conclusion, he would have become restless at the most and worked still harder.  That is what Krishna means when he says dont bother about consequences but do your “Karma”.  He never said that dont dream big, in fact salvation is the highest possible dream that one can have and he stressed on it, everything else is it’s sub set.

There are many philophies which claim to have found answer to the problem of human sorrows and pain. Christianity says that bow before the God, pray for mercy and he is merciful to everyone and will mitigate your sins and make your sorrows dissapear. Islam says that believe in Allah Subhanawatalah and he will take care of you. Buddha had much complex answer about the pain and sorrows and he also denied the concept of god but the four noble truths he professed are not really different from the advice of Krishna

“that suffering is an inherent part of existence; that the origin of suffering is ignorance and the main symptoms of that ignorance are attachment and craving; that attachment and craving can be ceased; and that following the Noble Eightfold Path will lead to the cessation of attachment and craving and therefore suffering.”–Buddha (Taken from Wikipedia)

I think when we think about suffering, we should first analyze if there is any desire at the root cause. Our mind might tell us that the desire is inevitable. If a father is feeling the sorrow of the death of his young son, isnt the desire in his mind that his son should have been with him a just one ? Why should he just drop that desire?

I dont know? I have not yet studied the scriptures in that depth. But I will one day, may be from the personal experiences I will find an answer to the caueses of sorrows and pain!

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Comments»

1. Pavan Kulkarni - May 4, 2009

There have been many enlightened souls after and before Buddha. Buddha perhaps seems like a pale flower when compared to the rest. One need not go through a lot of hardship like Buddha to attain the ultimate truth. Its more like, the first person to climb the everest finds it very difficult, but the rest will not find it as difficult.

There were many reasons why Buddha is so famous today, one reason is, he was a king.

He had to go through so much of hardship before achieving the truth only ‘cuz he dint find the right guru who can guide him through. 🙂

2. eods - May 4, 2009

Interesting point. I wouldn’t go to the extent of calling Buddha a pale flower, but I would agree with you when you say that he had to go through a lot of pain.
I think one reason why the path of Buddha was tough is because he did not believe in a God as such but he called it an eternal truth.
In Gita Shri Krishna tells Arjuna that worshiping the Nirguna is a tough task, and only certain souls are capable of doing it. That might be one reason.

Your point about Guru is also very amusing. Guru sounds to be a concept unique to Hinduism. How exactly does the concept of Guru extrapolate in Christianity or Islam?
I dont know! 🙂

3. Pavan Kulkarni - May 4, 2009

Religion was supposed to be a tool that was created so that people could ultimately achieve the truth through “Bhakti” marga. In Bhakti marga, no logic is supposed to be involved, as in you cannot ask questions like..
– How can Shiva have 3 eyes
– How can Ganga flow from Shiva head
– How can Adam and Eve be the first beings
et al.

Its plain and pure belief and for a guy in Bhakti marga, it doesn’t matter whether its the truth or not.

For guys like us(me, you and others like us) who have been brought up with sooo much of logic around us its difficult to follow a religion and achieve the truth.
And hence quoting religious lines for a logical discussion doesn’t make a lot of sense I feel.

Secondly, as far as Guru “concept” is concerned, its inherent in any society. You go to a historical monument like say Qutub Minar, you would want a guide(expert) to explain you the story of Qutub Minar. You join IIM and expect the experts to transfer the knowledge.
Similarly you want to achieve the truth, you got to talk to a person who has achieved it!.
As simple as that! 🙂

4. eods - May 4, 2009

Bhakti marga, or Bhakti-yog is discussed in depth by Krishna in the 12th Chapter of Gita. Krishna says that it involves devoting every act of the person to the Supreme God. This he says is the simplest way to worship and attain his bliss. Hence it is not impertinent to derive more logical laws to live like the scriptures say. But again it varies from person to person. I do not think that it is Bhakti Marga alone that is prescribed by a religion. There can be many ways and again it would depend on your definition of Bhakti.

If we talk about the bhakti movement in India which started around in 17-18 century before arrival of British, was primarily because protecting the religious value by other means had become impossible. Hence it focused on areas like Art and music which were politically ignored and kept the transition of knowledge from generation to generation. (5th video https://eods.wordpress.com/2009/05/04/hinduism-primer/). But this topic really comes under History and not Spirituality.

I personally believe that studying a scripture must be done in a secular fashion by reading the text as it is, deriving the meaning as it says, possibly comparing it to the society of that time and then comparing it to the current standards of life. The depth where in you forget the logic and get immersed in the experience of the Truth , I don’t think I have reached that state.

W.r.t. Guru, thanks for the personal opinion. I am just trying to find any biblical (or Koranical) reference if it exists in some form or other.

5. eods - May 4, 2009

But Thank a lot.
keep Reading and keep commenting feels great to see someone thinking on same lines. 🙂


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