All animals go through and spend time in the three functions of life, Ahara (eating), Nidra (sleep), Mythuna (mating). Humans also spend their life with these three functions. Then what is the difference between animals and us. Humans are uniquely endowed with the faculty of Buddhi (Intellect) that discriminates good and bad. This faculty of discrimination helps us seek the purpose and goal of life and living. This sets us apart from animal kingdom. Majority of us work typically for jeevanopadhi (livelihood) similar to animals. As humans we should also use our intellect and work simultaneously for Jeevana Parmavadhi (purpose of life).
How many of us are working towards this Jeevana Paramavadhi is the question? Typically in a given society a small percent say 5% of people live a life of absolute laziness and do nothing to contribute either to themselves or to others. A large portion about 90% are satisfied with jeevanopadhi and their life is centered on themselves and their immediate family. The later 5% are the ones who work for jeevana paramavadhi along with jeevanopadhi.
This 5% is the one that make a difference in the world. These people not only work for themselves, their families, but they also work for greater good of the society. They try to find salvation through nishkama karma (selfless action). World has witnessed many people come and go that represent this 95%. These does not reap the full benefit of the full potential of human birth. Then what are the principles that help us attain our full potential. These are as follows:
- 1“Help if you can always – Even if you cannot help – Do no harm”. The above principle is derived from Puranas which are the case history of Vedas. The principle “Help Ever – Hurt Never” is the essence of 18 puranas as Vyasa put it. “Astadasa Puranesu Vyasena Vachanam Dwayam, Paropakaraya Punyaya – Papaya Para Peedanam” means essence of 18 puranas is “helping others is punya and hurting others is papa”.
- “Make a difference with your presence”. Our presence should bring in a positive change in the place or people. This should be the case in all places, in all times, in all circumstances. We should work to make people feel better, to make people happier. When we leave a place that place should be happier than at time of our entrance
- “Life is a balance sheet – Have a positive balance sheet – Leave the world with a positive balance”. Life is a running balance sheet. What we received from others and the world on one side to what we have given to others and the world on the other side. At any given point of final departure from the world, one should leave the world with a positive balance sheet. Unfortunately none of us know when is our departure date. Hence it is prudent to have a positive balance sheet at all times.
- “Attitude of Gratitude” should permeate our very being. This attitude is an acknowledgement of the contributions to our well being from all around us. Various elements and several people contributed for our wellbeing and welfare. This includes more than five trillion cells within our own body. Usually most people lead a life of entitlement as if everybody owes them and as if the world is indebted to them. Attitude of gratitude help us connect and experience our blessings.
- “Experience Connectedness”. We are not alone. We are connected to everything and everyone in the universe. Experience this connectivity. This is the true world wide web (www). Any thought word, action by any one of us has an impact to the totality of universe. As for the law of transformation of energy, the sum total of energy in the universe is constant. It can neither be created nor destroyed and it can only be transformed from one state to another. This applies to all our thoughts, all our words and actions. So we are connected to everybody and to every thing in the universe. One should be careful on what they think, say or do. One should think positive, speak positive and do positive things. This experience of connectedness is Visvaroop Darshan or realization. This is also called Constant Integrated Awareness (CIA). Experience the Oneness, we are.
- “Don’t Worry – Be Happy”. Be yourself is the motto. We are Sat, Chit and Ananda. We are happiness itself. This is the reason why we crave to be happy. Happiness is being home. We are happiness itself. Be happy always. Be at Home. Most of our life is spent with memories of by gone past and worries about the future. In this process we lose the present. Present is a gift. Enjoy it with your presence. Be in the present.
- “Sacrifice the Limitedness”. Ahankar (ego) is the mind’s identification with the limited body. Thyaga is sacrifice. True sacrifice is, sacrifice of our limitedness, so that we expand into unlimitedness (infinite). This is what the Upanishads mean when they declared “Thyagenaike Amrutatva Manasu – Only through sacrifice one attains immortality”. Selfless Service is a good vehicle to expand to our full potential through sacrifice of ego. This is the final frontier in the journey towards self realization. Serve All. Sacrifice what you are not (ego) and be what you really (atma) are, your true self (Atma).