We materialistic people works whole day to make our life easy and smooth. The lesion has taught to us from day 1 of our academic education and by parents at home (at least in INDIAN middle class family). However, the question is what is purpose of life?
Let us discuss the purpose of life in the light of Indian Vedanta and scriptures. Vedanta is saying that there are four purposes of human life. So, life seeks those four things. We will define those four purposes in Vedic view and we will try to understand the literal meaning of those.
1) Kama - The word literally mean “Desire”. It may bring pleasure in life immediately. Say for example, my aim is to get good job in good MNC and when I get it, I am very happy. I have fulfilled my Kama. However, keep in mind that, this kind of enjoyment last least in life. Once my kama finished the happiness goes off. It bases on intension and closer to personal need.
2) Artha – Literal meaning of Artha is “Engagement”. The job/work which you really love to do it. It’s not important that it will give you pleasure immediately but surely at certain time. The profound example of Artha might goes like this , You like to help people or like to teach poor children in your free time. It may not give in time pleasure during your job but you will feel happiness when you will think about it, after many days. So may bring certain meaning in your life. You will feel more happiness than “kama”
3) Dharma – This is very much closure to meaningful life. It teaches the meaning of life. Now people may think this in different prospective. Someone may think that I will dedicate my entire life for because of other’s goodness, where someone may not.
Now, the point to say in this context is that, all those three are for your happiness. When I get something you fulfill your desire(Kama), you are happy for some moment. When you find Artha in your life you are more happier than the first one, I mean happiness will last longer than “Kama”. When you find meaning f your life (Dharma) ,you are even more happy than “Artha”.
4) Moksha – To know “Who am I?” and by knowing this you happy entire your life.
In this article we will try to understand the concept of who am I by going through a sloka of Sankaracharya who is famous commentator of Advaita Vedanta. The title of the sloka is “Drg Dresya Viveka”. Let’s understand the title at first, the meaning of those 3 Sanskrit words are.
Drg : Witness/Viewer or one who seen
Drisya : Form/View/ Scenario / Known
Viveka: Separation / Discrimination
To understand the real meaning of this sloka, you have to follow it by only reading it’s not possible. You have to practice this.
Ok, here is very very important point to remember before going to sloka.
1) Viewer and View must be different: It is in obvious reason. Say for example, I am seeing one car in street. So, car and I am separate.
2) View might be in different form but viewer is one. Again, this is very simple to follow. There might be 10 different cars in road but I am the same.
So, we will keep those points in mind during our journey. Here is the sloka in Sanskrit. The first line is
Rupam Drisham , lochonom drk
Meaning of this line is : Rupam, means Forms or objects. Drisham ,means scenario. So the meaning of “Rupam Drisham” is objects are making scenario. Meaning of “lochonom” is eye and meaning of “drk” is witness. So the meaning of whole line is : Objects are forming scenario and my eyes are witness of this.
Now, apply the first rule on this. Viewer and view must be different. Ok, the objects are different from my eyes. Therefore, my eyes are the knower and forms are known. Here is next line.
Tad Drishram Driktumanasam
Meaning of this line is : “Tad” means That. Meaning is “Drishram” is view. The word “Driktumanasam” implies your mind. So, meaning of whole line is “Your mind is witness of your eyes”. And the discussion is very simple and easy to follow. When we see very nice sight, we became happy I mean our mind became happy. When we watch something sorrowful, we feel sad in our mind. That is why it’s saying that our mind is witness of our eyes.
And again , here is first principal holds. Viewer and view must be different. Therefore, our mind is different from our eyes.
Meaning of “Drishodhibrittoyo” is Changing of mind and the meaning of “sakshi” is Viewer. So, something is there who is seeing my mind.
We have to understand this section pretty well. Something/someone is there who is (sakshi) seeing my mind ! Who is seeing my mind? Who is “Sakshi”? I am seeing my mind. Because I know when my mind is happy, I know when my mind is unhappy; I know when my mind is in stress.
So, I am the witness of my mind and by applying first rule I and my mind are different. If I, and my mind are different. Then where is “I” in my body?
So, the Idea at the end of this line is , You are not Forms, you are not objects, you are not eyes , you are not mind but you are something who is seeing your mind and you physically detached to your mind.
Now, Idea comes like this. If you think, “I am happy” then you are not happy! You are the viewer of your happy mind. If you think that you are in sorrow, then you are not in sorrow! You are the viewer of your sorrowful mind.
And the sloka ends like this.
Dreg e banatu drishotte
Meaning of this whole line is “The sakshi is never known”. So, there is nothing which is seeing You. The complete darkness.
So, whole process culminates that there is one sub-conscious mind which is viewing your mind and that is who you are!