The Imperial Goal of Human Life

Tanushree SrivastavaThere lived a king who ruled over the biggest kingdom of his country. He was an intelligent man and always looked after his people. One day while walking through the kingdom he came across a saint who was sitting beneath a tree. The saint was very famous was for his wisdom and the king couldn’t stop himself from talking with him. The saint asked the king a simple question, he said- “Imagine you are travelling in a desert for days and you haven’t had even a drop of water. Along your journey you meet a man who is ready to provide you with a glass of water in return of half of your kingdom, then say king what will you do?” The king replied- “Of course I will give him half of my kingdom. What is the value of this kingdom to me if I am not alive?” The saint smiled and asked another question- “So after this if you meet another man after 10 days who offers you a loaf of bread in return of the other half of your kingdom, what will you do?” The king said- “I will give him the remaining part of my kingdom, nothing is worth more than my life!” The saint smiled and left the king thinking.

I love this story because it teaches so much about life. So what is life all about? A glass of water and a loaf of bread is all that really matters in the end? I read countless books on spirituality which all teach me that what we are running after is nothing but a mere trap which ultimately leaves us with a void. A very famous Hindi saying defines my life and it goes like this- “What did you bring to this world that you are crying over something that you have lost? What did you produce that turned to dust? You did not bring anything to this world, whatever you have, you have taken from this world, whatever you gave, you gave from this world! You came to this world empty handed and you will leave it the same way! What you possess today was somebody else’s yesterday and will be with someone else tomorrow! You are happy with what you have right now thinking that it will stay with you forever but this is the main reason of all your miseries.

For me the question always stays the same and that is- “what should be my ultimate aim in life?” I keep asking myself the same question over and over again. Being in possession of a good job and a loving family is something that everyone aspires for. Then what will make my goals different from these shallow goals of life? The everyday problems I have today are not relevant to my life in the long run. I am happy with the fact that I am conscious enough to understand that. Life has a million shades and just when you think you know it all, it proves you wrong.

Expectations kill people. While people expect too much out of the other person they are resistant in doing even half of that much for others. I have learnt the hard way of never keeping expectations. In a way that has made me a happier person. If someone does even something as small as offering a smile, I am happy, if not, well I don’t care. Life is so complicated sometimes that I think that the only way to untangle the mess of life is to set certain standards for ourselves. That only something as big as “this” can affect me because today something new always crops up to upset us.

So from now for me, life is all about knowing me. Knowing how much I can do for others, knowing how evil I can be or knowing to what length I can go someone I love. There are a million things that we don’t know about the person that resides within us. We are astonished countless number of times after incidents that happen in our life that how we pulled off something like that. We fail to surprise our own soul each time. No matter how much wealth we have, in the end we are not allowed to take it to heaven (if at all we are allowed there). So I for one would like to end this life time by knowing myself inside out. THAT is my imperial goal of life. I don’t want to stand in front of God and tell him that I couldn’t even know myself completely in all these years that he gave me to live this divine life.