The power of purpose
[Talk at the University of Arlington, Dallas, USA]
Transcribed by : Muralidhar Prabhu
The Power Of Purpose
Fundamental difference between living and non-living things; difference from a functional point of view; non-living things exists and deteriorate after some time; living beings also live and we also deteriorate and die; during our existence we have the various needs which we try to fulfil; food, air, water, heat etc are needs; similarly there is a need at a subtler level which is for a purpose and meaning.
Purpose in two different ways: something we live with and somethings we live for; without the fuel the car will not function; we need fuel but consuming the fuel is not the purpose of the car; the purpose of the car is to take us to a certain destination; what we live for is the purpose and what we live with is the resources, which can help us to achieve our purpose; it becomes especially confusing when those resources are highly glamorised; wealth for example, it can become so glamorised that it can become the purpose for which we live; we need to live with money and not for money; when money becomes the purpose then they start defining themselves from how much money they have; peoples self-worth becomes equated with their net worth; then it becomes a uni-dimensional life; if a student starts making the marks one gets the purpose of studies then it distorts; the purpose of study is to have an educated mind; issues with self-esteem – the lack of self-confidence – it comes not become we are not talented but because we unwittingly wedded ourselves to some purpose which is not important for us; dreams given to us by our parents, relatives, society, etc becomes our dream; the importance of purpose -we may not feel the need for a purpose immediately, but the lack of purpose does two things – it does not allow us to live life enthusiastically and when obstacles come they overwhelm us; our purpose gives us momentum; our purpose enables us to push thru obstacles; reasons for depression, anxiety, etc is because we do not have a purpose that speaks deeply to us; we do have some purpose without which we cannot live- but the question is whether that purpose has come from deep within us or is it a purpose that has been given to us; if the purpose has been given to us does that purpose connect within us; if that does not happen we stay half-hearted in whatever we do.
Court case between husband and wife; the court case was of the future of the children; judge said ask your son; he is not yet born; we live in a society that plots our career chart even before we are born; merely being a well-wisher is not enough unless that well-wisher has also the knowledge and skills; if we accept a purpose that is not connected within that lack of enthusiasm will lead to low self-esteem, depression, lack of confidence and also lead to suicide; one of the most influential books of the last century was Man’s Search For Meaning; holocaust – survived where those who had a strong purpose; without the need being addressed we will feel ourselves disempowered.
How do we tap the power of purpose? What do we have to do? There are two ideas of what purpose could mean? There is a subjective purpose for our life and an objective purpose for life itself. Objective purpose means why is there life, what is the purpose of this world? What are we meant to live for? Most of the time when self-help books talk they focus on the subjective individual purpose of life; it is important; this individual purpose cannot be divorced from the universal purpose; is there anything called a Universal Purpose at all; many people will say there is nothing like a Universal Purpose; if you look around the world and look at Science itself; science is a search for meaning and purpose; Newton-apple fall- monkey- what made the apple fall – question itself – what made him ask the question-implies that things do not happen arbitrarily- there is a pattern and order; science is the search for that order; subatomic level and cosmic level there is order; why is there order; what is the purpose of the order; though science finds order at an individual level it does not have an order for the bigger picture; an example- if in a cave we find writings in an intricate patter and we decipher the word for each of those patterns but if the overall message itself does not make sense then one will try to find out what is message that is being conveyed; science similarly is finding patterns in the small picture but is not finding meaning in the big picture; this is because the big picture involves consciousness; and science does not study consciousness; at the dawn of science, it decided that it will study measurable quantifiable parameters; primary properties; not measurable properties such as taste, beauty, etc; the secondary properties got relegated to the background; but what matters most is the secondary properties; the biggest fear of this century is the fear of rejection; there is no way to measure whether this person cares for me or not; there is no love-meter; purpose is not quantifiable; our purpose exist at the level of consciousness. The soul is on a journey of evolution of consciousness; the soul is looking for a lasting love; in the light of this ultimate purpose, which is evolution of consciousness -each of our lives has individual purpose; and during our life journey our purpose is contribution; we are all meant to contribute in some small way and thru that contribution we are meant to get satisfaction; what we are is the divine’s gift to us and what we become is our gift to the divine; there is a higher exchange or reciprocation between the self and the divine; reciprocation; who we are now is what we are meant to be for our spiritual evolution; most of us may have some feeling of inadequacy- but our deficiencies do not define us, it is a part of who we are; our identity need not be defined in terms of a comparative mirror;
based on the core of who we are we will realise that we just have to become the best of who we are and not become someone else; if God wanted us to be someone else He would have made that someone else; we have to develop our spiritual side so that independent of our material side, we will have security within in; if we are insecure within the insecurity will blur our vision; security gives us clarity; the power of purpose is that it dissipates our inner mist;
the mind keeps dissipating our energy thru negative thoughts; the spiritual side stops the oscillation of our mind; even when there are great difficulties the power of purpose will help us to go thru with tolerance and persistence.
Celebrity status at an young age- after that what?
IF WE HAVE THE SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING FROM WITHIN THAT IAM A PART OF THE DIVINE AND I HAVE AN ETERNAL PURPOSE OF SPIRITUAL EVOLUTION AND I HAVE MY OWN PLACE WHICH I CAN ATTAIN IF I JUST BECOME MYSELF AND CONTRIBUTE ACCORDING TO WHO I AM THEN WE CAN BECOME REVIGORATED AND MARCH FORWARD IN LIFE; THAT IS THE POWER OF PURPOSE.
VAS- Varna Asrama System facilitated spiritual evolution and material contribution
In life there are two broad things we want to know – the destination and the means to the destination; sadhya and sadhan; a medicine – how to know that the medicine is not tampered; one way is to retrace from manufacturer to retailer; but what can we see is that we someone else has benefitted and our own experience; BG began with a confusion – BG tells that act in a mood of loving service; BG18.73 – I will do your will-my purpose is to harmonise with the divine and the harmonising with the divine is Bhakti Yoga is all about; in BG 10th chapter he accepts Krishna as the Supreme. The fidelity of the transformational effect of the BG on Arjuna is still being maintained, if we observe those who are teaching the Gita and those who are trying to live the Gita now, the effect is still the same – they have come to the understanding that Krishna is the Supreme and the process of developing a loving relationship with Him is to harmonise my desires with His desires.