The Purpose of Life

Excerpted from a lecture given by the Siri Singh Sahib Ji. Full lecture published in Success and the Spirit: An Aquarian Path to Abundance.  

Virtues are virtues and wishes are wishes. Every human being wants to have more virtues, and wishes for much more than virtues. The question is how to have it . . . The question is not how you live. You have the right to live as you want. That is not the question. The question is, are you living within your understanding of who you are? That is the question.

The question is not whether you are virtuous or wishful, the question is, have you understood your commitment and the depth of your commitment?

What does it mean to live a full life? A full life is when a man has both his commitment and an understanding of his commitment – and even death cannot change it. Guru Nanak had a commitment. Death couldn’t change it. Jesus Christ had a commitment. Death couldn’t change it. Moses had a commitment. For 40 years he carried the commandments through the desert without any change. When man has spiritual ecstasy and elevation, forget about temptation, even death can’t change him. Such a person creates a legacy. The person dies and the legacy lives. That is the only beauty granted to a human being. 

How many times you get married; how many times you become unmarried. How many times you are a Sikh; how many times you are not a Sikh. How many times you are human, how many times you are not human. You know 500 lifetimes in the past; you know 5,000 lifetimes in the future. You can make rain; you can not make rain. You can produce gold; you can lose gold. All that is nonsense – it is totally material.

It does not matter how material or non-material you are. What matters is whether death can lose you or you can lose death.

It is true that Jesus the Carpenter set the renaissance. Gautam Buddha the Prince set the renaissance. Nanak the Guru set the renaissance. Mohammed the Hazarat set the renaissance. Did death eliminate them? No. Death is as life is.

Jo upji-o so binas hai paro aaj kai kaal. 

Whatever has been created shall be destroyed; everyone shall perish, today or tomorrow.

Guru Teg Bahadur, Siri Guru Granth Sahib, Page 1429, Line 4

Whosoever has to be born shall die. The purpose of life is when death cannot kill you.

Man can kill a man. Poison can kill a man. Disease can kill a man. The will of God can kill a man. God can kill a man. It is all true – I have no dispute with it. But is it true? No. Is Jesus dead? No. Is Guru Nanak dead? No. Is Buddha dead? No. When we are alive we do not know whether we will live forever or not. When a mortal is mortal, he does not know whether he can become immortal. But when death takes its toll, a mortal can become immortal, then that immortality becomes the legacy. And that is the purpose of life.

Why don’t we burn people once they have died? We put them in graves. We carve their memory into the stones. Once in a while, some relatives go and put flowers on the grave. Sometimes when we are young lovers, we go someplace and write our names on mountains and on stones. Sometimes when we sit together, we carve our names on the trees – first the initials and then a lot of hugs and crosses.

It is the distinct nature of the soul that it comes on the earth to live forever by merging into the Creator that we call God. It has a price. That price we have to pay is taught as a science called dharma – whichever dharma it is.

The art of living is what the dictates are. Every religion is beautiful. There is no dispute that religions are beautiful. You can convert to any religion; you can change to any form and shape. But have you understood reality or not? That matters. You are a human. Have you understood what a human is? That matters.

Whether you are a good person, a bad person, a rich person, a poor person, a religious person or a fake doesn’t mean a thing. Why do we say, “God, save us from anger, greed, attachment, pride and lust?” Because these are the five senses that make a human being insane.

These five powers can be used properly. When you are angry either you have no control over your anger, or you can drive your anger towards your excellence and your purity – you can become God.

What about Jesus? He went to school. The kids beat him up. “You are a bastard,” they said. He came home and asked his mother, “Am I a bastard?” She said, “No. An angel came to me, and told me you are by the will of the Divine.” “Who is my father?” She said, “He is in the heavens.” That’s it. The kid stuck with it. The king told him, “Just change your statement.” He said, “No, my father is the real king. I am in His kingdom, not in yours.” The poor Roman general begged him. “Please don’t be so spaced out. Just make a little amends.”

Then there was Guru Arjan. “Guru Arjan Partakh Har.” Personified God. They asked him to sit on a hot plate. “We will put hot sand on you and roast you like a potato.” He sat. The Muslim saint Mian Mir said, “What is going on? If you don’t want to do something, I will cool it for you.” Guru Arjan said, “No. Somebody in human form who believes in me will sit on the hot plate in the future. I am just leading the way.”

. . . You can do whatever you want, but when it is a matter of fate and destiny, then let it be. No interference is required. Between man and God there are two paths: the path of fate and the path of destiny. Those who will give distance to their destiny shall fall into the path of fate. When you walk on the path of fate, you may feel very happy and be an egomaniac, but when the fatal moment comes, you will be lost again.

When you walk on the path of destiny, it doesn’t matter what distance you cover. When the fatal blow of death comes, you shall be liberated. That is all – that is the difference.

All this chanting, the religious rituals and religious ceremonies – the whole life we live – is for that last moment. Was I true to my dharma, or was I not? There comes a moment before death when you are judged in the trinity of you, your destiny, and your fate. And that judgement is your decision – nobody else’s.

Doing yoga practices and doing rituals – all of it – is to remind and re-remind us to develop that habit. This is why prayer is powerful. When you are helpless, when you are absolutely weak, you are gone, you are nothing, you are hanging with this little thread between life and death, all of what you have done in your life either reminds you of God or not.

. . . It is that impotency of karma that takes dharma away from you. You start the sequence that creates the consequences and, finally, you lose the game. Why? Because you do not have your intuition under your control. The divine guidance is not there. Whenever a man is guided by his ego, insult in the court of God is guaranteed. God’s kingdom has a direct animosity with ego.

Ego and divinity will never walk together. When you burn a candle, the darkness will go away. Put out the candle and the darkness will come back. There are no two opinions.

Why do we need intuition? We need it in every moment. Why? Because I want to know. And if I don’t know, I have to hustle. And then I waste all that precious life in hustling . . .

Intuition. The word has a prefix. It will cut across human rational logic and set you on faith.

Success and the Spirit: An Aquarian Path to Abundance

Lectures and Meditations from the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan

Yogi Bhajan had a unique perspective on how to achieve success–everything comes from within you. This book contains more than 15 lectures and 40 kriyas and meditations to give you the practical techniques to become more peaceful, more bountiful, more joyous and more giving.

Three keys to Success and the Spirit: 1) Know who you are 2) Allow everything to come to you 3) share it with others!

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