Lectures and Sermons of Shree Shree Bijoy Krishna Goswami (Gosaiji)

Sadguru Shree Shree Bijoy Krishna Goswami (Gosaiji)

Sl. No. 24 - Sermon - (What is the aim of human life?)

Dhaka - East Bengal Brahmomandir. Lecture in the function of Tatwavidyalaya
Thursday, 24th Agrahayan 1293 Bengali Calender [1887 A.D.]

I was requested to speak on the subject–‘The aim of human life’. Though my health is weak, still I shall try to explain this subject as far as possible.

In all the things created by the Supreme Lord, inanimate objects, plants insects, beasts, birds and human beings, He has a deep design. Whatever objects we see, about whichever subject we discuss, we find that in everything there is a purpose. We find two things in human beings—one is purpose and the other is aim. Knowing the ways and means for the fulfilment of the respective purpose of any matter, given by the compassionate creator, man can know Him by seeing the state of affairs. We do not pay any attention to a piece of stone lying in the forest, but if we find it to contain any design or artwork or when we find the ruins of a large building then the faculty of our inquisitiveness starts working to dig out the cause. Thoughts as to wherefrom has it come, that it must have been made by a good artist, appear in our minds. Thus while roaming in a forest, if we find some flowers strewn on the ground, we may not be attracted, but a garland of flowers lying on the ground draws our attention. We think that some florist must have made it, it could not have come here automatically. The faculty of curiosity, that leads us to achieve knowledge about the maker of the stone piece by seeing the artwork in it, or the florist of the garland, the same curiosity leads us to know the creator by seeing the earth.

He has provided this world with various technics and while on the one hand we are benefitted by them, on the other hand, with them we are achieving Him too. An ignorant man cannot understand anything while looking at a grass, but the botanist finds so much of information contained in it. Just see the trees and plants and creepers around, they contain so much of information. Medicines made out of them are of such great help to us. There is nothing anywhere that is created without a purpose. The Supreme Lord has given ways and means to fulfil the respective purpose in each of His creation. If the seed of a mango tree is planted in a tub instead of proper land, the tree will grow and will also survive for two or four months but will not grow in a proper manner and will not proceed to fulfil its purpose. This is because, the way the creator would have grown the tree has been obstructed.

The creator has given certain inputs to His creations for some specific purpose and made arrangements for the environment to support it. That purpose cannot be fulfilled if there is obstruction to this arrangement. The purpose of the seed of a tree is to produce fruits. The process through which the fruit will come into being is inherent in the seed and other auxilliary things required for it like, light, broad area, soil etc, are also present. If for any reason, these supports are resisted, the seed will not be able to produce fruits. This is for all the trees. Every tree is serving a purpose. The plants produce so many fruits, grains, medicines. It is impossible to describe how much physical relationship we have with these plants.

And every life in this world has a purpose. Beasts and birds and insects, all are moving towards their purpose. Those who have acquired knowledge by their long and wide experience have learnt how beneficial animals are to us, how helpful the ferocious animals, and even snakes are to us. According to some learned people, the world would have been harmed had there been no snakes. With this it transpires that God has given a purpose to each of His creations.

Apart from purpose, the human life has aim too. Other things do not have aims. The mango tree does not know why it is bearing fruits. The sun does not know why it is giving rays. But still it does. They follow the purpose but cannot know why. They have no aim, but their purpose is fulfilled by natural law. But human beings have two parts—the body and the soul. Human beings contain the elements of inanimate objects, plants, beasts and birds and insects, that is the elements of all the matters of the entire universe. Human body contains the elements of the inanimate objects and the plants. When it is alive, it contains animal nature like eating, sleeping etc. This apart the higher nature that it has, is called humanity. By this he is enabled to know the creator of the world and be blessed. Similar to the purpose of the body, the soul also has both purpose and aim. The body is the machine, and the soul is the operator. This body is a house for me to live in. The body is to the soul, what a cage is to a bird. One can see with the eyes, do work with the hands. But do the eyes see? Does the hand work? Had it been true, then why does not the dead body see or work inspite of having eyes and hands? This is because eyes do not see. It is the soul inside that sees and works with the hands. The body falls sick if it is not maintained well, not protected by proper food and activities. It then fails to achieve its purpose. That is why the wise people have said, Shariramadyam khaludharmasadhanam (Means : The body is indeed the foremost medium of meritorious action). The basis of spiritual practice is the body. Some people ignore their body while resorting to spiritual practice. But this should not be done. The body is a wealth given by God. Those who neglect or ignore this, insult the creator. Sometimes out of our ignorance we fall ill. That creates hurdle in achieving our purpose. Those who are young in age, should learn the process and take due care to protect their bodies. Once the health breaks down, one will be pained all the time and will suffer both in the fields of family life and that of dharma. The other creations of God do not understand their purpose, but man has been endowed with the wisdom to understand that. When man can understand the purpose of the body, he should not neglect it.

The Supreme God has given everything to man with which He has built the universe. This is because man will be able to get the knowledge of the entire universe within himself. We have to understand our own purpose and aim, the way we understand the purpose of other matters. I can understand the purpose of my body, but it is difficult to understand the purpose of my soul, because the body is an external object and the soul is internal. In the course of analysing “Who am I”, if I conclude that “I am the body” then I cannot understand my purpose. I can understand my purpose only when I realise that I am different from my body. The conclusion of mistaking body as the soul or self, has been called samsar by the wise people. If after eating, drinking and wearing the best of clothes, one thinks that the purpose of hunger thirst and clothing has been fulfilled then one is grossly mistaken. That is why the preceptors of earlier times had advised people to contemplate - “I am not the body—I am different from the body.” Man engages in cogitation on the subject of the self when he realises, “I am not the body”. He then finds that every human being is created with an assigned task. He then realises that the entire universe is a big machine and every human being constitutes its smaller components. On a visit to an industry containing machines, one finds that various small components put together form a large component and an assembly of such large components form the large machine. It contains even small pins and pieces of belts. The machine cannot run without any one of these. The human society is a very large machine. Each man is its small component. We should never think that others are not doing any important work for the world such as we are doing. Everyone is doing something for the world.

In Ramachandra’s project of building the bridge across the ocean, even as great warriors like Nal, Neel and Hanuman had helped, so did the little squirrel contribute its share as far as possible. The ocean of the world is also like that. It is located between the mortal life and the life beyond. Here like the bigger people, the smaller ones too are contributing their mite.

Man cannot understand his purpose, cannot realise himself until he gets rid of the illusion that “I am the body”. So he hops around from work to work—cannot rest peacefully. Man does not achieve perfect calmness until he reaches his zone of purpose. Those who have not properly realized self knowledge, move around various work, face hurdles and later understand their purpose. But those who think that they are the bodies, can never realize their purpose.

The purpose of one person cannot be fulfilled by another. There are various trees like mango, lemon etc. The utility of one such tree cannot be met by another. Even within the same class there are many divisions. There are many varieties of mangoes and lemons among themselves, but the purpose of one cannot be served by another. Similarly there are varieties among human beings. Each man is different from the other. The purpose of one class or one individual cannot be served by another. The work that is his life’s vow and doing which gives man happiness, begets enthusiasm—develops his soul. He proceeds to do that work—even against opposition by thousands of people, even if the Himalayas stand before him,—based on the understanding that “The Supreme Lord is asking me to do this.” The man who realises the purpose of his work remains equally unflinchingly enthuastic, both in his youth and in old age. He is never weak in fulfilling that purpose of his life. That work is my purpose doing which the heart floats on enthusiasm, happiness and self satisfaction. Again our heart becomes almost dead by the lack of enthusiasm, unhappiness and fatigue when I take up a work that is not the work of my life. What if that purpose of work is a petty one. That work may be one of a porter, a clerk, a writer, a preacher, a cultivator, a teacher, or even a businessman. Who can say that the purpose of a man is only to preach religion and not working as a porter? It has been discussed earlier itself that everyman is a component of the machine that is the human society. One will do just that work for which one is born on this earth, someone else cannot do that work in that manner. The porter will do his work—the preacher will preach religion. No work is petty.

Work may be the purpose of humans but not the aim. Like purpose there is a way to understand the aim of the human beings too. Ever since our childhood we like larger things. The child extends its hands to pick up the larger one of the two sweet meats held before him. What else? Since childhood the human beings have a love for beautiful things. The child wants the beautiful moon, the beautiful flower, the red piece of cloth. The child is attracted also towards things that deliver well being. The child loves the one who loves him. Such things are not taught by anybody, they appear in our mind spontaneously since childhood.

We also have a feeling of reliance since childhood. During childhood one feels that mother can do anything. The child shows his legs to even tigers and lions while sitting in his mother’s lap. While everybody panics during a storm, the child laughs in his mother’s lap. “What is there to fear as I am in my mother’s lap?” All these states of mind keep working since our childhood—we do not know why. As we grow older and the more we enter into the worldly life, we deliberate on physical science and watch the moon, the sun, the stars and planets, the mountains and oceans etc. Yet however big be the objects we notice, nothing gives us total satisfaction. Our heart runs towards still larger things—towards the unlimited. That is why the sages have said Bhumaiva sukham, nalpe sukhamasti (Means : Whatever verily is vast is delight, whatever is limited does not give everlasting happiness)—I am not satisfied even after seeing all the beautiful things of the world, I am moving towards limitless beauty. Similarly the heart is not satisfied by the limited love of the world. It runs towards the unlimited—the soul wants to go to that ever deliverer of well being. Who is that big endless, beautiful, loving gracious repository of reliance? It is Brahman!!

Anandam brahmano vidyan na bibheti Kutashchana,
Yatoba imani bhutani jayante yeno jatani jeevanti,
Yat prayantya visamvishanti, tadbijijnasa swatad brahma.

He is Brahman—by realising whom the soul gets eternal bliss, fear disappears, from whom all the matters are created, maintained and into whom they enter during universal annihilation, we want that Brahman. He is Brahman—the large one. He is Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram. Truth, Deliverer of well being, Beauty. Desire to know Him, similar to the movement of the river down the slope, the current of the heart runs also towards the Unlimited, towards that well being, towards that beauty. Man realises his “aim” when such a state develops in his soul. What is the aim of man? It is the unlimited, beautiful, well being, repository of reliance forever, the Omnipresent Supreme Lord. One who has been able to fix one’s aim like this, considers one’s life meaningless until that aim is achieved.

If a boatman rows his anchored boat repeatedly, he fails to move it an inch even while rowing for some time, it remains where it was at the beginning. Similarly whatever the efforts you may exercise remaining attached to some material object, you will achieve no result, you cannot progress a bit towards your aim. Only when man reaches his aim, goes to his mother, only then he realises what his real strength is. Where is the beauty of the soul until the supersoul enters it. The moon removes the darkness of the earth only after getting the light from the sun. Similarly the soul, on getting the light from the Super soul removes the darkness of the earth.

People spend their lives uselessly, until their aim is fixed. A man cannot perform spiritual practice until he realises what his aim is. I shall talk for and against dharma from day to day and the condition of my soul will remain unchanged until my aim for dharma is fixed. An anchored boat will not move an inch even if ten oars keep swinging. Similarly whatever effort we may exert by our ten sense organs while staying attached to the things other than the Supreme Lord, we will not make any progress in the path of our lives. One whose boat moves, relaxes, takes snacks and smokes too. Again the one whose life is moving towards God, enjoys the pure nectar of bliss, while doing God’s work. How do we know if the boat is moving on our way from Kolkata to Shantipur? This will be indicated by the different villages, different places, that will come on the way and again one by one they will be left behind and finally we shall reach Shantipur. And if Kolkata is seen again and again without seeing different villages on the way, we conclude that the boat is not moving. Similarly one whose life is on the track of dharma enjoys newer experiences daily—achieves knowledge, love and purity. And if that does not happen, then I am making no progress in the path of dharma. If I still resort to falsehood, still continue to hold hostile feelings towards people, cast evil eyes towards other’s wife as before, then I have not advanced even a little bit towards my life’s aim. No dharma has been achieved. I participate in prayers, sing samkeertan, do noble work and get some joy also out of these, but my life is not getting transformed from falsehood to truth, from hostility to love, from sin to purity. This joy therefore is not the bliss of Brahman, it is just a temporary emotion of joy that one gets on reading some poems etc. Under the circumstances, one should conclude that one’s aim is yet to be fixed. If I find that I cannot love other’s children the way I love mine, then I should recognise that the boat of my life is stuck somewhere. It is not moving towards its aim. I may see a thousand glittering things on the way, but I must not forget that I am going to my mother—my home. Only the one whose aim is fixed will go.

The preceptors of ancient times never used to give any religious sermons until one’s aim was fixed. Two fishermen fond of beautiful nets asked for spiritual initiation from Jesus Christ. Christ told them, “I can initate you if you throw away those well knit nets into the water.” To avoid being noticed by the people as that might affect his prestige, an elite person used to visit him secretly at night. Jesus turned him down by saying that he was not fit for it when requested for sermons by him. A brahmin came begging to Sanatan Goswami. He gave the brahmin a philosopher’s stone. The brahmin deliberated and felt that this man must have got something much more precious than this philosopher’s stone, else, he would not have been able to gift away this philosopher’s stone at all. Then the brahmin told Sanatan Goswami, “Oh Lord, what is that you have got, that is more precious than this trifle? Please therefore give me that jewel.” Sanatan Goswami said, “Oh brahmin, I can give you that jewel if you throw away that philosopher’s stone held by you in the river Yamuna.” The brahmin threw away that stone immediately into the Yamuna and was subsequently initiated by Sanatan Goswami. This only signifies that one cannot move along the path of dharma until one’s aim is fixed. One will not appreciate the glory of dharma by performing religious acts unless one develops the thirst for reaching one’s goal. That is why the preceptors used to prepare the ground before sowing seeds.

I will not stay forever in this world, the world is not my eternal support. Renunciation will not come unless, it is realised by me, as to what I shall hold on to for eternity, in the after life. If truth, beauty, giver of well being, the Supreme Lord is my aim then I cannot rest without achieving Him. I cannot be satisfied even after getting the entire wealth of the world. Who can be a cleverer trader than me if I can get that eternal ‘essence of essence’ by trading with the transient, and by giving away the entire samsar?

Yuvaiva dharmashilah syat. Dharma is to be attained from childhood. Those denying this, have not been able to appreciate the aim of human life! First learn the aim of the body and mind and then build your body accordingly. Later realise the aim of the soul – achieve progress in knowledge. You have to reach your aim, that ‘Truth–Well being–Beauty’ by linking knowledge with all matters and performing God’s desire after entering the samsar. The samsar is like a river and the life is a boat, all work are oars and God is the destination. On reaching Shantipur from Kolkata (by the river route) it is seen that all those that started their journey, some in a steamer, some in large boats, some in small boats have reached. Among the passengers who have reached, some are rich, some poor, and some porters and labourers too. Similarly on reaching the goal of humans —the Supreme Lord—it is seen that people following different routes of different calibres, doing different works such as preaching or carrying loads, all have reached and achieved the real aim – God. One who has reached his aim, who is accomplished, will find that all are in the lap of the universal mother—irrespective of whether he be a mahatma or a labourer. He will also see that the world and the after world are both in the Mother’s lap. The afterworld can be seen from this world on reaching one’s ‘aim’ and on reaching one’s ‘aim’, from the after world too this world can be seen. That place is paripurnamandam, full of eternal bliss. All have a place in her lap—The English, Christian, Muslim, the brahmin! Innumerable sages, saints fakirs, Jesus Christ, Nanak all are to be seen in her. We have no other aim but her. To reach this aim we must proceed daily. We shall reach our goal if we can progress daily. Sound of paripurnamandam will emit ! Our life will become as sweet as honey.