Life's Supreme Purpose
by Swami Sivananda
Life on earth is a School for Wisdom and Realisation of the Self. God is the unseen teacher who through his Great Sons, through Nature Herself, teaches man the secret and source of attainment of eternal Bliss. Thus Life abounds in lessons. He who heeds them heads towards freedom and light; he who neglects, lives in darkness in which the world today is steeped. The misery and suffering that abound everywhere reveal clearly that you have wantonly rejected the lessons of life. Foolish man! your repeated, wanton neglect to learn the lessons of centuries has wrecked your boasted civilisation upon the rocks of hatred and greed. By arrogantly refusing to heed countless warnings you have brought ruin and misery upon the earth. All along History has, time after time, taught that abuse of power brings endless sufferings; that violence, hatred result in destruction and misery. O deluded one! blinded by selfishness you have not yet learnt to restrain your greed, to control your ambitions, to love thy neighbour and to temper might with mercy, strength with justice. Material advancement has perhaps enabled you to dominate over the weak, the meek "that are the salt of the earth"; but you have yourself become enslaved by the fascination of physical might. You are power mad. Your delusion is pitiable. Stand not as a beggar before the door of science seeking power that kills more than heals. Seek within. All power dwells in you, infinite power for good. In your intoxication you think you have won victories. No. You have lost. It is the beast in you that has won the victory and what victory? It is a victory over the man in you. You imagine you have succeeded very well. You have failed miserably. Humanity has sought to attack hatred with greater hatred. The Lesson of Life has ever been "Hatred is not overcome by Hatred, by Love alone is Hatred conquered." The Great Buddha, has he lived in vain then? Spiritual wealth alone is the True Treasure, the wealth of all earth is but vanity. This Truth, Life taught the world through a jewel of Son Mammon. But today Mammon is enshrined in the temple of Man's heart. "All phenomena are false, strive to attain the supreme Reality" is the bold declaration of Sri Sankara. Yet you have made the material world alone the only solid reality. This treacherous mirage is luring humanity to its destruction.
The perverted turn taken by modern commercial and political doctrines of acquisition, exploitation, domination and oppression is a deep fathomless abyss of Maya into which humanity is plunging headlong. Talks and plans of reconstruction are developing into reconstruction of war weapons for fresh destruction. Stop! Stop this downward plunge. Beware in time. Rise up again! Turn this apparent victory into Real Victory now. Manifest your mastery over Mara's machination. You may build a mansion with beautiful plastering, coloured tiles, glass sky-lights, painted doors and windows but if the foundation is sand and the bricks are straw then the whole structure is doomed to collapse. It is the human being that has built up this structure of modern civilisation. The individual is the brick to this structure and he himself has degenerated into an un-Godly, Adharmic, unscrupulous being characterised by extreme greed and utter self-seeking. Therefore with all its external gloss the rotten structure has fallen to earth before the blast of the winds of hatred and passion.
To every man I say "Regenerate Yourself. Strive to be an Ideal Man and soon a New Civilisation will come to prevail upon earth." The apparent triumph of having learnt to harness the atomic energy is like the boon of Bhasmasura that proved his own undoing and burnt him to ashes. Awake! Let this not happen. Humanity, wake up. Turn Godwards! Turn towards the Divine Light while there is yet time. You can yet mend and make good. However low you may have fallen you can rise yet. The Lord has assured Glory even to the worst being if he but mend his ways.
The cycle of darkness and degeneracy has reached its nadir. Come now. Arise victorious and step up towards the zenith of Perfection that awaits mankind.