We have a question from Hari
People always talk about how they want to achieve more and more in their life.
When it comes to life all they seem to have is ambitions and nothing else. Apparently ambition for power, money and happiness drives people. How exactly did our society come to the norm that success is being at the top and striving to do more ?
It is a basic animalistic instinct to dominate other animals and establish territorial control.
Observe Dogs, cats, Bulls, cows, Lions, even Ants. Every animal strives for territorial control. The Tiger urinates around to mark its territory, the dogs chase away dogs who infiltrate their territory and this is what humans do as well.
- This is my house, you cannot enter this place.
- She is my wife, only I have the right to love her.
- He is my son, I own him.
- That is my car.
- This is my land, only I can decide what to do with it.
- This is my money.
You see this very concept of “I”, “Me”, “Mine” is deeply rooted in each one of us. We are only concerned about “I”. Our identity, our status, our possessions, our ambitions, our goals and the list continues.
Why are we concerned only about ourselves? Why is that nobody has the time to think about others and people are so busy figuring out their lives that they are always running after “I”, “ME” and “MINE”.
The simple reason is people don’t know who they are and what they want from life. They are figuring it out and as they figure it out, they get deluded by the chase and the mirage continues to delude them. Most of us are “Bhogis” who want to enjoy the pleasures of the world, without even knowing who they are and what they want.
Who is a Bhogi?
A Bhogi is the person who spends his time enjoying the pleasures of the world.
A subject who has trapped himself in material desires and thinks that the fulfilment of material desires is the way to attain self realization. He is just a slave of money and material pleasures, not realizing that the acquisition of more money will breed more desires in his head and eventually he will become a victim of his own desires. He hops from one thing to another, one job to another job to another job, one business to another business, recklessly accumulating things and craving more for it. This is how most people live their life.
The more you think about “I”, “ME” and “MINE”, the more desires you will have and the more ambitious you will be. The more ambition you have, the more discontent you will become. Things like Anger, lust, cravings, sorrow, will grow inside you and slowly you will become a dangerous animal. Your humanitarian qualities will be slowly gone with more and more ambitions and desires.
People think that achieving what they want to achieve will give them fulfilment, happiness and satisfaction. We are all “discontent”. We are not happy, hence we are chasing something to become happy, to be fulfilled, to think that we are doing something worthwhile.
But this thought is merely an illusion because there is no end of the chase. You want a job, then you want money, bank balance, family, property, securing your family’s future and then one day you die.
What’s the point of living then – to recklessly accumulate stuff which was already there and think that you own them? And one day you are dead and all the things you had accumulated goes to someone else. What’s the point of accumulating then?
Hunger and imagination
The second part of the question
How exactly did our society come to the norm that success is being at the top and striving to do more ?
It all starts with Hunger and imagination.
- Humans can “imagine” hunger.
- Humans want to prepare for a “Future” which they have “imagined”.
- A dog is frightened when he sees another dog (predator). A human gets frightened when he imagines a predator (e.g I might lose this job because the Boss dislikes me)
- A tiger gets excited when he sees a prey. A human gets excited when he imagines a prey (e.g If I quit this job and take up another job, I might have greater scope of earning more money)
- Animals prepare for today and that is all. Humans are already prepared for today but they are also always preparing for a future “Tomorrow”, which does not exist. What we are doing is for “Future”, not for today. Our “Today” is secured but we are frightened of uncertainty and want to prepare ourselves for the battle that lies in the future.
This pursuit of “securing” our future is a dangerous pursuit, since there is no exact definition of “securing” or “future” anyway. The more imagination you have, the more hunger you will inherit. The more hunger you inherit, the more desires and the more “frightened” you will become in order to “secure” your possessions. The cycle continues.
In earlier Yugas, people knew who they are, what they want to do, what’s their role and dharma. Unfortunately, in Kali Yuga, we have forgotten to learn these things. We just know one thing – how to fulfil material desires, without even knowing what is the need of fulfilling all these desires. Why have desires in the first place? We don’t know. We just beget them and get busy figuring out that mental need.
That hunger. That imagination. That “imagined hunger”. That desire to establish control – all of this is the character of this Yuga. The sign of destruction.
This is the color of this Yuga, some predictions are as follows
- The purpose of life will consist simply of filling one’s stomach, and audacity will become equivalent to conclusive truth. If a man can even maintain his own family members, he will be honored as very expert, and religiosity will be measured by a person’s reputation for material accomplishments
- Human beings will become shortsighted, unfortunate, gluttonous, lustful and poverty-stricken
- Men will develop hatred for each other even over a few coins. Giving up all friendly relations, they will be ready to lose their own lives and kill even their own relatives
- Hypocrisy will become a virtue, it will be impossible to survive without being selfish, cruel and tormenting others in some form or the other.
- People will be envious, no one will trust others.
- A person will be judged unholy if he does not have money.
We are living in an age when the purpose of life is just to fulfill useless imagined needs and circling around hypothetical imaginations to establish supremacy over something or someone. Sensual gratification, Sex, money, property and lust drives people. Nobody is concerned about knowledge, wisdom, mastering a craft, helping a cause, following a dharma. People take up something when they see that thing gives some kind of “return” which will “secure” their “future”. This is happening because that subject doesn’t know who he/she is and is a victim of “Kaam”.
Success is not being at the top of a mountain.
True success is very personal in nature. Your reputation is just how others see you, that’s not who you are and that should not be how you should set your benchmarks. The only success is following your Dharma and adhering to a path which benefits the greater cause, not personal ambitions. But since we are living in Kali Yuga, we associate success with material accomplishments. That’s how it is measured, viewed and perceived by everyone else, you cannot change this perception in Kali Yuga. This behavior will continue for 10000 years and this Yuga will end with mass destruction caused to human kind. The system will roll back to Satya Yuga much much later, beginning a new age with different perceptions, values and definition of success.