The purpose of life lies in the living - in the right way of living.
Spontaneously. One day, at about ten o'clock at night, a few philosophers, including Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan and an American one, arrived at Guru Dev's camp, where he was seated in the dark. Although it was not a convenient time, they were allowed in for some minutes, and Radhakrishnan asked Guru Dev [Sri Brahmananda Saraswati] to inform him about the truth.
He was told that common sadhanas were not really the thing, for they could not bring the light of God (Brahman). "That light is spontaneous . . . spontaneously radiant," said Guru Dev, adding that the atma (spirit of man) "is spontaneously the form of light and the witness of all."
Ramakrishnan became very happy on learning this. "With how much simplicity did Maharaj [Guru Dev] solve this difficult problem," he suddenly said. [Mason 2009a:239-4, passim]
Learn to meditate - businessmen do. Many are told that the purpose of life is to progress in a sadhana. A sadhana is typically like a staircase with many steps on it. However, the primary element of old sadhanas is meditation, is samadhi. With some practice, samadhi goes into the natural condition of the free soul, the jivanmukta, who has reached the highest degree of subjective experience, says Guru Dev. [Mason 2009b:100]
So to progress, learn deep meditation and practice it straightly. You may note that this approach cuts to the chase, and at least partially bypasses time-consuming lower rungs on the staircase of Patanjali Yoga and of the Gentle Middle Way too, through "First things first," and similar great help. First learn to meditate well, then practice it assiduously, and then one may complete that other parts of yoga and helpful ways of living that suit and serves you. So Guru Dev's follower, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, taught deep meditation, TM, first of all, and in time suppleanted it with yoga postures and a series of helpful approaches designed to enhance the quality of life, such as organic farming, health-promoting architecture with designs for houses and layout of cities included, a widely known form of education that combines TM with studies with rewarding effects, and more. [◦Research findings]
To meditate deeply as learnt from a certified TM teacher, may be the most likable tip I can give. [◦Research findings]
The decisive part of Buddha's Gentle Middle Way - the general way to get a lot out of a life in a wider perspective - is meditation too, by comparison.
The rest of this article belongs to lower rungs on the ladder.
Through the woods rich in autumn colours
"The purpose of life is a path through the woods rich in autumn colouring." This is a figurative expression.
After you once have started on your journey through life, go for making it a successful journey too, as the spirit within stirs you. If you manage to do right, there should be little remorse. And set yourself higher goals than just serving big guys.
If strong enough to handle good fortune, you should go for it. For if you get or have a fortune, you may give more to less fortunate ones. And good fortune consists of more than only material wealth.
It is a mistake not to go for fruits of your labours and harvest all that is felt to be good. Breathe deeply as best you can and follow your heart and enjoy nature's bounty too. If there is plenty of drama in your life, relax and employ tact a lot.
If you are a "Minerva guy" - for example fond of your home and often in need of using your head - first listen, then talk - that is, first get instructed, then practice afterwards. It is often good. The alternative to the sensible and sound approach is often painful. You may find or evolve your own style(s) anyhow.
Minerva or Athena: ancient culture-defender and a possible old icon of education, science, reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature etc., a wise and prudent adviser, and the goddess of victory.
A carefully balanced, gentle and OK path through life is OK. In Buddhism it is variously called the Gentle Middle Path, Gentle Middle Way, and the Noble Eightfold Path. Like TM and its likable fare, it too has to be set in motion to work its help.
If you reflect on it, it may stand out that a stout way of living may ride above the use of helping gold amulets and bangles by design. But "every little helps" if it builds up moral and good living, supposedly. A good home means a lot in life too. There are ways to build it and ways to keep it, and ways to make one's organic garden and gardening lovely:
Feng shui (from China) is linked to an ancient way of calculating "what is best for wealth and health" - by lots of alignments. Proofs of many of the claims seem missing, but the theory is here, and many buildings and building complexes are built according to the specifications. That holds true for Maharishi Vastu Architecture too. [◦Examples] (see Bramble 2003; Wikipedia, "Maharishi Vastu Architecture")
Alignments to Vastu through advice To improve your life, keep at in throughout life and make changes for the better, for example in your immediate surroundings, those you have some control over. That is basic Vastu. There are many principles in it and few good proofs. And that is often the fate of many a common-sense piece of advice too - fit proof to back it up may be lacking, although it might be very helpful!
Back to Vastu: I sum up something by the committed sceptic, Dr Robert Carroll (2011), who writes:
Vastu shastra goes by several names . . . But vastu shastra has one goal: to create buildings in harmony with Nature . . . in order to have harmony in rooms like the kitchen. If things are done properly, "the meals get cooked" . . . If your house is not aligned properly, you could get sick. . . .
NOTE. The assembled, verbatim and unshuffled Carroll-fragments carry another spin than he might have intended because of what has been left out above. - TK
You can observe and learn something interesting too. There may be much you can do in the self too - enriching and ennobling your mind, get the blessings that yield very good harvests, and keep the frameworks and momentums that usher in better fares. Adhere to great new beginnings from your source deep within.
As you learn to watch or observe tactfully throughout life, you may find good teachings. After years of development you can wake up in your own Presence from time to time during the day. Such feats may get solidified as time goes by. The best meditation technique is TM, research findings indicate. It brings many benefits.
Babu, B. Niranjan. Handbook of Vastu. 2nd ed. New Delhi: UBS, 2000.
Bramble, Cate. Architect's Guide to Feng Shui: Exploding the Myth. Oxford: Architectural Press, 2003.
Carroll, Robert T. The Skeptic's Dictionary. 1994-2015. Online.
Mason, Paul. The Biography of Guru Dev: The Life and Teachings of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath (1941-53). Vol 2. Penzance, Cornwall: Premanand, 2009.
Mason, Paul. Guru Dev as presented by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: The Life and Teachings of Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Jyotirmath (1941-53). Vol 3. Penzance, Cornwall: Premanand, 2009.
Svoboda, Robert E. Vastu: Breathing Life into Space. New York: Namarupa, 2013.
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