Don’t lose the purpose of living for the sake of living
The purpose of living refers to the thing that brings meaning and fulfillment to our life. Living refers to the process of earning a livelihood.
Frequently, what starts off as earning a livelihood often morphs into a pursuit of prestige – all the more so in today’s status-driven materialistic culture. Such a culture makes us believe that if we are not indulging in the activities it deems trendy, we are not living at all. But indulgence in those activities doesn’t provide fulfillment; it provides at best some titillation for the ego. And even that titillation is short-lived because soon others usurp the prestige we thought was our own. Or our present level of prestige no longer titillates enough, and we start craving and slaving for more.
Thus, we end up doing scores of trendy things that don’t truly matter to us – that, in fact, keep us from doing the things that matter to us. The Bhagavad-gita (16.16) indicates that such consumption of our consciousness in multiple things entraps us in a network of illusion.
We become entrapped not by seeking a respectable living, but by becoming so obsessed with the culture’s fickle notion of prestige as to neglect our purpose of living.
What is that purpose? At a material level, our purpose will naturally vary according to our specific God-given talents and resources. But we are not just our talents and resources – we are at our core souls, parts of Krishna. And we can find the deepest fulfillment in loving and serving him. So, our ultimate purpose is to nourish our love for him firstly by engaging in direct devotional activities, and secondly by using our talents and resources in a mood of service to him. Such devotional utilization of our assets will grant us life’s supreme fulfillment.
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