WHAT IS LIFE ABOUT?

From the point of our birth till our death, we are running a race. A race which is unpredictable, full of surprises, full of challenges , full of good moments and bad moments.

From a fetus in the mother’s womb to the corpse in the coffin, the journey is in a sequence- infant, kid, adolescence, adult and old age. When we are small, we have no work except receiving the affection from our parents. We grow up, go to school and then it’s a different journey from nursery till our 12th. After this is our career making time where we focus on our future and choose courses accordingly. We find a job, get in there, earn money, fulfill our desires then we look for life partner and the role of family planning takes place. Finally with everything in place or maybe a little struggle here and there, we grow old and eventually leave this world. It’s a race to get along from one position to another with our best performances and as less mistakes as possible. But with all the efforts we put in, with all our endeavors and with the achievements we get in return, we leave the world just how we had entered- alone and naked!

Three years back when I was in the stage of deciding the course that would help me get a settled career, the question struck me. What is life about? Why are we running, changing our designations when ultimately we get nothing?

Death governs it all at the end!

Then is life worth living for?? Of course we reward ourselves with several good things in life and every action of ours brings in results but everything vanishes in the end.

So what are the elements that our life consists of? Unless we find the true meaning and purpose to life, then it’s an aimless run ending in death.

What gives that meaning and purpose to our otherwise mundane lives?

I stumbled upon this poetic passage which gave me some hope and warning as well…

Remember your Creator
    in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
    and the years approach when you will say,
    “I find no pleasure in them”—
 before the sun and the light
    and the moon and the stars grow dark,
    and the clouds return after the rain;
 when the keepers of the house tremble,
    and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
    and those looking through the windows grow dim;
 when the doors to the street are closed
    and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds,
    but all their songs grow faint;
 when people are afraid of heights
    and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
    and the grasshopper drags itself along
    and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home
    and mourners go about the streets.

 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
    and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
    and the wheel broken at the well,
 and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
    and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.
    “Everything is meaningless!”

Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ME AFTER MY DEATH? WHERE WILL I GO?

woman-441415_1280“What?” “I have only one week in my hand?” “Are you sure doctor?” I was shocked and confused as to what words to choose to express my emotions. The doctor calmly replied patting his hand on my shoulder, “Yes…maximum 7 days.”

I couldn’t sleep that night. But after struggling for a few hours I didn’t remember when I fell asleep and started to dream.

I saw… I am standing in a solitary place and there’s light around me. Suddenly I see a medical scientist walking towards me. The thought of death was in my subconscious so I asked him quickly, “Sir, I am dying… Do you know what will happen to me after death?” He looked at me, smiled and said politely, “Sir, I don’t know… according to medical science there are no such proofs of life after death. Death is the dead end for an individual.” And he walked away leaving me in tears.     

Then as I was weeping I saw a Pandit coming towards me. I asked the same question to him in tears and he took out his book and started explaining what Hindu Shastra (Scripture) talks about life after death…

BrahmasoulsHe said… “Most of the Hindus believe in the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, which is called ‘Samsara’.

‘Samsara’ or the doctrine of rebirth is also known as the theory of reincarnation or of transmigration of the soul. This doctrine is considered to be a basic tenet of Hinduism. According to doctrine of rebirth, differences between individuals, even at the time of their birth are due to their past karma i.e. actions done in the past birth. For example if one child is born healthy while another is handicapped or blind, the differences are attributed to their deeds in their previous lives. Those who believe in this theory reason that since all actions may not bear fruit in this life, there has to be another life for facing or reaping the consequences of one’s actions.

It is mentioned in the Bhagvad Gita –

“As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless.”
(Bhagvad Gita 2:22)

The Doctrine of Re-birth is also described in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:

“As a Caterpillar which has wriggled to the top of a blade of grass draws itself over to a new blade, so does the soul, after it has put aside its body draws itself over to a new existence. 
(Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4:4:3)

After he finished reading and explaining he went away.

Then after sometime I saw a Maulvi coming towards me. I greeted him and trapped him too with my question.

He too smiled and started describing calmly. He said…

Jahannam“It is mentioned in the Qur’an

How can ye reject the faith in Allah?
Seeing that ye were without life,
And He gave you life; Then will He cause you to die,
and will He again bring you to life; And again to Him will ye return.
(Al Qur’an 2:28)

Islam states that a human being comes into this world only once, and after he dies, he is again resurrected on the day of judgement. Depending on his deeds he will either dwell in heaven i.e. Paradise or he will dwell in hell.”

(Source: http://www.islamandhinduism.com/ih/life%20after%20death.html#link2)

He too went away his ways.

Two different explanation made me think for little more. I waited and waited for somebody else to come and explain it to me little more. Suddenly I saw a Pastor coming towards me. I ran towards him to meet him and asked him the same question.

We both sat down on a rock and he started explaining what he knows about after life.

RaptureHe said, “What exactly does the Bible say happens after death? …the Bible tells us that after death believers’ souls/spirits are taken to heaven, because their sins are forgiven by having received Christ as Savior (John 3:161836). For believers, death is to be “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8Philippians 1:23). However, passages such as 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 describe believers being resurrected and given glorified bodies. If believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, what is the purpose of this resurrection? It seems that while the souls/spirits of believers go to be with Christ immediately after death, the physical body remains in the grave “sleeping.” At the resurrection of believers, the physical body is resurrected, glorified, and then reunited with the soul/spirit. This reunited and glorified body-soul-spirit will be the possession of believers for eternity in the new heavens and new earth (Revelation21-22)

(Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/what-happens-death.html)

After explaining the Pastor got up, said good bye and went away leaving me alone there confused.

My dream ended when the nurse woke me up for the medicine. I opened my eyes and saw sun rays streaming inside my room. It was morning already and I didn’t realize it.

The dream was in my mind. There were questions popping up and troubling me. I have to decide and believe in somebody as everybody said differently.

I keep thinking and praying: “Oh True God, the Creator of heaven & earth and the whole universe, reveal yourself to me. Let me see and know who you are so that I can believe you and you only. Oh Almighty, reveal the mystery of life after death and let me know what will happen to me after my death? Where will I go eternally?”

 Author’s Bio: Chiradeep Patra is a finance man who works in a NGO at Kolkata. He is a writer, motivator & counselor.