“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
Looking at the lives of gurus, both sadgurus and junior gurus, it is clear that they are great examples of Emerson’s principles. Namadeva Acharya’s motivations in all his endeavors in life, both spiritual and mundane, were based on these principles.
I was born in the 1940s. We were raised in the Forties and Fifties in a culture that was based on the principles in the Emerson quote. Those principles are are very grounding and were part of our generational impetus to rebel against the obvious abuse of a war with no purpose and an effort to make the USA live up to its claimed purpose in the Pledge of Allegiance, etc. This led to our response to injustice and participation in the Civil Rights movement, supporting Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta in the farm workers union, and later the Second Wave of Feminism. During that time, I never heard people question why they were on the planet in the way younger people do. The Sixties and Seventies were also a time of spiritual questing, and many explored different ways of life and beliefs to satisfy the perennial inner spiritual drive of all humans.
One of the major reasons that younger people think differently is that major media, particularly television, deliberately in the late Seventies morphed into All Propaganda All The Time. I was working at WCBS-TV in NYC in 1977 and saw a huge change at that station, which got rid of all the investigative journalists and those who would not read exactly what was on the prompter and also changed their public service programs to be less inclusive of non establishment ideas and people. Later, stations dropped those programs entirely. The principles of advertising were used to persuade viewers that protesting, resisting were useless. Newscasters did not chit-chat but read the prompters, which said literally, “Oh, you can’t fight city hall” and other phrases to discourage protest and create the impression that resisters are wierdos. Shortly afterward in the Reagan era, the intensive propaganda plus advertising urged everyone to find their happiness in stuff. Everyone was urged to become Yuppies. Kids who saw this in nearly every tv show, grew up not with Emerson but with extreme materialism.
I am very happy as an old activist to see the engagement and activity of the Millennials and others more recently to make positive changes in America and the world.
I hope lots of people see this essay and re-think why they are so unhappy, then reject the pop culture all around us.
A good life is a life in balance. If we nurture our souls and have devotion to the Divine, seek knowledge, and serve others, which is Raja Yoga, the highest path to mukti (liberation from the rounds of rebirth) then we will be fulfilled and know we have lived life to the best of our abilities.
In May, our India Pilgrimage will visit the Kaali temple, Dakshineshwar, made famous by Ramakrishna’s enlightenment teaching. Come with us; we still have places available. For more details, see India Pilgrimage on the top line of SanskritMantra.com.
It is worth knowing in order to understand something about those beings like Ramakrishna who come to earth and are “realized” very young that, in fact, they are already enlightened before the incarnation. The rest is likely drama for teaching purposes.
Among those beings who are avadhuts (beings who come here from other solar systems, generally to get enlightened.) When they do get enlightened, many come back to help humans become enlightened. Those who were confirmed as enlightened avadhuts who were satgurus by Satguru Rama Mata, when Namadeva Acharya asked her about specific people: Ramakrishna and Sharada, Sivananda Saraswati of Divine Life, Saint Jneshwara (a Panduranga saint, whose temple containing his body which still projects divine energy in Pune,) and Yogananda’s guru, Sri Yukteshwar, who Namadeva said went on to become the Christ for another planet in a different solar system.
Born about 2500 years ago, Adi Shankaracharya was an amsha avatar (partial manifestation of Vishnu.) He had enough divine shakti to hange India back from a Buddhist country to a more scholarly Hindu country. He became a sanyasi (renunciate) at age 8 and left the body at age 30, having achieved his goal. He was a Shaivite with an emphasis on Divine Mother.
The title of Sadguru/Satguru means True Guru: already enlightened beings who come to Earth to teach us. A Satguru is a guru to gurus who are not yet enlightened. Thus we are truly blessed to have Satguru Sant Keshavadas and Satguru Rama Mata as the founders of our lineage. I urge all who have not yet met Satguru Rama Mata to travel to meet her as soon as possible. She was 79 this year, and we do not know how much longer she will be traveling to give programs.
There is definitely a lot going on in Bhu Loka (our planet and other dimensions) that boggles the Western mind. But there is much to learn from the Vedas and Upanishads.