Is human life a mere time-passing exercise?

Some religions speak about rebirth after the end of one's life until such time one would lead a pious life that would facilitate him to reach the feet of God, wherever He is and whatever He is.

3 mins read
Many persons try to avoid the uncomfortable thought process relating to the origin and end of life [Photo Credit: Elia Pellegrini/Unsplash]

Human beings live on earth, without knowing where they came from to be born and where they would go after the end of life. This is the scenario for thousands of years that have gone by.

Human beings have been struggling to find some answer for this vexed question without much success so far.

Fact with regard to  human life

In view of sustained efforts to understand the “fact of human life” over many centuries, several explanations have been guessed or imagined and evolved.   As a result of such attempts to find answers, several religions have come up all over the world, resulting in sort of competition amongst the religions as to which answer and explanation is appropriate and which is not.

Some religions speak about rebirth after the end of one’s life until such time one would lead a pious life that would facilitate him to reach the feet of God, wherever He is and whatever He is.

Some other religions talk about hell and heaven at the end of human life. So many other explanations have been offered and theories are propounded like pre-ordained fate etc.

There are several mythological stories, ” establishing ”  that there is God ruling the world and about God’s incarnation to correct the world’s happenings from time to time and describing ” impossible conditions “such as a person having ten heads and another person living and passing away and then resurrecting and so on, which cannot be even visualized by the humans.

Individuals really do not understand clearly and convincingly and without an element of doubt as to why one would be born and the human body grows in size over the years and then finally perish in one way or the other.

The fact is highlighted at the end of one’s life that none is really “big or small” in the world, with death ending as an equalizer and clearly create an impression that whatever one has ” achieved in life and not achieved ” is in vacuum, without any significance,  whether the person was a  President or beggar.

Is it time passing exercise?

In any case, what is clear ultimately is that the human life process end up as a time-passing exercise,  with individuals getting themselves into the business of getting a living and striving all the time to prove themselves to others with so-called aspirations and achievements.

In such circumstances, many persons try to avoid the uncomfortable thought process relating to the origin and end of life,  as they move on blindly with the life process, with imaginary hope and aspirations.

With sort of helplessness, humans simply resign themselves to the confusion and lack of clarity about the purpose and otherwise of human life. Ultimately, some theories are accepted by some and some other theories are accepted by someone else, simply as a  matter of faith.

Now, what is the way out in such a condition for an endlessly thinking human being on this subject?

What Hindu religion says ?

Perhaps, leaving aside several stories and theories that have been said and repeated over the years , fundamentals of Hindu religious thought suggest a way of life that enables one to live with peace,  even with unsolved questions about the origin and end of human life.

The fundamentals of  Hindu religious thoughts ask humans to introspect about the question  “Who am I”, that ultimately would lead one to meditation exercise and make the individual conclude that whatever may be the origin and end of life, it cannot be and need not be probed beyond a level.

On the other hand, asking the question “Who am I” enables one to understand the fruitlessness of the  life process  and ” it’s vacuum”

In such circumstances, the Hindu religion advocates visiting temples  and  offering prayers, that would drive the mindset towards introspection on the inner self,  meditation and seeking peace in the mind, destroying ego

Hindu religion asks everyone to lead life actively with a sense of detachment,  with hatred or prejudice towards none.

This condition ultimately promotes peace and harmony in the mindset of individuals, that is what really matters.

Hindu thoughts do not ask individuals to lead  inactive life, withdrawing from the life process.  On the other hand,  it advocates active life with detachment.

One would never know or need to know about the origin and end of life, as such thought process will lead to nowhere.

Under the circumstances, achieving peace in the mind is all that to be desired in worldly life, even as one would continue the process of living active life.   Such peace in the inner self amounts to the realization of   “God within,”   which condition Hindu religion elegantly term as “Ananda”.

This should be the essence of the goal of human life, though it may be deemed to be a time-passing exercise.

Prime Minister Modi shows the way

Recently, Prime Minister Modi’s 99-year-old mother passed away. Mr. Modi cremated the mother’s body and then immediately went ahead with his official programme, even though the passing away of his dear mother must have caused deep grief in his mindset.

By this act, he exhibited his attitude of detachment and continued his work with dedication. This approach to the death of his mother reflects the true basics of Hindu philosophy, where the central advocacy is that one has to maintain detachment to the pleasures and pains of life,  even as one would continue to pursue active life and maintain the work culture.

Such an approach to life, as exhibited by Mr. Modi, would pave way to achieve inner peace, which really amounts to the realization of God.   


N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause and to promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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