15) Self Knowledge (Atmajnan) – Purpose of Life- Part 1

TALK 15 by Prabhuji

Today’s topic is ‘Purpose of Life’.

Is there a purpose in life? If there is one, then what is the purpose?

There was a great warrior called Alexander. At a very young age, he started from Greece and conquered half the world. He came all the way up to India. When he was in school, he had two great teachers. One was called Leonidas, and the other was called Aristotle.

Leonidas, the teacher, told Alexander, ‘Always discover yourself, go inside. Before you conquer anybody, conquer yourself’. And the other teacher, Aristotle, said, ‘Go Alexander, you are very ambitious. Go and conquer the world’. Alexander took the words of Aristotle and started on a war path, conquering half of the world. So many people were killed, and so many kingdoms fell as he moved from Greece all the way to India. And he acquired lot of wealth, on the way, from all the kingdoms. As he reached India, he faced a very stiff resistance. Many of his soldiers fell ill, and he could not continue the march. Then he had to decide to go back to Greece. On the way he fell ill, and he died. Before dying, he had a wish. The wish was that his body has to be taken back to Greece for burials, and the doctors in his camp should carry his coffin. It is a very strange wish. Then, the second wish was that should be buried with his hands protruding outside the ground. People went to him and asked, ‘What is this wish all about?’ Then Alexander said, ‘I remember the words of my teacher, Leonidas. He asked me to conquer the inner self, go inside, and discover myself. I didn’t listen to his words. I went on a victory march, and I acquired a lot of wealth. Now at the time of death, I am not able to continue this march. I am returning and I am not well. Everybody should know, that at the time of death, Alexander the Great, who conquered the half the world, is going empty handed. That’s why the body should be buried with the hands protruding outside’.

The first wish was that doctors should carry his coffin because, Alexander had the best of the best doctors in the world, and even the best doctors could not save the victorious Alexander the great. This is the message the world should know.

In his life there is a classic example of two purposes of our life. There is an outer purpose, and there is an inner purpose. The outer purpose is to be successful in life – to be able to compete, to be able to run a business, to be able to manage, to be able to administer, to be able to earn our livelihood. This is the outer purpose. There is an inner purpose – to go deep inside and find the peace. In a sense, both are required. Without outer purpose you cannot fulfill the inner purpose. But, is there a balance? Is there a limitation? How much we should do and of what? Ultimately whatever we are doing, whether it is earning money, or getting marriage, or getting a job, is finally for the inner peace. So, whatever we are doing outside should be supporting the inner peace. The inner purpose is of primary importance to us and everything else is a supplement, a support to it. But, when we forget that and focus totally on the outer, stress and tension can build up, and we may forget the inner purpose altogether. So Atmajyothis, remember that there are two purposes of life – the outer purpose and the inner purpose. Outer purpose is to make a living, and inner purpose is to understand life, understand you own nature and to be peaceful.

Transcription by Atmajyothi Satyavathi

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