Life: A Play Between the Extremes
By Thejes Udayan
“What is life?”
It is a question that every individual has come across at least once in their life. The problem is an existential one, and the point at which you may come to enquire about life varies from person to person. Some people make this inquiry when they face a challenge that is too big for them. Some others make it while contemplating one’s failure and some others on realizing the futility of their pursuits for things.
The inference is that it is when you surrender to the uncertain nature of life that you embark on the journey of understanding life. Not before. So the primary condition is to let life happen to you, allow it to unravel. In a way, Jesus means the same thing when he says: “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will find it.” If you are too concerned with how life is to be lived, in that very thought, you destroy the present moment that you could live. In every resistance you make to the natural ways of life, you are blocking the flow, losing the opportunity of making the meaningful inquiry.
The Gift of Enquiry
You may be wondering, what comes out of such an inquiry?
You may be thinking what to gain with a mere inquiry?
The mere inquiry is not so easy as you think. It is impossible to do it deliberately. For example, you may sit one day and intentionally go on to look at your life. But then nothing substantial happens; at the most, a mental evaluation of your past can occur. Because the mindset has not changed, the judgmental mind has not dropped. It is still active, coloring your outlook, corrupting your inquiry unconsciously.
The original inquiry is a gift of existence; it comes to those who allow life to happen to them and rarely comes to those who try to control and negate it. It is indeed a gift as it holds within itself the key to transformation. The realization of the futility of life’s errands when Gautama Buddha saw a dying bird set him on a path of inquiry, the greatness of which still reverberates across the world. The point to remember is that what you may attain is irrelevant, but the very adventure of a curious mind, the very journey itself is fulfilling. The most significant understanding is that life can only be known by living it.
The Secret of Life
The mystics of the East say that life has no purpose, the one who looks for meaning loses it, and one who lives it finds it. In fact, they are revealing a great secret. They are telling you the very secret of life, of living, and that is to live it as it comes, totally. The Hindus call this the path of a Krishna or the way of “Leela”.
In India, life is a Leela, a playful dance for spiritual seekers. They here refer to the technique that Krishna, a divine incarnation, reveals to humanity. But the difference is in the quality he added to life. If one follows the story of Krishna, one can see that it swings between the extremes. One moment he is playfully stealing the butter as a child purely innocent, and another moment he is dancing on the top of a demonic snake like a warrior. One moment he is loving Radha, another moment he is giving the greatest testament of virtues in the form of a Gita that too in the middle of a battlefield. In fact, to define Krishna is impossible, and it is in this that he hides the secret of life for us. Some say Krishna is life itself in this sense.
Krishna shows us the path of “Leela” - non-serious, playful living of whatever comes to him. Born in the darkness of a prison he smiles and moving among cow herders he dances, he doesn’t say, “This is wrong, I am a prince.” He enjoys life with them wholly. He meets everything that comes his way with the same playful smile. He is that smiling playful observer of the extremities of life, be it in love, hate, curse, war, or even death.
Hence Krishna is the perfect sublimation of the divine and the human. The ultimate synthesis of the polarities of life. And in it is hidden the ecstasy of inquiry, the secret that if you want to enjoy life truly, then be fluid, move between the poles without judgment. For example, when you are angry, be in anger, when you feel happy, be so without guilt, when you eat, eat totally. A totality from your side gives you centering, slowly the gaps of inquiry start emerging, and you realize that you are nothing but an observer, an actor. Every incident of life is revealing to you its innermost secrets, and only a person who lives with the discipline of acceptance can grasp it.
So move into Leela, the ultimate meditation life offers. Enjoy life in all its colors and diversity. Slowly and slowly, as you move deeper and deeper into life with acceptance, you will come to an understanding that life is nothing but a play between the extremities.
About the Author:
Thejes Udayan writes content for Mindster. He also enjoys writing for Aufait Technologies, a top DMS Software provider in India. He specializes in writing innovative and creative content for various industries to help them capture their client interest.