Saturday, December 11, 2010

Stairway to heaven

Ever wondered why people turn towards God in their fag end of life!? Even if you were to look back in history, specifically the ancient Indian history, you will find life divided into four phases – bramhacharya, grihastha, vanaprastha and sanyasa, where it is again in the last phase that one is supposed to devote the self in search of the divine. Why the search for unknown and eternal when approaching the end? If it is valued above all earthly things then wouldn’t it be more reasonable to invest more time thereby perhaps starting this search in our adulthood itself?

Aldous Huxley in Brave New World has a point of view which is as compelling as it can ever get. Following is the extract.

A man grows old; he feels in himself that radical sense of weakness, of listlessness, of discomfort, which accompanies the advance of age…the religious sentiment, tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as the passion grows calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our  reason becomes less troubled in its working, less obscured by the images, desires and distractions in which it used to be absorbed; where upon God emerges from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees, turns towards the source of all light; turns naturally and inevitably; for now that all that gave  to the world of sensations its life and charms has begun to leak away from us, now that phenomenal existence is no more we feel the need to lean on something that abides, some thing that will never play us false – a reality, an everlasting and absolute truth. We inevitably turn to God; for this religious sentiment is so pure, so delightful to the soul that experiences it, that it makes up to us for all our other losses.
You can be only independent of God while you’ve got youth and prosperity; but youth doesn’t last till the end. If you have youth and prosperity right up to the end, what follows?? Independence from God! The religious sentiment will compensate us form all other losses. But there aren’t any losses to compensate when youthful desires never fail.