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Is life that serious?

My mind would be a lot lighter if I could have a clear answer to the question: Is life to be taken seriously or let it flow as it comes?

india Updated: Mar 25, 2012 23:05 IST
Anil Mathur

My mind would be a lot lighter if I could have a clear answer to the question: Is life to be taken seriously or let it flow as it comes?

I do not know how my actions would differ if I were to be told firmly that human life is a very serious business, derived as it is after many other forms; and, therefore, must be lived accordingly. Perhaps, I would have worked a lot harder, but if I were convinced that destiny is supreme and what has to happen will happen, then I need not have sleepless nights.

Interestingly, the answer has been varied to me on a day-to- day basis, depending on my mental, material and physical condition or situation at that time. Of course, I am well aware that one of the main tasks of life, as shown by our scriptures and gurus, is to rise above joy and sorrow, happiness and unhappiness, and to take everything in one’s stride. But this is easier said than done, especially when even small things often elate you or depress you.

Two other things that crop up are the roles of ambition and destiny. If life is to be taken seriously, how do you face the failures or inability to reach targets and objectives set up by you or by others for you? Will it lead to frustration and depression, or is this even remotely related or linked to the present turmoil and unrest seen all over—externally and internally?

Take life as it comes. This is a popular saying but the ‘achievers’ may see a sadist, defeatist attitude in this approach, only justified by those who have failed in the materialistic world to get a larger size of the cake. If everything is destined, then clearly a light approach would be better, as it would mean peace and calm.

But the wise say that the right approach would be to see what is within our ability to change and what is beyond our control. This clearly does not answer my primary query: Is life to be taken seriously or lightly.