Guruji, what is the purpose of being born? Are we born, only to die?

We are born again and again so that we may attain perfection. The soul is born again and again so that it perfects itself before merging with God. Only when the soul is clothed in a human body can the soul strive towards attaining spiritual perfection. Man is born with so many unfulfilled desires. Life after life, instead of striving to achieve his purpose on earth, man forgets his mission on earth and runs after unfulfilled desires. Thus, he lands himself in more and more trouble. The following story will give you a clear understanding of the matter.

Once, there was a man who had very little worldly desires. He was on the path of spirituality, and was an ardent devotee of God. As his end neared, an angel appeared before him and asked, “Do you desire anything even now?” The old man thought over and replied, “All my life I have been weak, thin and unhealthy. In my next life, I would like to have a large, strong and healthy body.” So, in his next life, he was bestowed with a large, strong and healthy body, but was extremely poor. He found himself striving hard to maintain his large body. At last, one day, he lay dying. The angel appeared before him and asked, “Is there anything you desire even now?” The dying man replied, “Yes, for my next life, I require a large, strong and healthy body as well as wealth.”

So, the next life saw him as a strong, healthy and wealthy man. As he started aging, he began lamenting that he had no one to share his wealth with. When at last, death approached him, the angel appeared before him and asked whether he had any desire even now. The dying man replied, “Yes, along with strength, health and wealth, I also want a good woman as my wife.” The angel then patiently asked, “Are you sure now that you have asked for everything that you wanted?” The man replied, “Yes, I have asked for everything that I desire, that’s all.”

So, in the next life his desire was fulfilled. He had strength, health and wealth, and also a good woman as his wife. His wife then gave birth to a beautiful daughter. As the man and woman grew old gracefully, the beautiful daughter grew up to become a wicked, merciless woman, who stole her parents’ wealth and put them to many untold hardships. Finally, after much suffering the old man lay dying. The angel appeared before him and asked, “Is there anything more that you desire?”

The dying man cried out, “Nothing! I desire nothing. I have learnt my lesson. My sufferings are only due to my unending desires. Henceforth, I only want God. Desires mislead. It is only with God that I shall be able to achieve perfection. Only love and devotion to God will help me strive towards perfection.”

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