There are two stages of life. Before we discuss these two stages, we have to have a right understanding about the “life.” Here we are discussing and talking about the “life,” which is meaningful; a life that has a purpose; a life that adds value and happiness to the lives of fellow humans. For example, the life of Mother Teresa or the Buddha. These are the lives that can be looked to as the role models. These great individuals added immense value to the lives of fellow humans. The Mother took care of poor and downtrodden and showered her unconditional love to whosoever went to her with an open heart. The Buddha was the master of maters; he handed us over the philosophy of life and made us aware of basic principles to live a meaningful life. Millions of people across the world are inspired by these two individuals; many try to follow their path.
However, it is not at all mandatory that you should orient your life only according to their lives. There are modern-day examples as well. We can certainly talk about Bill Gates, who first decided to prepare himself for the life he is living at present. He accumulated resources and generated a collective thinking and is now working towards a purpose of eradicating polio from the face of Earth. That purpose qualifies to the meaning of life we just discussed; add happiness and value to the lives of fellow humans. The same can be said about Hindi movie superstar Salman Khan, who through his NGO “Being Human” is always trying to help poor people. He, as per our discussion, is living the purpose of his life, i.e., to add value and happiness to the lives of fellow humans.
Now let’s discuss the two stages of life: first stage is of the preparation for a greater purpose and second stage is adding happiness to the lives of fellow humans.
In the preparation stage, the individual works for the accumulation of resources and orients his/her life in the direction of the greater purpose. For example, before Bill Gates started contributing for the welfare schemes, he was busy in preparing himself for it. He was busy in making enough money so that he could invest it in the polio eradication program and such other activities. During the preparation stage, an individual gets ready to deliver. Same was the case with the Buddha. Before attaining enlightenment, the Buddha was preparing himself to attain enlightenment; he was living a life of seclusion and had been wondering in forests in the search of truth; he was meeting n number of Sages and was practicing yoga and other ways of meditation. To conclude, we can say that he was making effort to be ready to share with us the ways to attain the truth of our lives and reach the highest purpose of our lives.
This is a stage of transformation. During this time period, the individual leaves behind the first stage and enters into the second stage. It is an extremely critical point as at times, it is very hard to move on with the purpose of your life. At this point of time, an individual has to overcome the fear factor and has to believe himself, the resources that he has gathered during the preparation stage, and the greater purpose of his life.
Stage of giving
This is the second stage in an individual’s life. The success of this stage depends of the preparation done in the first stage, as the first stage is the foundation of the second stage. In this second stage of life, the individual starts adding value and happiness to the lives of fellow humans; i.e., when the Mother started teaching the kids of poor, when she opened the first shelter home for diseased, when she took the first step to help her fellow humans, she entered into the second stage of her life. Similarly, when the Buddha delivered his first sermon, he entered into the second stage of his life.
In this second stage, the individual happiness gets aligned with the happiness of those whom you serve and thus increases, becomes abundant, unlimited, all encompassing and infinite. Initially, the number of beneficiaries is less, gradually it increase and thousand, million and billion lives are touched by the activity that you pursue for adding value to the lives of fellow humans. For example, when the Buddha delivered his first sermon, there were only five listeners, but today there are millions and billions who follow the principles offered by him.
Now is the right time to gain clarity, what the Buddha called “the right understanding” about yourself and your purpose in the life, to organize your life in order to add value and happiness to the lives of fellow humans. If you think, you are in the first stage of your life, prepare yourself for the second stage of the life, as it is standing on the door and will soon start knocking. It has arrived.
If you are in the second stage of your life, be ready to convert your happiness into abundance as the number of fellow individuals, who look towards you for the happiness and value addition, is soon going to increase into countless heads.
Keep up the good work.