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The Answer to Life

My try to answer what is life.


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Rithvick Rathore

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IMTeam PRISM

2 years ago | 2 min read

Many scriptures have been written; many words have been spoken by the brightest minds that lived their life on this beautiful planet called Earth.

Life is such a loaded word.Is a good life defined by accomplishments or possessions? Surely not. Is it about our contributions or our children? That must be at least a part of it. There has to be more, though. The textbook definition of “life” is written as:

Life. (noun).1. The condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.2. The existence of an individual human being or animal.

I, Rithvick, through this piece of writing, will look for the meaning of life according to different religions or beliefs that people follow. Hinduism or “Sanatana Dharma” literal terms mean “the natural and eternal way to live”. According to it, life’s meaning (Answer) is four-fold: to achieve dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. The first, dharma, means to act virtuously and righteously. That is, it means to act morally and ethically throughout ones life. However, dharma also has a secondary aspect; since Hindus believe they were born in debt to the Gods and other human beings, dharma calls for Hindus to repay this debt. The five different debts are as follows: debt to the Gods for their blessings, debt to parents and teachers, debt to guests, debt to other human beings, and debt to all other living beings. According to Hinduism, the second meaning of life is Artha, which refers to pursuing wealth and prosperity in one’s life. Notably, one must stay within the bounds of dharma while pursuing this wealth and prosperity (i.e., one must not step outside moral and ethical grounds to do so). The third purpose of a Hindu’s life is to seek the Kama. In simple terms, Kama can be defined as obtaining enjoyment from life. According to Hinduism, the fourth and final meaning of life is Moksha, enlightenment. By far the most challenging meaning of life to achieve, Moksha may take an individual just one lifetime to accomplish (rarely), or it may take several. However, it is considered the essential meaning of life and offers such rewards as liberation from reincarnation, self-realization, enlightenment, or unity with God.

According to the Buddha, life, the world, and existence are "Dependent Originated". Dependent origination means that all phenomena and reality do not arise due to the instruction of a God, nature, fate, or spontaneity, but through the Law of dependent origination. Under the interplay of the primary, auxiliary, and various complicated conditions and reasons, we exist now as we are. Everything exists due to causes and conditions. From the perspective of the causes and conditions, existence is referred to as the effect. Therefore, life and the world are the product of a stream of highly complicated causes and effects, and they strictly abide by the Law of Cause and Effect.

In the end, the answer to life is that you need to experience every moment of it.

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Rithvick Rathore

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