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Building a Meaningful Life. Sunday's Inspiration 38, to the Esteemed Writer Nithya Venkat

Manatita is an esteemed author living in London, UK. He writes spiritual books, flash fiction and esoteric poetry, his favourite genre.

Wisdom-Quote for Today

"We must live today, since he who lives for tomorrow never lives.

If you desire to live now, live for God, in whom yesterday and tomorrow,

Are nothing else but today. - Maresilio Ficino


Wisdom-Quote for Today

"One who dedicates all work to God,

Who considers God as the supreme goal of life;

Who is ever devoted to God,

And has neither attachment or hatred for any being,

Attains God." - Bhagavad Gita. X1 - 55


The First step

I was born in a village so beautiful, that at nights the illustrious moon would whisper its name: “Hermitage, Hermitage…”, showing its approval for a small stunner, where the camaraderie --the harmony of its people was superb! We lived as one synergy where love flowed, like a vibrant river, kissing our hearts with its delight.

When evening came, the stars would rise in ascendancy, blazing a glimmering trail across the wonders of Andromeda, so much greater than the path left by airborne jets, sky-diving, bobbing and weaving their military salutes.

Grenada, this Isle of spice, this sceptred hermosa, this land of fauna and bougainvillea, is truly a fascinating country. Palm trees dance on our gorgeous beaches; the golden-ripe mangoes overflow from the humility of bowing trees and verdant foliage. They will all hug you as you walk, whispering love-songs to the rising sun.

But this is enough for now, my friends. Let’s just say that the first steps to building a meaningful life, begins at home.

The second step

Mom was by all accounts, a more than remarkable woman. Being a tad too curious about the sensuality of adult life, she became pregnant at sixteen, and from then onwards, this initially single mom, would struggle all her life - without complaints - in bringing up seven wonderful children.

I am the first, and so I saw first-hand, mom’s sense of duty, of sacrifice, a one-pointed and intense faith in where she was going … what gave her purpose and meaning to life. As such, I will combine the second step to building a meaningful life, a strong sense of duty, passion, faith in Something Higher or unseen … an innate sense of clarity, vision and purpose, in what one is trying to do.


The Third Step

Mom not only sent me to school, but to church as well. Anglo-Catholicism was quite common to my village and indeed the Parish of St Andrew’s, where I eventually schooled and worked, also helped in this endeavour. My Methodist school had daily morning assemblies –the singing of hymns, sermons, daily class mottos and the quiet but powerful ‘grace before meals.’, which all helped to shape my journey.

So, I would say that the third step, is a sense of heavenly purpose, call it hope or belief; Love – a wanting to serve, to be kind and benevolent to others … above all, earnestness –a deep hunger or longing, to put meaning to life.

School should help a lot here, and where this has not yet entered the conscious mind, and it needn’t do, then Love itself, must definitely be present. It is my belief and experience, that many atheists have this enduring virtue.

The fourth step

I left Grenada when I was 21 years old. Filled with the curiosity woven into our souls by colonialism, like so many others, I longed to see the ‘Mother Country’ (England).

I arrived one cold October evening, with the chilled wind beating against my long dark coat, prepared in advance for this journey. To this day, 47 years later, the thing I probably dislike the most, is the severe weather of December, January and February months.

A dashing, handsome young man … one full of personality and zest, I began to ‘live the good life’ of parties, women, song and dance. Needless to say, I probably buried this so-called ‘meaningful’ life beneath a tree for a while. So busy was I with the love of adventure; of other distractions, that I didn’t pick up my innate spirituality again, until I was 30 years old.

One day I read a book called The Path, Autobiography of a Western Yogi, by Swami Kriyananda and I went through a series of spiritual experiences, after which I was totally transformed. Two weeks later, I started the life of prayer, of meditation, in a more conscious way, and I have not looked back for the last 40 years.

Step four can perhaps be called Spirituality or re-birth --the conscious awareness that we are all souls, East, West, above and below. That we, sentient and in-sentient beings, have a common Source or Absolute Ground … a perennial Intelligence; that Creation is a projection of this Absolute Supreme. We are all one!

At least we need a sense of purpose … of Love, not the one that binds, possesses, bargains, but the Love that encourages growth, harmony and beauty. The One present in the beggar and Queen alike; that which makes the sun shines and the heavens glow with magnificence.


Building a Meaningful Life

So how do we build a meaningful life? Actually, I have already covered some of the steps: parental and school teachings, such as duty with detachment (Without expectations), sacrifice, selfless service, such as, or even more than my mother gave.

The Light of Love must also be present in the Heart, the psychic Heart, for I do not speak of emotions in the ordinary sense, neither do I refer to the physical organ. I speak of an inner invisible shrine and the deity within the shrine called the soul. It is from here that we feel the sweetness of a child’s smile, the identification of ‘we’ and ‘ours’, as opposed to the selfish ‘me’ and ‘mines.’

The soulful offering of gratitude to this Higher Absolute; to humans … to all sentient and non-sentient beings must be present, according to each one’s level of growth and development. Souls differ in their Consciousness, as the kindergarten child does to the University Professor.

Above all, aspiration must be present. Aspiration is the beginning and the end of the journey. What differentiates the rich man from myself is his ambition, drive, his purpose. In the same way, the spiritual seeker needs ‘longing or earnestness.’ Ambition drives us forward, but keeps us steeped in worldliness, longing helps us to ascend to the Divine.

The child cries when it is hungry and the mother comes running. Soon the child learns to cry even when it’s not even hungry, as it knows that mom will show up. The agony of the unfulfilled for the heavenly pearls, are just like this

Aspiration is the inner hunger, the burning intensity for Light … more Light. It is a self-transcending journey. We must be chosen –be at the point where we ask ourselves who we are, what is it all about, where are we going? Until we become dissatisfied with the world, we will only move forward, if ever, with the speed of a snail’s pace.

Again, Grace is necessary. Nothing happens without the Will of the Supreme and the devotee will not find Grace, until the inner vessel, like a ripened mango, is ready to be plucked. Guru ji calls this God’s Hour, and for this, experience is necessary. Here I speak of the obstacles or challenges of life, that we are all given by Love. How else will we grow?

We build a meaningful life by seeing the Light in our neighbour, knowing that it is the same Light of Paradise, even while accepting that the flute will be gentle and the organ powerful; the rose offers sacrifice and the jasmines sweet scents. Yet all blending together in harmony.

May the Light and lustre of the moon finds me worthy; may my life of Prayer; of Meditation … of gratitude and service; fortitude, empathy and concern, do grant me Peace. Om Shanti!

Manatita, 30th July, 2021.

Credit: Title, Courtesy of William Dale Holland


On Love, by Manatita

"Hidden within the mundane attachments, is the Higher longing. They are not separate and are both necessary. One is ephemeral, possesses, bargains ... gives and take. The other is unconditional --ascending, enduring, timeless ... eternal, yet they are One."- Manatita

A meaningful life

© 2021 manatita44

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