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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


manatita44 (author) from london on August 04, 2021:

No bad thing, Mary, no bad thing. Store up for yourself, only treasures in heaven. Infinitely more valuable than earthy pangs. God speed, my Dear! Peace!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on August 04, 2021:

After living seven decades, I now have a glimpse of what a meaningful life is. Every day, I remind myself of pure love as my principle, making my choices better.

manatita44 (author) from london on August 02, 2021:

Aww, thank you, my Didi Ji.

May the Supreme Brahman continue to bless you and your family with its Love and Beauty. Hari Om!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 02, 2021:

Hello Manatita!

We do understand the kind of spiritual life, you live. It shows in your beautiful writing. But, it is wonderful to know about your mother, your birth place, your initial and growing up years, and how your life has evolved over the years.

I understand that you have love and peace, the greatest treasure, we can have in our life on earth.

A beautiful piece of writing indeed. And, a lovely tribute to Nithya.

Thank you for sharing.


manatita44 (author) from london on August 02, 2021:

Thank you, Bro.

You know all that stuff, no? India is the original home of Spirituality. Much Love.

Sankhajit Bhattacharjee from MILWAUKEE on August 01, 2021:

l am spellbound sir

manatita44 (author) from london on August 01, 2021:

Aww, Pamela.

You're one of my significant fans. Take your hubbie to Grenada one day. Isle of Spice and Everything Nice!

Wonderful sentiment from you! Much gratitude!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 01, 2021:

I enjoyed reading about your life and the transformation you experienced. This is also a lovely tribute.

Growing up in Grenada sounds wonderful. The beauty of the stars and everything you described is not found in London, but you can still have a full, very meaningful life.

I like thisd sentence, "The Light of Love must also be present in the Heart". I agree that this is so true. I enjoyed reading everything you wrote and the lovely quotes, Manatita.

Love and blessings to you.

manatita44 (author) from london on August 01, 2021:

Aww, that's kind of you, Bill.

Your soul wanted to wait till I was ready. Chuckle. I hope you noticed the credits in the Summary and at the end of the piece. Gratitude, Bro. Much Love and a great Sunday to Bev, you and family. Stay safe!

manatita44 (author) from london on August 01, 2021:

I do vaccines, Rosina. We generally advice you to wait at least 28 days post Covid-19. Drink a lot of clear fluids and all the evidence suggest that Vit C, Vit D3 and Zinc will help you. So up to you.

I take them and many I know do. However, if you are exposed to the sun a lot, the D3 may not be so important. Check your bloods levels with a GP.

Thank you so much for visiting my work as always. Salaam!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 01, 2021:

I always love to see tributes for my HP friends. An added bonus today, because one of my fleeting titles was transformed into a cascade of beautiful words, by you, my friend. Simply lovely writing. I am absolutely certain you took that title and gave it a more special life than I could have. Bravo and blessings!

Rosina S Khan on August 01, 2021:

A good write-up which I enjoyed. I will write my version of the topic next week, not this week. Yesterday I had the first dose of Covid vaccine shot and right now going through the side effects and not feeling very well.

Thanks for sharing, Manatita.

manatita44 (author) from london on August 01, 2021:

Yes, Dee. I had a great start!

Hermitage? The English or rather Indian meaning is 'Ashram' (A Spiritual Communty) Won't get better than that. How did you read so fast? Much Gratitude on this quiet but pleasant Sunday

Hi Ishika!

Welcome here! Great to see you! Thank you so much!! - Lantern

ISHIKA MEHERE from NAGPUR on August 01, 2021:

It is beautiful manatita.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 01, 2021:

Thanks for sharing your beautiful growing-up life. You've been blessed from the start. I also grew up and presently live at Hermitage. Hope there's something to the name. I enjoy your article. Have a blessed week.

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