At the microscopic level, physically, we are all nothing but cells – entities which do they their work as if preordained by some mysterious force. When I think of myself, I do not think of these cells which build my physical character. I think of something greater which I cannot fully understand and this has, in the past, led me into deep philosophical inquiry.
A long time ago I have read the following line in a book on Advaita : “A man is born, he suffers and dies”. Of course, that is not is the purport of Advaita but the reason why those ancient sages sought true happiness and contemplated on one of the grandest of all ideas – Advaita Vedanta.
Based strictly on logic and reasoning, there is no school of thought which can counter the ideas of Advaita. Advaita is all encompassing and hence includes any other philosophy inside itself. Practicing the ideas of Advaita does provide a great deal of courage and a sense of satisfaction in life to a certain level. However, to reach the ultimate goal of Advaita (namely Moksha), a great deal of sacrifice may be required in ones life.
An average person such as myself cannot go to the extent of sacrifice Advaita asks for. The reasons may be many but the cause is only one – Selfishness. True selfish feelings do not surface until one is pushed to his/her emotional/ physical limit. Hence a measure of selfishness can be determined by the choices one makes in that state. These choices, in my opinion, determine the true strength of a person.
One of the greatest ways to become unselfish is to love people who are important in our lives. May be this is the reason why love is a central concept in many religions. Moksha is a very far fetched goal but I am content I have found something which takes me forward in life.