“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”
This is a famous quote by American writer and philosopher, Elbert Hubbard.
It looks and seems so simple but it spoke to me on different levels. I couldn’t help but realize that our entire life is built just to die. We “live” to “die”. At first it made me sad and angry and disappointed. It’s not that I have high expectations on life, it’s just that the end seems so simple and uncomplicated that anyone and everyone can achieve it. It was hard for me to digest the fact that life was just an illusion. And that our actions and memories are just a screensaver that goes on till the computer of lifes’ battery gives away. I went to a depression phase because my interpretation was on a pessimistic note. All this for nothing?
It reminded me of a Malayalam song called “atmavidyalayame” from a movie called “Harishchandra”
The set up of the song is that there is a chandala who burns dead bodies. He is the protagonist and is looking at the dead bodies around him and singing a song that highlights the irony of the living and the dead. The lyrics goes,
“Thilakam charthi cheekiyum azhakaayi palanaal Poottiya punya shirase. Ulagam vellar uzhariya neeyo vilapidiyaathoru thalayodaayi.”
Which loosely translates to – Oh divine skull that was so well groomed in it’s time, the one who came to challenge the entire world in it’s time, is a mere worthless skull now.
This made me think, what is the true meaning of life? Is it death? Do we live and struggle just to make our death easier?
This question still bothers me very much. We can never completely understand the true meaning of life and death, but we can always try and make both better. That’s what I could infer for it all.
This search for answers eventually lead me to different books on spirituality and atheism. I learned about the greatness of life through books like The Bhagavad-Gita (Swami Chinmayananda’s commentary on it was the best. “The Holy Geetha”.)
And I learned to overcome the fear of death with the help of books by Dr. Abraham T. Kovoor.
Spirituality helped me to take all this in a very optimistic way. I learned about liberation and self-realisation through the Ashtavakra Geetha. This opened up my thoughts a lot.
In the end I joined all these little pieces together to make a giant 3D puzzle of life.
But that didn’t make me very happy.
I realized that I just wasted a lot of time and energy trying to learn how to live and die. The time I lost can never be gained back. I realized that I took it so seriously, that if I hadn’t come to a conclusion I might have probably died before I could truly get it’s meaning.
I had done exactly what I shouldn’t have. Instead to keeping it simple I went overboard in the quest for answers.
Now all that time I lost would never come back. But I did learn a valuable lesson from all this craziness. No matter how hard you try to believe life is, it’s just not.
Life doesn’t need to be deciphered. It needs to be lived and enjoyed.
It doesn’t matter “when we die” or “if we left a mark”, all that matters is if we die with regrets or not.
Taking life too seriously is pointless. Since we all have to die one day and just by taking it seriously we cannot get an extension on life as death is inevitable.
So just live your life the way you want. Don’t stop or limit yourself from things you want to do just because of the prospective dead bodies around you who has destroyed their lives and are now trying to do the same with yours.
Any disappointments or sorrow should be borne with grace. And remember to make the best out of the worst. This is how you can ace life! You never get out of it alive anyways! ( So I guess it doesn’t even matter of you ace it or not! 😁)
P.S. : This is just some random thoughts I have. May or may not help you.
Picture Credits : Google