Indian Philosopher, Monk of the Ramakrishna Order, Religious Teacher
What is the highest ideal, the goal of our life? According
to our great philosopher Kapila, it is the cessation of misery, of
suffering. This answer seems to indicate a negative state, but in
reality behind that cessation of misery appears a positive state,
Joy, which can be experienced. It is the essence of being. Why is it
then that we don't all feel it spontaneously? Shankara answers:
“Only the ignorant do not feel it.” What then is this ignorance?
According to Patanjali it is the sense of ego that gives birth to
suffering; by constantly making false identifications, we identify
the Self with the non-Self, thereby indirectly producing feelings
of attachment and aversion, and suffering ensues. This way of
clinging to the physical life alters the quality of consciousness
The little space within the heart is as great as the vast universe.
The heavens and the earth are there, and the sun and the moon and the stars. Fire and lightening and winds are there, and all that now is and all that is not.
Ethical life and service are an aid, but they are not an end in themselves. The end is to be one with God.