Why is life so Hard?


The truth of mortal nature of our life is not allowing me to lead a normal life...i do not feel intrested in daily life... what is thw whole purpose of life if we finally have to die....why did god create us ?? Is there any purpose ? Why merely wishing for liberation is not enough and we have to take several births for it ??

—Gauri, India


Dear Gauri,

Your existential ennui, or, as Yogananda described it in “Autobiography of a Yogi,” the soul’s feeling of “anguishing monotony” upon viewing the prospect of endless rounds of birth, life and death, is only a stage in the soul’s awakening. Despair not.

On a deeper level of our Being we know that true happiness is our birthright. Your very despondency is, in itself, proof of that. Do you know the story of the Mahabharata, and the Bhagavad Gita? Do you recall that Arjuna, Krishna’s foremost disciple, slumps in his chariot at the prospect of what struggles await him?

You might read Krishna’s words in Chapter 2 of the Gita to Arjuna for they are for you, too. If nothing else were to be said, we have a duty in life to do our best; to do that which is right for us. Hunger and other impulses require that we act. Let us act with the very joy we seek but let us act without attachment to the results. Fulfil your role in life like a brave warrior, not knowing the outcome whether victorious or otherwise; not knowing the moment of your liberation.

As Swami Kriyananda would sometimes put it: we do not know WHY we exist; WHERE we came from; or WHERE we are going. But let us be practical and face the fact of our being here and now and we should therefore ask ourselves, “What can I do about it?” “How best to live this life?” If we live by righteousness, virtue, unselfishness, kindness, wisdom, creativity and energy we will be happier. If we seek within ourselves the divine presence we will taste the joy of our souls. The more we cooperate with a higher power the more we ourselves expand our consciousness into a greater reality than ego and body. In this expansion we find ever greater freedom. Yes, it takes effort just as Arjuna realized, with Krishna’s guidance to which he was open, to fight the good battle of life against hopelessness, self-involvement and comfort but the reward is the pearl of great price: happiness.

Be ye, therefore, of good cheer! You now know the road that lies ahead. Put your shoulder to the wheel of sadhana, seva, satsang and swadhaya! As Lahiri Mahasaya put it, “Banat, banat ban jai!” (Doing, doing, soon done!)

In divine friendship,
Nayaswami Hriman