“The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.7)
ममैवांशो जीवलोके जीवभूतः सनातनः।
मनःषष्ठानीन्द्रियाणि प्रकृतिस्थानि कर्षति।।
mamaivāṃśo jīvaloke jīvabhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ।
manaḥṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi prakṛtisthāni karṣati।।
“Some random thoughts here before I get to my main question. It is natural to take most aspects of life for granted. After all, what choice is there, really? I can learn all I want about the sun, for instance, but what is that going to do for me? I can neither produce an equivalent, diminish the one currently in the sky, nor even get anywhere near it.
“At the same time, there is the tendency to inquire. We human beings can ask questions. The other day I was eating an avocado. As you might know, to cut one open is not easy. You have to divide it in half and before eating you must remove the pit. This is the seed.
“Compared to other seeds I have seen, this one is massive. How was it placed right in the same spot, every time? How does the seed know to grow into a fruit-producing tree? Why does this seed only produce more avocadoes? The seed is not that large or complex. It must obviously use other aspects of matter to develop a body.
“Why do not all seeds develop the same kinds of bodies? If the answer is that nature programmed it that way, why can’t we change things? Why can’t we come up with our own mechanism, whereby we produce something that has the potential for future creation, for furthering the line?
“I want to focus on children, though. At a recent gathering celebrating one of the holidays local to the area, children assembled and played different games. For the adults, it was amazing to see. The children were so happy. Not a bored face among them. They were so thrilled that none of them wanted to go home. The parents had to force them, after some time.
“Where does that enthusiasm come from? Why are they so happy? Why does that disposition change? Why are not adults the same way? How is it that the more intelligent you become, the more miserable you are? Do you get what I am saying?”
Bhagavad-gita answers the question of pre-programming. There is a single source of both knowledge and remembrance. The avocado seed knows exactly what to produce in the future because of the system already set in place. The human infant knows how to take food from the mother’s breast. The birds return to the nest without any written-down directions.
सर्वस्य चाहं हृदि सन्निविष्टो
मत्तः स्मृतिर् ज्ञानम् अपोहनं च
वेदैश् च सर्वैर् अहम् एव वेद्यो
वेदान्त-कृद् वेद-विद् एव चाहम्
sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca
vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo
vedānta-kṛd veda-vid eva cāham
“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness. By all the Vedas am I to be known; indeed I am the compiler of Vedanta, and I am the knower of the Vedas.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 15.15)
In the same way that there is programming for the intelligence, the joyfulness is also installed, in a way. It comes with the package. It should be noted that the joyfulness is not exclusive to the human birth. Neither does it necessarily diminish after the period of childhood.
That blissful nature, known as ananda, is an aspect of an existence. As there is the saying of, “I think therefore I am,” a person can also say, “I am, therefore I am joyful.”
Three Sanskrit words combine together, in this regard. Sach-chid-ananda. The living beings are eternally joyful and full of knowledge. They inherit this property from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are joyful because He is. They are knowledgeable because He has the knowledge.
They are as eternal as He is. God is the original source and the living entities are like His sparks. The Sanskrit word is amsha. These amshas are blissful in nature. That is the way.
In this sense, we can say that the purpose to an existence is to experience bliss. That bliss is through service, through the connection to the original source.
विष्णु-शक्तिः परा प्रोक्ता
क्षेत्र-ज्ञाख्या तथा परा
तृतीया शक्तिर् इष्यते
viṣṇu-śaktiḥ parā proktā
kṣetra-jñākhyā tathā parā
tṛtīyā śaktir iṣyate
“The potency of Lord Vishnu is summarized in three categories-namely, the spiritual potency, the living entities and ignorance. The spiritual potency is full of knowledge; the living entities, although belonging to the spiritual potency, are subject to bewilderment; and the third energy, which is full of ignorance, is always visible in fruitive activities.” (Vishnu Purana, 6.7.61)
It is indeed seen that joyfulness tends to diminish with the onset of old age. This does not have to be the case. Living a life conscious of the Supreme Lord and His ever-extending shelter is the only way to become a kid again, to experience the same enthusiasm and more, in a renewing manner, day after day and even life after life.
When bhakti service to find,
Like time to rewind.
And kid to be again,
Renewing enthusiasm then.
Nature from origin coming,
Knowledge path to becoming.
Of sach-chid-ananda way,
In Divine’s shelter to stay.