How Philosophy help one?
Many may wonder why one should study 'philosophy' and what is the connection to our mundane life? Yes, our life has become 'mundane'. It has become mechanical. There is no charm at all. It is toiling all day around and sleeping like a log to ease the tired limbs. There are many questions in life which can not be answered? Why one marry? Why children? Why should one earn and acquire properties. Are we going to live for ever? The answers will be full of guesses.
Philosophy tries to answer the above questions in a subtle way. Philosophy is a belief system. Those who are engrossed in this mundane life can not appreciate the teachings of philosophy as the subject deal with lasting peace and joy. Definitely, none of our acquisitions here can grant us lasting joy or peace. The reason is very simple. First, man's life in this world is limited. He can not outlive his creations or acquisitions. Even the so called immovable properties disintegrate due to vagaries of nature at some point of time. See the archaeological remains of ancient cultures which boast a great civilization. They are crumbling little by little and one day there won't be anything to recall those days.
Philosophy answers the riddles of Life!
What is the charm of this life? Why we are here in this ephemeral world and what purpose is served by our life? These questions to be answered in order to understand philosophy deeply. Philosophy says that the visible universe and the creation itself is a temporary phenomena. What really is the SELF. The mind superimposes the creation over the SELF. This point has been clarified in the scriptures in several ways. For instance, there is a placid lake far away in a thick jungle. The top surface of the water is hidden by the algae that has grown on the surface and completely hides the water. The water is the reason for the growth of algae but the same water is hidden by it. Secondly, the sun is hidden in the clouds. The sun is the reason for the formation of clouds and they hide the very sun which is responsible for it. Thirdly, cataract is formed in the eyes which hides the vision. In all the above cases, we can see the base. First remove the algae and water will be visible. Let there be heavy winds and the clouds will waft away and the sun will be visible. In the third example, remove the cataract and you will gain your vision back.
Philosophy does the same thing. It points out to the illusion that hides our vision from reality. It clarifies the Truth behind the illusory world. Some advaitins who practice the non dual philosophy of monism states that every thing is void like a dream experience and the Self alone Is behind the seeming phenomena. We have seen cinemas in the cinema halls. Pictures are projected on the white screen. Bereft of the screen, pictures have no independent existence. Only the unchanging ever present screen enable the pictures to happen. But the screen is absolutely unaffected by the fire, by the floods and by the earthquakes which are projected. The screen remain the same as ever. Like that the SELF is the base for the seeming Universe. Without the Self, creation can not be cognized and it has no meaning at all. But the screen remain pure and unsullied as before. This is the answer, philosophy gives. Our Life on this earth is a big dream. Only when we wake up in the SELF, we can become aware of it.