Final destination - A perspective from Religion and Science
There is a strong religious belief that the ultimate aim in life is to attain God. It is very common in India to see old people going to temples.When people finish all their duties for their families, they decide it is time to attain the ultimate aim - go on a path that leads to God. The different religions prescribe different ways of doing this. Hinduism says - Destroy your Desires.
I always wondered how destroying desires will lead to God! I kept thinking and got a few thoughts on this line. This hub is an outcome of these thoughts.
DISCLAIMER: This hub is not intended to hurt the sentiments of any particular person/ sect, it is just a consolidation of the author's thoughts and views alone!
In today's world, children as old as just three start getting pressured from different sides - parents, teachers, exams, education system, extra curricular, co curricular, etc. By the time schooling is over, the child is torn into pieces. Then comes the stressful period of choosing a career path. After getting into a college, the boy/girl has fun for a short period of three to four years after which the burden of getting a good job takes its toll.
Once placed in a good company, they have time only to slog hard in the weekdays and weekends are spent blissfully. After a few years, they enter the vicious circle of marriage. Family, spouse, children, spouse, responsibilities, duties, desires, money, materialism, education of children, marriage of children, grandchildren. feuds in family, pressure from own children - all this causes a human being too much tension and stress, though he/she thinks its happiness!
After 50+ years of constant running, behind money, happiness, peace and other things, old age gets really boring with nothing to do. Even if there is something to do, the body does not cooperate! After all this, all that a person awaits is a peaceful end - painless death!
This is where religion comes into picture - attaining God seems to the ultimate destiny! So, where does destroying desires come here? Scientifically, realizing God seems to be nothing but peaceful death without torturing anyone physically or mentally! This can be attained by simplifying the lifestyle which is equivalent to destroying desires. Listed below are a few points which are prescribed to old people. Some scientific explanations for them!
1. Reduce eating rich food and have Upavasam for the Ultimate Lord: In old age, like the other systems of the body, the digestive system weakens, eating heavy food causes discomfort to the gut thus creating a lot of health problems. Asking old people to stop eating rich food giving a scientific reason will only make them defensive, but, if God is into picture, the digestive system is easily saved!
2. Go to temples: Some amount of exercise is always required by the human body. In olden days, senior citizens made it a point to have some form of exercise, nowadays, they just tend to relax at home and spend time watching television. If they are asked to visit some temple, they take time in the evening to for a walk, thus they get some fresh air along with some movement to their muscles and bones. The circulation of blood also gets better.
3. Read religious books: This takes their mind out of stressful things thus relaxing their nervous system! Thinking about God or some spiritual thing, relaxes their mind from the usual family feuds.
4. Detach yourself from your family and concentrate on GOD: Family is probably the most stressful aspect in old age. As people age, generation gap comes into picture and this causes a lot of fights and tension. Old people can just not stop from giving a piece of their mind to the next generation, based on their experiences in the past, which is definitely not taken in a positive sense, leading to lot of misunderstandings. All these definitely cause a lot of undue stress on the body which is quite weak! By detaching from family, the body and mind is a lot relaxed thus diseases are kept at bay!
5. Stop running behind money and other materialistic pleasures - become philanthropic: At old age, it is not possible to work and earn money, age being the main factor with the body not cooperating. Thus, it is not wise to wish for more money or any form of materialistic pleasure given the fact that the body and mind are too fragile for that level of stress.
A sound body and mind are the most important assets any person can possess in their old age. Any compromise on these can lead to a lot of problems not only for one self but the others at home as well. A lot of time, energy and money are spent in the process which eventually causes a lot of agitation, leading to even detachment towards parents for children!
This is probably why Attaining God or Destroying Desires is the key to happy old age! Well, I am not an atheist, just tried to reason out!