Khajuraho Temple, Madhya Pradesh

February 26, 2002

The goal before every person is really the same: to be happy. Where people differ is in their idea of what will make them happy. Some think that righteous living ( dharma ) will bring happiness. Others think that money ( artha ) or sensual enjoyment ( kama ) is the key to happiness. Some others, again, think that spiritual enlightenment or freedom ( moksha ) will bring happiness.

While the pursuit of each of the above quests ( purushartha ) brings some amount of fulfillment and happiness, it is only the last pursuit - the quest for spiritual illumination - that results in total and unending happiness. That is why the true goal of life is spiritual freedom or God-realization.

In order to understand what that means, we need to study the concepts of Soul, God, and Universe, as they are understood in the Hindu tradition.

Soul

Human Personality is threefold: Body + mind + spirit

Human Personality
Body and Mind
Spirit
Composition
Material
Non-Material
Position
Within
Time, Space, Causality
Therefore , finite
Beyond
Time, Space, Causality
Therefore , infinite
Nature
Origination
Transformation
Destruction
Birthless
Changeless
Deathless












The spirit is the real "me"; body and mind are "coverings" over the spirit.

How are these three related?

What is our true identity?

Is my soul different from yours?

God

One supreme reality, although called by different names and conceived of in different ways. "Truth is one. The wise call it by various names." --Vedas

The various concept of God in the Hindu tradition

Is there one God or are there many?

How is God related to the soul?

Universe

Everything in this creation emerges from the supreme reality, dwells in it for a time, and ultimately merges into it. Creation is not a one-time phenomenon.

From where did the universe come? How did it come? When did it come?

How is the universe related to God and the soul?

MIT Vedanta Society:

Website : http://www.vedantaofboston.org/mit

Hindu Chaplain: Swami Tyagananda

Email: tyag@mit.edu