Life is what happens to a soul when it gets a habitat or an abode to live in — the body. The body could be a human one or a non- human one depending on what the soul deserves. Oh well, and who decides what the soul deserves? Worry not, for it is the kindest of the kind, the most just, the friend and savior of one and all, the omnipotent and the omniscient God.
Yes, our loving God gives us a body so that the soul could use it to reach Him. This body has a wonderful capacity to see, hear, feel, taste, smell and even think! It is through this body that many have perfected themselves (their souls, that is) and reached closer to the ultimate truth, the highest reality, the all-pervading bliss. Indeed, this bliss is nothing but the Lord and He takes care that there is no speck in the world from which He would be absent. It is through our body that we experience this omnipresent bliss or joy — the joy that beats all others in terms of its intensity and its flavor.
The body, however, is not eternal like the soul is. It is also not pure. Moreover, it is not the true ‘us’. That is, the framework that we see in the mirror is not what we actually are. It is what we have or rather what we have been given. There will also be a time when it will be taken from us. Since we do not know when it’s going to be taken away (could be as far as decades away or as close as a couple of moments hence), we would do best to make the maximum possible use of this body for the purpose of experiencing the ultimate.
What we do with our body, how we behave with it, all this determines what we deserve after this body is no more ours. So it all boils down to ‘karma’ i.e. the work we do, the tasks we perform, the duties we fulfill.
Sometimes, we feel that there are people who have perhaps never once done a bad ‘karma’ that would hurt anyone, yet they’ve had a bad fare. It makes us wonder, “what, after all, is the point in my being good and truthful and kind when this is what becomes of those who are really good?”
What we forget here is that the journey of the soul is like a string of beads, and the present life is just one of those beads. There was one before this and there surely will be one after this. Since all these beads are connected to one another, what happens in one will influence the next ones too. So if a guy does all good but gets all bad in return, what he is doing is making him worthy of receiving good in the beads to come and what he is getting now is a result of what he’s already done in some of his previous beads.
Bead after bead, life after life. But what about the present bead? The present life? What will happen to it? Well, it will end. And aren’t we lucky that it will? Whenever we make a mistake, we wish with all our hearts, “Only if I had another chance, just one more, I would put everything just right.” But by then it’s too late. And wishing is all that we are left with.
But God is kind and He gives us not just another little chance but a whole huge opportunity to set things in order with ourselves. What’s more, this opportunity runs right into us irrespective of whether we want to open the door to it or not. That is well taken care of by the loving Master. And thus He finishes the first bead and puts another one, as glorious as the first, on top of it, with the message — “Here you are! The world is in your hand. This life is for you, just for you, to explore the joys and more importantly, the miseries of the world, to understand what you yourself are capable of and most essentially to remember that your ultimate destination is me, my child. Return to me, I wait for you with my gift of eternal happiness. If, by any unfortunate chance, the miserable world supersedes my gift of bliss in your eyes, I will have to give you just that — misery, sorrow and more miseries and for that, another life in the agonizing world because you are my child and I must give you what you desire and rightly deserve. But once again this will be another opportunity to have a tryst with me, your ultimate destination.”