This is a question that has been asked by everyone at least once in their lives. It is an age old question since the time when man could think, reason and use his intellect. It is usually first asked in adolescence when teenagers are beginning to make sense of this world and their place in it. Then it is asked again when they are trying to decide what to do with their lives. Subsequently it is asked whenever their life plan does not turn out the way they thought it would. And finally when they become seniors and look back at their life and do not know what the future holds.
It takes a lot of courage to ask this question and even more to listen to the answer and follow it. One cannot ask this question to a room full of people, only oneself. We are hardly ever truly alone so that we may think, reflect and contemplate. When we are alone we can see ourselves, all of ourselves, the different roles we play, and the different masks we wear. This takes a great deal of courage and honesty. We may not like what we see or who we are.
I have asked this question “Why am I here?” many times already and have come up with several answers. I am here to help others, I am here to learn from my mistakes, and I am here to be kind to the people I interact with. Other answers include, I am here to do selfless service, to give love and receive in return, and to make this world a better place. All of these answers are reasonable and noble but they always left me with a feeling that there was still something missing.
After meeting my Guru, a spiritual master, an enlightened being, I realized that the reason I and everyone else is here is to become enlightened, to know God, to know oneself. When I am in his presence, I feel indescribable peace and contentment. I forget all of my problems. They seem to not exist anymore. All of my fears, doubts and questions disappear and my mind becomes quiet and still.
How can one know oneself and know the Divine? In my experience it is through the grace of the Guru and by being in their presence. It is also through meditation, contemplation, reflection, and yoga to name just a few. But the most important thing is the burning desire to know God, as a dying man thirsts for water so one should want God more than anything else. I am still on my spiritual journey and have been caught up in the illusion of the world many times, but I just keep getting back on track and one day I will wake up to my true nature.