Why do we need a quest in life?

Character is shaped by the upbringing of a person. Ultimately, this defines the destiny of each and every individual. When we look at destiny, it is very important to understand that the quest has evolved. What is this quest? What is each one searching for? Is it searching for money, health, or some kind of pleasure? Can we use search and quest interchangeably? Is quest a synonym for search?

The quest begins the moment we understand both the words as they are. Well, our parents, family, and teachers help us to begin with exposure and experience. This results in our own evolution in terms of character and thought. Attainment of small goals and intermediate ambitions will eventually help us identify the situation or the environment that we would want to be in. Thereafter, we will begin to analyze and understand that situation or environment and try to create a path to reach that. This path would make us understand that dharma has to be the backbone of the same, for dharma means sustenance.

The understanding and realization connected with the above will create a quest for each one of us. There are so many challenges in life and these challenges can be compared with the hurdles found on the track of a sports person. These challenges will create myopic situations, and this may result in diverting our quest. Now, one may ask a pertinent question. This question can be as follows:

Why can’t we take life as it goes? If so, do we need a quest?

They might even say the business of quests is very eclectic, and it is only meant for mendicants or saints.

Life by itself is karmic and, therefore, experiential. These experiences are but lessons and a quest is required to pass the exam called life. The vast ocean basks in the sun and the sun takes away the surface of the ocean all the time. This surface converts itself into vapor and tries to go near the sun but gets converted into a cloud halfway through. This cloud gets darker and heavier over time. Finally, the cloud can be compared to a pregnant woman who is ready to deliver a child. At last, the water in the cloud comes back to the ocean or to the lands. The waters found thus find their way back to the ocean.

The quest of the ocean appears to be as though it is seeking the sun and the quest of the sun appears to be that it wants to consume all water. But neither happens! This is the law of nature. We get to understand that the happening or not happening does not matter,but the experience is extremely important. Therefore, ordinary mortals like us can seek something on a greater plane without worrying themselves about the outcome. Let there be a quest and let us remember karma yoga while we are at it.

We definitely need this quest in order to ensure that our life does not make us feel empty. Just as how, hope is better than the result. This quest would be better than feeling blank or empty.

Often, goals and ambitions, wishes and desires are taken to be a quest. Indulgences and experiences should hopefully fine tune us and help us seek a higher goal. The story of the great devotee of Lord Muruga, Arunagirinathar, will help us to unravel all of this and make us understand why we need a quest in life.

He was searching for pleasures that were ephemeral. This made him understand that greater things existed and the quest for the same has made him immortal. The quest for the grace of Lord Muruga resulted in the outpouring of numerous devotional compositions. These compositions are more popular than the vast number of people who have achieved much in terms of wealth and power. His story is an inspiration for people to understand that the quest is something that will take us to a better plane.

Stories of rulers like Shivaji, and saints like Thukkaram, Eknath, Meerabhai, Narasimha Mehta will make us understand the need for a quest in life. The quest of Adi Shankara, Ramanuja, and Maadhva, with the quests of earlier thinkers of India, has made it the fountainhead of philosophies. It becomes very important to have a quest in life. We must understand that a quest is nothing but a self-help kit which will make us lead a complete life.

Mr. Rajesh Govindarajulu is one of the founding members of the Verandah Club Pvt. Ltd. He is a leading columnist, historian, jeweler, entrepreneur, and a heritage enthusiast who is earnestly working to revive the past in the light of the present. Experiential learning about the history of Coimbatore is his main course of interest and he is also a panel member of many colleges in the city.


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