In a fast spreading consumer culture of death and destruction, power and pomp, eternal life is not on the mind of many people. Yet for those of who are not enamored by the fleeting nature of consumer life is very concerned about eternal life while we actively engage this world for what it is. Eternal life lies in this that there are certain self-evident realities from the beginning of the world. These are realities that you may already know as they have been told by sages years ago. In any case they need to be repeated time and again; we as humans need to be reminded of these truths. No one needs to belong to any religion; no one needs to go to a church, temple, or mosque to be saved. Yet it is good to attend these institutions, as humans by their very nature are social. We can certainly support and encourage one another. Though no rituals are essential, they, if meaningful, can help us to relate to one another.
Three essential requirements for Eternal Life are:
1. Ability to love others as oneself: Altruism and selflessness are very important. Loving others as one loves oneself is not easy. This is an ideal. It is not at all easy to achieve it. One has to be very vigilant to empty oneself of all selfishness that easily sneaks in and lurks in some dark corner. On-going examination of conscience is required to detect even subtle forms of selfish ways.
2. Having a duly formed, clear conscience: One needs to understand morality, ethics, and regulations normative for a society. One needs to look for laws, customs, and age-old sayings or practices that may be legal or practiced but may be immoral or discriminatory. An empathic examination by placing oneself in the affected persons’ shoes will certainly reveal selfish interests. Generally, fairness in dealings that comes from the norm that one treats others the way one likes to be treated, will enlighten one’s conscience.
3. A relentless search for truth: Truth alone can save us in all situations. For us humans truth alone is the visible God. One has to be constantly purified, reformed, unattached to attain finer truth. Nothing can replace the peace and satisfaction that come from rigorous devotion to truth.
It is not that we are unduly concerned about after-life. It is not where we go from where we are. It is about engaging our present life fully, holistically, and spiritually. The abundant eternal life is guaranteed when we do all that we can with purity of intention. Eternal life is also continuous with this life.