Birth.Growth.Old age.Disease.Death. Rinse and repeat…….

Every bad thing that happens to us can eventually be overcome through the passage of time, the support of family and friends, maturity or perhaps , therapy.

So, every loss we suffer, we can replenish in some way or another.

Every mistake we make, we are offered chances to correct them, should we want to .

The only thing we cannot undo is the wasting of this life without realising it’s true purpose.

One of the greatest teachers of Advaita Vedanta, Shankaraycharya had this to say:

For all beings a human birth is difficult to obtain, more so is a male body; rarer than that is Brahmanahood; rarer still is the attachment to the path of Vedic religion; higher than this is erudition in the scriptures; discrimination between the Self and not-Self, Realisation, and continuing in a state of identity with Brahman – these come next in order. (This kind of) Mukti (Liberation) is not to be attained except through the well-earned merits of a hundred crore of births

Shankaracharya’s Vivekachudamani 

The reference to the male body might sound a bit sexist to us. But remember, this was written in the 5th Century AD, when society looked different. Suffice it to say that the knowledge of Vedanta is not barred from women, or from anybody. Anybody who is sufficiently motivated and is willing to do the things that are prescribed by the Vedic masters.

But the key point here is this – a hundred crore being the same as 1 billion. That kind of puts things into perspective. If we miss out on realising our purpose in this life, we go on the ferris wheel of birth.growth.death for a very long time, cycling from one life to another, not necessarily as a human being.

So, by the time you come back to this point, where you know that there is a problem with your life, you need to do something about it and find that the Vedanta offers a clear answer to what you need to do , to find and follow your true path, it might not be a billion years. It might be more.

Most of us don’t really care about those odds. We will happily take our chances with reincarnations as lower life forms.

However, for those who do care, there is the Vedanta to guide us.

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