This brings us to the second fundamental principle of Vedic philosophy – Life means growth. So far we are growing, we are working in sync with life forces. The moment we cease to grow, we are in hands of forces of death. Now this principle coupled with the first principle implies that bliss can be maximized by maximizing our growth. The moment we limit our knowledge or understanding of truth, we limit our level of bliss. We abandon the opportunity for further bliss. We enjoy illusion and ignorance, because we consider them as truth, and hence acquire limited bliss from them. But if we have to increase our bliss further, we need to enhance our knowledge further, break the shackles of illusion and ignorance, and extract more bliss. This is an ongoing journey in life, and the only natural way to live – healthy and blissfully.
The moment we stagnate, the moment we stop this process of knowledge enhancement, or try to put limits to it, or try to reverse it, we are working against our basic nature. To put metaphorically, we are digging our own graves. In pursuit of momentary bliss, we are forcing ourselves into the dark pit of frustration, tension, sorrow and grief. It is impossible to restrict the nature. So this urge for growth channelizes into all sorts of areas – some very undesirable, some less undesirable and some simply self-defeating. Thus we see so much of terrorism, warfare, drugs abuse, pornography, wasteful living, addictions, psychopathy all around. These are nothing but manifestations of attempts made by soul to cope up with this force to nature that demands us to grow, progress and come closer to truth.
An average soul spends bulk of its life tackling this urge for growth, without understanding the source of problem, and keeps fighting throughout the life in a variety of forms. Sometimes it will drown itself into various variants of ignorance and bliss, sometimes it will try to express itself through regressive means, sometimes it will indulge into sensual pleasures that numb the senses, sometimes it will tend to progress further and then again reverse the direction due to other compulsions. And finally when mortal death takes over, the story is over.
Normally, we tend to believe that phase of growth ends with completion of our physiological growth (growth of body). It is approximately then that our education also ends. And we continue living in illusion that phase of growth is over. However, if you have studied a bit about the human brain, you would realize that it is the most complex system known to us in the entire universe. We hardly know anything about human brain and how it works. But from whatever we know, the potential of human brain to learn, acquire skills, and gain knowledge is virtually limitless. And we also know that brain is like other muscles. The more you use it, stronger it becomes. Stop using it, and you are leading yourself towards dementia. This provides the greatest clue towards purpose of our life..or direction of our life – to grow further, know further and reach closer to truth.