The Quality of Life

Prof. V. K. Murty
May 27, 2004
held at: 
University of Waterloo

We often hear the phrase ‘quality of life’. What does it mean? It is not enough for us to be alive; we want a good life, a high quality of life. If we have a close brush with death, we might feel grateful just to be alive. But that feeling does not last, and once again, we pine for something more. On the other hand, if in the same brush with death we lose a loved one, we might feel that it is a curse to be alive; we feel that there has been a significant deterioration of the quality of our life.

There are research groups (such as the Quality of Life Research Unit at the University of Toronto), which try to identify and measure the factors affecting quality of life. For the most part, they deal with externals. According to them, we are looking for meaning and happiness and these determine our quality of life. But from a spiritual point of view, we are looking for a state beyond happiness and unhappiness. This can be described as a state of peace. From this point of view, if we want to improve the quality of our life, we should try to discover a peaceful state of mind. It is a state which if discovered enables us to live much more efficiently.

Kumar is a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Toronto and a long-time student of Vedanta. Professor Murty presented this seminar to an audience of 27 at the University of Waterloo.