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Purpose of Human Life

13-Nov-2011

Most people today think that the only purpose of life is to have fun, enjoy & pleasure your senses; some might go a little further and say it’s to make a difference in this world, to make the world a better place, to help those less fortunate than us; some might say it’s a bit of both those paradigms.

So then, what is the purpose of life? I had this question when I was 15 & ever since it has haunted me; even though the answer was right in front of me I could not see it! Partly because I was too attached to sensual pleasures and partly because I grew up in 20th century India where materialism was the new god. So then, what is the purpose of life? I guess everyone will have to answer this question for themselves, I can only share what I’ve discovered after a long search.

The earth has several life forms, human is the only form that has been given the gift of intellect. In the recent past we have come to accept that the primary use of this intellect is to device better ways of finding pleasure for ourselves; conventional wisdom even goes so far as to equate happiness with pleasure! All want to be happy but do we really know what happiness means? In my experience, most confuse happiness with pleasure, for example: a good meal, a new dress, a new car, more money, having fun with family & friends, etc. All of those are ways of pleasuring ourselves, so then what is this happiness? Happiness is our true nature – happiness is who we are! I’ve written two essays on Happiness which will be soon made available on this website, kindly have a look for yourself.

Coming back to pleasure, my thesis is this: if pleasure is the purpose of one’s life then there are better bodies to have that in; for example: a pig can enjoy sex, food & relaxation much more than a human possibly can. Research has shown that a pig can have an orgasm that lasts 15 minutes, how great is that in comparison to the few seconds of a human orgasm! So if I were keen to enjoy the joys of sex, clearly I would be better off in a pig’s body. So clearly the human body is not ideal for having pleasure, so then what is it ideal for? And that my friends is the answer to the original question: what is the purpose of life?

One and only one: to find Enlightenment/God. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with eating, earning money and making love, those have their place in a human life too but we have unfortunately turned them into primary objectives while we have forgotten the real purpose of having a human body i.e. to find God; in case you are an atheist then let me rephrase that as: to find the Truth. Now tell me, what happens when we use the nose to drink water and put food into the ear? We cause injury to ourselves and that is exactly what we are doing living a life enslaved to materialism instead of focussing on spirituality.

We are living in the most prosperous times our planet has seen and yet we are miserable. We think getting more money, power, success, etc. will make us happy, but millions have tried before us and failed miserably. Those things can only bring temporary pleasure, to find everlasting happiness you will have to find the Truth/God, there is no other way.

Sai Ram.

-Nitin

 

Blogs:

Satish Kumar S, Bangalore: Here is my interpretation of purpose of life:

We all been blessed to be born as human beings and we are at the top of the pyramid as responsibility holders for whole of the pyramid.
In the life span of each of us we try to help as many people as you can so that sum total of all good things you have done leaves a indebtable mark of soul as it moves from current form to other.
The simple things like keeping environment clean, community service, feeding poor people and try to balance every aspect of your life like work/life, family, relations, friends wrt to each of their emotions. All these will lead us to be in equillibrium with nature which in turn leads to path towards God.
Each of us have to ask one important question? what gives me happiness removing all materialistic thinking in mind and that will be purpose of individual life.
If we try to put our heart and soul to that aspect which is devoid of materialistic thinking it will leads to happiness and peace from within as well as external.

ganesh2shiv: well said :)

Sachin Pune: Hi, I went through this website and I like it, thanks for putting up this site.
Btw, the link "Significance of No.108" points to page explaining "Purpose of uman Life" so you may want to fix that, I just tried manually specifying the link and it work (I guess I was lucky).
One last thing, can you explain more on what was 'Sanatm Dharma' and how and when did 'Hinduism' came into picture?

Thanks Again,
Sachin
Admin: Thanks Sachin for letting us know of the broken link. It is now fixed. And to your question, below is the reply from Nitin.

Nitin: Hi Sachin,
Thank you for your question.
Sanatan Dharma is not a religion. It simply means: the natural way. Just as there are some laws that nature obeys, for example: water makes things wet, fire burns things, etc. Similarly there are some laws that LIFE obeys. For example: you will reap what you sow, desire causes unhappiness, kindness is a good quality, there is no end to greed, etc. These natural laws are universal (water will wet you no matter what your religion/nationality is) and eternal (water has been making things wet since time immemorial), similarly kindness is valued everywhere on the planet; an Indian personís greed causes him as much sorrow as an Englishmanís! These natural laws are collectively referred to as Sanatan Dharma.

Religion is an effort to conceptualise these laws and explain them with stories and examples so that they become accessible to the common man. Remember, gravity always existed but it took the brilliance of Newton to bring it to our attention. Similarly, brilliant people like Buddha, Christ, etc. brought these natural laws of life to our attention through their teachings. Next, they also explained to us how to live according to those natural laws in order to have a happy life. For example: donít eat meat (the basis of this is compassion for the animals), donít steal (the basis of this is to avoid greed), etc. Hinduism is also another such attempt to explain the natural laws for the benefit of the common man. Since the words ďSanatan DharmaĒ are in Sanskrit, it creates the illusion that Sanatan Dharma is some how more related to Hinduism than say Islam. This is not true, all religions are based on the same eternal universal principles.

However, religion as we know it today, unfortunately has got mired in rituals and self identity; the natural laws are totally forgotten and hence we have people who are religious but unkind, unhappy, greedy and miserable! But I have yet to find a person who lives according to the natural laws and is unhappy. In the end thatís what life is all about, Happiness! Think about it, everything you do, you do for happiness. The same is true for every other person on this planet, either directly or indirectly we are all looking for the same thing: Happiness! And here comes Sanatan Dharma!! If we live our life according to the natural laws we will never be unhappy, ever again. I hope this answers your question.

In case you have any more then please feel free to ask.
Best wishes
Nitin.

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