Purpose of life
Well, this blog is named “Human purpose” so it’s time to write something about the purpose of human life.
Before we decide to start on the journey to discover the purpose of our life, we should be fully aware of our identity. I wrote a series of articles about “Spirit vs Matter” and why it is important to understand this. So, I would recommend you read these articles first. Without a solid understanding of who we are, we can’t effectively proceed to find the purpose behind our existence. Starting from the middle never gives satisfactory results.
Just to keep this article in the standard format, we’ll mention our 3 guys:
Real Atheist – Well, no luck for him. It’s hard to find an objective purpose of life if you are just a bunch of atoms. Even a real atheist can claim to have a purpose in life, but that purpose is imaginary because you can not possibly have a rational way to explain the purpose of life if you are an atheist. Basic atheism is that the world came into being by chance and without any purpose. So, you can’t really add a purpose to existence afterwards because that will collide with basic axioms of atheism.
Pseudo Atheist – He will probably imagine something, but allow other people to have their own version of the purpose of life.
Real and pseudo atheists can’t claim that realistic purpose of life exists. An objective statement is something like: “Water is necessary for humans.” It’s real for everybody. It is the universal truth. E.g. “Everybody who is born must also die“.
Once we are sure that we are spiritual, we need to proceed with finding the purpose of life. As you already know, we highly recommend reading Bhagavad-Gita as it is. If you can find anything better, please let us know. But any kind of inquiry into the Absolute Truth is good. God will recognize our efforts and help us out. Now let us compare Bhagavad-Gita with the common traps that we will encounter during our quest for the purpose of life:
Trap 1 – No purpose
Some people will try to bury you before you even start. Every seeker for truth will come across people who claim that it’s not possible to figure out the purpose of life. You can’t really know. Therefore, you should grab a beer and watch your favorite game on TV. Right?
Another argument is “You are philosophizing too much.” These people equate philosophy with alcohol so you should not consume too much of it.
The important thing to notice here is, by claiming that “There is no purpose of life”, they establish the same truth that they are trying to abolish. “Nobody can know the purpose of life” is an absolute statement. So by telling you to avoid the Absolute Truth, they are creating their own version of the Absolute Truth. On what grounds should we consider that statement to be true? Where is the proof? So the proper answer to such a claim is: “Why do you consider all people to be on the same intellectual level as you are?”
Another problem is that there are so many groups of people on this planet and every group has a different belief. Majority of the groups also claim that if you don’t belong to their group, you’ll burn in hell forever. So what is our hope to find the real purpose of life between hundreds of such philosophies? The easiest solution is to skip all such fanatical philosophies, please see trap 5. Whoever created this world and whatever the purpose behind life is, there must be some hints somewhere. And if you carefully study all the traps mentioned in this article, you will be able to eliminate 99% of wrong philosophies.
The Bhagavad-Gita clearly states the purpose of life as a universal principle.
Trap 2 – Purpose is subjective
Even if you somehow pass the first trap, the next trap is to think that there is no objective purpose of life. Everybody has their own purpose and my purpose is not necessarily same as your purpose. There is no common purpose. Your purpose is whatever you imagine it to be, but that’s not everyone else’s purpose.
This trap is very easy to cross. We want to know what is the real, objective purpose of life for all human beings. A real, objective and common purpose should exist just like other objective statements, “Sky is blue”, “Water is liquid.”, etc. Water is always liquid for everybody. We are not interested in an imaginary purpose, but the real purpose or nothing!
The Bhagavad-Gita clearly states that the purpose of every human life is to awaken our spiritual consciousness and reconnect with God. That is the end goal for every living entity and human life is our best opportunity.
Trap 3 – Purpose is human made
If somebody tells you, “I was thinking about purpose of life for the last 20 years. I meditated and viola! One morning I figured it out. Now hear it from me.” That is not how it happens. The ultimate purpose is something that is given by God Himself. So any religion must come from God. And usually comes through some kind of scripture. So if somebody is trying to sell you a purpose of life which is not based on scriptures, you are guaranteed to get the wrong thing. Just ask them this, “Excuse me Sir, you are meditating for 20 years, but did you create this universe?”, “No, I didn’t”, “Then how can you be sure that you know what the purpose of human life is?”. Only God knows the purpose eternally and he doesn’t have to meditate to figure it out.
Of course, atheists will claim that all scriptures come from man, not from God, but scripture by definition comes from God. This is a separate subject and I will write about it soon in my blog.
The Bhagavad-Gita fits here perfectly. It is spoken by the God Himself. Of course we don’t have to accept Him as such without due investigation, but at least let us hear what He has to say. The vision explained in Bhagavad-Gita is simply awesome!
Trap 4 – You don’t need to change. It’s a hobby.
“Just meditate 5 minutes per day, and you will become self-realized. You can live however you like, eat whatever you like etc.” Or even more dumb: How to Discover Your Life Purpose in About 20 Minutes. This is one of the reasons I started this blog. One fine morning, I entered “purpose of life” in google and everything I found on the first page was a complete insult to my intelligence. Just an example – “Write a purpose on a piece of paper. Repeat that until you start crying” Who are you kidding? And this is the one of most popular blogs on the planet.
Nothing valuable comes cheaply. Even mundane activity such as going to university to study mundane topics requires sacrifice of time and money. Every material thing comes with a price tag. The better it is, the more expensive it is. Spiritual journey also requires our most precious asset, our attention. If we feed our mind with garbage (watching movies all day long, discussing mundane subjects, sex, politics, conspiracies, etc.) then it will be very hard for us to make any spiritual advancement. We can make some advancement but not much. If we devote 50% of our free time to spiritual life, that will be much better. If we devote all our free time to spiritual activities, it will be perfect!
But these two things go hand in hand and they happen gradually. We can’t give up our present way of living until we develop a higher taste and a genuine interest in spiritual topics. Once we start to appreciate and enthusiastically study spiritual topics, our material activities will automatically reduce.
Trap 5 – Fanaticism
Whenever you come in contact with philosophy which tells you that their way is the only way and everybody else goes to hell forever, this is something you should avoid.
God is definitely the most broadminded being and allows everybody to progress gradually toward self-realization. It may take many lifetimes, but certainly nobody is going to hell just because (s)he choose the “wrong” religion. God is appreciative of any sincere effort on the part of the living entity to come closer to Him.
As we can see in the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna gives the options of many different levels on which we can practice religion:
Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt. BG 12.8
If, however, you are unable to work in this consciousness of Me, then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self-situated. BG 12.11
If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind. BG 12.11
I have a fantastic lecture on subject of fanaticism, follow me and DM me on Twitter if you want the link to the same.
Trap 6 – “Believe or burn” – give up your rationality
Whatever the purpose of life is, it must be rational. It must be logical. Of course, our human intellect is limited, but no intelligent human should accept a purpose of life which insults his/her intelligence. It must be at least more rational than the Big Bang atheistic theory (which is not really hard because big bang theory is really funny once you start practicing it). Big bang theory is an insult to human intellect, no sane human should accept it. It makes no sense whatsoever.
So, if somebody tells you that the purpose of life is to get diving equipment and find a giant squid which lives deep in the ocean and controls the whole universe, then our response should be “Why are you insulting my intelligence?” Also, there are some religions which don’t encourage rational inquiry about the purpose of life. Rather, they hold the position that the best follower is one who just blindly believes like a sheep. Why should we believe something that is not logical? Is God so stupid that He made religion look so stupid? Definitely not. So, never turn off your intelligence.
The Bhagavad-Gita is perfectly rational in comparison to the Big Bang theory and far superior to any religious philosophy available on the planet. PUBLIC CHALLENGE: If you are able to prove that the Bhagavad-Gita is inferior to any other scripture through a rational discussion, I will become a follower of your religion.
Goal of a human life is not to belong to certain religion and think yourself saved without any actual understanding why would that be so.
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