Does Life need to have a purpose?

ramadvaith's picture

Average: 3.6 (12 votes)

Most of what I write on is based on teachings of Paramahamsa Nithyananda, my Master. However, the experiences are internalized before they are expressed.

We keep running all the time, yet stay in the same place. If running was the purpose, no matter. When reaching somewhere becomes critical, how can you enjoy the running? Especially when you seem to get nowhere?

A very young terminally-ill girl wrote out a beautiful poem on her hospital bed. It ends with these simple lines:

Life is not a race, do take it slower
Hear the music, before the song is over.

Nithyananda says:

We spend hours recording music instead of listening to it live. We waste time capturing experiences on film, while we should be savouring the experiences. We are forever rushing to be some place, and when we reach there, it is rarely the place we wish to be!

Is there a purpose to life? Is it to gain fame, success, and wealth? Do these acquisitions make us happy?

Look at animals. Animals go through life instinctively and naturally. They hunt when they are hungry, mate when they feel the urge and sleep when they are tired. They exist fully in the present.

Man is not happy with the world around him. He is forever at odds with nature. He would like to change the world to suit his wants, instead of living with nature to fulfil his needs.

We are constantly in a rat race, forgetting that even if we win this rat race we still remain a rat!

But how can one live without goals, you may ask. Let me then ask you this? How many of the goals you set out and achieved have given you true happiness? While working towards these goals did you feel happy or stressed out? After reaching these goals, did you stop to enjoy the result, or did you plod on mindless towards other distant goals?

Why don’t you try instead, for a change, to just enjoy what you are doing, without worrying about the result? Ask any successful and wealthy man who is also happy, and he will tell you that he did what he loved to do, not because it would make him wealthy.

When you enjoy the journey, the destination is always the right one for you. Within you there is awareness of what is right for you. All that you need to do is to let that happen. Do not resist, just accept what life dishes out to you; flow with it in acceptance.

What results is Ananda, bliss! Ananda the attitude, it is the path of ecstasy, rather than the path to ecstasy. Ananda is already there inside you, you only have to recognize it and set it free.

Be Blissful!

sisi's picture

Beautiful !!!

Beautiful !!!

sisi | Sun, 08/10/2008 - 14:05
Omkaradatta's picture

Beautiful #2

I agree, beautifully said. My guru Nisargadatta Maharaj said that the purpose of life is to be conscious and happy, and I agree with him completely. An infant is looking at the world in wonder, seeking nothing, happy just to be. We should be like an infant, not defining ourselves by our stories. The world is always new and fresh when we aren't filtering everything based on whether or not it fits our self-definitions, when we don't hold any expectations about life. Trust, observe, desire not, fear not, be fully and completely present.

Omkaradatta | Sat, 08/30/2008 - 05:50
Elijah_NatureBoy's picture

Life does have a purpose

The to the title question, does life need to have a purpose, the answered yes. To exist requires having a purpose but the purpose requires not judging in order to comprehend it.

Look at what is said, all of it is concerned with what man want based on what they like. Nothing in it concerns itself with the willingness to put aside desire for the purpose of comprehending why the opposites exists. Man have defined words in such a way that others feel an ourcast if they accept opposites. An example is the abstract concepts of love and hate. Love boils down to something one likes so much they want not to do without it. Hate, in tern, becomes something one dislikes so much they never want to encounter it. Both are words of personal desire with one desired and the other abhorred.

If we look deep we find they are in the same catagory with half desired and the other rejected. The whole catagory exist so why not embrace the whole? In embracing the whole with objectivity the purpose for it manifests itself to us while our conditioned nature, definitions and likes and dislikes keeps it afar.

Once we embrace both opposite of existence we are able to see eternity which allows us to live always in the present with the knowledge of exactly where we are in our cycle of eternity.

Elijah "NatureBoy"--If I have caused you to question your beliefs I have accomplished my mission. Now, reason the differences in our concepts and reason that until you have reasoned all pros and cons.

Elijah_NatureBoy | Sat, 09/06/2008 - 13:48
Phroggy's picture

The irony is that the whole

The irony is that the whole notion of purpose results from that exact personal duality creation that you describe and suggest transcending. You like one thing and hate another, and so a tension forms that results in a movement toward one and away from the other. This movement defines a purpose. 'My purpose is to get what I like and avoid what I hate.'

If you embrace both polarities, as you suggest, then the tension is resolved and there is no movement, and therefore no purpose. You would have it that there is some purpose beneath the one defined through our dualistic perception. It's not so because purpose can only happen if we believe there's somewhere to go. As a nature boy, you might look at nature and notice that it's not really going anywhere, it's moving in circles. Even the movement of evolution is not a straight line but a circle and will eventually end where it began, as it has probably done many times.

The reason man is not in harmony with nature is that nature is moving in circles and man wants to move in a straight line because he has defined a purpose. Circles can be self supporting, straight lines must diverge. The difference between man and the rest of nature is that man thinks he needs to get somewhere, and nature is just moving.

If you insist on defining a purpose, then the movement of life is it's own purpose, but nobody has defined it and it is being accomplished in each moment.

Phroggy | Sat, 09/06/2008 - 17:58
ravikiran_sai's picture


sairam sir,
what u said and our gurus word are very true.We keep on traveling too much focused on a destination whihc we have never seen or sure abt its existence even after travelling we reach there we get engrossed in the waiting the result of our journey that we forget to enjoy the things we saw on the way whihc were worth to enjoy.Thank u for this msg whihc i had forgotten and was in urgent need for guidence.

Saibakthi hi shakthi hai

ravikiran_sai | Fri, 04/10/2009 - 15:20
dattaswami2's picture

The main aim of life

The main aim of life

You are admitted in the college and your main aim is to get the degree. If you fail in the exams your main aim is upset, therefore, you should not get tension. Similarly you should have tension if the main aim of the human life i.e., to achieve the grace of God, fails. Except that, all this family life and relationships are only extra curricular activities. In your college life, a game is conducted as an extra curricular activity. Suppose you are defeated in it.

You should take it sportively and not seriously, because that is not the main aim. Therefore take everything in life sportively, because, this life is not the ultimate aim. If family life only is the goal, even animals and birds have their family lives. The speciality of human life is to think and achieve the grace of God.

At Thy Lotus Feet His Holiness Sri Dattaswami

Anil Antony
Universal Spirituality for World Peace

dattaswami2 | Sat, 04/11/2009 - 08:19
dattaswami2's picture

Purpose of human life

Purpose of human life

In the materialistic plane one person says that the aim of his life is to achieve a particular post and then help his family members. Some other person says that the aim of his life is to serve the mankind. We appreciate the second aim as higher than the first one. The highest aim of the human life can be known only in the spiritual plane. The sole aim of this creation is pleasing God through the entertainment. Every human being is a part of the creation and so the same aim applies to every human being also. The human being becomes fruitful if it serves the Lord and pleases the Lord through the service. Service means the sacrifice of work and sacrifice of the fruit of the work. Service is the proof of the real love.

The mother serves her child by sacrificing lot of work like giving bath, dressing etc., for years together continuously. The father serves the child by sacrificing the fruit of all his hard work to the child. It is a clear practical point that the proof of the real love is only service. If you serve your family you love your family. If you serve the entire world you love the creation. If you serve the creator, you love the creator. It is a very simple point.

Love is the attraction of mind towards anybody or anything. When the illness attacks the body you take so much care to serve your body. You love your body. Similarly you serve your father, mother, wife and children because your mind is attracted towards them. What is the first pre-requisite for this love? When you love your child, you are aware that a particular small living being is your child and you have the differentiating knowledge of your child from other children who are similar. Similarly, when you love God you must be aware of the form of God, who must be differentiated from other forms as your child is differentiated from other children. You are identifying your child by certain special characteristics like shape of the face, voice etc; you are not recognizing your child by the clothes, which it puts on. Other children put on such clothes also. Similarly, you must distinguish the Creator from the creation and then only love the creator. You cannot love the entire creation as the creator. Do you love all the children as your own children?

Therefore, the pre-requisite of love is the true knowledge and the inseparable identifying characteristics of an object by which you get attracted towards it. Therefore, what is the real form of God? And how it differs from other forms? What are the inseparable identifying characteristics of God? The answers for these questions constitute the detailed true knowledge of God. Only such true knowledge generates attraction and love. When you know the separate special details of Bombay, which are not seen in any other city, then only you are attracted to Bombay and like to see it.
At Thy Lotus Feet His Holiness Sri Dattaswami

Anil Antony
Universal Spirituality for World Peace

dattaswami2 | Sat, 04/11/2009 - 08:19
sree's picture

thought provoking...

Yes, these words make sense...quite true and thought provoking. The purpsose of life is to live it, blissfully and happy and make a little seva...meditate...surrender ownership of all thoughts, words and actions to the divine...and just live care-free!

sree | Wed, 04/22/2009 - 19:00
carlito santo's picture

The tiny seed and the giant forest

It's popular to say no in order to seek some imagined endless abstraction but of course life has a purpose, the same as the whole future giant forest is embodied in one tiny pine seed.

carlito santo | Mon, 09/28/2009 - 10:21
Mohan Singh's picture

Life without Purpose

It appears from your blog that life does not have any purpose other than enjoying this moment.Living in the present moment rgargardless of where we are going is not very easy. We are always dragged out either to the past or to the future. To be free from these pulls , some technique is required .Do you have any? Please tell me.

Mohan Singh | Sat, 06/18/2011 - 12:04
Elijah_NatureBoy's picture

Life Is The Purpose!

Most of us don't define life as "the process of comprehending existence via living it" because few of us have learned to live. Should we pattern our lives after the animals, as you just expressed and Jesus pointed out, without abstracts such as god and devil, good and evil, pretty and ugly, like and dislike and many more, we would live in the moment and reason with the experiences we have comprehending earth's plane.

However, earth's existence isn't designed that way, it's controlled by karma and reincarnation. Every insect, disease, bird, fish, animal, plant, man and even rocks and gemstones we interact with we've had to incarnate as them and was interacted with the very same way by someone in our present bodies. In that way we get to experience every emotion of everything on earth prior to our transcending it. Reincarnation causes us to forget our previous experiences so we feel exactly how the other entity felt with our interacting with it.

To evolve to the next plane we metamorphosis into an eternal being. Jesus called it born again when we break down the forgetting barrier and remember our previous incarnations to integrate those experiences into our parent self making us able to exceed the ability of everything on earth. The Bible calls it dominion.

Once the metamorphosis is completed ecstasy doesn't even describe out state, as I'm led to understand. I don't know if we have a term on earth for it. That's our purpose, and on the other planes we continue learning things there and throughout eternity, but without reincarnation.

--Elijah "NatureBoy"-- Presenting SEEDS OF LIFE @

Elijah_NatureBoy | Mon, 06/20/2011 - 00:43