What is the purpose of your life?

earth's timeline

Last Sunday, as I was trotting towards the nearest bus stand with two of my friends as we hurried to catch up our show of  Transformers:Revenge of the fallen, we were halted in the middle of the road by three young chaps. They hailed from a Christian society and were very polite. One of them threw a question at us – “What is the purpose of your life?”

Now, imagine yourself in such a situation. You are all excited and ready to see the latest machine war flick and someone pops the “purpose of life” question in front of you. Its like asking a soldier to choose the menu for the dinner while he is busy dodging bullets in the enemy’s firing line.

“Right now, the purpose of my life is to reach IMAX on time.”, I said and smiled.

“Would you like to have a postcard from us which will entitle you to a dvd about Jesus Christ? Its for free.”

“Yes!”

I could not believe this. They were young kids who could be watching a movie or going on a date. Instead, they were stopping people in the middle of the road and asking them the purpose of life!?! I found those guys too spiritual, in the same way in which they would have found me too materialistic.

When Swami Dayanand saw the mouse trampling on the ShivaLingam, he was devastated. He could not understand that how can the Almighty Lord possibly allow a mere mouse to just walk over his statue and eat the offerings? Asked in another way, if God wants Earth to be the Garden on Eden, then why does he allow evil to breed? Yes, we have all heard about the balance between the Good and the Evil, but isn’t that too lame an excuse for God’s incompetency?

Sometimes I feel that we are obsessed with the unknown. Aliens, werewolves, mermaids, witches, vampires, yeti, fairies, dragons, heaven, hell. God. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I don’t believe in God. I know there is a power which drives us. Its not all about probability, serendipity or theory of randomness. There is something more to it and I am sure that that shall never be revealed to us. That is our destiny. To understand God is to unscramble scrambled eggs.

What I hate is the Glorification, the Spiritualization of the rest of us by a selected few, the sanctification, the cleansing and the conversions. If someone has to come to me and ask me the purpose of my life then either that person is absolutely confused about the purpose of his own life OR my face gives an impression that I am completely purposeless and I am sure that the latter is not true. 🙂

If we have not realized this by now, Religion is a business in modern times. It always was, but now its booming. We have billions riding on it. When a temple can raise a donation of Rs 5 Crores(approximately 1,046, 684 $) in 7 hours, then the sky is the limit. The terrorism industry is an offspring of religion. The politicians use religion to get to the seat of power. We use it as a reason to rape women. We use it to forcibly marry off our children without their consent. Its a way to make instant money on the internet. And if you have no reason to hate your neighbour, religion can be a very tempting bait. And so where is God in all this? Well, maybe he is sitting in a corner and doing this :

LaughingCartoon

I am sure I am born for a purpose but I am also sure that a priest or a spiritual Guru cannot reveal it to me. No one can. I am sure this is something which can’t be revealed. Maybe there is nothing to be revealed, but to understand. I am also sure that chanting a deity’s name or lying in the feet of the lord or donating crores for a yagya cannot be the purpose of my existence.

If you look at the chart of the Earth’s evolution at the top, humans have just appeared. Its amusing how we have pushed the Earth on the brink of collapse in such a short span of time. The rate at which we are going, we will end up being nothing more than a faint flash of existence on the vast timeline of the universe. We can either live for thousands of years in harmony or we can end up like the dinosaurs.

The existence of each generation of humans is a story with a moral at the end. It is us who will be writing the moral for the next generation. Its us who will be deciding whether the next generation will live a life better or worse than us. To give them a better life, all we have to do is to just live our lives without any hatred and everything else will fall into places. Just live.

Now how is that for a purpose?

85 comments on “What is the purpose of your life?

  1. btw, how was the movie?! I’m dying to go and see it. 🙂

    Seriously, I totally agree with you! I feel the purpose of my life is to let and live and stay the hell out of asserting my opinion to anyone else (except of course my sons coz they’re still young and so I can bully them for now!)

    Great post!

  2. How is Transformers 😉

    What about free DVD ? Did you get it ?

    Just Live. For me it is very big sentense although it has only two words with toomany inner meanings and explanations 🙂

    Giving a happy future to our next generation is not practically possible unless problems of food and fuel is solved on Earth.

    • Transformers was good.
      And no, we got the postcard but we have to show it somewhere to get the cd.
      Its not as if the problem of food and fuel can’t be solved. Have you seen “An inconvenient truth”?

  3. Very nice. My purpose in life is to love my wife and my baby to be with all that I am. I hope that is enough to make a wake in this world. Great post once again and wasn’t Transformers awesome?

  4. i agree.. that is a great purpose.. 🙂

    atleast that much we must do.. to be useful.

    btw how was the movie..?

    and what was in the DVD.. story of Jesus..?

  5. I will be honest, anything written with a spiritual tadka goes above my head and so did this post 😀 I know u aren’t preaching spirituality but still 😀

    And that sums up my view on such talks. I don’t need somebody esle to tell me what to chose in life what path to take etc.

    And I totally agree with ur purpose in life 🙂

  6. 😀 thats a great post 🙂 most of us tend to forget to ‘live’ in search our materialistic pursuits.
    A greater purpose I feel is to ‘live and let others live’..

  7. Well said mate; your purpose in life was to throw light on such sensitive issues on the blog. Now that you have done that you can get back to your materialistic pursuits 😉

  8. It’s great for a purpose actually. I had a similar encounter with an evangelist on a bus, who randomly asked me if I believe in the female image of god. It’s actually quite amazing that some people can have so much faith so as to define their purpose in life as spreading the word of “god”.

    Personally, I have gone from being a believer in “the power that drives us” to siding with the theory of randomness. I guess we’ll never know, but either way, getting rid of hatred is a noble purpose 🙂 Well-written post!

    • Actually, I am also in two minds about it. We all can be very random. Just based on probabilities. But then the other part of my brain says that it can’t be. 🙂
      Thanks!

  9. “…….‘Stopping by woods on a snowy evening’ a poem written by Robert Frost has a line about responsibility that goes “I have promises to keep and Miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep”. All of us have come to this world with responsibilities to accomplish a particular task, a promise that we need to fulfill.What if I did accomplish my task and never came to know what it actually was? Or What if I bid farewell to the world without even fulfilling it? What if I kept searching for the answers when it is already within me? or What if I find the answer one day and its too late?” …..an excerpt from one of my earlier post that I had written when I thinking of the purpose of my life. and guess what, Im still thinking………still thinking………..still…… 😀

  10. hi,

    this is such a nice post, very light-hearted n yet with so much depth in it.
    I liked the soldier example……too apt!
    hurting anybody, or thinking bad, doing bad..NO………..living peacefully is the best thing a person can do!

  11. Oh, they must be christian missionaries.
    There is this whole cult called ‘the missionaries’ where young Christian teenage boys [only boys are allowed] leave their house/school/work/whatever and live with other “missionaries” with the aim to promote this kind of stuff for one year of their lives.
    I’ve seen one whole movie about it =\

    the rest of the post is too ‘heavy’ for me to comment on! 😛
    Hope you’re doing fine 🙂

  12. beautiful post. And I believe Karm hi pooja hai or work is worship and the rest of purpose comprises being kind and compassionate to all. I so agree with u on this spirituality thing.

  13. Well written and you covered so many things. If everyone knew what their purpose in life was then they would have achieved it by now!! I am sure god must be laughing his heart out. He must be thinking that if we can’t even just live in harmony then giving us some greater purpose in life would be too much for our stupid minds to take 🙂

    • Thanks Maddie!
      Maybe he is experimenting with us. If we survive, he might just provide us with a greater purpose. If we don’t, then he has to just create another specie. 🙂

      • Well then hasn’t he done enough experimenting already? I think he should think of a change now.. either create a new specie or evolve us with great speed so that we survive 😛

        • Creating a new specie will be fine. I don’t think we can take the burden of a speedy evolution. We will buckle under its pressure.
          Maybe its time for the machines to take over. 😆

  14. I wonder how come you didnt give him your piece of mind then and there. There you were, hurrying for such an important deed and he stopped you!! 😛
    Anyway the post was quite thoughtprovoking, but it needs some amount of guts (if not all) to practice. 🙂

    • I was running out of time. And he was nice to me, so I too was being nice to him. 🙂 That is what this post is all about, remember? 😛
      Thanks! 🙂

  15. Talking of conversion, was this your first experience? I have had several people trying to convert me to christianity. At first I used to be police but now I am rude. I also have people trying to convince me to go to some guru or the other. I am often rude. Whether I have a purpose or not, I don’t want to share the answer with some freaks who have no respect for another’s religion or faith.

    • Well, yes, in a way it was. And I don’t think the guy knew that I was not a Christian. He just started with the “purpose of life’ question.
      I was not rude to him because he was quite nice to me, so it was fine. I was more concerned about the movie. 🙂

  16. Perfect.
    Loved this post, I really wish some more of us gave some thought to this!!

    I agree with every word here Amit, religion is used for power and money, and we really don’t need such revelations! The purpose of our lives … it’s enough to live and let live, like you say.

    It is us who will be writing the moral for the next generation. Its us who will be deciding whether the next generation will live a life better or worse than us. To give them a better life, all we have to do is to just live our lives without any hatred and everything else will fall into places. Just live.
    I think that is perfect for a purpose!

    • Thanks IHM!
      And look at the animals. They live in harmony. Right? If we remove all the humans from this planet, can you imagine how long this planet will survive? Forever, I guess. Maybe, till a meteor hits it. 🙂

  17. Oh these missionaries could be pretty annoying. In the last building I lived, the security was not that great, so it happened that few times these people came directly knocking on my apartment. With time, one learns to deal with such people..the best way is to tell them that you are very busy at the moment and cannot talk. You can say that with straight face..neither very polite nor rude. Because arguing with them or putting their ideas down wont help much as they are quite used to it and will come up with something else..thus wasting your time even more & making you lose your cool further.

    • I am used to salesmen coming to my house and I turn them off politely. Some people are very rude to them. But, I was not prepared for someone asking me the purpose of my life in the middle of the road. That was amusing.
      I had no intentions of arguing with him. I guessed that he must be brainwashed quite well. I was more interested in not missing my movie. 🙂

  18. Now, imagine yourself in such a situation. You are all excited and ready to see the latest machine war flick and someone pops the “purpose of life” question in front of you. Its like asking a soldier to choose the menu for the dinner while he is busy dodging bullets in the enemy’s firing line.
    😆

    I am sure watching the Transformers is a very worthy purpose 😛

    But seriously?loved the post 🙂
    and I agree with you completely.

    To give them a better life, all we have to do is to just live our lives without any hatred and everything else will fall into places. Just live.
    beautiful! yes!thats all we need to do..

    • Yes, it was. Believe me. It gave me an internal peace of mind! 😛 Watching the whole city get destroyed by robots soothes my brain. 😛

      Thanks!!

  19. I completely agree with you… Religion really has become a business today…

    I guess I’ll just wait for the transformers DVD…

    B/w all your posts are vivid & truly refreshing 🙂

    Have a great weekend 🙂

    Cheers!!!

  20. I think it is interesting how our purpose in life changes with the experiences of our life. Before I met my wife, my purpose was to be rich and famous. Now, my purpose has changed and I’m sure, in the future, new events will change it once again. Or maybe it isn’t that it changes but rather compounds, grows and develops into something bigger. I love this post. Great work.

    • I guess whatever may be the purpose, it must not make someone else’s life worse.
      I can understand. Even my goals keep on changing! 🙂
      Thanks Eric!

  21. Yeah, I agree with you that in today’s world, Religion has become a business. I believe in the crudest definition of religion – it is just a way to see God/to attain God. But God is unattainable. It really is like you say – it is trying to unscramble the scrambled eggs. I’ve always been very confused when it comes to God. Sometimes, I don’t believe he exists. But sometimes, when I’m distressed, I just hope he’ll put everything into place. Other times, I think of him when you really can’t explain some things. So I’ve stopped thinking about that now. I don’t think it’s necessary to have a religious belief at all.

    And about the purpose, I don’t know. I’m not saying anything against it but some things come to my mind. What if we were just living? I don’t think we would have invented so many things or made so many changes, for the good or for the worse. We can’t just live. We need to do something, do something so we can change something bad, to prolong our existence on the earth, to you know, help those who need help. Or maybe I have got your idea of “just live” all wrong.

    But then, the dinosaurs were just living too, weren’t they? And yet they met that end. That’s the unpredictability factor which is just about as difficult to comprehend as God. Or maybe they are one, I don’t know. I just marvel.

    • I think you are Agnostic! Believe me, even I have started thinking that way! I don’t think he interferes in the matters of the world. He has created us and is just watching. Whatever happens on Earth is of our own making now.
      When I read about the experiments which scientists do – providing elements A,B,C to the ants and see how long they survive and monitor their progress every day without interfering; I start believing that we are those ants. 🙂
      By “just live” I mean that live without hatred. That does not mean “don’t progress”. We have been inventing things for the good of humans but then why do we put them to a bad use? We are very intelligent as a specie but we also hate each other for various reasons. We keep on living in the past and let people manipulate us.
      We have the brain to make our life better but we are just moving in the opposite direction. ‘Just live” means to go back in the right direction.
      And, yes, Dinosaurs were not able to stop the meteor but maybe we can. 🙂

  22. Rightly said, religion is just a tool for humans to satisfy their desires like how they are doing with education these days. Blind faith can be seen in a lot of engineering colleges too, if you visit their ‘businesses’. We have a track record of making the worst of even the best systems. BTW, if the whole lifetime of dinosaurs and human beings are taken on a scale from January to December, then Dinosaurs have lived from January to September end and we have been living from December 30 – Two days!! So, we cannot compare ourselves with the mighty dinos – we are too young and making too big mistakes at the same time!

    Destination Infinity

    • We all work on blind faith. Don’t we? Its a sad fact but its true.
      Dinosaurs were given the size and not the brains. We are given the brains and not the size. I don’t know which one is the worst? I think Dinosaurs were more intelligent even with an underdeveloped brain. They killed only for food.

  23. What is the purpose of your life?

    Do we have one? Most are brought into this world for completing a family and others may be for some purpose.

    Why take life too seriously all the time? Live and let live.

    • I don’t think we have any ‘big’ purposes. We don’t even know why we are here. The best we can do is to be good to each other.

  24. I don’t feel like finding a purpose … As they say , doomsday is destined at 21st December 2012 … 😛 …..

    Jurassic Era is coming back …. Prepare to say Hello to Dinosaurs …. May be few of us can survive as sole survivors of human race …. lol … 😆

  25. Nicely put
    i loved ur reaction to those boys googley
    frankly it is everywhere and a 5 crore on a temple is peanuts if u consider the funds accumulated via church tax for right of centre evangelical groups, that put on a holier than thou act!
    i just came from an interesting post at cafe philos ….
    that was also dealing with a similar topic.
    Religion is a big business precisely because we live in an immoral world where there is this constant need to justify ones actions as good …

    • Thanks!
      I am sure that the amount of money which goes to religious groups can easily be used to eradicate poverty from the face of the Earth. But then, who cares!

  26. When Dalai Lama was asked, “What is the meaning of life?” , he replied “I Don’t know.”
    I guess each one has a different answer to that! Finding a purpose bridges the gap between existing and living.. I think everyone should find his/her own purpose and start “living”.
    I completely agree with your purpose too! 🙂
    Nice post, and nice blog! 😉

    • I don’t really think that we need to make a conscious effort towards finding a purpose. We just need to do stuff which won’t hurt anyone.
      Thanks and welcome to my blog! 🙂

  27. The answer lies within you. Good and evil are merely our own actions, inactions and the result of those from our ignorance. What is done to be Good today can turn out to be evil after a few years and vice versa. If you want to know the purpose of your life, you have to start from within yourself. For example, Do I have idli today or Dosa? Ultimately you will reach a point where none of these questions will matter and you will just exist and flow with life like a river. You will be Zen, not a second hand Maruthi Zen, but The Zen!

    When he asked you what is the purpose of life, you gave 100% correct answer.

    Because you may become the President of India after 20 Years, but right now if you cannot reach the iMax in time, you will miss what you wanted to see and that’s all it matters now.

    • I agree with you Dinesh. I found my answer quite funny and a little rude but thankfully the guy didn’t reacted and didn’t make me feel guilty. 🙂
      //You will be Zen, not a second hand Maruthi Zen, but The Zen! 😆

  28. Great post Amit 🙂 I completely agree with your answer and your purpose 🙂 I refuse to be hounded by those who believes their purpose can change my life.

    It’s my life – I love that song 🙂

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