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What is the purpose of life?

The Light of the atman, the Light of the Self, the Light of the Spirit—it was around this that our glorious culture was built in ancient India. This culture was known as atmavidya—the science of the spirit. For spirituality too, is a science, it concerns the discovery of oneself in all.

“To know others is wisdom, to know oneself is enlightenment,” says Tao Tse Ching. Indeed, Socrates realised this truth too, in ancient Greece: that is why his constant refrain to his students was: Know Thyself!

In order to perceive this truth, in order to really know your true self, you must kindle the light within. This is the first and most essential step on the path of sadhana. This will inevitably lead you to the question: Who am I? What is the purpose of my existence here?

The goal is indeed worthy and the efforts you put in to achieve it can only take you higher and higher up on the ladder of spiritual growth.


I would not be wrong if I were to tell you that you rise or fall to the level of the purpose you have set for yourself! For you set your own goal: you create your own benchmark, and you reach it by your own efforts. Like the ancient decadents, if you decide that the sole purpose of existence is to eat, drink and be merry until you drop dead, that is a goal which will not demand too much of effort on your part.

Like some ambitious businessman, if you decide that the sole aim of your existence is to make millions and millions of dollars, your task is clear cut: you will require a great deal of business acumen and sound sense and the efforts to succeed in your business; if you make up your mind to settle for a steady nine to five job and a quiet evening watching TV in your own living room, well then, you have your work cut out. But if you are looking for something that transcends all this, if you are looking for what we call self-realisation or God-realisation, you have set the highest possible goal that any human being can aspire to, and you must work very hard to achieve the goal. The goal is indeed worthy and the efforts you put in to achieve it can only take you higher and higher up on the ladder of spiritual growth.

God has given you the gift of life; He has blessed you with a sound mind in a sound body, and these are instruments given to you to fulfill the purpose of your life. It is you who will decide what use they are to be put to.

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