One Can Be Purposeless Only When The Purpose Of Life Has Been Met

Acharya Prashant
3 min readMar 4, 2021

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, what is the purpose of life?

Acharya Prashant (AP): The purpose of something, is the end of that thing. And life, as we know it, anyway has a predefined end; the predefined end is physical death. It’s well known, it’s an obvious thing, no? But, we still ask this question and that shows that we do not quite like that end of life. We would not quite like life to just amount to death and that gives us an insight into what could be the purpose of life?

Death is the inevitable reality of the physical self and we don’t like just fading away. It is as if there is something waiting to be done; a project to be completed, a mission to be accomplished, and therefore, one must stay put and not go away, therefore death appears dislikeable. How can one just pass away, when something important is still pending? If all were settled, one could have retired peacefully. If the climax of life had been achieved, death wouldn’t have been dislikeable.

You don’t like calling it a day when the day has not been fulfilling, right? You don’t like pulling down the shutters if the sales have not been good for the day. Whereas if the day has been fulfilling, you may even shut shop an hour prior than usual, you’ll say “I am done for the day, I can now retire in contentment”, mission accomplished.

All mankind lives in a continuous scare of death, we are scared of death because life remains unfulfilled. The deep agenda is incomplete and a begging. So, we want more time. Like a student in the examination hall begging for more time, because he knows that he has still not answered the questions. See how he pleads, “Can I have just 5 minutes more, I will be able to attempt one more question.” That’s how we plead in front of the doctors, and the god of death, “Can I have just two years more. You can take away all my wealth, give me just one year more.” What do we want that one year for? Surely, there is something pending. Surely, something important is waiting to be addressed. What is that?

We are born in bondage, we are lovers of freedom, but through the course of life, we do not live, choose, act, wisely enough…

Acharya Prashant