The only purpose of life

Acharya Prashant
3 min readMay 9, 2020

One always asks this question assuming that there is a purpose. You ask this question assuming that just as everything about us is purposeful. Is there any validity to that assumption?

Purpose means finality. Purpose means an end. But if we begin, right from where we are then we always feel a purpose. Don’t we? Because we feel a purpose, so we want to know ‘what is the right purpose.’ Correct? That is our situation. None of us is ever without a purpose, we may be confused about the purpose, that is another matter but a purpose or a bag of purposes is always present.

The challenge then is not about knowing whether there must be a purpose, the challenge that we face is determining the right purpose from the many, that we imagine.

What about freedom from this confusion? What about not having to choose at all? Maybe that is the purpose of life. Maybe all our purposes, maybe this entire bag is an unnecessary load. Hence, maybe the purpose of life is just to come to purposelessness. Of course that is not something that we can just absorb from the speaker.

We all carry purposes, right? Maybe it is far more important to see the limitations of those purposes, the very recurring cycle, the infinite loop that those purposes are. Does any purpose ever end fully? Or does it simply make way for another purpose? Have you ever had a goal which was the final one? Have you ever had a purpose, the fulfillment of which would have brought all purposes to an end? Have you ever had a destination, beyond which you would not need to travel?

Now that invalidates the very definition of purpose, a purpose means something which, when attained would give us a sense of completion, fulfillment. You would say, “The purpose has been fulfilled”, but where is the fulfillment? Where is the fulfillment?

In fact,the more you go on conquering purposes, the more purposeful you feel because, the more your confidence grows that purposes can give you something.

You feel you have not achieved that something yet and your next conclusion is- “Purposes can give me something, it is just that I am not trying hard enough, so let me try harder. It’s not as if the very premise, the very assumption is flawed, just that I am lacking in efforts. So let me put in more efforts, let me…