What is the purpose of life, when death is certain?

Acharya Prashant
6 min readMar 1, 2021

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

Questioner (Q): Acharya Ji, what is the purpose of life if death comes and the body is born again and again?

Acharya Prashant (AP): When do worries exist?

Q: When you are scared!

AP: When you are still alive, and breathing, and bodily. Right? And that’s how we are born, worried, afraid, insecure. If you take biology as nature, then it is natural to suffer. But those who have known have told us that biology is not what you call as natural. The word ‘natural’ as used commonly in the English language is misplaced.

If you go to Sanskrit, Sanskrit will say this physical nature, this biological nature is Prakṛti, and true nature is Swabhaba. The English language unfortunately has only one word, ‘nature’. So, it gets very confusing. You start calling the body as natural, the body is not natural, the body is merely Prakṛtik. Nature is something else, nature is not perceivable, nature is empty and full of joy only.

So, we are born crying. That is biological nature. Suffering is inherent in our genes, in our DNA, and that’s how we live.

Q: But suffering is not afraid-ness.

AP: Of course, it is, I mean, anything that troubles, you just call it suffering, there is no need to dissect it too much.

Q: It is good to look on suffering but afraid-ness has no use.

AP: Is it possible not to be afraid, and still suffer, it’s not possible.

Q: You think so?

AP: Of course! It’s not even a matter of thought. Fear is the thought, the perception that you might lose something. And what else is suffering? The perception, the feeling that something is at stake; that something is being hurt, wounded, or taken away.

Fear and suffering go together, they cannot be differentiated. But if you are talking of pain then it is a different matter.

Q: Pain, I talked about pain.

AP: Ah! That's the difference! Of course, then there is a difference.