Sunday, June 24, 2012

What is the purpose of human life?

Many religious texts dwell around this question. Many people also think about this question, after all what is purpose of human life, how are we different compared to other animals? Why humans control most of the things on this planet? How they got this superiority, is there some special reason for it? Is there any special reason for presence of humans on this planet? Different texts take some what different approach towards this question but if we read religious texts most of them say that ultimate purpose of human life or birth is to serve supreme entity God, some even go to the extend that we all are born to entertain that superpower!!. Many offer different rewards or explanations for why one should serve God, some say we have to liberate ourselves from cycle of life and death, some say we need to do this to go to some higher planet where life is better than what we get on this planet that is without old age, disease, miseries and death, some say to achieve liberation from human this there are many explanations for why we have to indulge in service of that super power. There are many ways or methods recommended for that service. We can't see that superpower in person so there are many indirect ways recommended to fulfill our service requirement, some say by serving its creation (humans, we are believed to be created) we can serve God, we can engage in prayers or worship imagining God in some form or in formless way to achieve that goal and I think this is the most popular way (praying in temples, Churches, Mosques, Synagogues, Gurudwaras or any other place).

So what is the purpose of human life? We don't see many people following whatever is recommended in those books of various organized religions. Many people who claim or seem to be following that path are also filled with tremendous hatred about people who are not from their camp and their only purpose seems  to bring more and more people into their camp so that it becomes bigger and bigger. Their ultimate aim seems to conquer whole world and make it mono-religious. So are we supposed to be a camp follower?  There are so many camps, which camp to follow? If the whole purpose is to serve God why don't we start doing it since our childhood and leave all other distractions aside (like family, school, job, etc.)? Are we missing something?

Human beings have more developed brain compared to other animals on this planet, capabilities of our brain has allowed us to conquer many of our physical limitations. We can do many things easily for which our body is not designed, other animals can't do it because their brain is not developed like ours. Our universe functions based on some may laws or principles, some we know, many we are still trying to understand. We now know more about origin or life on this planet, process of evolution, reasons for many diseases, their possible treatments. Science and technology has helped us to solve many mysteries...can it help us to solve this one??

According to me there is no universal purpose of human life, all of us are different and unique. We are social beings and have some social responsibility and role to play but apart from that we all are different. Everyone has to find their own purpose of their life, Michael Jackson was born to dance, Sachin was born to bat, Lata Mangeshkar was born to sing, Michael Jordan to play basketball, Pele to play football (or soccer), they were lucky to discover the purpose of their life. Some how we have attached very grand meaning to the phrase 'purpose of life', most of us think that purpose of life has to be something grand, big and spectacular. I think it's not necessary, one can have very simple aims in life and still can live very happy and successful life. Money, fame or social status, cannot be the only criteria to judge a successful or happy person. A housewife who takes care of her family and plays major role in upbringing of her kids or teachers who train future citizens of this world are equally successful people according to me like any other entrepreneur or celebrity. I hope we all can discover our purpose of life and work towards it. We all serve humanity by discovering purpose of our own life.

Thanks for reading and please share your comments.

(Copyright: Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing at


  1. There is an interesting documentary on Netflix named "existence of life", in which maker of the documentary travels across the world and interviews all kind of personals from pizza delivery guy to various spiritual leaders to scientists and asks them "what is the purpose of life and related questions". It is an interesting source of information, if one is interested in knowing what different people around the world think about this intriguing question.

    1. thanks a lot Nitin for suggesting this documentary, I will surely try to watch it...sounds very interesting to me.

  2. ‎"purpose of life" is a term coined by Pundits who were too ashamed to admit that we all act upon our animal instinct. We are all primarily concerned with procreation, this is why we try to make the ends meet. Hence, there is no such thing as "purpose", as cave-manish as it sounds, we work towards achieving that one goal, assurance of the survival of our offspring. Now as our surroundings change, we learn to adapt. Sachin, Pele, Lata, MJ have done a great job adapting to this environment, or the so called "society" that we live in today. Did god send them with special qualities, special purpose? Probably not. Has their quality help them survive? yes. Similarly, the mother who gets up at dawn to make fresh roties for her child, is not really fulfilling a purpose, instead she is merely acting upon her animal instinct for better survival of her offspring and herself. Everything we do has a genetic link up, we are driven by little molecules, don't let the pundits fool you.

    1. superb comment, thoughts are expressed very effectively. I totally agree with all points mentioned in your comments. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts.

  3. How do you explain selfless love that still exist in some corner of the world?
    Is love in general nothing but just some chemical reaction? Is every individual on this planet acts just for selfish reason?
    If 100% selfishness (i.e. only for survival) is the only way living life then corruption, killing, stealing and all other similar act should not be condemn and should be accepted as natural events, shouldn't it!?
    If mother's care of a child is just for better survival of her offspring and herself, then why do those kids love/care for their parents back (especially after growing up when they really dont need parents any more for their survival)? I haven't heard any animal species other then human who takes care of those animals (parents in human language) who gave them birth. My main question here is what does human really means? Just another animal who lives for food, shelter, protection and reproduction or is there more into it? Vinay, when you get a chance you should probably write on this question.
    My understanding with this question "purpose of life" is that NOTHING IN THE UNIVERSE HAPPENS WITHOUT REASON. Since human have capacity to think intellectually, the purpose of this question is to think "WHY SOME EVENTS HAPPENS (OR DOES NOT HAPPEN) IN MY LIFE THAT HAPPENS (OR DOES NOT HAPPEN) TO ME? OR WHY I DO SOMETHING THAT I CHOOSE TO DO? JUST BECAUSE I AM SELFISH OR IS THEIR ANY OTHER REASON BEHIND IT?"