What is the purpose of life? Just take the example of a river. The river has two banks. And between the two banks the river flows. And without the banks we can not see the stream of the river that is flowing.
Just similar is the case of our life. Birth and Death are the two banks of the river of Life. The river of Life is flowing between these two banks. And without birth and death we can not see the stream of Life. The river of Life is continuously moving and flowing.
What is the purpose of Life then? This is a far bigger question. There are two sides. One is our side and the other is the side of Life. What is the purpose of Life? This is a very big question. We can not answer this from the side of life. We can not answer this question from our side. Because life is mysterious. Nobody has known this mystery and nobody can know this mystery. What do I mean when I say nobody can know this mystery? What I mean by that is that we can not reduce life into a knowledge. Because life includes everything. And still it is beyond. Life includes past knowledge, present knowledge, and also the knowledge of the future. And we would still be knowing what is life. Life is therefore mysterious. At the most we can only dissolve into the mystery of life.
What can we do then? We can observe the flow of life and take lessons. Let us then peep into the above example again. The river of life is continuously moving and flowing. It is just moving and flowing joyously for no reason at all. The joy of life is in the movement and also in the moment. It is now and not then. It is here and not there. It is just now. And eventually the river meets and merges with the ocean. And this could be the goal of the river. This could be her destiny. And when she meets and merges with the ocean she loses all her identity as a river. The river then becomes the ocean. This is her self-nature and this is her “Swadharma”. This is her self-nature.
What is the Swadharma or self-nature of the river? Her self-nature or Swadharma is to move and flow joyously towards the ultimate destination called the ocean, meet and merge, and become one with the ocean. But her joy is in the moment. Her journey is her joy. Her destination is her destiniy. Her joy is here and here. It is now and here. It is not there and there. It is not then and there. Her joy while flowing on the whole journey and her joy while merging and becoming one with the ocean is same. This oneness is Dharma. This oneness gives us immense bliss and love.
The same has to be our Swadharma too. Our bodies are changing. Every cell in the body is changing every moment. Our actions are changing and moving. Our thoughts are changing and moving. Our emotions are changing and moving. And all these are moving and flowing towards the very center of our being. This center is called our soul. At the very center of our being, all the separateness that we perceived at the periphery has gone. All this separateness was because of our identification at different levels of our being - body (actions), mind (thoughts), heart (emotions). But at the very center of our being (soul) all these arrows have converged to become one. And this oneness dissolves all the divisions. Also please remember that our center (soul) is not only our center but also the center of God or the whole. This is the last convergence. Our center (Atma) meets and merges with the center of God (Parmatma). This meeting and merging gives immense bliss and love. This is what is called the meeting with God. Swami Vivekananda says that God is a circle whose circumference is nowhere, and whose center is everywhere. To me, what he means is that each and every individual is a center of God or the whole.
What is our true nature or Swadharma? Our true nature is happiness. Our true nature is being a Sachitananda. And what was the worry and agony? The separateness and identification was our worry and agony. “I am separate from the divine”, was the reason for this agony and misery. This separateness goes away in the meeting and merging with the divine. This is the purpose of our life, if there is any purpose. This is how we can find our purpose. We can never be able to find the purpose of life. But yes, we can be able to find and discover our purpose out of this life.
The mystery of the whole existence is that it is a perfect balance. Life is a like a wave with equal crests and troughs. And the whole existence is like a circle. The reality is like a perfect wave embedded in a perfect circle. Therefore, the whole life is like the art of a tight rope walker. This is the true art of living !!