Author Topic: What is the purpose of life?  (Read 19313 times)

RedLantern

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What is the purpose of life?
« on: March 15, 2012, 05:45:54 AM »
There are several prerequisites to the discovery of the purpose of life.The aim in life varies among individuals.
Everyone aims for happiness in life,yet experience shows time and again that it's attainment is so elusive.
The adoption of a religion is important and when a person understand the nature of man,then some important realisations arises.He will  be fully aware that his life is impermanent,and should therefore strive to
practise the Dharma while he still can.
In the process of self transformation,he will strive to eradicate greed,develop wisdom and compassion to be completely liberated from the bounds of samsara.
When we have Dharma in us,there is a purpose in life!

yontenjamyang

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 09:41:36 AM »
This is an important question. In the Lamrim we learned that this human life is so so so rare and therefore precious. We must use this life to attain permanent happiness. The way to do that is to work for the happiness of others. There fore we need to practice the Dharma.
The basic Dharma practice is the transformation of our mind and Guru Devotion. Resulting from this are the 3 aspects of Renunciation, Boddhicitta and Wisdom.
For most however, the practice of the 3 aspect are very difficult to understand and practice and therefore difficult to attain. I am talking about real attainment and not just studying and have just intellectual understanding.

Hence, for most of us, it is the the transformation of our mind as per the 8 verses of thought transformation and Guru Devotion. If we also, keep our vows properly and do our Sadhanas every day, I think we are own our way to permanent happiness if not in this lifetime then in future lifetimes.

Tammy

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 10:02:59 AM »
Purpose of Life - this simple yet fundamental question has been brought up time and again... there are uncountable answers ! Personally I found my purpose of life in helping others and I have decided to be nice to everyone whom I know.

It is not much of a purpose but I think this would do, for now... Call me shallow !! LOL
Down with the BAN!!!

jeremyg

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2012, 12:55:21 PM »
For me, it is very hard to answer this question. But everyone wants to do something of meaning with their life. What is the point of just living, being a passenger on this planet, then dying ultimately. For me there is no purpose in that. You often here people say, life is short, life everyday like its your last. Others who say, life is just for fun, just make sure you're always having fun. Then there are others who search deeper, and feel that life is to influence others. For me it is very important to influence others in positive ways. If we can leave a legacy that will change the mind of others for the better. If we can change people to help them help others. If we can change people to not hurt others. In dharma, it is often said that the body and life, is just a mere vehicle to absorb the dharma. In that sense the purpose of life is to help others, it is to learn the dharma.

Thus if we could live everyday as if it was our last what would we really do? Young people often have the idea that they would spend in partying etc. But for me i would like to spend it with family, with the people i love, helping them, leaving a good impression on their mind, not hurting them. I would like to spend it helping others, and maybe doing something dharmic.

dondrup

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2012, 08:46:57 PM »
What is life? In a nutshell, life can be described as a process that a sentient being experience from birth until death. There are past, present and future lives.  Hence as sentient beings we have had experienced many countless past lives before we have the present life.  Unless we accomplish liberation and enlightenment, we shall continue to experience many countless future lives.  The Four Noble Truths and the Twelve Dependent-related Links can be used to explain the process of our lives.

And what is the purpose or meaning of life? It is a question everyone is bound to ask during their journey through life.  Every sentient being perceive life very differently.  For example, animals’ main focus in life is to sleep, eat and defecate.  Whereas a hungry ghost is mainly concerned with overcoming their constant hunger and thirst.  And the gods are constantly indulging in pleasures and enjoyments.  What about us humans?  In the human realm, we could see similar patterns of behaviour as seen in the other five realms of existence i.e. the gods, demi-gods, animals, hungry ghosts and hell beings.

We would have been living our lives as ignorantly as the beings from the other five realms had we not met and practised Dharma!  Buddha had taught us many teachings that we can apply to make our lives meaningful.  Knowing Dharma is one thing but if we do not put Dharma into practice, it becomes a mere intellectual exercise which does not bring meaning into our lives.

We should rely on a qualified guru who is a lineage holder of an authentic Buddhist Tradition to guide us in our spiritual path. Then we should spend every moment of our lives to purify our karma, to generate merits and to transform our minds.  Since human life is short and precious we should strive to accomplish liberation and enlightenment in the shortest possible manner through the practice of bodhichitta in all of our actions.  I remember once a monk told me that the meaning of our life is to make others happy.  I couldn’t understand what he meant by that.  Now I understood why.  Finally, living our life in the ways as taught by Buddha is the real purpose or meaning of our life.

Tenzin K

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2012, 12:19:19 PM »
I believe this question will have a lot of different answer from different people.
For me personally, the answer before I met the precious Dharma teaching was to chase the impermanent things. Thinking of gaining material wealth is the eternal happiness and is secured.
But when these materials leaving me one by one I start to feel like its betraying me and it will never be forever with me. My happiness is so short!   

The purpose of my life start changing and it getting much clearer after I start to learn Dharma teaching and also doing my protector practice from my Guru.

Nothing better than serving others but it’s not easy. The body we have is a vehicle to ride on to bring happiness for others. Again it’s not easy but life never easy anyway why doesn’t just choose the way that other people or more people would be able to be benefitted for the real happiness in their life. Our selflessness contribution able to make a different to people lives.
Of course we are not Buddha but every single and little work that from the compassion motivation will definitely make a different.

I have found the purpose of my life which is to benefit other people by learning from my Guru and devoted to him as he’s my Buddha that giving his time for me to be better and by this way I can repay my Guru kindness by contributing and support my Guru's work for benefiting more people.

vajratruth

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 03:40:00 PM »
Those of us who are in this forum, and are now considering the question raised by this post, are lucky. Lucky in that we have been shown an alternative way of life which has revealed life's true purpose. Dharma is too often a word being thrown around and after a while we forget its significance as well.

If we have linked our life to dharma then it follows that our life must take on the very purpose that dharma wants to accomplish. And in its most basic form, the purpose of dharma is to benefit others through our thoughts, words and deeds.

The primary purpose of life therefore is to live out the realization that life only has value and meaning if we use it to benefit others. Our days and years are spent doing things that benefit others. In that sense, life has no purpose whatsoever if we live it for ourselves. Some people have said that the purpose of life is the pursuit of happiness. I think that is misleading and that happiness is not a goal in itself, but a merely by-product when we live our life in pursuit of its true purpose.


hope rainbow

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2012, 04:18:22 PM »
The purpose of the human life is to help others.

I came to think that all of us humans got this human existence in order to help others.
Through prayers to help others and through actions helping others we got this existence.
But then we get distracted and think it is about helping ourselves.
We loose the purpose = we loose the causes of human existence.

This idea of helping others (and to the minimum of this understanding: to help fellow humans) arises everywhere all the time, in religions and in secular organisations too.
The idea of helping oneself arises too, everywhere except in any religion.

So we live in a world where most often it is a balance between "helping others" and "helping oneself".
Often it becomes a setting whereby we help ourselves but try not to do so at the expenses of others, one way or another, we find, most of us, to be in this balance.

We just need to look at the movies to see that the world is fascinated by fellow humans set to "save the world" and devote themselves for others, "sacrifice" themselves for others. The reason we can relate so well to that, the reason we can recognize the qualities of Mother Theresa or Gandhi with no effort required is because we do have these qualities in ourselves even if we are not working at awakening them.

So, maybe, if we find the purpose of this life a bit overwhelming, if we get scared at the idea that we must help others only and never help one self, maybe we could, for now, working at adjusting the balance a little bit and improve ourselves little by little.
50% helping myself - 50% helping others.
Then we consciously set at improving that proportion.

What is there to loose? Nothing.
What is there to gain? Everything mundane and supra-mundane.
Isn't that what we call a no-brainer?

Reena Searl

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2012, 02:09:47 AM »
To me, purpose of life is not just eating, the sleeping, the dressing, the working, the enjoying..etc
Helping others tirelessly with good motivation is the key to gain permanent happiness.
And when I find purpose and meaning in life, I discover myself to be a happy person, not chasing for materials things and willingly helping others spontenously.

Vajratrusth had mentioned: "If we have linked our life to dharma then it follows that our life must take on the very purpose that dharma wants to accomplish. And in its most basic form, the purpose of dharma is to benefit others through our thoughts, words and deeds."

I am working on the link of my life with dharma, in order to benefit others.


DSFriend

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2012, 03:23:58 AM »
Purpose of Life - this simple yet fundamental question has been brought up time and again... there are uncountable answers ! Personally I found my purpose of life in helping others and I have decided to be nice to everyone whom I know.

It is not much of a purpose but I think this would do, for now... Call me shallow !! LOL

haha.. Tammy I love your answer. It's not shallow at all but is the really the best method I know how to lessen my depression, and find some form of happiness. I find living with the purpose to help others is the direct cause of me becoming a better person (at least that's how i'd like to view myself )... definitely  a work in progress :) And as you said, being nice is really a good starting point.

hope rainbow

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2012, 11:03:30 AM »
Purpose of Life - this simple yet fundamental question has been brought up time and again... there are uncountable answers ! Personally I found my purpose of life in helping others and I have decided to be nice to everyone whom I know.

It is not much of a purpose but I think this would do, for now... Call me shallow !! LOL

haha.. Tammy I love your answer. It's not shallow at all but is the really the best method I know how to lessen my depression, and find some form of happiness. I find living with the purpose to help others is the direct cause of me becoming a better person (at least that's how i'd like to view myself )... definitely  a work in progress :) And as you said, being nice is really a good starting point.

And after all, let's be logical all the way.
When we help others, we also help ourselves. In fact, it is the best help we can give ourselves.
When we only think of "ME", that action does not come back to "ME" in any other way than a bad habit of only thinking of "ME"..
When we  think of "OTHERS", it will come back to "ME" as help.
So what is the best way to help "ME", if not helping others?
It is the best way because we will receive help from others, that means less worries, less work, less hassles, less struggles, less battles to get my self SATISFIED...

So if we are really obsessed by helping ourselves, if this is our obsession, then we should be obsessed in helping others tirelessly. That is the only logical thing to do.

Manjushri

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2012, 08:44:06 AM »
Before I learned more about spirituality, I could not pinpoint what the purpose of life is. To me, it was a jounrey just like any others - we go to school, we receive higher education, we get a job, get a car, get a partner, get ahouse, get kids, retire then wait for death to fall upon us.. I did question whether there was more to life. I guess what I knew sprouted from what others knew and taught me, what I saw in others...So was I going to following the meaningless pursuit of living? 

Learning a little bit of Dharma was empowering enough to make me think further that life is not only bound to this life alone... (which in turns results in how we live our lives today, for this life alone). It goes beyond that. We hadve no beginning to our consciousness, and the only way to get out of this wretched cycle would be achieving enlightenment. Therefore life to me, is to gain as much as I can on my spiritual journey to bring me to enlightenment, however long it'll take, and whatever it takes. If you just keep walking, you will end up at the finish line eventually, if you don't allow anything to stop you along the way.

Aurore

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2012, 10:37:26 AM »
I don't know the true purpose of life is but to me there is a difference between the purpose of human life versus the life of other beings in other realms. As a Buddhist, I know I should strive to obtain the human life again and again till I get out of this circle of life called samsara. This is because human life is the best form to be in to practice the holy dharma. So perhaps the true purpose of life to actually get out of life??? HAHA.

The only way to get out of this "life" is to gain realisation and achieve Enlightenment and in turn help others get out of samsara. To do this we must use this precious human life to develop wisdom, skilful means and compassion. This mean that once we gain Enlightenment we should not stop caring and in turn show the way out to others. As yet, since most of us has not reached that state, we should strive to return to human life to continue building this vehicle fueling it with wisdom and compassion to speed us out of samsara.

valeriecheung

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2012, 11:13:02 AM »
Before i get to learn dharma my life is to cherish 'ME', work very hard to buy car, buy house, enjoy vacation, become materialistic and wait until i am old and die.

I am learning dharma, its very rare reborn in human life and due to eons lifes of merit accumulation. Not only to appreciate human lifetime, the most important is given ourself a lifetime to change karma of our future life. For all things became past tenses don't waste limited time to feel sorry, should learn from the past and improve in your future and others beings future life.

My conclution the purpose of life is to benefit others, self transformation, not giving up to practice dharma gain attainment.

KhedrubGyatso

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Re: What is the purpose of life?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2012, 05:20:43 AM »
The purpose of life is to benefit others which ultimately benefits us.  It is one thing to say it and do it but another thing to truly be of benefit. Often we think we have helped others only from our side. In reality, we are never sure. Most of the time not only are we not fully qualified , we also are not completely sure about the condition of the  helpless and their needs. In addition , we find we areunable to  totally commit to  helping all the way due to our own bias , and limitations.
If we are truly sincere, we will want to acquire the abilities and know how to do more and with more effectiveness.
We need to study dharma . We need to improve our good qualities of giving, kindness, patience, love and compassion. We need to conjoin this with a special wisdom that can overcome our self cherishing attitudes which limit our helping others and  the help we give others. We need special skills like  able to know others minds to ensure the correct prescription.
We need to become a Buddha who have perfected all the above qualities . Which is why he is called the perfect doctor of all ills.