What is the purpose of life? Some will say it is to live a merry life and take in as many pleasures as possible. A youngster will want to spend his days pursuing trivial pleasures.
A middle-aged man begins to worry about his future, and all he wants is to get the support of his children in his old age. But he also wants to ensure a secure future for his children. So he will answer that providing for one’s children is the purpose of life.
There is nothing wrong in seeking to be happy in life. There is nothing wrong in being merry and cheerful.
In fact, we must be happy, because of the wonderful world that God has given us. But enjoyment is not the purpose of life. Souls are brought into this world, so that they may make use of birth in this world to liberate themselves from the ignorant state they had been in. A person born in this world must use the opportunity provided to him to free himself from samsara and attain moksha, Sarala Rajagopalan said in a discourse.
But while we occasionally acknowledge that there is a higher purpose to life than merely carrying out our everyday duties, we are taken in by the glamour of wealth and fame and forget that all of it is temporary.
So we spend our young age in acquiring wealth and pursuing power, and then when we are old, we feel sorry for having given so much importance to wealth.
Saint Kumaraguruparar points out in a verse that the pleasures of youth are like the little bubbles on the surface of water. When the rays of the sun hit them, they turn attractive, emitting many colours. But suddenly they break, and then what is left?
The pleasures of youth are as temporary as these bubbles are. The waves of the ocean look huge from a distance, but when they crash on the shore, they are not so huge.
Likewise, wealth seems significant when we set out to acquire it, but it can get depleted to nothing soon. So we should keep in mind that the purpose of life is not making money; it is to make use of this human life and work towards moksha.