In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna personally explains the purpose of human life. He says that the purpose of human life is to become his devotee and come back to him.
But the first question which will strike anyone’s mind is that what is the need to become a devote of Krishna? It is because Krishna is our Supreme Father, and we all are his children. It is comprehensively explained in the Vedic scriptures. So, the holy scriptures say that the purpose of our life i.e. human life is to rise above material consciousness and become Krishna Conscious and return back to the kingdom of Krishna. If we are not doing so and are caught up in only material activities, then we are wasting our human life.
Different living entities in this world
Scriptures explain that there are 2 kinds of living entities in this world – eternally liberated and eternally conditioned. Eternally liberated living beings are in the spiritual world and eternally conditioned living beings are in this material world.
Eternally conditioned living entities are divided into 2 types – moving and non-moving. Trees for example remain fixed in one place so are categorized as non-moving living entities.**
**Here it should be noted that our ancient Hindu scriptures since time immemorial have clearly categorized ‘trees’ as living entities. Renowned scientist Jagdish Chandra Bose scientifically demonstrated this fact.
Moving entities are divided into 3 categorizes – those that can walk on land (human beings), swim in water (fish) and fly in sky (birds). Out of millions and trillions of living entities found on land, human beings comprise a small portion. Out of these small portions most of them are ignorant about spiritual life. In fact, there is no difference between the lives of these spiritually dead people and that of an animal. Both of these living entities are only bothered about eating, sleeping, mating and defending.
Righteous and unrighteous
Those fortunate human beings who believe in the scriptures and the existence of God are called righteous or religious. And those who do not accept the authority of God are called unrighteous or irreligious Righteous follows the laws of God given in the holy scriptures and unrighteous live whimsically and do not abide by the guidelines of the scriptures.
Among righteous also not everyone is able to understand the Supreme Lord. Few come to know about him and understand the purpose of life. Jnanis, the empiric philosophers, and the Yogis also try their best to know the Absolute Truth.
Ultimate purpose of Jnana Yoga and Ashtanga yoga?
But in Bhagavad Gita, Krishna clearly says that unless one surrenders to him it is not possible to know him. Because we can understand Krishna, the Supreme Absolute, only by the mercy of Krishna.
Jnanis ultimate come to the conclusion that he has to surrender to the Supreme Lord.
“After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” Bhagavad Gita 7.19
Yogis also try hard to get out of the material concept of life by ceasing from all material activities. But the ultimate purpose of yoga is to know Krishna, understand Krishna and meditate upon Krishna.
Krishna confirms this in Bhagavad Gita 6.47.
“And of all yogīs, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself and renders transcendental loving service to Me – he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion.”
The best yogi is that who always thinks about Krishna, meditates on Krishna and does everything for Krishna.
So, the ultimate purpose of Jnana Yoga and Astanga Yoga is to know Krishna.
Devotee of Krishna understands the real purpose of life
Such a fortunate devotee understands that his real constitutional position is to constantly serve the Supreme Lord. Knowing this he completely engages his mind, body and senses in the service of the Lord. He dedicates his life for the pleasure of the Lord and has only one aspiration i.e. to become a humble servant of Krishna.
The fortunate devotees of Krishna are free from all material desires. He does not lament about the past or hanker for the future. He utilizes all his time and energy in serving Krishna sincerely. So, he is free from all material miseries and is always peaceful. Srimad Bhagavatam glorifies such an exalted devotee:
Muktanam api siddhanam
narayana – parayanah
kotisv api mahamune
“O great sage, out of many millions of liberated persons and persons who have achieved success in mystic yoga, one who is completely devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and who is filled with peace is very hard to find.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 6.14.5)
Activities of a pure devotee
How do exalted devotees of Krishna spend their time? This is explained in Bhagavad Gita 9.14 by Krishna
“Always chanting My glories, endeavoring with great determination, bowing down before Me, these great souls perpetually worship Me with devotion.”
These are the activities of pure or best devotees of Krishna. They are not interested in any mundane activity and they do not discuss politics, movies, football or cricket match.
Srila Prabhupada aptly says, “The mahātmā cannot be manufactured by rubber-stamping an ordinary man. His symptoms are described here: a mahātmā is always engaged in chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead. He has no other business. He is always engaged in the glorification of the Lord.”
Another quality of a devotee of Krishna is that he never thinks he is the best devotee or doing sufficient for Krishna. He always thinks that he is fallen and begs Krishna for mercy so that he can serve him more.
So, next time if you meet anyone at anyplace, it could be Vrindavan also, and he says that he is an exalted devotee of Krishna then first try to see how he spends his entire day and also entire night. Is he always engaged in chanting the names of Krishna and discussing pastimes about Krishna? If not then we know the answer.
Makes other devotees of Krishna
Also, a pure devotee of Krishna feels great pain when he sees others are suffering. He knows that people suffer because they have forgotten Krishna. So, he tries his best to give Krishna to others. Srila Prabhupada was happily living in Radha Damodara temple of Vrindavan. But he could not tolerate other’s suffering.
He had great compassion for all living entities of the world. So, he dedicated his life in spreading Krishna Consciousness all over the world. Such a devotee who makes other devotees of Krishna is very dear to Krishna. Bhagavad Gita 18.68-69
So, in conclusion we can say that the ultimate purpose of human life as per Bhagavad Gita is to become a pure devotee of Krishna. Even those who practice Jjnana yoga or Astanga yoga finally understands this. So, we should best utilize our human life and practice Krishna consciousness seriously without any material motive.