To be purposeless is to be powerless
We need a strong sense of purpose to translate whatever talents we have into tangible achievements.
However, even if we have a purpose and even if we fulfill it, the resulting achievement won’t bring fulfillment if that purpose is external to our spiritual essence. For example, some people may aspire to plant a victory flag atop some mountain, physical or metaphorical. But after scaling that mountain, they often find that the view from there is not all that exciting and then wonder what to do next. Their achievement turns out to be acutely anti-climactic.
Purposelessness can befall us not just after achieving our purpose, but also, more commonly, after failing to achieve it. If injury immobilizes an athlete or if rejection shatters a romantic, they feel they have nothing to live for. People commit suicide not just because many things have gone wrong in their lives, but often because those wrong things have left them purposeless.
Can’t we come up with some other purpose? Possibly. But even with that purpose, we will end up empty-handed, dissatisfied even after fulfilling it or frustrated on failing to fulfill it. The Bhagavad-gita (02.66) cautions that the spiritually disconnected find neither peace nor joy.
Thankfully, the Gita also offers an enduring and fulfilling purpose: the purpose of connecting with Krishna through loving service. This purpose comes not from our subjective infatuation with any particular object, but from the objective knowledge of who we are: Krishna’s eternal parts meant to delight with him in perennial loving harmony.
Devotional purposefulness is so wonderful that the purpose doesn’t have to be fulfilled to bring fulfillment – the purpose itself brings fulfillment. If our particular service works out, that’s great. But even if it doesn’t, just our intention to serve Krishna keeps us connected with him, thereby granting us sublime spiritual satisfaction.
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