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Why does our psychology seek a purpose?

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Hindu. Behavioral Psychologist.

Let me start with saying, I am fairly active on Quora, largely because I get really good questions. One such question that compelled me to write was asked by a handle that goes by name QuietGuy.

Why does our psychology seek a purpose?

Firstly academicians are divided on the concept of Purpose. Few think purposeful living is just another concept like democracy to keep flocks together.

Few others think, and I belong to this category, everything that takes birth in this universe, living or non living and is stable has a purpose.

At the time of formation of the universe, very very early times, the whole universe was extremely unstable. There were blasts & collisions & fire and cold every where. Each celestial bodies were fighting for its right place and only after each of them found their purpose in this all connected universe is when they got stable.

Sun for example took few million years to find its place in the solar system, and kept moving away from earth till it found the perfect place. A place from where it could provide right heat, light and weather on earth. If it moves or stops giving light it will definitely lose its identity.

No Purpose, No Identity.

Similar to Sun, even other celestial bodies went through this stage of finding their purpose. Life on earth started with no different principles than the basic principle that governs the universe.

Let me quote few verses from Gita and brief explanation from the book, FINDING PEACE LOVE & HAPPINESS: Self-help from Bhagavad Gita.

“वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरोऽपराणि ।
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णा
न्यन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही ।।2.22।।

2.22 – As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, the soul similarly accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.

FPLAH – Like a person wearing new cloths and discarding the old ones, the soul (principle energy) accepts new physical body by giving up the old and useless ones.

Each physical body of the soul (true self) has a purpose; this purpose is fulfilled by the senses of the body, which are guided by soul. Ones these senses are rendered useless or are saturated and cannot be of further assistance to the soul (for the purpose of soul) it accepts new body by giving up the old one.

जातस्य हि ध्रुवो मृत्युर्ध्रुवं जन्म मृतस्य च ।
तस्मादपरिहार्येऽर्थे न त्वं शोचितुमर्हसि ।।2.27।।

2.27 – One who has taken his birth is sure to die, and after death one is sure to take birth again. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.

FPLAH – Life evolves in a cycle of birth and death. With every birth we identify our true-self using the senses of the material body and once saturated, the body dies and evolves into a new body.

With every material body comes duty that need to be performed as per the purpose of that body and the situation it finds itself in. One should not feel sorry for carrying out these duties, which are meant to be carried out.”

Life is a combination of physical body and some sort of energy that we do not fully understand but is a common energy in every living being, let us call it soul?

This soul is said to be produced at the same time rest of the physical energies were produced right after the big bang. This soul like other celestial energies is pre-coded with a purpose. In order to achieve its purpose it evolves, through various physical bodies with varied senses. This soul eventually reaches the evolutionary stage of being a Human being on earth. This is the last physical stage on Earth. The most evolved life on earth.

As human our superior sense, the mind, is what really differentiates us from rest of the living flock. This mind when not corrupted by the senses is well connected with the soul. Which in its purest form knows the reason for its birth on earth. And hence the mind is predisposed to being either “inquisitive” or because of the whole evolutionary cycle “insecure”.

Mind which is inquisitive will always be driven to find purpose behind each action and to better it. Insecure mind will always find reasons for doing or not doing an action.


तत्सदिति निर्देशो ब्रह्मणस्त्रिविधः स्मृतः ।
ब्राह्मणास्तेन वेदाश्च यज्ञाश्च विहिताः पुरा ।।17.23।।

17.23 – From the beginning of creation, the three words Om Tat Sat were used to indicate the Supreme Absolute Truth. These three symbolic representations were used by brahmanas while chanting the hymns of the Vedas and during sacrifices for the satisfaction of the Supreme.

FPLAH – Since the beginning of the creation of the universe the three words Om Tat Sat were used to indicate that Om (indication of the supreme, sound that came from the black hole at the time of big bang) is the eternal principle of the absolute truth (Supersoul).

These three symbolic representations were used by brahmanas (earlier living beings who learned the truth and lived life practicing it to be able to liberate soul) to invoke the true self (soul) while chanting the hymns of the vedas and while behaving, so as to keep the true self (soul) satisfied and free of any emotions.

This eternal principle states,

सहयज्ञाः प्रजाः सृष्ट्वा पुरोवाच प्रजापतिः ।
अनेन प्रसविष्यध्वमेष वोऽस्त्विष्टकामधुक् ।।3.10।।

3.10 – In the beginning of creation, the Lord of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Vishna, and blesses them by saying “Be thou happy by this yajna because its performance will bestow upon you everything desirable for living happily and achieving liberation.”

FPLAH – Along with the creation of the universe, the life on earth began with specific principles (sacrifices for Vishnu).

This principle states, those who live life acting every moment with complete honesty with true self (true identity) will be happy, will achieve everything that they desire and will achieve liberation at death.

So, you see, simplysaying we are predisposed to finding a purpose. Even if some find purpose in opposing living a purposeful life 🙂


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Hindu. Behavioral Psychologist.
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