What is the purpose of existence?

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

The purpose of life is to evolve. Man is part of a fantastic, infinite evolution. He is not absolute; he stands somewhere within it.

After millions of years of existence, this creation, life itself, has evolved to the point where it manifested in the form of man. The life force within man, animals, vegetables and minerals, in all sentient and insentient creation is one evolving existence which always was right from the beginning of this universe, from the beginning of this planet Earth.

The purpose of evolution, however, is certainly not known to me. Logically, intuitively and metaphysically, no philosophy has ever convinced me of its purpose to this day. Although I have studied modern and ancient philosophies of all ages and races, I cannot tell you why life was born, why it evolves, to what extent it will evolve, and the purpose of this meaning­less evolution which is going to come to an end.

If you want me to give a reply according to Hindu philosophy, the Bible or other religions, I can, but my reply to the purpose of evolution is: I do not know.

—April 1978