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Life’s Purpose – Quotes from Hindu Scriptures and Teachers

Here are 30 quotes from Hindu scriptures and teachers about life's purpose:

From the Bhagavad Gita

  1. "You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work." – Bhagavad Gita 2.47
  2. "Set thy heart upon thy work, but never on its reward." – Bhagavad Gita 2.47
  3. "He who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, he is wise among men." – Bhagavad Gita 4.18
  4. "The wise see that there is action in the midst of inaction and inaction in the midst of action." – Bhagavad Gita 4.18
  5. "When a man has let go of attachments, when his mind is rooted in wisdom, everything he does is worship and his actions all melt away." – Bhagavad Gita 4.23
  6. "He who has no attachments can really love others, for his love is pure and divine." – Bhagavad Gita 2.55

From the Upanishads

  1. "You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny." – Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5
  2. "The Self is hidden in the hearts of all, as butter lies hidden in cream." – Svetasvatara Upanishad 1.3
  3. "From delusion lead me to truth, from darkness lead me to light, from death lead me to immortality." – Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.3.28
  4. "He who sees all beings in his own Self, and his own Self in all beings, loses all fear." – Isa Upanishad 6

From the Vedas

  1. "Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides." – Rig Veda 1.89.1
  2. "Truth is one; sages call it by various names." – Rig Veda 1.164.46
  3. "A person can achieve everything by being simple and humble." – Rig Veda
  4. "Do not be led by others, awaken your own mind, amass your own experience, and decide for yourself your own path." – Atharva Veda 1.11.6

From Hindu Teachers

  1. "The purpose of life is to believe, to hope, and to strive." – unknown
  2. "To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance." – Buddha
  3. "You are the creator of your own destiny." – Swami Vivekananda
  4. "Arise, awake, and stop not until the goal is achieved." – Swami Vivekananda
  5. "When you see no difference between the sacred and the profane, the perfect and the imperfect, you have become a sage." – Adi Shankaracharya
  6. "Realizing that nothing in this world is permanent, we begin to seek the permanent, unchanging reality." – Ramana Maharshi
  7. "The purpose of life is to realize God." – Paramahansa Yogananda
  8. "To work without attachment is to work without the expectation of reward." – Ramakrishna Paramahamsa
  9. "In the pursuit of knowledge, every day something is added. In the practice of the Tao, every day something is dropped." – Lao Tzu (cited in a Hindu context)
  10. "The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves!" – Swami Vivekananda
  11. "He who lives in the mind lives in misery. He who lives in the soul lives in eternal bliss." – Osho

From the Ramayana and Mahabharata

  1. "The purpose of life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it." – Ramayana
  2. "Only actions performed in the spirit of yagna (sacrifice) can free you from the bondage of karma." – Mahabharata
  3. "When a man loves all beings equally, he has reached the highest state of love and understanding." – Mahabharata

From Other Hindu Texts

  1. "Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, realize." – Sivananda
  2. "The real spiritual progress of the aspirant is measured by the extent to which he achieves inner tranquility." – Swami Sivananda

These quotes capture the essence of various teachings in Hinduism about life's purpose, emphasizing selfless action, inner wisdom, unity with all beings, and the realization of the divine self.

Brahman is the end of the journey. Brahman is the supreme goal. This Brahman, this Self, deep-hidden in all beings, is not revealed to all; but to seers, pure in heart, concentrated in mind – to them is He revealed. (Katha Upanishad 1:3:12)

The ascent to the divine life is the human journey, the work of works, the acceptable sacrifice. This alone is man’s real business in the world and the justification of his existence. (Sri Aurobindo)

Travel light on your journey in life. Your desires and expectations are heavy baggage, which slow you down and thwart your progress. Let them go. (Swami Chidanand Saraswati)