My Father Died. I’ve Lost All Enjoyment and I Ask Myself: What Is the Purpose of Life?


Hello! My dad just passed away two weeks back. I have lost all interest in what I enjoyed in life. I really feel alone and different from others. I would like to know why this feeling is always coming up, and what is my purpose on earth? Is my dad saying something to me that I need to know please?

—Olga, South Africa


Dear Olga,
I am very sorry for your loss. Sometimes such painful events are a golden and important turning point in our life.

You have lost interest in things that you enjoyed in life. Is it because they were relatively superficial? Death confronts us with the meaning of life, with its purpose, with its hidden depth. That is the point where you are standing at.

What is life all about? What is your deeper purpose? It is healthy for you to ask these questions right now.

There are two basic purposes (dharma) in life. One is common for everyone: all human beings have been separated from God and our common purpose, and yours too, is to find our way back to Him. The rest will prove to be superficial. So ask yourself: what is my personal path to divine communion?

The second dharma is called swa-dharma, or personal dharma. What are you here to do? What is your mission in life? It might be of an outer nature (a certain job or activity) or it might be a quality: developing love for example.

It is very interesting that people who have clinically died but have come back (near death experience) all tell the same story – the values that they had before were completely changed. They see what has real value: love, for example. The rest is comparatively empty, like glittering soap bubbles which burst and nothing remains. Swami Kriyananda would tell us that when he died, God would ask him only two questions: “How much have you loved?” and “How much do you love me?” The rest, including all that he has accomplished, was secondary.

So this is what you might be feeling from your Dad at this moment. He has a higher vision right now, and might be telling you: “Don’t waste your life with superficial goals but go for the depth of life. That depth is love. And that depth is God.”

May this moment then, turn you to the most important things there are in life: love, and God. What else really matters? And even if you should feel alone in pursuing these true goals, it is better to walk alone with them than live a superficial life.

May God Bless You,