Ancient Vedic wisdom teaches that your soul has four unique desires and together they are described as, “for the purpose of the soul.” The first of these four desires is your unique purpose or dharma, the desire to become who you were meant to be; a drive to fully realize your destiny, a longing for purpose, while positively affecting the world.
Dharma informs us that each of us has a purpose and that purpose is a unique expression of the universe. Your dharma, your life’s purpose, is the reason for your existence.
Just as each cell in your body has a special purpose that supports your health, so too, do you play an important role in the evolutionary growth of the universe.
Your soul’s deepest desire is for the freedom that comes from self-realization; a freedom which manifests on the physical plane as laughter, on the mental as happiness, and at the level of the soul as bliss.
This is our true home, the place from where we came, a place of the deepest and most profound peace, harmony, joy and love.
The Three Aspects of Purpose
There are three aspects which make up and define your purpose.
The first of these three aspects is finding your true self.
The next two aspects are woven together in a harmonious expression of universal creativity.
The first aspect is to express your unique talents and second, to share your special gifts so that you may bring happiness and joy to yourself and others.
Your purpose can’t be found somewhere “out there” in the world, that key can only be found in your heart.
Your purpose isn’t found in the world, your purpose is what you have to share with the world.
This unique expression isn’t found in career skills (though it can be expressed through them) and it isn’t found hiding behind the social mask of your personality. It is the authentic self, who you are at the core of your being.
Because your dharma is “for the purpose of the soul,” and is an expression that contributes to the whole, it is appropriate to ask ourselves some “soul questions.*” These questions are as old as the tradition from which they arise.
1. How may I help – how may I serve?
2. What do I want?
3. What do I love and enjoy doing?
4. What are my natural talents?
5. Who am I?
Quiet your mind and ask the questions. Allow time for the answers to fill your heart and soul with knowingness; that intuitive sense you experience when you’re still enough to feel it.
You will know you are expressing your true heart’s desire when you feel you are being true to your core values.
And when your natural talents and creative expressions match the needs and desires of those around you, laughter, happiness and bliss will naturally flow in to your life. This truth was understood many centuries before the Buddha walked the Earth.
Those who practiced the wisdom of the Vedic tradition understood that happiness was utterly dependent on fulfilling your unique purpose, in other words, being your true self.
The Expressions of Purpose
There are two ways your purpose expresses its self. The first way, the one to focus on and become conscious of, is your inner essence. The second is your manifest, or outer purpose, what you set out to achieve and “do with” your life.
Pursuing your worldly goals should always be guided by inner wisdom, and when you remain in the present moment this guidance flows naturally through you, this is the power of your spirit.
“Again and again the sacred texts tell us that our life’s purpose is to understand and develop the power of our spirit, power that is vital to our mental and physical well-being.” Caroline Myss
The secret is to balance our inner and the outer purpose, knowing that it arises from the inside and expresses itself in the world. Key in creating and maintaining balance is to connect with your authentic self.
When you are authentic – instead of pursing happiness in the traditional sense, which is conditional, that is, based on positions, possessions or persons beyond the self – you awaken bliss. You are living a life inspired by purpose. You are living a life of meaning; and finding meaning in life is a clear path to happiness.
Happiness is your unique purpose, it is the evolutionary impulse of the universe and when you live in harmony with the intelligence of which you are a part, only then will you thrive.
Your happiness, freedom, peace and joy depend on your ability to connect with your unique purpose and the contribution that sharing it with the world will bring.
*Dr. David Simon, a brilliant teacher, authority on Vedic teaching, co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing and one of my beloved teachers along with Dr. Chopra, shared with us the translations of these “soul questions” which I’m sharing with you.