What was God’s purpose in creating man?

childbirth

It is all God’s Hukam (Will). One cannot comprehend everything i.e. a finite human cannot fully comprehend the infinite.

ਜਾ ਕਰਤਾ ਸਿਰਠੀ ਕਉ ਸਾਜੇ ਆਪੇ ਜਾਣੈ ਸੋਈ ||
“The Creator who created this creation-only He Himself knows.”
(Ang 4)

Gurbani tells us that we are here because God put us here. We have no choice, freedom or way to escape it except follow Guru’s Hukam. If one lives in a denial or wants to escape it without making an effort, one will be unsuccessful. The best thing to do is to accept it and make an effort according to Gurbani and escape it. God’s creation is not unfair or unjust. God is the most just and fair of all.

Gurbani tells us about man’s goal:

ਭਈ ਪਰਾਪਤਿ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹੁਰੀਆ ||
ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਮਿਲਣ ਕੀ ਇਹ ਤੇਰੀ ਬਰੀਆ ||
“This human body has been given to you. This is your chance to meet the Lord of the Universe.”
(Ang 12)

ਅਨਿਕ ਜਨਮ ਬਹੁ ਜੋਨੀ ਭ੍ਰਮਿਆ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਬਹੁਰਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਇਆ ॥
ਤੁਮਰੀ ਕ੍ਰਿਪਾ ਤੇ ਮਾਨੁਖ ਦੇਹ ਪਾਈ ਹੈ ਦੇਹੁ ਦਰਸੁ ਹਰਿ ਰਾਇਆ ॥੧॥
“Wandering around through countless incarnations, I endured pain and suffering in so many lives, over and over again. By Your Grace, I obtained this human body; grant me the Blessed Vision of Your Darshan, O Sovereign Lord King. ||1||”
(Ang 207)

God made man in His own image. He put His divine spark in man which is called “The Soul”. The soul enters bodily forms according to individual’s actions. The wall of ego separates the soul from God. This leads to the cycle of birth and death. Metempsychosis can only be ended through meditation or the acquisition of divine grace.

God is not a cruel monster out for sport with mortals. On the contrary, He is like a benevolent father. He gave man a good start in this life by providing him with all the needs for his upkeep at the time of birth. Just as the body is sustained by food and drink, in the same way the soul is nourished by virtue and devotion. When the soul progresses with the performance of good deeds and the remembrance of The Name, it becomes more worthy of a merger to Divinity.

Man is a focal point in the universe. He is the apex of creation, the final stage. Human life is the starting point for God-realization. You cannot own salvation as an animal or stone. Only human life, offers this grand opportunity for spiritual attainment.

ਰਾਮਕਲੀ ਮਹਲਾ ੫ ॥
ਇਸੁ ਪਾਨੀ ਤੇ ਜਿਨਿ ਤੂ ਘਰਿਆ ॥ ਮਾਟੀ ਕਾ ਲੇ ਦੇਹੁਰਾ ਕਰਿਆ ॥
ਉਕਤਿ ਜੋਤਿ ਲੈ ਸੁਰਤਿ ਪਰੀਖਿਆ ॥ ਮਾਤ ਗਰਭ ਮਹਿ ਜਿਨਿ ਤੂ ਰਾਖਿਆ ॥੧॥
ਰਾਖਨਹਾਰੁ ਸਮ੍ਹਾਰਿ ਜਨਾ ॥ ਸਗਲੇ ਛੋਡਿ ਬੀਚਾਰ ਮਨਾ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
ਜਿਨਿ ਦੀਏ ਤੁਧੁ ਬਾਪ ਮਹਤਾਰੀ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਦੀਏ ਭ੍ਰਾਤ ਪੁਤ ਹਾਰੀ ॥
ਜਿਨਿ ਦੀਏ ਤੁਧੁ ਬਨਿਤਾ ਅਰੁ ਮੀਤਾ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕਉ ਰਖਿ ਲੇਹੁ ਚੀਤਾ ॥੨॥
ਜਿਨਿ ਦੀਆ ਤੁਧੁ ਪਵਨੁ ਅਮੋਲਾ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਦੀਆ ਤੁਧੁ ਨੀਰੁ ਨਿਰਮੋਲਾ ॥
ਜਿਨਿ ਦੀਆ ਤੁਧੁ ਪਾਵਕੁ ਬਲਨਾ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕੀ ਰਹੁ ਮਨ ਸਰਨਾ ॥੩॥
ਛਤੀਹ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤ ਜਿਨਿ ਭੋਜਨ ਦੀਏ ॥ ਅੰਤਰਿ ਥਾਨ ਠਹਰਾਵਨ ਕਉ ਕੀਏ ॥
ਬਸੁਧਾ ਦੀਓ ਬਰਤਨਿ ਬਲਨਾ ॥ ਤਿਸੁ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕੇ ਚਿਤਿ ਰਖੁ ਚਰਨਾ ॥੪॥
ਪੇਖਨ ਕਉ ਨੇਤ੍ਰ ਸੁਨਨ ਕਉ ਕਰਨਾ ॥ ਹਸਤ ਕਮਾਵਨ ਬਾਸਨ ਰਸਨਾ ॥
ਚਰਨ ਚਲਨ ਕਉ ਸਿਰੁ ਕੀਨੋ ਮੇਰਾ ॥ ਮਨ ਤਿਸੁ ਠਾਕੁਰ ਕੇ ਪੂਜਹੁ ਪੈਰਾ ॥੫॥
ਅਪਵਿਤ੍ਰ ਪਵਿਤ੍ਰੁ ਜਿਨਿ ਤੂ ਕਰਿਆ ॥ ਸਗਲ ਜੋਨਿ ਮਹਿ ਤੂ ਸਿਰਿ ਧਰਿਆ ॥
ਅਬ ਤੂ ਸੀਝੁ ਭਾਵੈ ਨਹੀ ਸੀਝੈ ॥ ਕਾਰਜੁ ਸਵਰੈ ਮਨ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਧਿਆਈਜੈ ॥੬॥
ਈਹਾ ਊਹਾ ਏਕੈ ਓਹੀ ॥ ਜਤ ਕਤ ਦੇਖੀਐ ਤਤ ਤਤ ਤੋਹੀ ॥
ਤਿਸੁ ਸੇਵਤ ਮਨਿ ਆਲਸੁ ਕਰੈ ॥ ਜਿਸੁ ਵਿਸਰਿਐ ਇਕ ਨਿਮਖ ਨ ਸਰੈ ॥੭॥
ਨਾ ਕਿਛੁ ਸੇਵਾ ਨਾ ਕਰਮਾਰੇ ॥ ਹਮ ਅਪਰਾਧੀ ਨਿਰਗੁਨੀਆਰੇ ॥
ਗੁਰੁ ਬੋਹਿਥੁ ਵਡਭਾਗੀ ਮਿਲਿਆ ॥ ਨਾਨਕ ਦਾਸ ਸੰਗਿ ਪਾਥਰ ਤਰਿਆ ॥੮॥੨॥
“Raamkalee, Fifth Mehl:
He created you out of this water.
From clay, He fashioned your body.
He blessed you with the light of reason and clear consciousness.
In your mother’s womb, He preserved you. ||1||
Contemplate your Savior Lord.
Give up all others thoughts, O mind. ||1||Pause||
He gave you your mother and father;
He gave you your charming children and siblings;
He gave you your spouse and friends;
enshrine that Lord and Master in your consciousness. ||2||
He gave you the invaluable air;
He gave you the priceless water;
He gave you burning fire;
let your mind remain in the Sanctuary of that Lord and Master. ||3||
He gave you the thirty-six varieties of tasty foods;
He gave you a place within to hold them;
He gave you the earth, and things to use;
enshrine in your consciousness the feet of that Lord and Master. ||4||
He gave you eyes to see, and ears to hear;
He gave you hands to work with, and a nose and a tongue;
He gave you feet to walk upon, and the crowning glory of your head;
O mind, worship the Feet of that Lord and Master. ||5||
He transformed you from impure to pure;
He installed you above the heads of all creatures;
now, you may fulfill your destiny or not;
Your affairs shall be resolved, O mind, meditating on God. ||6||
Here and there, only the One God exists.
Wherever I look, there You are.
My mind is reluctant to serve Him;
forgetting Him, I cannot survive, even for an instant. ||7||
I am a sinner, without any virtue at all.
I do not serve You, or do any good deeds.
By great good fortune, I have found the boat – the Guru.
Slave Nanak has crossed over, with Him. ||8||2||”
(Ang 913)

Man is made of spirit and matter: shiv and shakti. The spirit is subtle, while the body is gross. The body has to be cared for, because it houses the soul. A house-holder’s life is the best life because it offers scope for acts of charity and social service. Escapism or asceticism is not advocated by Sikh religion.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਨਿਬਹੈ ਸਪਰਵਾਰਿ ॥
“In the midst of his family, the Gurmukh lives a spiritual life.”
(Ang 941)

Life may be compared to a game of chess or cards. Where the individual does not frame the rules or control the game. The cards are given to him; it is up to him to play the cards well or badly, wisely or foolishly. God watches over him and will reward him according to his efforts.

ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪ੍ਰਾਣੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਹਰਿ ਧਿਆਇ ॥
ਜਨਮੁ ਜੀਤਿ ਲਾਹਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਪਾਇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥
“O mortal, become Gurmukh, and meditate on the Name of the Lord. Be victorious in the game of life, and earn the profit of the Naam. ||1||Pause||”
(Ang 162)

In the ultimate analysis, human life is a rich gift, not something to be fluttered away in frivolity. If one fails here, one has to go through the cycle of birth and death. It is man’s option (what he can) to save himself from this chain of transmigration.

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