life have a meaning and if so, what purpose do humans serve?
meaning in life is a sacred duty for each human being to discover, but
no one else can perform this duty for us. We must all find this meaning
through an independent and personal search for truth. It is
inconceivable to imagine that our Creator-God would have fashioned
humans without ascribing meaning and purpose to creation.
(1844-1921), the son and successor of Bahá’u’lláh, and the interpreter
of his teachings said: “The reflection of the divine perfections
appears in the reality of man, so he is the representative of God, the
messenger of God. If man did not exist, the universe would be without
result, for the object of existence is the appearance of the
perfections of God” (Some Answered Questions, p. 196).
beings stand at the apex of creation. While they have badly managed the
stewardship of the earth—witness the environmental crisis — without
humans, there would be none to reflect God’s glory. For a Bahá’í, the
human reflection of the divine attributes should serve the education
and unity of mankind.
Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892), the
Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, revealed: “Having created the
world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct
operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon
man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him — a
capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the
primary purpose underlying the whole of creation ...” (Gleanings, p.
64). Thus, knowing and loving God constitute the meaning of life. These
primary purposes include, of course, the love of one’s neighbour, and
today in our global village, love for all humanity, irrespective of
race, creed, class, tribe or nationality. To these primary purposes, a
Bahá’í would add that the meaning of life is gained through service to
Acts of service can be performed only through the
exercise of the virtues which are the main ingredients of a
praiseworthy character: “The fruits of the tree of man have ever been
and are goodly deeds and a praiseworthy character. Withhold not these
fruits from the heedless.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the
Wolf, p. 25). -