H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Some say the purpose of life is to ensure that one doesn't come back to this planet because it is bereft of love. They feel if there is love then why is life so painful? All that one want in life is love. Every human being is longing for a love that doesn't die out, a love that doesn't cause pain, a love that grows and stands forever. By taking a multilateral view of life, one can see life in a different way and realise that the purpose of life is to achieve this kind of love and blossom in that ideal love.
Suppose you are immensely successful and have all the riches at your command but there is no love in your life, then life would not really be worthwhile; it would appear barren. But still most of the people lead a loveless life. Have you ever thought why this happens? It is your ego that prevents you from achieving that love. As long as there is ego, there cannot be love. And when there is love, there is no sign of ego. What is ego? Ego is simply being unnatural. Half knowledge brings ego but when knowledge becomes complete, ego drops and simplicity dawns.
The question arises that if the ego is so unnatural then why does every human being have an ego? We have the ego because it is necessary in some way for our growth in life. That doesn't mean it should not have been there from the very beginning. Ego is necessary, but with knowledge you can now grow out of it. In the Narada Bhakti Sutras one sutra says: "Knowledge is one of the aids to uncover the naturalness". Through observing oneself and deep into one’s self in meditation one can overcome ego.
Often, when someone shows a lot of love you do not know how to respond, you feel obliged and bound. This is because you are not natural. There is an ego coming in between. The ability to receive genuine love comes with the ability to give love. The more you are centered and natural and know that love is not an emotion it is your very existence, the more you feel at home with any amount of love expressed in any manner. A seed has a covering or shell over it, and when you soak it in water, it sprouts and then the shell peels off. Similarly, the ego is a necessary unnaturalness that develops as you grow. When you were a child of two or three years, there was no ego; you are in a state of total, innocent, blissful love. Then the ego forms a cover. Knowledge uncovers this shell and make you a child again; natural, simple and innocent. When you are natural, simple and innocent, there is no ego. The ego is not a substance; it is a non-substance, much like darkness. Darkness is only lack of light. There is nothing called an ego that has substance. Ego is just a lack of total development, a lack of total understanding. It is just a lack of maturity or lack of knowledge.
("Maintain the innocence of the Gods and cultivate the Intelligence of the Guru")