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The story The Three Questions by Leo Tolstoy tells the tale of a king who strives to find answers to what he considers life's most important, yet hardest to answer, questions:
- What was the right time for every action?
- Who were the most necessary people?
- What was the most important thing to do?
Through searching for the answers, the king stumbles into a situation with a subject of his kingdom that he wronged in some way but then ended up helping survive a fatal wound. This subject was on his way to kill the king for his crimes and through being healed by the king, found his way back into the king's good graces. The questions for the king get answered through his experience with his subject. The right time is the present time. The necessary people are who is with you in the present. The most important thing to do is to do right by the person you are with. How does this connect to the question of purpose? In the answer to the third question from the story is the answer to the former. Purpose is determined by what is happening in the here and now. Whatever we are doing that is doing right or good by the people we are with is what shapes our purpose.
The king's quest to find the right answer , took him to the wise hermit who instead of answering the questions directly let the king experience and realise the purpose of human existence that is to do good and be good.According to the hermit God has created human beings for the sole purpose of doing good.so when we use our present effectively for human welfare then our action will yield good result irrespective of the person or time.so the king instead of pondering over what to do, when to do or whom to look to should better fulfill God's purpose and reap good result.It is rightly said "service to humanity is service to God".
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