Any organism that is said to breathe and feel with its senses is said to be alive. Plants, animals, organisms, and humans are endowed with this concept of life. Hence there is said to be life on earth. But life is not permanent and anything which is alive will decay and die someday. It is said, "Every thing which takes birth has to die one day". So what is the significance of such a temporary life?
What is the purpose of living? what is to be achieved through living differs from individual to individual. Personal responses to situations and the thought processes involved in handling issues and problem-solving capabilities differ from person to person.
Life can be made beautiful or can be simply led. This rests entirely on the persons’ goals, ambitions, and achievements. The success ratio and personal response to challenging situations are deciding factors. Environmental factors, socioeconomic conditions, parental upbringing, peer group influence also contribute to one's growth and in making life beautiful and successful.
Ethics and moral values imbibed into life by the individual act as indicators. One’s judgmental capacity of good from bad, right from wrong, legal from illegal, ethical and unethical all act as guidelines to one’s life and help him in leading a good or bad life depending on the choices he makes.
The purpose of life is to live and let live. The societal living is possible when there are communal harmony and feeling of brotherhood among its members. The institutions of family and marriage contribute to the harmonious living in a society. Peaceful coexistence is the key to a successful life.
Society is divided into haves and has not’s from time immemorial and since money was brought into vogue. This great divide is the cause of many a despair in life. If people learn to cooperate and be generous and imbibe philanthropic attitude toward the needy then one can not only be happy but also make others happy.
Life, when led to the full, has to end one day. So what is the destination it has to reach when the soul leaves the body? For believers and the devout, the aim is to become one with GOD or any superpower or the Ultimate. Every human being seeks salvation after having led a full life. He searches for the sublime bliss and union with the Almighty as he fully believes that life is GOD's gift to man and is only complete with the reunion with God.
I congratulate you for asking such an excellent question.
Well, Vedanta sutra says "Athato Braham jigyasa" meaning that now (human birth) is the time to inquire about absolute truth.
Your question that what is the purpose of human life, leads to an inquiry about God. I will try to keep the answer very specific.
आहार-निद्रा-भय-मैथुनं च समानमेतत्पशुभिर्नराणाम् ।
धर्मो हि तेषामधिको विशेषो धर्मेण हीनाः पशुभिः समानाः ॥
Food, sleep, fear and mating, these acts of humans are similar to animals'. But in humans, dharma is the only special thing, without dharma, humans are also animals.
If we see, all the activities of human civilization at present ultimately revolve and settle around only these four aspects - getting a good job, becoming a famous personality, luxury lifestyle, etc. These activities are nothing more than what ultimately animals intend to do - to eat happily, to sleep comfortably, to have a secure life and to enjoy with opposite sex. However. without Dharma, our life is same as an animal. So, now what is Dharma?
People describe dharma as whatever is suitable for them to follow and whatever gives them happiness. In other words, people explain dharma in a way that they like. It is just like when a fanatic does some insane activity, he considers it as his dharma.
Dharma is something which is eternal. Anything which is in relation to this body is temporary and hence, is not the real dharma. For example, a person of a particular country may consider his dharma to protect his country. But as soon as he changes his nationality or he dies, his previous dharma is gone.
So, such temporary duties which are connected to our body are not our real dharma. Of course, at a lower level, one is encouraged to follow such things as dharma because they help to elevate a person for higher dharma. Also, something is better than nothing. But such dharma is just temporary.
Krishna says in Bhagwat Gita 18.66 - "Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear."
Krsna is asking Arjuna to give up all the so-called things in the name of dharma, and just surrender to him. Surrender to Krishna is the real dharma.
A soul is part and parcel of Krishna and he can be happy only by serving Krishna. So whatever body a soul may take, it always remains part and parcel of Krishna. It is his eternal religion (Sanatan Dharma) to serve Krishna.
Srimad Bhagwatam (1.2.6) further defines dharma as :
"The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self."
The aim of life is to establish our lost relation with Krishna. Out of 84,00,000 species of life, only human life is favorable to fulfill it. So, one should not waste his life in enjoying this body or pursuing his dreams, desires etc. Of course, one needs to carry out the basic necessities of life to maintain our body, but one should not forget to establish our relationship with Krishna. Once this body is gone and we receive another set of body, we will have to wait long to get the human body again.
This human birth is very rare and it is meant only to surrender to Krishna, to establish our lost relationship with him and to develop the love for Him.