What would you say should be the purpose of a spiritual practice? To be happier? To know God? To know yourself? To achieve enlightenment? To understand the purpose of life (or your purpose in life)? Or…?

Namaste, what wonderful questions ~ thank you for asking
Free individuals are allowed to devise their own ‘shoulds’ and ‘purposes’ of course, as per their own understanding, so this is a good reason to fulfill one’s duty to participate in keeping one’s nation free. Perhaps, then, we should 🙂 tackle this question, instead, from the POV of the ‘benefits’ of spiritual practice.

This body is getting older, and memory seems well… to be needing corralling sometimes. But I’m trying to remember any truly so-called ‘happy’ people who actually embark on the spiritual journey. The possessor of joy doesn’t go out looking for it. I’m using the word ‘joy’ here to mean that experience which doesn’t have an opposite, like happiness and sorrow. A sudden traumatic jolt or gradually getting thoroughly fed up with those seemingly unexplained swings of fortune and mood is what usually brings focus and determination to the search.

Your idea that spiritual practice has a goal is correct. It is to achieve purity. The Bible teaches, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Then all that other stuff you mentioned goes clink, clink clink into place. That is to say, all the questions cease.

OM and Prem
Sw. Vandana