The ultimate purpose of human birth is to attain victory over birth, death, old age and disease. Interestingly, by stopping birth, the next three are conquered automatically.
As previously concluded, man is said to be a rational animal but if man fails to utilize the uniqueness of this birth named rationality then he is merely a two legged animal, dvipadapasu, and falls down to the lower species of life. If we analyse the number of ants in a city, they alone outnumber the entire human population what to speak of other species among 8.4 million. Thus the proof of human birth’s rarity. The Bhagavad Gita further states:
kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ
kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
“Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavour for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.” (BG 7.3)
Therefore, it is necessary to understand the term rationality that saves man from demoting to animal life.
Some may think rationality being intelligence or reasoning. However, monkeys are expert in snatching away food items from humans like an expert thief without human detection. Sometimes they steal away items such as spectacles in bargain for some food. Cats too time their stunt to steal the milk from the kitchens very smartly escaping human detection. Similarly, when dogs are shooed away by shouting ‘hutt’ they do not return back understanding the intention. Hence animals have a very sound reasoning and intelligence. What then the distinguishing rationality is?
The distinguishing rationality is: athato brahma jigyasa – Inquisitiveness about the Absolute Truth.
Human’s extra intelligence is meant to inquire about the identity of the self and make further inquiries about God’s existence, solutions to unwanted sufferings, of regaining one’s constitutional nature. Yet, if man is still stuck with making adjustments with material comforts or bodily designations such as American, Indian, black, white, brown, fat, thin, etc. the Bhagvatam declares such persons as an ass for an ass cannot think beyond bodily conception.
A gold found in America doesn’t make it an American Gold for gold found anywhere is gold in its basic chemical constitution. Similarly, there is no American, Indian, white or black soul. Unfortunately, the material education is degrading the human civilization below animalism by offering it bodily education only.
The material education teaches us how to earn a living and spiritual education teaches how to live. If spiritual education is neglected then the life being lived is as good as decoration of a dead body.
The material education is merely teaching how to eat, how to sleep, how to mate and how to defend which animals have learned without any formal education and degrees. Opinions may conflict here and a question may arise that material education is giving modern technology and unlimited facilities, how can that be neglected? But an intelligent person with a broader vision can clearly see that science means development aimed to provide better facilities and facilities can be translated as better comforts which further translates to better eating, sleeping, mating and defending, hence better animal life. All seemingly higher education ultimately ends up to these four. This means the so-called modern education or civilized society is nothing other than sophisticated animal society for it deals with the same animalistic propensities, however sophisticatedly, between four walls or on four wheels or in skycrapers, etc. If man performs same animalistic activities behind the garb of modern technology, then it’s not technological advancement but a dog race for a dog is running for the 4 requirements on 4 legs and the humans on 4 wheels.
In this way we must understand how ‘only’ modern education will drag one to animal life and hence spiritual education should compulsorily be cultivated alongside. The animal body encases the same soul within that a human body does, simply with the lack of rationality. This vision is actual equality.
Therefore, being human is, in making daily sacrifices to scrutinizingly understand scriptures such as The Bhagavad Gita or The Bible or The Koran, etc. by approaching a bonafide spiritual master, who having the realized vision of the Absolute Truth from his spiritual master, can implant its seed within the heart of the sincere and inquisitive souls. In this way the living entity can understand their constitutional position and work towards tasting the real freedom at every step of life irrespective of one’s occupational duties.
The next articles discusses happiness.