Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So what if we are born Human ???

Let me start with this question,

How many times in your entire life have you thanked God, or whatever you want to call, for this human birth that you are leading?

In our previous post, we quoted Shankaracharya where He says one of the most difficult thing to happen is human birth. Having a human body is the greatest thing that can happen to the soul that our body is housing.

So, what is so great about this human birth anyway?

It is said that the soul takes up this human birth after going through some thousands of bodies. The concept of dasavatharam, ten incarnations of Vishnu is exactly this. Starting from matsyavatara, incarnation of fish, to koormavatara, incarnation of tortoise, to varahavatara, incarnation of the boar, to narsimhavatara, incarnation of half human, half lion, to vaamanavatara, pigmy and all the way to Krishna, the pure Consciousness in human form. Swami Nithyananda says, 'whether we believe it or not, whether we understand it or not, whether we accept it or not, this is the truth. We have gone through various cycles of birth and death through different bodies before this human birth. '

Now till we reach human birth, there is a continuous natural process of evolution that goes on. Animals act by instinct. They hunt when they are hungry, they mate when they have the urge and they sleep when they are sleepy. They do not have a choice.

When we reach human birth, the process of evolution is no more natural. Yes, you read it correct. Several enlightened masters have talked about it. Swami Nithyananda says, 'the natural process of evolution stops with human birth. Now it is in your hands.'

As a human, we are given complete freedom and will as to how we want to evolve. Here evolution is towards realization of the Ultimate. The whole journey of the soul is to merge with the Ultimate. As a human, we are entitled for the greatest gifts of all - freedom, will and the most important one - conscious choice.

Swami Nithyananda says, 'we have all the freedom but we do not have the will.' This is the truth. We have all the freedom in the world but we take it for granted. We take this human birth of granted. We do not even stop for a moment and look back and thank for this birth. All we do is keep complaining. Even if we thank God or whatever, it is with either in fear or in greed; fear of losing what we have or greed of wanting more and more.

The greatest gifts that we have have become the greatest obstacles towards our very own evolution. This is because we do not want to exercise our conscious choice. This is because we want to remain in the same state for ever and ever. Deep down, we do not want to evolve because we feel safe with this identity. It is like a scared ostrich burying its head into the ground and feeling safe from predators. This is what we do.

Now the bouncer; in this human birth, if and only if we make a conscious choice towards the Ultimate, will we ever be able to move towards it. Otherwise, we rot in this cycle of birth and death. And even worse, we might go a few steps back in the chain of evolution to take up an animal's body.

An enlightened master holds the master key to the Ultimate Consciousness. Only as a human, we have the greatest opportunity and freedom to consciously choose to get the key and open the door. And to top it all, the company of a living enlightened master makes the path even more easy because He keeps on reminding us, 'don't waste this human birth...' He works on us personally because He is pure compassion and wants us to experience exactly the same state in which He is living.

This human birth is an opportunity. Now its upto us to either remain deluded and stuck in the web of life and death or exercise our right to enlightenment.


Ma Nithya AtmaShree said...

wow! super article. on reading ur lines, i get reminded of a quote from the 'Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna'. He says, 'God expresses the most in a human form'
So, this very well goes to prove that there is a minefield of potential lying beneath each human being, untapped and uncared for! Only when we are reminded again and again of this, we tend to look in.

Phalgun said...

ok this raises many questions, although i accept the post on belief...
1. the concept of karma decides how a human is reborn. what abt animals? how is it decided that the animal will take the next or the previous form? how is even the sequence decided? :)
2. ok, i went thru the many animal forms, and now i am born a human. why wud i want to evolve into the next step - merging into the consciousness? specifically, (a)why do i want to evolve? (b) evolving at human level means so many things on a day to day basis.. s/he has evolved into a sophisticated person etc. i can understand the meaning of 'evolve' over there. i can understand the meaning of 'evolve' from a monkey to man. how is merging into the consciousness 'evoloving'?

Ma Nithyananda Arpana said...

Hey Phalgun! Both your questions are one way or the other related to the correct understanding of the concept of karma.. You MUST watch this video ( of Swamiji where He explains the three types of karma that we have - sanchita, prarabdha and aagamya very clearly. It's brilliant! If we understand that our internal stuff makes up the external body, then it throws light to many things.

Our karma (unfulfilled desires) make us take various forms again and again in order to fulfill them. Eventually, everyone is moving towards fulfillment. This fulfillment is what is 'evolution' from bacteria to Buddha that people have spoken about. The state of Buddha is the state of complete fulfillment.

Think about it, what pushes you to do many things in your life is because you want that desire to be 'fulfilled'.

In animals, the process is natural, governed by instinct. Humans have 2 extra layers - intelligence and intuition. Some evolved animals may have a bit of intelligence, but certainly intuition is man's gift, nobody else can tap the ocean of cosmic energy.

Now, after having born as a human, because of the choice that man has, he can do things that can take him back in the evolution map. If we have thought of food all our lives, we will take up say a pig's form in the next life so that we fulfill that desire.

Even after taking this human form, if we die still feeling unfulfilled (by building more desires instead of burning them), then obviously we will take up another form and the cycle is vicious. The ultimate fulfillment (what Buddha calls 'Purna') is reached only upon enlightenment. And this can only happen through a conscious process.

:) This became a post in itself! Thanks for raising these valid points.

anupsar said...

Even when I saw the video on sanchita etc I was wondering : what is the reason for nature to leave man to his wish, knowingly !! There is something , what is the catch ??

bindu said...

What is enlightenment? I am totally confused.

(1) Is it being in a state of continous bliss ?
(2) Is it gaining 360 degree vision like Swamiji ?
(2) Is it gaining control over krodha, kama, moha and lobha ?
(3) Is it becoming one with God ?

After seeing what is going on this world, I often wonder whether God does really exist.

(4) Can you please say who are the people who become enlightened ?

Our Paramahamsa has often stated He want others also to become enlightened like him.

I had read in his biography that people who are enlightened are born at their wish

Recenly, he had announced that 25 of his disciples had attained enlightened. How could that happend when they could not have been enligthened souls in their previous births ?

I often find our folks mentioning Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.As far as I know, he was a married person. How could he be enlightened when there was one bond attached to him which was his wife? As far as I have know, only people who sacrifice all bonds attain enligtenment eg. Buddha himself had to do that with his family.

I think enlightenment is only meant for sanyasis and married people bound by bonds cannot attain it and sure it is not their cup of tea.

I am not asking this with an intent to hurt anybody but this is a doubt which has been long clinging in my mind.

Sri Nithya Arpanananda said...

Hi Bindu

An interesting question - what is enlightenment? I really cannot answer the experiential part of it as I am not enlightened but from theory of what I know, it means 'yes' to your questions (1) and (3). It certainly does not mean getting just a 360 degree vision. It was just 'one' experience of Swami Nithyananda. More than just vision, it means 'living life' 360 degrees. All the emotions that you pointed out like krodha, kama, lobha etc. an enlightened being is above all that.

Swami Nithyananda explains this beautifully - let us take a white sheet. If we draw circles, each circle is like our body; this circle encloses a white space called aatman. The white space outside which is all pervading is brahman. Now the circle or the body separates the aatman from brahman. When an unenlightened being dies, the circle is gone but the aatman cannot merge with the brahman because it gets a tinge (imagine filling the circle with a tinge of say blue). This tinge is the vaasana - the unfulfilled desires of your past birth which need to be fulfilled in the next birth. So the soul takes on another body to fulfill that vaasana or in other words remove the tinge completely so that it can merge with pure white brahman. This merging is enlightenment like you put it yourself in (3). By the way, you do not have to die to get liberated, you can be enlightened while you are still in the body (jeevan mukta) :)

One need not be an enlightened soul in the previous birth to get enlightened in this birth. According to your statement, it means that the unenlightened souls will remain unenlightened for ever. If that is the case, how did enlightened masters come? Flaw isn't it?

When Swami says enlightened masters take body on their will, He means something different. An enlightened being is free from the cycle of life and death. It is completely the will of Parashakti, He says, that makes an enlightened soul take up another body. This is a whole concept which He explains using terms like low pressure and high pressure (may be next post :)

As for your doubt Ramakrishna being married and yet enlightened, I suggest you read the book - The Great Master; all your doubts about Ramakrishna and Sarada Devi will be completely wiped out :) And enlightenment has nothing to do with a person being married or not.

I hope my theoretical knowledge has helped solve your doubts.. :)

Sri Arpanananda said...

Nithyanandam Ma & Sri Arpanas!

Long but nice comments... Hope you haven't confused the questioners... ;)

In N!
Sri Nithya Paramjyoti! said...

Click and N!joy this discourse titled "Expansion of Self" delivered by Swami Rama Tirtha, on December 16, 1902, in the Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, U.S.A.

anupsar said...

For Bindu, an article by Swamiji which is relevant .
Points to be noted : The feeling of separateness for the waves from ocean -- just check if we feel it honestly and thats all....
Thanks to Nithyananda, the Amazing.