|Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio|
Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.
I have asked many people on different occasions, “Have you thought about why you have been born and what is the purpose of life?”.
“Swamiji, I have never thought about it”. Nevertheless, everybody is living, has been living.
Such an important matter like one’s own life, where we spend about a few decades upon this earth, initially as a child, later on as an adult, then as a husband or wife, then a parent, a grandparent; it is not that as in a drama we act for a while, remove our costumes and go back. We are spending quite a few decades! And meanwhile, we become the originators of some lineages which are supposed to remain, reside on the earth for quite a long time. I would like to say as long as the earth is alive! Being so, the consequence of our life is not something to be neglected or lightly thought of. At the same time, even educated people, experienced people, mature people, those given to introspection, evaluation, analysis etc. if they say that “Swamiji, we have not thought about it.”, what should be one’s reaction? So I was always amazed to hear such a reply.
We have got a great treasure called our śāstrās. Śāstrās are called generally scriptures but many people do not know that they are scientific treatises. Whenever there is an objective science and a treatise on it, the manner in which the scientific treatise was evolved, whatever findings that they have arrived at, the spiritual scriptures also have the same basis. Our people observed life, observed the world, observed the ways of nature, ranging from utter complexity to superb harmony. After making observations, they started thinking and liaising, collating and finally arrived at beautiful conclusions which are unshakable like the mountains. The verse that I chanted is one of them. This is from Krishna’s last message to Uddhava, his trusted devotee and counselor.
Every word of this description has to be gone into, understood, reflected upon and related properly. Somehow we have got a human life. Nobody can say that “I have got it as a reward”. We don’t know what were we earlier. We only know that we are humans whenever we began to understand ourselves.
When you compare the human lives with the rest of the creatures thriving on the earth, our number will be very, very small, negligibly small. Naturally to get born as a human is also very, very rare. Somehow having had the privilege or fortune to have been born as a human,
Like all other forms of life, say elephants, jackals, lions, squirrels, deer, bear, all of them are fleeting, not lasting. We are also fleeting like all of them. In spite of it, humanhood has got something very distinctional in character, potential and possibility. What is that?
Mānuṣyam arthadam. Whatever objective you want to attain, you will be able to attain in human life provided you harness your own inner resources and employ effectively. It is true that like all the other creatures and beings, our body is also not lasting but fleeting. Though it is fleeting and we have got a short period, within this period if you try to be discreet and striving, you can reach whatever goal you set before you.
mānuṣyam-arthadam-anityam-apīha dhīraḥ |
Though it will give us whatever we look for and want to gain, understand that it is also fleeting. It cannot remain for long. Normally we are supposed to live for at least 60 to 80 years without much trouble. Suppose it so happens that we are not able to live that long, we should not miss our aim. So he says, anityam api arthadam. Though it is fleeting like all the rest, it is capable of winning for you the supreme goal of life. Then what should one do?
tūrṇaṁ yateta na patedanumṛtyu yāvat
Tūrṇaṁ yateta. As fast as possible you strive, work hard. Na pated - The alternate will be to fall, slip. So without fostering any improper ambitions or aspirations, trying to understand whatever you have read and heard in a proper manner, utilizing it very well,
Niḥśreyasāya - There are two goals in human life. One is ‘abhyudaya’, another is ‘niḥśreyasa’. Abhyudaya means sensory world and prosperity and normal welfare. Niḥśreyasa means not the external sensory objects or acquisitions, but the inner knowledge and fulfillment.
niḥśreyasāya viṣayaḥ khalu sarvataḥ syāt ||
All the objects of sensory enjoyment are available in all other creature lifeforms. If as humans we also live like animals only looking at the external objects of pleasure, it will be a great degeneration, denial, refusal, and downfall. What a beautiful analysis Krishna is making! Krishna advises all this to make Uddhava’s mind very stable in his devotion and devotional pursuit.
In all the other forms of life, there are a number of sensory enjoyments available. After having gained the human life, then also if you continue the same sensory object involvement, it will be a great disgrace, error and denial. Just think about it. This is how we should think and evaluate our life. There are people who sometimes say especially when they become a little old, “I am cared for by none. Nobody does anything for me.” and all. Rather than spending your time in such idle and complaining life, why don’t you try to make your life itself meaningful and fulfilling?
Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.