A rare opportunity

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In this Universe, there are 84,00,000 species down from the ants, worms, trees, birds, beasts, humans to the devas, kinnaras, siddhas, brahma and so on, with their life spans ranging from anything between a few hours and millions of years like those in the higher planets. Yet, regardless which species one takes birth in, the four propensities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending, can be seen in all. Then what difference makes the human form of life any better than the animals? If the aim and object of life remains to be sense enjoyment with the only difference of attempting to improve the quality of sense gratification, then also the human form of life would not be considered as any special, as the demigods and even the residents of the lower planets have more facilities for sense enjoyment. What then makes the human form of life so glorious? And if there is no difference between the goal of life of the animals and that of the humans, then how are the humans any different than the species in the animal kingdom? Indeed there would be no difference.

Yet the great personalities have always praised the human form of life for the reason that this is the sole opportunity that a conditioned living entity gets, to be freed from the clutches of this material world. Being endowed with a higher mental faculty then the animals, the humans have the rare opportunity to question the purpose of life and the reason behind the sufferings of every single living entity, for it is an open secret, that even though everyone attempts to portray their life being perfect and happy, no one except the pure devotees of the Lord, are at any time peaceful and happy. Even the higher forms of life do not afford one this opportunity, as those forms are meant for enjoyment of pious deeds, at the end of which, the soul returns back to the human form of life to carry on with one’s Karma and accumulate further piety or sins. Therefore, it is only and only this human form of life which is like a glorious opportunity to cross over the ocean of nescience, in which one is drowning at all other times. This form of life is the rare chance one gets to reach the shore of this unfathomably huge and deep ocean. Therefore, in Jaiva Dharma, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur, the seventh goswami and the best amongst the followers of Sri Chaitanya dev, explains how one must, in this blessed form of human existence, take to the eternal dharma or occupation of the soul, which is to render loving service at the lotus feet of the Lord, and thus become situated in one’s constitutional position as an associate of the Lord and experience eternal bliss, full of knowledge. Even though this dharma pertains to all the living entities, yet only the advanced intelligence of the human form of life can give them an opportunity to understand this eternal dharma and thus take to the path of Bhakti. Then what can possibly be said for those humans, who although have the body of humans, engage only in sense gratification, running behind the four principles of life, namely eating, sleeping, mating and defending. The shastras have proclaimed that they are no better than refined animals and are simply wasting their precious human form of life, which one gets only after going through the numerous other species for millions of years.

Therefore, an intelligent person is one who takes seriously to the process of Krishna consciousness, not wasting a singly moment of this rare opportunity, and tries to overcome the bondage of material life which is full of miseries. By thus being fully situated in one’s constitutional position as the servant of the Lord, one is sure to always feel immense pleasure and is guaranteed to go back home, back to Godhead upon quitting the material body.