(NaturalNews) No one wants to die: everyone wants to live as long as he/she can drag on.
This tendency can be seen not only individually but also collectively in the community, society, and nation as well.
There is a hard struggle for life by all kinds of living entities and various scriptures in the world say that this is quite natural.
The living being is eternal by nature. Due to his bondage in material existence he has to change his body over and over again. This process is called transmigration of the soul or karma-bandana - bondage by one's work.
The living entity has to work for his livelihood because that is the law of material nature. If he does not act according to his prescribed duties, he transgresses the law of nature and binds himself more and more to the cycle of birth and death in the many species of life.
Other life forms are also subject to the cycle of birth and death, but when the living entity attains a human life, he has the opportunity to get free from the chains of karma.
Karma, akarma and vikarma are very clearly described in the Vedic literature. Actions that are performed in terms of one's prescribed duties are called karma. Actions that free one from the cycle of birth and death are called akarma. And actions that are performed through the misuse of one's freedom and that direct one to the lower life forms are called vikarma. Of these three types of action, that which frees us from the bondage to karma is preferred by the intelligent.
Ordinary men wish to perform good work in order to be recognized and achieve some higher status in life in this world or in their conception of heaven, but more advanced individuals want to be free altogether from the actions and reactions of work. Intelligent individuals well know that both good and bad work equally bind one to material miseries. As such, they seek that work which will free them from the reactions of both good and bad work.
When one realizes the authority of the Supreme Lord, which is the essence of all revealed scripture, it is to be understood that he has attained the stage of positive knowledge. In this purified stage the modes of nature - goodness, passion and ignorance - cannot act, and the individual is able to work on the basis of akarma. This work does not bind one to the cycle of birth and death.
Factually, no one has to do anything more than render loving service to God. In the lower stages of life, however, one cannot immediately adopt the activities of loving service, nor can one completely stop fruitive work. A conditioned soul is accustomed to working for sense gratification for his own selfish interest, immediate or extended.
An ordinary man works for his own sense enjoyment. When this principle of sense enjoyment is extended to include his society, nation or humanity in general, it assumes various attractive names such as altruism, socialism, communism, nationalism and humanitarianism. While these "isms" are very attractive forms of karmic bondage, to alleviate them, one should make those actions God-centered.
There is no harm in becoming a family man, or an altruist, a socialist, a communist, a nationalist, or a humanitarian, provided one executes those activities in relation to the God-centered conception.
It says in the Vedic literature that God-centered activities are so valuable that just a few of them can save a person from the greatest danger - that being thrust again into the evolutionary cycle of birth and death among the 8,400,000 species of life.
If somehow or other an individual misses the spiritual opportunity afforded him by the human form of life and again falls into the evolutionary cycle, he will be considered most unfortunate. Unfortunately, due to defective and imperfect senses, one cannot see that this is happening.
The wise, saintly persons advise that being so engaged, we can wish to live for as long as possible. Otherwise, long life has no meaning. A tree lives for hundreds and hundreds of years, but what's the point of living a long time like a tree, or simply breathing like bellows, or banging out kids like rabbits and dogs, or simply eating like pigs? A humble, God-centered life is more valuable than the hoax of a life dedicated to temporary sense gratification.
When altruistic activities are executed in the consciousness of God-centeredness, understanding your essence, what your true purpose in life in the human form is, and knowing we are all brothers and sisters with the same Father, they become a form of karma-yoga - offering the fruit of one's activities to God.
And even though these God-centered activities may be half-finished, they still benefit the individual because they will guarantee him a human form in his next life so he may continue on his journey up the spiritual ladder.
Human life is distinguished from animal life due to its heavy responsibilities. Those who are aware of those responsibilities and who work in that spirit are called godly persons. Those who have neglectful or who have no information of those responsibilities are the direct opposite.
Intelligent human beings must always remember that the soul obtains a human form after an evolution of many millions of years in the cycle of transmigration.
The saintly persons compare the material world to an ocean and the human body is compared to a boat designed to cross that ocean. The saintly teachers, or bonafide spiritual masters, are compared to the expert navigators, or boatmen, that enable one to cross the ocean.
The lower species of life have the same intrinsic desires that the human form does. They all want to eat, they all want to sleep, they all want to procreate, and they all want to defend their turf. Their economic necessities are as important to them as ours is to us. The difference is that the lower forms are governed by the laws of nature and bear no karmic reactions, where the human form is always given a choice and his actions always produce a reaction.
There is a good example of this: the other day I driving my vehicle on a busy highway when I noticed a dog crossing the highway. He did not look both ways. He did not stop when a car approached. He just went for it. Fortunately, he made it across alive because all the drivers had the choice to stop, swerve, or kill it.
So, why is a human given a better life that that of the lower species? Or, why is a high government official given better facilities that that of an aid? The answer is that the highly placed officer has to discharge duties of higher nature. Similarly, the duties that the human beings have to perform are higher than those of animals, who are always engaged in feeding their hungry stomachs.
Yet, our modern soul-killing civilization has only increased the problems of the hungry stomach. When you talk to a polished animal in the human form and ask why he takes no interest in self-realization, he will say that he simply wants to work to satisfy his stomach and those that he is connected to and that there is no need of self-realization for a hungry man.
Yet, the laws of nature are so cruel, that despite his denunciation of the need for self-realization and his endless desire to work hard to fill the stomachs of him and his, he is always threatened by unemployment.
We are given this human form of life not to work hard like beasts of burden, but to attain the highest perfection in life. And yes, some feel that that perfection is a big house, a fancy car, expensive toys and an endless array of sense gratification. Yet, it is all summed up so perfectly by Mick Jagger when he shouts, " I cant get no satisfaction!"
What happens if you embark upon the road of God-centered self-realization but you don't make it in your lifetime? Those sincere efforts do not go unnoticed and the opportunity is afforded one in their next lifetime to either take birth in a family on the path of self-realization, or in a respectable or financially sound family to make it easier to continue on that path. In other words, you will have the opportunity to pick up where you left off.
But what about those that make no attempt whatsoever, who want to be covered by illusion, or are too materialistic and too attached to sense gratification and material enjoyment, or simply make a show of religiosity to achieve name and fame? A lower form awaits you next time around and the evolving, transmigrating process begins again.
The bottom line is that as human beings we are not meant to solve the economic problems of a house built by the ocean during low tide, but for solving the problems of the material life we have been placed in by the laws of nature.
That begins with some basic realizations. First and foremost the Supreme Person resides next to us, the spirit soul, in our heart. This makes our bodies a sacred temple. If we utilize and understand that blessing and sincerely ask Him to allow us to know about Him, He will put us in contact with His living representative.
A simple analogy is this: we see an attractive male or female and we want to get to meet and know them. Is it easier to just walk up to them and say you want to be with them, or is it easier if a common friend can introduce you to them?
It is no different to develop a relationship with God. It just takes sincerity. It might take a while but it will happen.
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