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Why waste this precious human birth by engaging in base animal activities?

Sunday, February 22nd, 2004

Kolkata, India

Human Life

Animal consciousness

The Marquis of Zetland was astonished at the requirements for becoming a brahmana: no meat-eating, no intoxication, no illicit sex, and no gambling. Why are we asked to follow these four regulative principles? Because we are not supposed to have fun? Because spiritual life is supposed to be boring?

How will following these regulative principles make us brahmanas? A brahmana is somebody who is aspiring to get out of this material world; somebody who is trying to rediscover their spiritual nature; somebody who is trying to go back home, back to Godhead. We cannot become brahminical if our consciousness is constantly absorbed in base animal activities.

We are transmigrating through so many different species of life. It is extremely rare to be born into a human family. Why should we waste this precious human birth engaging in the animal activities of eating, sleeping, enjoying sex, and living in fear? We can do that in any one of the thousands of other species of life!

Now that we have a human body, we should utilize it for self-realization, not for indulging our predilection for sense gratification. If we minimize our base animal proclivities, if we become circumspect in our behavior, we shall begin to see beyond the superficial cover of our physical and subtle bodies.

The human form of life is meant for introspection: Who am I? Why am I suffering? What is the real purpose of existence? We must "dive deep into reality," beyond the plane of the body, the mind, and the intellect to get a glimpse of the intrinsic nature of the spirit that animates all matter.

Only as human beings do we have the intelligence to discover the answers to these questions. Why waste this unique opportunity to inquire into the nature of reality, to elevate our consciousness, to liberate ourselves from the endless cycle of birth, death, old age, and disease?

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