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You are a Human Being, not an Animal

Do not waste your life running after worldly enjoyments. Realize the truth that you did not get this human birth for the sake of enjoying food or sleep or wasting your time on meaningless activities or entertainment. When you look around you can see any number of animals, birds and worms which live only for the sake of food. Why have a human life if you use it only to enjoy the pleasures that animals, birds and worms enjoy? What is the use of acquiring a higher education, and then spending your time reveling in lowly pleasures that even without benefit of higher education, the animals, birds and worms also indulge in? What is the special ideal which has been held out for humanity? What is the inner significance of the statement that it is extremely difficult to obtain a human life?

Human life has not been given so that you can act like an animal. Human life has not been given so that you can act like a demon either. Man has taken human birth in order to realize his divine essence. Human life has been given to you so that you can reach the highest plane of God-consciousness. The same thing was taught by Jesus when he said, "Man does not live by bread alone."

You have to attain an achievement which is of extraordinary significance. You have been given life so that you may realize the divinity which is inherent within you. Your primary duty as a human being is to give up the things which are impermanent and attain those things which are permanent. But today you are not aspiring for such extraordinary qualities. Instead, you are living a wasted life, filled with attachments. This was also Krishna's admonishment to Arjuna. He said, "Arjuna! This body consciousness and attachment to the body is binding you. You are wasting your life. Give up your attachment to the body now!"

You have to inquire why you develop attachment to the body. Consider this small example. Everyone knows that it is not right to utter a lie. Many people, at some time, take an oath resolving that they will not lie from that moment onwards. But, the very next time they get into a conversation, they tell a lie. Or take a businessman who knows that he should not deceive. He makes a resolution that he will limit himself to earning only a fair and modest profit. But the very next day, he resorts to unfair means. Or a person decides he should not gossip or hurt others with his talk, yet within minutes he has totally forgotten his vow and begins to criticize someone.

Man seems not to have a steady mind at all, and without a firm and steady mind he is unable to control his actions. On a holy day he may feel that he should be thinking of nothing but the Lord and abstaining from taking any food. But after some time he excuses himself and says, "Let me at least have a few biscuits with tea." When man is constantly deviating in this way from his own firm resolutions, there must be some very powerful entity which is working inside him, constantly defeating him. If there weren't such a powerful instinct or urge working within him, he surely would not have changed his resolve and he would have been able to use his will to hold to his announced discipline.