Only in the Human Form
Human life is a precious gift. Saints say that every breath is invaluable and should, therefore, be employed for the sole purpose of God- realization. This world is a shadow show – fleeting and evanescent. It is like an inn where travellers stay for the night and go their different ways at daybreak. The phenomenal world is encompassed completely by the chain of cause and effect, action and reaction; the soul thus remaining forever bound to the prison house of the body. Its liberation can be effected only by the merciful intervention of a perfect adept who is himself a God-realized soul.
Life has two ends: man is at one end and God is at the other, and the distance between the two is infinitesimally small. Therefore saints advise us to travel within while we are still alive. The human body is ephemeral. Uncertainty is the hallmark of human life; good health or illness come seemingly without meaning, but always in accordance with one’s karmas.
We look upon our body as our real self. The mind to an average man is a vague entity. And as for spirit – few people have faith in it. But the saints tell us that the human body consists of three concentric layers – the physical, the astral and the causal. The mind and the soul inhabit it. Within the body are to be found entire creations – all the mental and material worlds, all the spiritual worlds and all the gods and goddesses. Within it also is the Supreme Lord.
No one can become aware of the existence and true nature of those worlds within the body unless a perfect Master teaches the process of going within. One can then rise upwards through region after region, kingdom after kingdom, till one reaches the highest spiritual region and sees the Lord – rather, becomes one with the Lord.
Saints say that the body is made of five elements: earth, water, fire, air and ether. These elements are at constant war with each other, but are held in harmony by the power of Nam or the Word. Withdrawal of the Word, or Holy Spirit, means death and brings about disintegration; the elements then go back to their source. That is their inherent nature.
At birth we are allotted a certain span of life, and we can use it for any purpose that we please. We may dissipate our vital energy in the five passions or use it for achieving excellence in sports. We may employ it in studying the mysteries of the material world, and add to our knowledge of such sciences as physics, chemistry or botany. We may harness it to become skilled artists, sculptors or writers. But best of all, we can use it, through the grace of a perfect Master, to practise spiritual meditation and meet the Lord. Saints say that luckiest is he who gives priority to matters divine and learns to ‘die while living’ in order to attain union with God.
Man is the top of all creation, the perfect handiwork of nature in all respects. He contains within himself the key to unlock the mystery of the universe and to contact the Creator. It is the greatest and highest good fortune to be born a human being, but our responsibilities are correspondingly great. Having come to the top of the evolutionary ladder, we should now step on the ladder of Nam and tread the spiritual path that will ultimately lead to our divine home. As Maharaj Jagat Singh has said (quoted in The Science of the Soul): “It is only in the human form that the soul can realize God and trace its footsteps homewards.”