Discourse

Thought of the Day

Human or animal, what is the difference?

 

आहार-निद्रा-भय-मैथुनंचसमानमेतत्पशुभिर्नराणाम्।

धर्मोहितेषामधिकोविशेषोधर्मेणहीनाःपशुभिःसमानाः॥

 

Food, sleep, fear and mating, these acts of humans are similar to animals. Dharma (right conduct) is the only special thing, without dharma humans are also animals

 

Biology teaches us, darwin postulated, all living beings are of common stock, made from similar life units - cells, evolved, changed, mutated through time. Other words, at a gross material level, we are all similar. basic functions of all life forms is breathing and digestion. Krishna says in Geeta - 'Aham vaishvaanaro bhutvaa, praninamm deham aashritam| praanapaana samayuktah  pachaamyannam chaturvidham' i.e. armed with breath and digestion, residing in the life forms, i digest four types of foods.'

 

Incarnation theory says that since life principle is same in all living forms, a soul can travel in various physical forms. Human body is the epitome of life perfection. Even though we can NOT run faster, smell better, bite harder, swim deeper, hear better than animals. we progressed in survival.

 

So how did we manage to beat the odds against us, beat every life form and even nature?

 

We have the brain that can help us make powerful. Even without fur- we can survive the winter, without sonar- we can see in night, without claws- we can kill wild beasts, without wings- we can fly far distances... with great power comes great responsibility. This same brain allows us to think of future consequences of present or past actions. The development of complex language has allowed us to transmit knowledge across generations and time but all these are tools, of progress, communication etc.

 

The biggest difference between us and animals is the ability to think forward and think for the good for others! and also bad for others. We, if we want, can choose between the right and wrong actions based on our own free will.

 

Animals don't have that. They usually work on their 'animal instincts' - eat/hunt when hungry, kill only what is needed and when it is needed.

 

We on the other hand, may endure heavy pains for the great good – Ghandhiji, Martin Luther... why do we do that? for the dharma, for what is right. or give heavy pains for the greater evil.

 

THAT, makes us special, more than the animals, working at more than the material or body level. Leave - selfish, survival, short sighted thinking and actions. So, be human - think beyond the consumption, ignorance, fear and entertainment. 

 

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