Vedic literatures confirm that there are 8,400,000 varieties of life. Each form is unique in itself. And the living entity transmigrates into different forms based on the stringent laws of material nature as a reaction to one’s actions. But to revolve in the cycle of transmigration in a series of these vast varieties of lives is an imprisoned life for the condemned conditioned souls. The human form of life is a chance to get out of this imprisoned life, and as such the only occupation of the human being is to reestablish his lost relationship with God. Human life is meant for cultivation of spiritual knowledge, in eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the lower animal species, the living entity completely forgets his relationship with the Lord, and consequently he is constantly busy eating, sleeping, fearing and attempting to gratify his senses. Such a life of forgetfulness is the aim of modern civilization, which seeks to attain such an animalistic life by improved economics. Real civilization, however, means stopping such animalistic life.
Whatever form of material existence one is in, one is invariably ignorant of his real situation. In other words, existence in the material world is due to the multiple reactions to our sinful lives. Ignorance is the cause of sinful life, which consequently is the cause of one's dragging on in material existence. The human form of life is the only loophole by which one may get out of this entanglement. One who fails to use the human form of life for self realization risks gliding down into lower species of life and thus temporarily loses the chance to make spiritual advancement. Srila Prabhupada says that every intelligent man should at least experiment with Krishna consciousness and gamble atleast this one life by surrendering & devoting himself to Krishna. An intelligent man should think and understand that he has been enjoying this eating, sleeping, mating and defending for so many lives. These things are available for one to enjoy even in bird and animal bodies. Now in this human form of life, which one gets after many a life of pious activities, he must learn to regulate the four principles of animalistic life—eating, sleeping, defending and mating—and devote time to develop Krishna consciousness. In this way one’s life will be successful.
In the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (3.8.10) the perplexed man is described as follows:
“yo va etad aksaram gargy aviditvasmal lokat praiti sa krpanah”
He is a miserly man who does not solve the problems of life as a human and who thus quits this world like the cats and dogs, without understanding the science of self-realization.
Vedic wisdom underlines the fact that this human form of life is a most valuable asset for the living entity who can utilize it for solving the problems of life; therefore, one who does not utilize this opportunity properly is a miser.
In summary, a fully responsible man should always be conscious of the prime duty of the present human form of life. The activities to meet the immediate necessities of material life are not everything. One should always be alert in his duty for attainment of the best situation in the next life. Human life is meant for preparing ourselves for that prime duty.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada
Dr Jagadeesh TG