Swami chidananda, international president of the divine life society, turns 91 this month. a devotee pays tribute to him
The Goal of Human LifeThree things are very difficult to obtain in this mortal world. Birth as a human being, desire for liberation, an association with the wise ones; and they are obtained only through the blessings and grace of God. Of the three, human birth is a very precious gift that has been put first and foremost. It is that state of existence where alone the jiva (individual soul) becomes endowed with intellect, and the extremely rare faculty of discrimination, nitya-anitya-vastu-viveka. Therefore, human birth is put down as a very rare gift of God. Having got a human birth, if you do not have the yearning to attain that state which will bestow upon you eternal bliss and immortality, it means that you donít utilise this human birth to any purpose at all. Then your existence becomes patterned as of the animals. Eating, drinking, sleeping, and enjoyment of sensual pleasure are common to both man and animals, but that which distinguishes man is his idealism, his earnest desire for attaining something higher than mere material existence. We know that there is a higher thing to be attained, and we have also a keen desire to become free from the imperfections of this physical life. Then comes association with the wise. Even after getting the first two, human birth and desire for liberation, our life becomes clouded in an illusion, and in unfruitful endeavour. If we surrender ourself unto the wise preceptor, he will show us the path. He would give us inspiration, enthusiasm and courage.
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