मनुर्भव — Be a Man
|| मनुर्भव जनया दैव्यं जनम् ||
manurbhava janayā daivyaṃ janam
‘Become man and create a Divine race’.
The ultimate goal of human life is to grow from the state of man-animal to man-human, and to become man-divine. For this the man must realize that there are many things in his nature which are that of animals and need to be transformed in order to become man-human. It is only then that he can grow into the state of man-divine and create a Divine race. For creating the Divine race the first condition for the man then is to realize his man-ness and grow to become a man-human, a hero warrior free from all weaknesses and shortcomings. What then, for the man, is the first step to move forward to achieve this goal? The shastra says: ‘to grow more and more conscious of oneself and reflect on the movements of one’s own nature’. There is a beautiful verse in the Subhāṣita-ratnabhāṇḍāgāra (a text that has a compilation of thousands of Subhāṣita-s or wise sayings in Sanskrit) which says that every day each human being should carefully reflect on himself and see whether he was a good human being today or did he stoop down and behave like an animal.
प्रत्यहं प्रत्यवेक्षेत नरश्चरितमात्मनः।
किं नु मे पशुभिस्तुल्यं किं नु सत्पुरुषैरिति॥
pratyahaṃ pratyavekṣeta naraścaritamātmanaḥ.
kiṃ nu me paśubhistulyaṃ kiṃ nu satpuruṣairiti..
Self-reflection is very much necessary for us not only to recognise the stupidity that we commit but to bring a change and see that we do not repeat the same next time. There are those who do not bother reflecting. There are others who do reflect and know that they have this animal tendency in them but hardly care to bring any change in that. There are still others who reflect, recognize and know the consequences of it and still keep repeating the same when there is an opportunity for the same mistake to occur. But, there are very rare ones, who sincerely aspire to bring a change in them in order to grow inwardly. It is those rare ones who have the power to create the Divine population intended by the Rishis of the Veda.
But to succeed in this effort of rectifying oneself and rising higher and higher day by day one has to have the dridha-sankalpa-shakti or the power of a strong resolution. Furthermore, an intense aspiration and persistent effort for the change are very much necessary for moving forward in the process of evolving into the higher states of consciousness. This cannot happen without following ‘vrata’ or vow. But the intensity of progress depends on the purity of the vow. of which, as per the Vedic realisation, Agni is the Master. Therefore Agni is known as vratapati. A Mantra in Yajurveda (1.5) says:
अग्ने व्रतपते व्रतं चरिष्यामि
तच्छकेयं तन्मे राध्यताम्।
agne vratapate vrataṁ cariṣyāmi
tacchakeyaṁ tanme rādhyatām |
This Mantra is an invocation to Agni, the Divine Will Power in human consciousness. Here Rishi Yajnavalkya has given humanity a prayer for awakening the presence of Agni within the heart. The Prayer is: O Agni, be well awakened within me so then I can follow the vow. By your blessings, O Agni, may I be able to do that. And my vow is ‘to move from the falsehood to the Truth’.
The highest aim of life is to transcend all falsehood, all limitations and all narrowness in order to attain the vastness of Consciousness, the state in which one experiences divinity, purity, harmony, light, delight and truth. Then one has a new birth in which one is capable of manifesting the divinity within. This is how the divine population grows. And it is by the growth of the Divine population the humanity can have lasting solutions to all its problems.
This indeed was the realization of the Rishis of the past.