Being HUMAN… Rising a notch above Animals

Last Saturday, I attended a lecture by my Yoga Guru Sri Shiv Rishi Ji. That lecture gave rise to a flow of thoughts in my mind…

All living beings on this earth have some basic instincts. These instincts – hunger, fear & Sex – help them to survive. If we observe closely, these three gives nothing more than this.

For this body to stay alive it needs to be fed. Hence the instinct of hunger.

For it to be not destroyed by others – the instinct is fear – this helps it to recognise danger and respond either by running away from danger or face the brute bravely. The core is still the same, survival.

When it gets to know that it cannot survive for ever like this – it gets into reproductive stage and continue the legacy (Farmers use this to induce flowering in plants while raising some commercial crops. They let the field dry at a particular stage and press the “famine” trigger button. For maintaining its species, the plant immediately moves into reproductive phase). All beings get into reproductive stage at their peak phase of life – so that the future generation is healthy and vibrant enough.

These instincts are common to all living beings – from unicellular amoeba to the most evolved being, man. All the adaptations of plant and animal kingdom, in various environmental conditions – follow this basic principle of survival.

Humans are the only gifted beings, who can be conscious of this, rise above and operate at higher levels of energy. Children, when they are born are highly energetic… they may be doing some activity, but their energy levels are so high, (here by energy… we do not mean physical energy and brisk activity… but mental energy) their senses easily absorb all stimulus from their surroundings. They are more like a sponge at this stage. They learn quickly and easily through what is called an “absorptive mind” (by Maria Montessori) without any effort. Alertness and awareness is second nature to them.

As they grow… their energies are dissipated towards innumerable attractions in the environment. By the age of eight these energies are mostly lost. And by the time they grow into adults and graduate out of college, people move to very low energy levels that they have the problem of concentrating even on the work at hand. They will be working on something, but the mind is elsewhere… Physically present mentally absent. They need help of concentration techniques to do even simplest of tasks.

Our Seers/Rishis knew about this thousands of years ago and have given us excellent methods and practices, which can keep our energy levels high and help us use our potential to maximum extent. One such method is Ashtanga Yoga. The stress here is on the Ashtanga or eight-fold path towards Yoga – realisation of our true potential and self. Unfortunately, people have the perception that Yoga is all about Asanas and Pranayama. There is a need for spreading the SPIRIT OF YOGA in its ENTIRETY so that the society and world at large are immensely benefited by this profound knowledge.

The fact that certain organisations like Satyananda Yoga Centre, Chennai and Bihar School of Yoga is playing an aggressive role in this direction with definite results is a heart-warming fact.

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