According to the circumstances, we get different types of body. So from the aquatics, next promotion is trees, plants, then insects, then birds, then beasts

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"according to the circumstances, we get different types of body. So from the aquatics, next promotion is trees, plants, then insects, then birds, then beasts"

Lectures

General Lectures

According to the circumstances, we get different types of body. So from the aquatics, next promotion is trees, plants, then insects, then birds, then beasts. In this way, after millions, millions of years... You have seen that a tree is standing for thousands of years. If I get a body of a tree, then I'll have to stand in one place for many thousands of years. Therefore when you come by gradual evolution in the different species of life, by nature when you come to this point, to possess a human form of body, it is very, very rare.
Lecture -- London, July 12, 1972:

Actual fact is described in the Purāṇas, where it is described, aśītiṁ caturaś caiva lakṣāṁs tāñ jīva-jātiṣu. Jīva-jāti, different species of life. There are 8,400,000's of different species of life. Aśītiṁ catura. Aśītim means eighty, and catura means four. Eighty-four, lakṣāṁs, 100,000. Jīva-jātiṣu, there are different species of life. They are developing. Because after devastation, the whole universe is filled up with water. So in the water the first living beings are the fishes or the aquatics. Then that fish or aquatic means a living entity embodied by that fish body. Just like we are now, every one of us... I am also a soul, you are also a soul. We are embodied by this body, human form of body. Similarly, we had to accept the body of a fish. Because we are in this material world, when there is water only, where shall we go? We must live here in this material... Unless we are liberated, we must have to live... And according to the circumstances, we get different types of body. So from the aquatics, next promotion is trees, plants, then insects, then birds, then beasts. In this way, after millions, millions of years... You have seen that a tree is standing for thousands of years. If I get a body of a tree, then I'll have to stand in one place for many thousands of years. Therefore when you come by gradual evolution in the different species of life, by nature when you come to this point, to possess a human form of body, it is very, very rare. That is described: durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma. Durlabham. Duḥ means difficult, and labha means gain. Durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma tad apy adhruvam. Adhruvam. He said durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma tad apy adhruvam arthadam. Although it is also temporary. We shall not live forever with this body. The animals also, they'll also not live forever. The body will be finished after certain period of time. So he says, Prahlāda Mahārāja says, "My dear friend, this body, this human form of body, is very, very rarely we have obtained it. Although it is temporary, but there is a great gain." In the animal life, that is also temporary, and this human form of body is also temporary. But the animals cannot get that achievement which we can get. Durlabhaṁ mānuṣaṁ janma tad apy adhruvam arthadam. Arthadam means... Artha means meaningful or some material profit or spiritual profit.

So we can, by the help of this human form of body, we can achieve some very great profit. That is required. That is the human mission. Not like that, we take our birth like cats and dogs. Everyone takes birth. The process of birth is the same: the male-female sexual intercourse, and there is some child. So there is no difference between the human process of birth and the animal process of birth. There is no difference of living condition of the animal and the human being. Because the animal eats; we also eat. The animal sleeps; we also sleep. The animals have facility for sex life; we have also got the facility of sex life. The animal also defends according to his own way; we can defend with atom bomb. That's all right. But it is defending, nothing more. Therefore, about these four things—eating, sleeping, mating, and defending—they are common. The special feature of this human form of body is that he has developed consciousness how to understand God. The animal hasn't got this. And the process of understanding God and to revive our relationship with God is called bhāgavata-dharma. This is explanation of bhāgavata-dharma. The eating, sleeping, mating, this is also dharma. Dharma means the activities, constitutional activities. Any man or any animal who has got this body, he must eat. This is also dharma. Dharma means which we cannot avoid. Because we have become human beings, it is not that we can avoid eating. That is not... This is also dharma. So this dharma, this practice, this occupation, is visible in animal life and human life. But another thing, the dharma which we actually mean, means to understand God, that is not visible in animal life. That is not possible. Therefore dharmeṇa hīna paśubhiḥ samānāḥ. Anyone who does not cultivate religious life, he is no better than an animal. He's animal. If you are simply interested with eating, sleeping, mating, and defending, nothing more, then this is animal civilization. This is not human civilization.