By gradual evolutionary process from the aquatic to the plant life, then from plant life to worm life, then from worm life to bird's life, then from bird's life to beast life, from beast life to human life - this is the gradual process of evolution

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"By gradual evolutionary process from the aquatic to the plant life, then from plant life to worm life, then from worm life to bird's life, then from bird's life to beast life, from beast life to human life"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

By gradual evolutionary process from the aquatic to the plant life, then from plant life to worm life, then from worm life to bird's life, then from bird's life to beast life, from beast life to human life—this is the gradual process of evolution. So therefore this human form of life is very difficult to get. By some fortune you have got now. So therefore it is said, su-labhaṁ su-durlabham.
Lecture on BG 10.4 -- New York, January 3, 1967:

If we do not utilize this human form of life for spiritual cultivation, then we are practically committing suicide. Ātma-han.

There is a very nice Sanskrit verse that... Just like you have to cross a great ocean. Now, if you want to cross Atlantic Ocean from New York to England, then you must have a very nice ship and a good captain and the atmosphere very favorable. Then it is very easy to cross. So that example is given in a Sanskrit verse, nṛ-deham ādyaṁ su-labhaṁ su-kalpam. Now, to cross this ocean of material existence... This is ocean. It is compared with ocean. Bhava-sāgara. Sāgara means ocean. So to cross this ocean you have got very nice ship. What is that? Nṛ-deham. This human form of life. Nṛ-deham ādyam. It is very nice ship. And su-labhaṁ su-labhaṁ su-durlabham. Su-labham means this kind of ship you cannot get always. It is an opportunity.

This is an opportunity because we do not know what is going to happen in my next life. There is no guarantee that in next life you are going to take your birth in America or in human form of life. There is no guarantee. Therefore, so long you have got this opportunity, you must fully utilize it. Nṛ-deham ādyam su-labhaṁ su-durlabham. Su-labham, by opportunity, by fortune we have got this, su-labham. And su-durlabham. Su-durlabham means it is very difficult to get this body, because... Just imagine. By gradual evolutionary process from the aquatic to the plant life, then from plant life to worm life, then from worm life to bird's life, then from bird's life to beast life, from beast life to human life—this is the gradual process of evolution. So therefore this human form of life is very difficult to get. By some fortune you have got now. So therefore it is said, su-labhaṁ su-durlabham.

And you have got this nice ship. And guru-karṇa-dhāram. And if you have got a nice spiritual master who is captain, good captain, who can help you to ply your ship on the same. So nṛ-deham ādyam su-labhaṁ su-durlabham. And atmosphere is Kṛṣṇa consciousness, created by the Supreme Lord by delivering you the message of Bhagavad-gītā. So you have got very good atmosphere. Just you compare in the same way: If in Atlantic Ocean there is no wind, there is no hurricane, and you have got a very good ship and very good captain, now take this opportunity of crossing. If you don't cross, then you are committing suicide. Oh, very nice.

So these are the opportunities of developing your knowledge in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and spiritual culture. And the advantage is that as soon as you become fully conscious of your constitutional position, then you are freed from this material entanglement. This is called jñānam. Jñānam asammohaḥ. Don't be very hesitant. Asammohaḥ means if you want to acquire some knowledge, you should acquire it maybe slowly but acquire it very surely, step by step. Don't be impatient. Asammohaḥ. Not that blindly accepting something and thinking that "I have got all knowledge. Finished." No.

You have got developed consciousness, you have got intelligence, but that intelligence, consciousness, depends also on your mode of living, on your mode of behavior. Therefore one has to become a brāhmaṇa, sāttvika, in the modes of goodness. Then you will be patient, patient, śānta, peaceful. If you become hesitant, then you cannot. This is called asammohaḥ.

Asammohaḥ kṣamā. Kṣamā means tolerant. Tolerant. You should not be disturbed. Suppose you are in this Kṛṣṇa conscious society. Now, you cannot expect that all the members of the society will be first-class men. How can we expect? We are collecting members of the society from all classes of men. So there may be a man in goodness, a man in the passion and a man in the ignorance. But if you think, "Oh, this man is not good. That man is not good," oh... No. You should be tolerant. You haven't got any connection with this man or that man. You are connected with the philosophy, with the process of life, and you are connected... Just like the same example: suppose you are on the ship. You do not find just all men to your choice. There may be different kinds of men. But what is that to you? You have to cross the Atlantic Ocean, patiently cross. Just sit down tightly on the ship and take advantage of the opportunity. That is your business. This is called kṣamā. Kṣamā means excuse and tolerant.

Suppose somebody has offended you. Excuse him. This is also another kind of penance. Lord Caitanya has taught us:

tṛṇād api sunīcena
taror api sahiṣṇunā
amāninā mānadena
kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
(CC Adi 17.31)

If you want to chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, then you have to become tolerant. What kind of tolerant? Just like a tree. Don't you think a tree, how much tolerant it is? Everybody is committing offense on the tree. Somebody is snatching its twigs, somebody is snatching its flowers, somebody snatching leaves, somebody cutting, but it does not protest. Rather, on the contrary, it supplies you fruits, flower, and gives you shelter. So tree is the nicest example for tolerance. So Lord Caitanya teaches us that we should become tolerant just like a tree. And tṛṇād api sunīcena, and forbearance just like a grass. Just like you trample over grass. It does not protest. Tṛṇād api sunīcena taror api sahiṣṇunā, amāninā.