default image for post
Human life – a special gift of God
October 6, 2010  |  radhanath-swami

For no apparent reason, Richard (now Radhanath Swami) had an urge to walk from Swayambhunath to Kathmandu. As he walked along the paddy fields, it began to drizzle. He saw a man carrying an umbrella over his head. Richard scurried along in hope of sharing his umbrella. Richard struggled to keep himself under the umbrella and after ten minutes, he offered thanks to the stranger. As their eyes met, both were thunderstruck and their mouths dropped open, and their eyes filled with tears. It was Gary from whom Richard had sadly parted on the isle of Crete. Both agreed that nobody would believe this story of incredible reunion, thousands of miles across, in an isolated rice paddy in Nepal.

Radhanath Swami writes, “We were childhood friends but got separated by destiny, and today that invisible puppeteer had once again pulled us together.”

Later Richard (now Radhanath Swami) saw the place where Gary stayed; a little structure where rock and roll music blared, men and women danced seductively, and opium pipes passed abundantly. Richard took Gary aside and pleaded with him to give up this hippie culture, at least while in this land of spirituality. Richard reasoned Gary was doing the same old things in a different setting. Richard then begged Gary to travel with him to holy places and learn the life of a sadhu. Gary agreed and bid goodbye to his friends.

As Richard convinced Gary to abandon the hippie culture, Radhanath Swami too, often says that human beings could do well to abandon lower pleasures and seek real spiritual bliss. He reasons that human  life is very rare and a precious gift of God because only humans have been bestowed with the wonderful and fertile intelligence to seek divine enlightenment. Therefore it behooves humans to seek spirituality. Radhanath Swami quotes his guru who repeatedly implored that animals on the other hand are busy with eating, sleeping, mating and defending, and can’t go beyond these basic necessities. If in the human life, our ambitions are restricted to these pleasures, Radhanath Swami’s guru exclaims, “then we are no better than animals.”

Talking about animals I can’t help comparing humans with animals. Compared to animals, humans have no extraordinary external ability; their bodies are soft and vulnerable, they are not particularly fleet-footed and they can do little to camouflage themselves when in danger. And yet humans stand far above all other species. A puny human can tame a massive elephant and encage a ferocious lion. How? Undoubtedly it is the advanced human intelligence. Empowered by their intelligence, humans have subjugated all the lower species. Not only that, humans have also build civilizations, developed cultures, devised languages, written literatures, come up with fine arts, inquired into metaphysics and advanced in science and technology. Strangely enough, in the modern times, by that same intelligence, humans have created weapons of mass destruction, which threaten to wipe out all life on the planet. Furthermore by that same intelligence, humans have developed perverted ideologies, by which they foster animosity and hatred for others of their own species. William James states in The Atlantic, “Man, biologically considered and whatever else he may be, is simply the most formidable of the beasts of prey, and, indeed, the only one that preys systematically on its own species.” This then is the strange irony of the present condition of humanity: the very source of protection for the human race – its advanced intelligence – is threatening to become its cause of destruction.

Radhanath Swami reveals the cause of this degeneration of human intelligence as our preoccupation to improve the four basic necessities of eating, sleeping, mating and defending.  Radhanath Swami further says that human intelligence is meant for a purpose far loftier than searching for better ways of obtaining bodily pleasures. Equipped with their special intelligence, humans are meant to probe into the deepest mysteries of life, and achieve the fullness of a relationship with the Supreme consciousness. Radhanath Swami’s words of wisdom echo in the innermost recesses of my soul, “Only in the human body does the soul have the intelligence to penetrate the superficial world of matter and perceive the spiritual energy within the cosmos. Humans alone can harmonize themselves not only with the cosmic energies, but also with the Supreme Energetic Person, who is the source and the basis of the cosmos.”

Related Posts:



103 Comments


  1. Amazing story of reunion.

    View Comment
  2. What Radhanath Swami is saying here is a true fact and can be seen practically everywhere. As the scriptures say, unless human beings inquire about higher aspects of life they will be no better than two-legged animals.

    View Comment
  3. hmmm. great thought. i’ve talked to ppl about this. but they seem to be uninterested in these talks. anyways. i hv to be on my way to realise god

    View Comment
  4. Very powerful reminder from Radhanath Swami that
    ““Only in the human body does the soul have the intelligence to penetrate the superficial world of matter and perceive the spiritual energy within the cosmos. Humans alone can harmonize themselves not only with the cosmic energies, but also with the Supreme Energetic Person, who is the source and the basis of the cosmos.”
    Most of the times we do not take human life seriously & waste it in acquiring animal comfort of life.

    View Comment
  5. By the lord’s arrangement, Radhanath swami met his long lost friend. How they met is really a miracle.

    View Comment
  6. This is a very fundamental thought that one should ponder upon. But the attachments and the other material pleasures of this world covers up the mind of a person so badly that one forgets these fundamental concepts so easily. Radhanath Swami through his book has again brought this to light.
    The book is amazing – Hats off to Radhanath Swami…

    View Comment
  7. very nice lesson learnt here

    View Comment
  8. All GLories To.H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj

    What an amazing anecdote.It cannot be more easier than this to understand the purpose of life

    Hare Krishna

    View Comment
  9. All GLories To.H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj

    Great Anecdote

    Hare Krishna

    View Comment
  10. humans without god consciousness is not less than a polished animal in a sophisticated world,

    View Comment
  11. Wonderful explanation by Radhanath Swami of how humans, by their superior intelligence over animals, is able to conquer the animal who are superior by physical strength. But that’s not the purpose of human life and its intelligence. The purpose is really loftier than this one and that is “Know about yourself, God and your relation with God”.

    View Comment
  12. Radhanath Swami shows us what true friendship is & how it should be maintained always !

    View Comment
  13. beautiful explanation of value of human life. Thank you Radhanath Swami

    View Comment
  14. nice article with true understanding of the significance of the human species, regards, rajesh karia

    View Comment
  15. very nicely explained by HHRM that one must give up bodily pleasures and serve for a higher purpose, haribol, bhakti

    View Comment
  16. This instance gives a glimse that Radhanath Swami’s life and pastimes were orchastrated by the Lord in mysterious ways.

    View Comment
  17. The statement one is no better than animals if his life’s activities are restricted to eating,sleeping,mating and defending is an eye opener.

    View Comment
  18. Human life is very precious and can give us opportunity to get the highest, however if we become misers and only run after animalistic pleasures, we waste this once in a zillion chance!!!

    View Comment
  19. Sheetal Maheshwari

    Human life is a rare gift, which we realise only when we get the association of God Conscious people.

    View Comment
  20. hrishikesh mafatlal

    Human life is a life of great responsibility, but in today’s materialistic, selfish world humans demonstrate the highest irresponsibility.

    View Comment
  21. Thankyou Maharaj

    View Comment
  22. Maharaj had clearly explained the real prerogative of human life knowing which one can attain the highest perfection. Thanks for sharing this wondeerful meditation.

    View Comment
  23. Amazing article.

    View Comment
  24. What a story,everytime u read or go thru a para of Journey Home,u feel like u should read it all over again !

    View Comment
  25. shyam bihari das

    Maharaj has beautifully summarized the meaning of Human life…to seek diving enlightenment. If we dont understand this meaning, we are animals. Hari Bol!

    View Comment
  26. Radhanath Swami is correct that human life is special because out of all the species that exist on earth, only humans have the superior intelligence to contemplate rationally about the purpose of our existence and to dwell on the God’s divine power & our relation with Him.

    View Comment
  27. Dr Yuvaraj J Bhosale

    human intelligence is meant for a purpose far loftier than searching for better ways of obtaining bodily pleasures- H H Radhanath swami

    View Comment
  28. Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful article!!!

    View Comment
  29. Radhanath Swami maharaj’s message from Fox News: –
    Everyone is looking for pleasure. Whatever sex or nationality or religion or even species, everyone is looking for pleasure. And the essence of pleasure is to love and to be loved. And that pleasure is dormant within the heart of every living being. And to access that love within us is the true fulfillment that we’re all looking for, it’s the purpose of every great religion, to seek the essence within ourselves, our relationship with God and our relationships with all living beings. And to be an instrument of compassion is the greatest need in this world. And to go beyond sectarian concepts and really search for the essence within our self is where we can find true peace, true fulfillment and be an instrument of that to others. And we believe that chanting divine sound vibrations or mantras helps us to awaken and access that source of love that’s within all of us.

    View Comment
  30. Human should use his intelligence to raise above the platfrom of basic Animal instincts and to connect with the transcendence.
    Thanks for the article

    View Comment
  31. how nicely explain how today’s society is diverting towards animal life so we have to be very cautious.

    View Comment
  32. It’s very amazing story.

    View Comment
  33. Thank you Radhanath Swami for revealing the positive alternative to make use of human life and intelligence.

    View Comment
  34. Yes, so many people eulogize courageous acts motivated by the animal instincts in man. But this is just like eulogizing a sophisticated animal.

    View Comment
  35. CS Sandeep Shinde

    Very nice article. Thank you very much for sharing the same.

    View Comment
  36. Human life is meant for self realisation. H.H Radhanath Swami Maharaj’s life is an ideal example and people should try to understand this.

    View Comment
  37. Radhanath Swami has so aptly pointed out the difference between human beings and animals and also explained the purpose of human life. We as human beings are fortunate to have got this body and should understand our reponsibility and not misuse it. There is nothing more unfortunate than that.

    View Comment
  38. Radhanath Swami comes straight to the core. While everyone recognizes that human intelligence is far greater and advanced than that of animals, Radhanath Swami is quick to point out that it is not just the advanced intelligence per se that make us humans superior; rather it is simply a wasted opportunity if humans do not use that intelligence to probe deeper into the mysteries of life.

    View Comment
  39. Only in the human body does the soul have the intelligence to penetrate the superficial world of matter and perceive the spiritual energy within the cosmos….wondeful realization..because as Lord says in Bhagavat Gita..Human life is meant for self realization..thanks Radhanath Swami

    View Comment
  40. sangharatna bhamare

    Only in the human body does the soul have the intelligence to penetrate the superficial world of matter and perceive the spiritual energy within the cosmos. Thank you maharaj.

    View Comment
  41. Radhanath swami beautifully teaches deeper truths thru incidents in life.

    View Comment
  42. maharaj exhibits the teachings of lord chataniya to give mercy of lords love to everyone no matter what that person must be.he pleaded and forced his friend out of that miserable place and took him to divine place.jai…jai

    View Comment
  43. Maharaj explains nicely about the real goal of human life. Thanks for sharing.. JAI !!!

    View Comment
  44. Very nice. Thank you for sharing.

    View Comment
  45. “Only in the human body does the soul have the intelligence to penetrate the superficial world of matter and perceive the spiritual energy within the cosmos. Humans alone can harmonize themselves not only with the cosmic energies, but also with the Supreme Energetic Person, who is the source and the basis of the cosmos.” very very touching and powerful statement. thank you Radhanath Swami for enlightening the specialty of human life.

    View Comment
  46. One must take shelter of a realized soul like HH Radhanath Swami who can make one realize the supreme goal of the human form of life, which would otherwise degenerate into animalistic way of living.

    View Comment
  47. so much is the importance of the human form of life as explained in this meditation, otherwise the tendency is to take up the life very casually. thank you Radhanath Swami Maharaj for the instructions.

    View Comment
  48. I appreciate the author’s ability to recall Radhanath Swami’s priceless messages….

    View Comment

Leave a Reply