“A true yogi observes Me in all beings, and also sees every being in Me. Indeed, the self-realized man sees Me everywhere.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 6.29)
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In times of scarcity, such as with a growing pandemic involving a never-before-seen disease, tough decisions need to be made. The medical practitioners choose who to treat and who to leave behind. Value judgments based on future life expectancy, chances of survival, and worth to society.
The government essentially places a price tag on the different instances of life:
“How much money will come into the treasury through tax dollars? How many working years does this person have left? How much will it cost to keep them alive moving forward, seeing as they will not be able to return to full function?”
Despite the external viewpoint, it is never valid to say that one person is more of a life than another. This proper assessment is based on the spiritual vision, which detects the soul in different places.
1. That cow languishing after separation from its newborn.
“Amazingly, some people use this as justification for needless animal killing. They say that the mother, the cow, certainly feels some pain in the beginning, but that soon after she is back to normal. It is no big deal to have forced separation between mother and child in this instance.
“Really a horrible practice, if you ask me. And we dare to call ourselves civilized? We consider modern society to be advanced, but in what ways? To make such a practice routine indicates barbarism. This is an intelligently coordinated sinful act, conducted on a mass scale.”
2. That calf sent for untimely death, in violation of nature’s way.
“That poor calf. The fools tell us that formula milk is better for them. As if nature were too stupid to provide for the newborn. It gives to everyone else just fine. The tiger does not require a planning commission, a strategic reserve to be tapped in times of war, or a configured eating plan.
“It has its specific dietary needs and nature provides. The tiger has a certain duration of life, which may be longer or shorter than other species, but the length of stay on this earth is not the basis for determining the presence of life.”
3. That cancer-stricken celebrity
“What awful news to be told. A tragic diagnosis. This person may not be with us for much longer. They were doing just fine. You couldn’t tell there was any health problem, otherwise. How did this happen? All of a sudden we are reminded of the limited time remaining. I really feel for them and their family. I pray that everything works out.”
4. That leader of the important nation
“He’s got a tough job, for sure. The news media treats him so unfairly. The questions they ask during press conferences are ridiculous. Someone should punch them in the face. Never seeking answers to real issues. They are just looking to trip up the leaders, to blame them for things, to make them look bad.
“Yet he remains cool and calm. Unflustered. These clowns cannot distract him from running the country. What a great human being. I pray for him all the time, that he will be successful in protecting us.”
The soul is present in each of these situations. That is to say, it can be found within the cow and the calf. In the higher understanding, the life of the tiger is just as important as the life of the state leader. It may seem silly to say so. The tiger kills other animals, after all. It doesn’t make tough decisions that will impact daily life.
ब्राह्मणे गवि हस्तिनि
शुनि चैव श्व-पाके च
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 5.18)
The soul inside is of the same quality, however. The stay within a particular species is temporary. The treatment may not be uniform across the different instances of life, but the acknowledgment should be there. At the very least, I should act in such a way that I see the soul everywhere.
This is because the soul is sourced in the Supreme Soul. In other words, by seeing everyone as spirit, I am able to notice the presence of God, who is all-attractive. Seeing God is the best way to live, as He is the source of strength, perseverance, optimism, and enthusiasm. If I see Him, then everything is right in my way of life, and at the end I will be able to return to the spiritual world.
Not exclusive to humans being,
Wise the soul in others seeing.
Like mother cow giving birth,
And satisfying calf’s thirst.
That tiger daily on the hunt,
Others the danger to blunt.
Best vision the spiritual extending,
Mechanism to transcendence ascending.
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