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the human life is a soul examination.

Extract from - The Living Gita: Swami Satchidananda.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: The Yoga of The Divine and The Demonic.

It's very important for a seeker to know what is conducive to his or her development. Even before we attempt to know the truth, we should first know what is untrue. It's easier to see what is false. Truth is very subtle sometimes. God is very difficult to know, but we can easily know what is not God. That's why even when scripture tries to define the supreme Brahman, it uses negative language: "Neti, neti (not this, not that). Brahman is not this, nor this, nor that." It is always easier to know what is not true first.

You become a good seeker once you know well the nature of the world. If you know it well you won't want it anymore, because usually the world, or nature, tries to pull you down. It is quite hard to bring a boulder up to the top of a hill. But to get it down needs only a small push. It will just keep rolling down. That is nature's tendency, to pull you down.

You may say, "God created me as well as nature. Why should He create a nature that constantly pulls me down?" It's here that we see the great importance of a human birth. Until its human birth, the soul passes through many other lives with many bodies of lesser intelligence. Gradually, the intelligence evolves and expands. It's like a seed slowly sending up its roots, sending small branches out, then opening up and unfolding, growing up and up until it brings forth another seed. And as intelligence opens, side by side you see the free will developing.

At the human level, free will is completely unfolded. That is, you have been raised to a height where you don't need any more help. You've been taught all that is to be taught in your previous births. You have been given all the experiences that nature could give you, from the small blade of grass to a unicellular animal and up and up.

After achieving the human level, that cosmic intelligence, or God, says, "Okay, now I have taught you everything. I'm going to test you." Isn't that fair? During the whole year your teachers teach you in the classroom. At the end of the year, will they simply pass you along to the next class? No. To see if you have grasped what they taught, they test you in the examination hall.

Human birth is the Lord's examination hall. And how does He test us? Through nature. "I have given you free will," He says. "It's easy to fall down, but I have taught you to climb. Let me see whether you are using your intelligence or not. I'm not really working against you. I simply want to test your capacity."

To prove what you have learned, you must be tested. Every seeker is tested. Everybody who wants to be elevated up and prove his or her knowledge is tested. Like Adam and Eve, and the entire world is acting as a snake. It just sneaks into your room and tempts you: "Come on, have one more; a little more of this, a little more of that. See, don't you think I am nice and beautiful? Don't you think you can buy so many things if you have a big pocketful of money?"

All kinds of temptations come.

The first lesson is to know that everything is here to test us; don't be deceived by it. Pass the test. You don't need to hate the test or the examiner. Don't hate the examiner; love Him. Don't try to bribe him. If you bribe Him, you deceive yourself. Don't hate the world, but know it well and say, "This is just trying to pull me down."

Everything is tempting and testing you. You must be careful. Be vigilant. That's why the scriptures talk about the dark side of life as well as the light. At least we will know what is not good. By knowing the gates to hell, we exercise our discrimination to choose the right path and go toward the supreme good.

The Living Gita: Swami Satchidananda - 16:24

In order to know what to do and what not to do, let the scripture by your guide. And when you understand the scriptural guidance, you will know how to live [happily] in this world.



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