Monday, December 29, 2008

Sin is self-frustration in man's violation of God's will ;
Human actions and animal functions Distinctions ;

Sin is thus self frustration brought about by man in his violation of the will of God. In sinning against God man sins against his human essence, and brings about his frustration . He degrades himself in that violation to the level of beasts and behaves like a beast. The equation is perhaps a libel on beasts, which, it is hoped, beasts will forgive as they have been doing many other inflictions of man on them. The man who behaves like a beast makes himself a beast and therefore merits the treatment of a beast. He can not lead the life of a beastand expect the treatment of a man. What distinguishes the behaviour of a beast from that of a man is the behaviour of man in accordance with the will of God (sastra) . Such a behaviour, such a conduct, is alone human. According to Vyasa's Brahma Sutra, Divinity is "sastrayonitva" and humanity is "sastrarthavattva". The soul, the "knower", is the knower of the will of God. God, in His mercy, has eternally declared His will and endowed souls with the status of knowers so that they could know His will and behave in accordance with it in order that they might br redeemed from the frustration brought about by themselves in their selfdom. It is in that will and in that endowment that God has distinguished man from beasts. It is therefore up to man, if he is to be reckoned and treated as a man, to behave like a man in accordance with the will of God. Human actions are not mere instinctive animal functions or mechanical physical movements and displacements in space. They are conscious and cordial functions in accordance with the will of God. It is that function and not "reason" as is generally supposed, that distinguishes man from beast. Behaviouristic moralists look to beasts and insects for wisdom. The bee polity, says Prof. Huxley, "fulfils the ideal of the communistic aphorism to each according to his needs, from each according to his capacity. [Evolution and Ethics : Prolegomena] That beasts have no 'reason' is another libel on beasts. There is no 'reason' to justify that libel. The word 'reason' is derived from a Latin root which means to 'reckon'.. That beasts do reckon as much and as well as men is a fact. Men and beasts both reckon and function alike in the field of matter. If the field of matter is exhaustive of the faculty of reckoning, there is no reason to deny reason to animals. They seem to have even more reason in that sense than men. They do not seem to commit the same amount of havoc on their bodies as men do on theirs. They are more law abiding than men. They are blessed with a constitutional immunity from the anarchy of the tongue. Their observance of the laws of Nature is more scrupulous than man's. They are better physicians than we are. Their rapacity and predacity seem to be far less than man's. To call all those "reckonings" as instinct in the case of animals, and "reason" in the case of man seems wholly arbitrary and self-adulatory. The real distinction -- if distinction there is to be -- must be in something which is special to man as man and not comon to him with animals as animals. It is in man's knowledge of a higher will -- the universal will -- and in his endevour to lay his will in line with that will. It is in his 'reckoning' with that will , that man is marked off from animals. Without a Divine universal will there will be nothing for man to reckon with, in the sense of "reasoning" which animals do not have in common with him. Men and beasts both reckon with matter and with themselves. Man's knowledge of himself by himself is not different from the knowledge of beasts of themselves by themselves. That knowledge is not human knowledge, but mere "animal sense" as Suka calls it. [Bhagavata 7.5.12] Men and beasts obey alike the biological law of survival and reproduction. All materialistic attempts at understanding man in terms of that biological law must necessarily result in an understanding of him as but a member of the group or society of animals and not as a being having any status or faculty, which others of the animal group or society do not possess in common with him. Man must first transcend his animality before he can be reckoned as belonging to humanity and he can lay claim to being reckoned as such, only when he awakensto his own nature as the servant of God and of the need of his surrender and service to God. That is man's nature, that is man's need. Until man has reached that stage he has not reached the stage of humanity{ Thirumangai Alvar 11.7.9}. It is in man's knowledge of his essence as the servant of God and in his action in accordance with the will of God that man becomes a man and his actions become human. To deny God or to deny will to God, is to deny humanity. The will of God is as eternal as God Himself. It is that will (sastra) that man has to understand. It is with that will that man has to 'reckon' and it is to that will that man has to submit. man in his defiance of that will forfeits his status of a man and invites the treatment of a beast. Without a Divine will, without a moral law, compelling the obedience of all men, man must be and ever remain one with beasts and the world would then be all one jungle haunted by the most rapacious of human beasts. The Veda declares:- "Thus far (they are all) beasts bipeds and quadrupeds." As a mere specimen in the zoo of evolutionary biology man has not got even the look of antiquity about him. In that zoo man's is a mere blink of the latest mammalian upstart. As such a specimen man's value is only such. man in his transgression of the will of God effects his own frustration.[ Gita XVI 23, 24.]