When I'm Sixty-Four

by Rasananda das

Today is my 64th birthday. The animals are also born from a mother. What makes the human form special is that only in the human form can the individual think about, inquire about and understand his actual identity as spirit rather than matter, about the identity and position of God, about his constitutional relationship to Him, and the means to reestablish himself in his original position in the spiritual world. This is religion. Practially everything else, though it may popularly be revered as religion, is actually more or less concoction, even if one is a follower of the vedic culture. Unless one accepts and satisfies surrendered devotees in disciplic succession in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, no-one is guaranteed smooth exit from the cyle of birth and death. I feel that I am still in process of my second and more significant birth.

The following are verses 14-18 of the Gautamiya Apastamba Prasna 1, Patala 1, Khanda 1: He from whom the pupil gathers (akinoti) the knowledge of dharma is called the Acarya. He should never offend him, for he causes him to be born a second time by imparting to him sacred learning. This birth is the best. The father and the mother produce the body only.

(*Rasananda das, second from right)
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