Spiritual culture raises humans from survival of the fittest to sacrifice by the fittest
Survival of the fittest may be a defining feature of nature, but it doesn’t inspire or bring meaning to life.
Inspiring are the examples of the fittest sacrificing for those less fit. For example, during the twin tower attacks, many firefighters became heroes because they risked their lives to save victims.
What makes people like them go against the urge for survival?
Such values come ultimately from our spiritual side, our souls. We humans have a divided existence: our desires are split between our material side with its dictates for survival and our nascent spiritual sense that life is meant for something grander than mere survival. It is this sense that prompts us to search for meaning, and to cherish values such as sacrifice that imbue life with meaning.
To enhance life’s meaningfulness systematically, spiritual culture recommends dharmic conduct that regulates people’s bodily drives and develops their nobler side. Thus, for example, the fittest human beings (kshatriyas) are enjoined to protect others, even laying down their lives when necessary. The Bhagavad-gita (02.32) indicates that such self-sacrificing martyrs attain heaven.
Significantly, Gita wisdom declares that life is meant for an attainment greater than heaven, because heaven being material is temporary. The most meaningful life is that which culminates in the attainment of pure spiritual love for Krishna, for that love brings supreme satisfaction eternally.
Those seeking that attainment need to become spiritual warriors, dynamic and determined individuals fit enough to combat and conquer materialistic temptations. Spiritual culture urges such warriors to not just seek their own spiritual survival, but to also protect others from materialism by sharing spiritual wisdom selflessly. The Gita (18.68, 18.69) indicates that these spiritual warriors become supremely dear to Krishna, who grants them pure devotion and perennial life.
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