Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academy-advaita.com
4th June 2018
Individual means a single, human being and not a group. This implies that a group is made up of individuals. An individual may be either a man or a woman. A child is not considered an individual until the child begins to talk, judge and interpret.
Objects, vegetation and animals are not understood to be individuals by those with knowledge. This signifies that, because they do not talk, they are not considered as individuals.
How do the wise with wisdom understand the meaning of the word ‘individual’, is the question?
The wise with wisdom understand that the seed for an individual as a human being is light. Therefore, they understand with clarity and certainty that an individual is an illusion of light.
They also understand that any seed and whatever comes out of that particular seed is an illusion of light as well. This signifies to the wise that whatever comes out of the seed of an individual is an illusion of light.
The wise also understand that every object is made up of matter and every matter is made up of elements. The wise also understand that the earth is made up of every element that matter and objects are made up of.
The wise also understand that the food that enables man to survive as an individual is made up of elements. They also understand that elements that make up an individual also make up vegetation and animals as well.
The wise also understand that the elements present in the earth have evolved to be in vegetation and in animals. If the elements were not present in the earth, it would be impossible for vegetation and animals to exist either.
This signifies to the wise that an individual would not exist if elements, earth, vegetation and animals did not exist. The individual, therefore, exists because elements, earth, vegetation and animal exist.
This signifies to the wise that elements, earth, vegetation and animals have evolved as human individuals. Furthermore,the sound that animals make has evolved as words that make the talking happen in man.
It further signifies to the wise that an individual is not separate from elements, earth, vegetation and animals. This togetherness signifies to the wise that elements, vegetation and animals are individuals to whom talking with words does not happen, but nevertheless they are individuals as well.
This is why the enlightened respect earth, nature, matter, vegetation and animals as individuals in any moment of life. They accept them as they are in any moment of life.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
©Copyright V. S. Shankar 2018
To the human mind there is a hierarchy in the created world. Man, as a species, is considered to be at the top. Each and every man, woman and child is acknowledged and respected as an individual in his or her own right. The same acknowledgement and respect is not given to animals and vegetation, let alone to objects. Yet, qualities are often taken from these to describe the characteristics of humans: gentle as a lamb, cunning as a fox, pretty as a picture, wise as an owl – and many others. Even the diminutive ant is respected for its industrial and collective enterprise. The understanding of the wise in this article reveals that there is no separation between the evolutionary stages of creation. Wisdom abounds in every element of this created world, albeit illusory. Understanding this accords respect and acceptance to the least as it does to the fully enlightened.
Julian Capper, UK.
German Translator‘s Note:
The human individual takes himself for granted. How dependent, or better belonging together, the human individual is of the individuals that surround and permeate him, matter, plants and animals, he is not aware of. Dr. Shankar gives an insight into the constituents of an individual, which reveals the interdependence of all individuals which is oneness for wisdom. Gratitude and respect follow naturally.
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany.