There are supposedly eighty-four lakhs (8,400,000) of species through which every soul has to pass; and we may say, as human beings, we have passed through these and become human beings, which is a great achievement.
Manushyatvam durlabham is the adage of the ancient masters: It is difficult to be born as a human being because we have to cross these stages of all the lower species in order to be endowed with the prerogative of being born a human.
If we read the Jataka stories of Buddha’s previous lives, we will find this interesting account of what Buddha was in his earlier times. He was everything—every kind of animal, a cannibal, a thief, a lecherous man.
Buddha was everything at one time or the other, and there was nothing that he was not.
He passed through all these stages of human nature until he assumed a position of human attainment, of Buddhahood.
Likewise is the case with all individuals who are going to be Buddhas—who are on the way to …