2: The Process of Creation :
The reason why there is such a degree in the process of evolution is that every species is given a chance to assert itself. No one can be considered as superior or inferior in this process; everybody is good enough. A tree is as good as a lion for its own purpose. We cannot say that a lion is superior to a tree; that comparison is not allowed anywhere in the scheme of creation. Even an insect has its own soul, and the ant’s insistence on the right to survive is as important as the elephant’s insistence on the right to survive. We cannot say an elephant is better than an ant. No such comparison can be made.
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 the achievement of it, in some degree or the other.
There is no double promotion in the process of evolution; every stage has to be passed through. Everyone has to work hard, and everyone has to work in the same way as everyone else, and achieve it by effort. This is the rigidity of the law of the universe, where justice is meted out to every person without any kind of partiality. A tree has to be a tree, a snake has to be a snake, a frog has to be a frog, and an elephant has to be an elephant. Whatever one is, one has a right to exist. The right to exist is the prerogative given by God’s ordinance that no one can destroy another living being, because each one has a right to exist. That is the important point in the evolutionary process. In every stage, we find that all stages are equally important. Every stage is a level of reality—a kingdom, we may say, a kind of principality or empire which is inhabited by citizens of that particular stage, and all those citizens are as valid as citizens of any other realm.