Man Does Not Live by Bread Alone:
Many men work for their bread and butter only. They have no higher aims. No doubt, bread is most essential for human life; without it, the body should grow weak and perish. Just as a machine needs oil and water, similarly human body needs bread and water, a source of energy and strength. But bread alone is not enough.
Besides the body, man has a mind, too. The mind demands its own food, namely, study, thinking, discussion, meditation etc. A poet has well said, “My mind to me a kingdom is”. In this kingdom live your thoughts and ideas, your ideals and aspirations, your views and attitudes. Shakespeare was right when he said, “There is nothing good or bad in this world, but thinking makes it so”. The study of good books enriches your mind; discussion sharpen it and meditation and prayers bring mental peace and real happiness and contentment.
In addition to the body and mind, man has also a heart. Food for the heart is also essential. So we have feelings, emotions, sensibilities and an aesthetic sense. Love is the greatest food for the heart. The beauty of nature, music dancing, painting and other fine arts are also essential food for the heart. Man does not think only but also feels. He is receptive to the sublime and the beautiful as well as of the true and the concrete.
In fact, the human mind has two windows, the window of intellect and the window of emotions. The study of science appeals to our intellect while the study of literature appeals to our emotions. The study of both has to be wisely combined. In the words of John Tyndall, “The circle of human nature is not complete without the arc of emotion”. This means that emotions are an indispensable part of human nature. Just as a circle is incomplete if an arc is missing on its circumference, similarly human nature is incomplete without emotions. Every object of nature has a twin appeal. For instance, a lily flower has a double appeal. It appeals to a botanist intellectually. He will dissect its petals, stems, etc. and study them under a microscope. But the lily flower appeals to a poet, a philosopher or a religious man emotionally. He will appreciate its colour, smell, shape etc. He gets sensuous delight on seeing it. So intellectual and emotional foods are essential for our mind and heart respectively.
Last but not least factor in human life is our soul. The soul needs its own food namely, religion, spiritualism, etc. Man, being the highest of creation, has to work for his salvation. His soul must be tuned with the Divine soul. He has to realize the Infinite in the Finite. The walls of materialism have to be broken in order to reach the throne of Truth, Light and Sweetness. For this, one has to do Tapasya or practice Yoga. Spiritualism and Light of Truth are not marketable commodities. You cannot purchase or sell them in the markets of the world. Writing about them in his famous pastoral elegy Thyrsis, Matthew Arnold writes-
|This (Spiritualism or Light) does not come with houses or with gold,
With place, with honour, or a flattering crew;
It is not in the world’s market bought and sold.
Matthew Arnold wanted to seek Truth, Light and Spiritualism as food for his soul. In his inexperienced and hopeful youth, he thought that he would soon reach the tops of mountains whereon is a throne of Truth, Light and Spiritual. But then as he advanced in years he found that the mountain tops were surrounded by the clouds of doubts, unbelief and materialism. In order to pass through these clouds, one has to offer prayers and do hard Tapasya. Then and then alone one can get the food for one’s soul.
The fact is that in human life there is wonderful unity of body; heart, mind and soul. By merely feeding your body with bread you cannot be said to lead a normal life. You shall also have to feed your heart, mind and soul. Mere animal existence is no life. We eat to live and not live to eat.