The Idea of MAN: How the West and East Differs on
| Dr. Mandeep Prakash - Principal GM, BSNL, Haryana - 24 Jun 2019

By Mandeep Prakash

The Western Philosophical concept of Man essentially includes Human beings as part of Animal world. However the ancient western philosophy is grounded in the belief that ‘Aadam’ and ‘Hawwaa’ lived in ‘Jannat’ before they committed the Eternal Sin by consumption of the fruit of knowledge. Thus the ancient belief necessarily held Human beings to have been created specially by The God Almighty in His own image distinguishing Human from other Animals.

There are Animals which live in highly organized community very closely resembling the Social orders followed by Human beings in different parts of the world. Instances are that of Ants which are insects, the Monkeys, the Packs of wild Dogs of South India, The Organized Operation of the Prides of Lions, The herds of Elephants, the pecking order of various birds and once again the Honeybees etc. Nature is replete with many such instances where the members of Animal kingdom live in an Organized Social order working in a clock like manner which appears like society but human society does not work in such mechanical manner. Humans work in reciprocities manner. Humans work on logic and not instinct. Society therefore works on the quid-pro-quo utilitarian principle. But today State has taken over most of the roles earlier played by the society.

It is no big surprise that the scientists born and brought up in the Western world have always endeavored to prove that Human beings evolved from chimpanzees or Monkeys. They are so enchanted with the striking similarity of the body form& its organs between the Human beings & Chimpanzees, that huge efforts are being put in to train chimpanzees to do certain routine Human tasks in order to prove their point. Yet we have not seen any chimpanzees walking out as Human beings at least in the last 10 Thousand Years.

The other concept is of Adam and Eve Descending from the paradise incurring wrath of God Almighty; equally commanding the faith of followers of The Old testament , the New Testament  and even the Quran, tends to propagate that the man has come into existence on the face of earth because of the indulgence in the  eternal Sin and therefore “ The Man is born Sinner”. The Man is guilty ab initio. The Ancient Western Philosopher believes in the  inter play of the Forces of Death –‘Thanatos’  and the forces of life the Eros’ to be the daily driver of Human behavior and the humors of the body that characterize the resultant conduct. Therefore there are people who are sanguine (blood), choleric (yellow bile), melancholic (black bile) or phlegmatic. Another spectrum of personalities are plotted between ‘A’ types – the Anxious types and the ‘B’ types –the laid back types.

However interestingly the modern psychologists of the western school have had their own theories about The Man. while they believed in a specie consciousness as well as individually consciousness in the words of  Carl Jung’s analytical psychology essentially indicating the social Nature and the modulation of ‘Persona’ accordingly by conscious perception of the individual and then  responding to the nurture and Nature that Surrounds him from the neonatal stage. Thus a human person develops a multifaceted Personality where different traits are prominent in different situations.

On the other hand the Psycho analytical approach came out with a Persona driven by sexual urges- conscious and sub conscious compensatory mechanisms and the dynamic interaction between Id, Ego, And Super Ego. One of the most significant descriptions of the Man as a whole is depicted in the Maslow’s Pyramid which describes Human being to be longing for Self Actualization at the Pinnacle  from the basic satisfaction of the primary need of Food Water & Shelter at the base of the pyramids.

The Modern Medical Science which has its roots in Western Modern Science deals with the Man as an organism who works physiologically – stands anatomically and is inherently a walking bag of Bio-chemical processes. Hence the Western Philosophical abstraction considers Man as a sinner –Born sinner in the divine eyes for whom Lord Jesus allowed Him Self to be crucified on the cross and that on the Dooms day the Man shall be brought out from the graves and his sins and good deeds shall be accounted for to assess whether he can regain the lost Paradise. The Man still remains another Animal though Maslow has ascribed desires and aspirations to The Man distinguishing him from the other Animals; yet the distance between the Homosapiens and Pan- Troglodytes [primates chimpanzees] is believed to be little. The march from chimpanzee to The Man is attributed to intellect.

The cardinal element must be understood as the individual consciousness that is highly developed in Human beings but is only at elementary level in other animals where specie consciousness prevails stronger. The individual consciousness that drives the curiosity and thirst for betterment of one’s own self and those one thinks to be his own. Thus the Man is an organism quite similar to the other members of Animal world especially The Mammals and then parochially to the primates and yet distinguished by a high level of developed Individual self consciousness with craving to Own /possesses and protects what the Man owns & possesses.  The Man is, thence, a social, possessive and intellectual ANIMAL.              

The Man : Indian Perspective

The Oriental thought Values Man as the Supreme creation of Nature of whom even the “DEVTAAS” are also believed to be envious. Among 84 Lac Yonies the Manushya Yoni is begotten with great Virue and scarifies. Yoni indicates the life birth and it is believed as per ancient Indian thought that there 84 Lakh types of life forms which cone into being through advent of birth. The Manushya word itself indicates that it is the product of energy emanating from Manah (Mind).

The ancient philosophies of India were called DARSHANAS and only 6 of such DARSHANAS are available to us today. However some thinkers have added CHAARVAK and VAAMPANTH JEEVAK’ philosophies also as a part of DARSANAS. The Latter are categorized as “NASTIK” SHASHTRAS. Of these DHARSANAS YOGA and SHANKHYA are two such DARSHANAS which have been held in very high esteem even by Lord KRISHNA in “GITA” The purpose of Man according to the ancient Indian Philosophy is to transcend the whole cycle traversing through the 84 Lakh Yonies and to attain the Ultimate Bliss in the amalgation with the Supreme – One The ancient Indian philosophy looks at the Man as comprising of a ‘Sthool Body’ and a ‘Sooksham Body’.

The Sthool body also houses a Linga Body. Where upon Shat Chakras” are pinned. The Linga body extends from perineal body in the pelvis through the Spinal Cord- M Oblongata –Pons – Thalamaous Hypo Thalamaous to pineal body in the Skull. The Eternal energy lies on the perineal body and entangled with Cauda  equina. The Sthool Body Comprises of Panch Bhootas – Panch Karma Indries – Panch Gyaan INDRIES and MANAH the (Mind). The Sukshma Body comprises Pacnh Tanmaaatra – the Mahat- the Aham Bhaava and the Mool Prakriti. The Panch Boota are further engaged in the formation the 3 ‘Doshas’ 7 ‘DHATOOS’ and the entire gamut of these bodies is brought to life by infusion of  Jeev Ataama.

These are the analytical premise of human being in Shankhya Dharshan. The Yoga declares that the Human body is the vehicle of Jeeva Aatamaa to attain the supreme consciousness or KAIVALYA which results from mastering the mind through Linga Body & Sookshama Body. Hence Manah is the part that travels through all – the Sthoola – The Sookshama and the Linga bodies.   The very word Manushya or Manash is a derivative of Manah (Mind) and therefore it is the mind – That  evolves and develops the intellect (MAHAT) as well as EGO (AHAM BHAVA).Yet The Man as being a part of nature as whole has been Vehemently stressed upon in all oriental philosophies be it the Upanishads the JAATAK – TRI- PAATAK – JATAKA TALES –

Teachings of Tao – the tenets of ZEN and cannot sustain Himself bereft of nature. Further the Man is product of his Karma and the KARMAS effect the circumstances in which JEEV AATMA takes the body. The time or the KAAL selected for the birth by JEEV AATMA is the function of the KARMA. A KARMA can be physical verbal or Mental Mana Se – Sabad Se or VICHAAR Se. Further KARMAs can be those which the person carries from previous births or those which the person has accumulated in the current life or those which are bearing the fruits in current life i.e. PRAARABDHA – SANCHITA or KRIYAASHEEL.

Therefore in the   oriental mind where the Man is a divine being, he is continuously indulging in action physical verbal or Mental, and also harvesting the results of his actions. Thus the man is getting an opportunity every minute of time to learn and improve upon so as to transcend the journey through the life and death cycle and that is the purpose of the Man for the JEEVAATMA is craving to be the part of the PARAMAATMA i.e. the eternal primordial force which is called the AADI SHAKTI and is the source of BRAHMANAD through HRINAYAGARBH. 


The Man was frail as against of the animals so he built astonishing arsenal of weaponry  & armaments not only against other animals but also against his own specie; the Man was poor and  had to struggle to get even his food so he built amazing comforts & Luxuries not only against other competing species But also against his own brethren exploiting  his own ilk; Man was fearful of Nature But he has acquired devastating Power over earth  and is now poised  to conquer the space. Yet the Man is for from seining his Own Divine Self.   

 In view of this conspectus the Man is thus an intellectual, possessing, spiritual being with a purpose to realize and attain the Divine Self which will finally give Him the solace and Bliss in which God Vishnu is depicted to be in - relieving The Man of the stress & strain of acquisition & conquering as that- that Divine Nature is His True Self not against other animals But also against his Own species.


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