Based on the available scientific evidence the primordial seed of life seems to have populated our planet earth nearly 3 billion years ago. The earliest life forms were few strings of instructions called Ribonucleic acid, capable of performing trivial biochemical tasks like replication. With the increasing presence of favorable conditions these self replicating RNA strings took cover under a wrapper of cell membrane. With time, new cell parts sprouted giving rise to diversity in topological and functional aspects of cellular transactions. From single cells a colony of cells, working in concert, germinated. These were the precursors of more complex life forms that developed in aquatic environment. Thousands of years’ later, random migration from simple aquatic forms to land, gave rise to terrestrial organisms.
A simple glance at the complex evolutionary process indicates two main trends– the evolution of biological complexity and more importantly the evolution of consciousness. The earliest life forms probably didn’t feel pain, as the nervous system was either absent or rudimentary. With the increasing biological complexity there arose a need to create a controllable system that operated at a broad brain level and at the local nuclear level with a dynamic ‘Message Passing Interface’ of proteins and electrochemical signals connecting the two.
The evolutionary process starting from unicellular organisms resulted in the formation of fishes; amphibians, reptiles, aves and mammals - the upper end of mammalian spectrum being humans. Darwin’s theory of evolution, illustrating the development various life forms from fishes to humans, not only enjoys a strong scientific support but also finds a symbolic mention in Hinduism as Dashavataras !
1. Matsya Avatar - The Fish (Life originated from water)
2. Kurma Avatar - The Tortoise (An amphibian)
3. Varaha Avatar - The Boar (mostly herbivore)
4. Narasimha Avatar - The Human-Lion (earliest human form)
5. Vamana - The Dwarf (short man : intelligence evolved from here)
6. Parasurama - The Warrior (rooted-out lawlessness through force)
7. Sri Rama - The King (Established Law of Dharma)
8. Sri Krishna - The Cowherd (Established law of Karma)
9. Buddha - The Teacher (Demonstrated Renunciation in its truest form)
10.Kalki - The Slayer (has s/he already arrived?)
Whether these avataras existed or not, it is clear that a Big change followed every layer of Avataric existence fulfilling the purpose of Arrival of the new life forms. This supports Darwin’s theory of evolution -- from the spiritual point-of-view.
The question arises: where is the missing-link? Why is the missing link still missing? Are we looking at the wrong place? Is the quest of missing link is itself wrong? According to Hindu scriptures it is the soul that evolves, not the bodies. Thus soul occupying animal stratum, after sufficient experience in that kingdom, moves to the next upper level i.e., humans. In this context, it may be possible that garrulous and sensuous people have recently evolved from animal existence and have therefore dominant sensory tendencies. Thus, saintly people could be those who have undergone a number of iterations in human cycle and evolved from animality to humanity to divinity.
Fast forward the evolutionary cassette to 21st century and we find intelligent human life forms that have a unique capability of thinking, contemplation and concentration. This comes from the soft gear of Chakras embedded in life forms during evolutionary process. The current belief is that Mooldhara is the highest chakra in animals and the lowest one in humans – indicating that humans were developed with the sole aim of pushing life to the highest orbital of spiritual existence – plants and animals don’t have these privileges.
However, a question arises – could it be that there is another form of life somewhere in this universe where Sahasrar forms the base charka ! The answer may be YES. Scriptures say that Yogis who attain the highest form of consciousness in the gross world, graduate to the subtle world where earthly laws of cause-and-effect do not apply. Such exalted souls are believed to live in ‘sookshum form’ for hundreds and thousands of astral years and finally immerse into the causal world – a final point of no return. From causal world there is no re-birth into the subtle world. For them the starting point of next evolutionary growth is Sahasrar chakra.
Is that where human evolution is heading towards ?