In our world anything that is rare is precious. But in Buddhist understanding, human life is rare and precious not because of being rare but because of the immense potential it has to improve not only our present existence but future prospects. In my previous pierce, I discussed the six perfections which are the main practice of a Bodhisattva. This must not be misunderstood to mean that one can practice them only when they reach the level of a Bodhisattva. Since, a Mahayana practitioner’s aspiration is to be a Bodhisattva, one has to practise the six perfections right from the beginning. Through the practice, one will become a Bodhisattva in the future.
Just like if we want something that is really wonderful in every way, we need the means to achieve it. We need money if one wants to buy something really breathtaking. The more money and resources, the better the prospect to fulfil ones wish. Like wise, if we want to achieve freedom from suffering, (which is the most wonderful thing, because who is there in this world, who doesn’t freedom from suffering?) we need big resources to achieve it. The human rebirth is therefore the biggest resource because it enables us to achieve the goal of freedom from suffering by having the opportunity to work for it at our disposal. The human kind is endowed with all the necessary ingredients that is indispensable to achieve freedom from all forms of suffering. That is why human rebirth is precious. If we talk in vernacular language, people in third world countries risk their lives to come to more affluent western countries because they get a better opportunity to improve the quality of their lives. So, in the same way, human rebirth is precious because it offers a better opportunity to better our lives while we live and also provides the opportunity to achieve total freedom from suffering.
So here are the big resources that the human rebirth is imbued with which enables us to achieve our goal of freedom.
1) The realm (desire realm) where we are in is ideal because, by virtue of being in this realm, we have the opportunity to perform actions that are easy but at the same time extremely beneficial or fruitful. For example, It is more beneficial (in creating merit) to smile at a Bodhisattva than first take out all the eyes of of all sentient beings and imprison them and then release them and recoup their eyes and bless them with the joy of the Brahma. It is more meritorious to make offerings to a single Buddha than making offerings to all Bodhisattvas. It is more meritorious to serve ones Guru or associates than make offerings to all the Buddhas. Why the human  rebirth is precious is because all these are possible to be fulfilled in a human state. Some might wonder why these are so. Blinding all the sentient beings and then giving their eye sight back has both negative and positive karma but we are talking of the level of good karma gained by giving them back their eye sight. Such an act is meritorious in itself but smacking to a Bodhisattva is even more meritorious. This is because, the Bodhisattva works for the welbeing of all sentient beings. That is why, if we smile to a Bodhisattva we are said to create more good karma than giving backs the eye sight of those who were blinded. We gain merit as much as there are sentient beings by smiling at a Bodhisattva. By the same logic, if we get angry with a Bodhisattva, it destroys the merit of one aeon that we may have accumulated. Therefore, since, we don’t know who is a Bidhisattva, be wary of getting angry with any body since we don’t want our merits to be destroyed.
2) The other thing is the power of the state of mind.
With the motivation of altruistic intention – Bodhicitta, it is more meritorious even if it is feeding a bird or animal with a morsel of food. With this human life we are able to serve countless sentient beings and as a result achieve  the state of a Buddha. Things such as these are possible only by virtue of being a human being.
3) Material wise, human beings are able to accumulate wealth. As it were, this can be used to advance our future happiness by practising generosity.
However, while material generosity is meritorious, it is recommended for the lay people. In fact it is more meritorious for a clergy to give teachings of one stanza than it is for a lay people making limitless offerings of material things.
4) By virtue of having a human body, it is more meritorious for a ascetic Bodhisattva to make an offering of a drop of ghee (melted butter) with a wig as small as a tip of a pin than for a lay Bodhisattva to make an offering as vast as ocean with a wig as large as Mount meru. These are possible because of having a human form. Here, Buddhists offer butter lamps as a form of offering and that is why we are talking about wig as large as Mount Meru and as small as a tip of a pin.
5) Observing one single ethical behaviour in this world (Saha world)  of suffering is much more meritorious than observing ethical behaviour for an aeon in the North East realm of the Buddha Wangchuk Gyalpo. When there is much happiness among the beings, even if one observes those ethical codes, it is not beneficial as when they are observed where the beings are suffering intensely. The whole reason why the monk/nun or lay people observe their vows is to benefit others. It is not to boost ones ego. It’s to benefit sentient beings who are suffering. Therefore, when there is happiness as it did in the days when the Buddha was in this world and when the world was less degenerate, even if one observed all the vows very strictly, it would not have been as beneficial as it is today, when the Buddhas teachings are waning and sentiment beings have more suffering owing to the aggressively negative mental state and actions coming out of such emotions. That is why, it is in fact more meritorious to be monks and nuns in this day and age than it was at the time of the Buddha. It has dual benefit to preserve the Buddha Dharma and benefit sentient beings who experience a range of sufferings from mental, physical, environmental degradation, pollution and multiple conflicts.
6) Owing to our karma in the human realm, our ability to achieve things are much more promising.
The beings in the lower realms such as animals and hungry ghosts etc are born in that state because of bad karma. Therefore, they have not much choice to do anything exceptional because of limited opportunity. They are burdened by their grief and pain and as such there is little they can do to improve their lot. While, those who are born in the higher states like devas (gods and demi-gods), they are born there owing to their good karma. So, they enjoy the result of that good karma and are constantly distracted. It’s similar to; if a child is given a exciting toy, it will always play with the toy and will not be inclined to study. Likewise, those in the gods and Demi-gods have such a good life, they couldn’t evince any interest about doing good or practice the Dharma, that is why, they while-away their time in indulgence and merry making.
On the other hand, the human rebirth experiences lot of pain and also fair amount of joy. Our lives are very short in contrast to the beings in the lower and higher realms. This combination makes the human beings work harder to achieve a certain amount of happiness since we experience pain, it  makes us disenchanted with it. This provides us the incentive to work hard in order to experience more such pleasure and avoid pain. So, it is said, that the human existence is basis of karma, where we are highly driven to avoid suffering and achieve more happiness. Because of this, it is the most ideal rebirth to work towards achieving the temporary goal of a human state and ultimate goal of achieving Buddhahood. Even, the Buddhisattvas in the pure realms are said to pray to be reborn in the human realm.
Apologies for being unable to publish all together the other day. The computer didn’t work and instead much of the work was lost. So, I have re-written it and completed it.