“Jantunam narajanma durlabhamatah pumstvam tato viprata Tasmadavaidkadharmamargaparata vidvattvamasmatparam Atmanatmavivecanam svanubhavo brahmatmana samsthitih Muktirno stajanmakotisukrtaih punyaivina labhayte.” - Verse 2 – Vivekachudamani by Adi Shankaracharya Meaning - “For all beings a human birth is difficult to obtain, more so is a male body; rarer than that is Brahmin-hood; rarer still is the attachment to the path of Vedic religion; higher than this is erudition in the scriptures; discrimination between the Self and not-Self, Realization, and continuing in a state of identity with Brahman - these come next in order. (This kind of) Mukti (Liberation) is not to be attained except through the well-earned merits of a hundred crore of births.” It is indeed a rare privilege to be born as human beings. One should not remain in the state in which he was born. He should manifest his inherent divinity. How the humans do it? Love is the divine quality in man. But it should be shown not only towards other human beings, but also towards birds, beasts, and other living creatures. Having born as a human being, one should make all efforts to protect the truth and righteousness and automatically, they would protect the human being. One must sanctify the life that is gifted to transform oneself and set an example for others. One must remember when the body perishes, one’s samskaras (accumulated mental impressions) will remain permanently. One should remember that the purpose is not to make a living for food but for the sake of an ideal and purposeful life. Position of power is not important. They are transient like passing clouds. One should not be proud of one’s wealth, progeny, or youthful vigor. They may all disappear in a moment. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life is celebrated on January 16th as “National Day of Service”. He understood that service and sacrifice, as well as an understanding of interconnectedness, are necessary to change the world for the better. He said, “Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly”, and he added, “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be… This is the interrelated structure of reality” Dr. King believed we are responsible for one another, and that sacrifice, and service are required for each of us to become the people we are meant to be. He led peaceful protests to bring civil rights to the black people and encouraged the blacks to protest peacefully. He said, “Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve”. Nelson Mandela, also known as Madiba, the great South African and world leader, will be remembered for hi struggle and leadership for freedom, equality, truth, love, peace and justice. He inspired many through his own life, struggle, words, and deeds. He said, “everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do”. He sacrificed 27 years of his life in prison for the people of South Africa. Mandela was committed, loyal and passionate about his mission. Nothing could replace his burning desire to demolish apartheid in South Africa. Gandhi, who set an example for MLK Jr and Nelson Mandela, after fighting a battle in South Africa against Apartheid, came back to India to make a significant contribution to the freedom struggle of India. However, India had many patriotic leaders already transforming the freedom struggle, but Gandhi brought in the concept of non-cooperation movement as a weapon to fight against the British rule. He didn’t hesitate to go to prison multiple times and as a matter of fact, the British feared everyone of his action as he triggered the Indians to unite. Eventually, British began the negotiations to give independence to India and left India after handing over power to the Indians. Human beings have a greater responsibility to not only lead an ideal and purposeful life but also shower love to all others around them including other creatures. Note: There are several interpretations for Adi Sankara’s Vivekachudamani (Verse 2). May be those days, reading, understanding, and contemplating of Vedic scriptures are restricted to men and the women by facilitating the rituals get 50% of the punya of men. Others interpret that every body has male and female consciousness. I have no knowledge to understand such a high level of philosophy of Adi Sankara. I request the responders to focus more on sanctifying life than this Verse.