The Hindu scriptures, again and again, assert the true and supreme nature of humankind. Swami Vivekananda used to give a beautiful definition of the true nature of us.
He said, “Each soul is potentially divine and the goal is to manifest this divinity and be free.” Yet, very few among mankind seem to experience this great truth hidden within everyone. What could be the reason? If every soul or every human being is of the nature of divine, why are people not able to realize this truth? The reason is indulgence in worldly pursuits and the resultant development of a mindset steeped in worldliness. Sri Ramakrishna used to explain this beautifully. He would say, “God dwells in the worldly-minded, no doubt, but in their case it is like gold being buried under layers and layers of clay.”
In the case of those who have developed detachment and dispassion towards the world and as a consequence have developed intense love for God, it is easier to realize and experience one’s real nature. They indulge in intense spiritual practices and realize relatively easily that their real nature is divine and immortal. It is like digging in a place where there are huge deposits of gold and the metal is found very easily after a minimum effort of digging.
But, in the case of others who are steeped in worldliness and are busy with the enjoyments of worldly pleasures, their true nature is not felt by them very easily. It is like digging in a place where there are just traces of gold deposit. To extract gold from such a soil one has to dig out layers and layers of mud to finally find traces of gold. Thus, even those who are worldly-minded are divine in their real nature, but it takes a long time for them to understand or realize this truth. Ultimately, they would take to a life of intense sadhana and realize the truth.
-by Swami Shantatmananda, Sunday Guardian, 7th Feb 2015