Recently I got a small booklet titled ‘Thus Spake The Vedas’with a book on Upanishads that I had ordered. It is a publication of Sri Ramkrishna Math, Myalapore, Chennai-4. In 90 small pages, it has brought out the salient uttering of Rishis who created the Vedas and Upanishad in it. Here is the portion on the life span of human being.
“May we see for a hundred years the lustrous eye(of the sky-the sun), placed by the Devas, arise. May we live for a hundred years.”
“May we hear for a hundred years, speak for a hundred years, hold our head high for a hundred years, yes, even more than a hundred years.”
May we know for a hundred years, rise through a hundred years, prosper through a hundred years….”
“….Having surmounted all difficult stages, may we be happy for a hundred years with all our brave men.”
“Doing, indeed, different kinds of work here, one should wish to live a hundred years.” The mantra in most of the references about 100 years of lifespan of humans is – शतायुः पुरुषः शतेन्द्रियः – Shatayu Purusha Shatendriya,from Taittiriya Samhita.
And the well known verse 2 from Ishavasya Upanishad indicates that a good lifespan of human being is about 100 years and he should desire to live that long , because it is declared by the vedas as such .
This is also confirmed from Commentary of Adi Shankaracharya on this mantra.
कुर्वन्नेवेह कर्माणि जिजीविषेत् सतं समाः |
एवं त्वयि नान्यथेतोऽस्ति न कर्म लिप्यते नरे… || 2 ||
kurvanneveha karmāṇi jijīviṣet sataṃ samāḥ
evaṃ tvayi nānyatheto’sti na karma lipyate nare…
‘In the world, one should desire to live a hundred years, but only by performing actions. Thus, and in no other way, can man be free from the taint of actions.’
we must try to live our lives to the full span, and the full span of life, according to the Vedas, is one hundred years: Shatāyur vai purushah.
There are many other portions that indicates how great were those sages and how deep, advanced and practical were their thoughts. At least a good many even in the society of the time must be leading that life. Why can we learn from those Rishis putting their very spiritual but scientifically confirmed views from our scripture. Our modern society could get in return much better quality of life for every member for the society.