Noble or higher birth is basically defined by how much capacity or ability one have when it comes to judging what is good for oneself and what is bad for oneself. For instance, okay again don’t jump into a very quick conclusion and go bananas about animal rights and all of that. Here, in the Buddhist teachings, human birth, heavenly birth or the god realms, they are considered higher birth. And this is really absolutely has nothing to do with Buddhist being anti animal or something like that. It is all purely based on how much capacity, like animal, actually even within the human realm you can say there is, certain birth are more noble than the others. Again, this has nothing to do with the caste system, again. One has to clarify this.
Okay, generally the animals, they don’t have the notion of like anger is bad. Jealousy is bad, or I mean that is already very profound. But like what is right thing to do. For instance, this is why birds they don’t give a second thought if they see a small insect and just eat it. Just eat and swallow, they don’t give a second thought. They think it is a food, they eat. Human beings, generally, although some religion claim that the animals don’t have a soul so therefore you can eat and so on and so forth, but we human being, we have this notion that animals, if you frighten them, they sort of run away. So that must mean that the animals have some kind of a feeling. So animals don’t like certain things that we don’t like. So there is a ground for empathy so to speak. So there is a ground for empathy. Therefore there is all this animal rights which is such a good thing. Because you have kind of empathy therefore you develop sympathy therefore you have a access or a ground for compassion and love and bodhicitta even. Whereas the lower realm, lower birth, hunger, and shelter, lack of shelter, lack of food is the domineering suffering. So in many cases certain animals like fish they maybe eating there own children without them knowing. Things like that.
So higher birth or more noble birth is so important because at least you have the notion of what is right and what is wrong. What is good for, what causes the suffering and what causes pain, or what causes happiness and so on and so forth. A birth that has that kind of capacity is called ??? which is usually in the classic Buddhist text categorized as human realm, heaven or the god realm and asura realm. Among these three, actually for a Buddhist practitioner, they prefer human realm. Not every human birth but the human birth that posses the quality and ability to actually think rationally and see the truth, basically understanding dharma. So this is was Jetsun Rinpoche Drakpa Gyaltsen was saying, your discipline has to have this element that it at least bear the fruit of a noble birth. This is supported by Chandrakirti, I mean this comes so much in the Mahayana shastras and the sutras. Like ???, Chandrakirti says, if you practice generosity, you can become very wealthy, you have abundance of things. But as you can see, some animals like nagas they have so much wealth but then their birth is not high so they still lack behind deciding what is right and wrong. So the discipline must – okay underline discipline must bear fruit of higher birth, noble birth.