This is a Biblical quotation. The quotation reads: Man does not live by bread alone; but by every word that proceedeth of the mouth of God. Food is necessary to exist but mere existence cannot be the be-all and end-all of life. We eat in order to live but life is a means and not an end in itself. Bread is like a staff and support to help us reach our destination.
Man does not live by bread alone i.e. simply to eat and drink. Eat, drink and be merry cannot be the aim and objective of life. We share the need of food and shelter with all other animals. But man is the crown of creation. God has created man in his own image. His intellectual and spiritual capabilities and capacities are limitless. There cannot be more majestic, wonderful, awe-inspiring and valuable thing than man in the whole creation. He signifies the ultimate in creation. Then, how can he be satisfied with mere bread?
Man is an intellectual being. His intelligence urges him to probe the mysteries of nature, to conquer the elements, reach the moon and planets and go beyond them. It wants him to unravel the mystery of life, death and creation. It inspires and stimulates him to evolve higher and higher and still higher till perfection is achieved. His hunger for knowledge and thirst for enlightenment know no bounds. Even the sky is not the limit for him. His spiritual, ethical, aesthetic, social, cultural and technological urges are too strong to be resisted. He wants to create wonderful, fantastic and very beautiful things. He dreams of making life a perfect example. Satisfaction, in the ordinary sense, is not his cup of tea. It belongs to animals and beasts.
Had he been satisfied with the gratification of his senses alone, there would not have been such great religious, literature, pieces of wonderful art, cultures ever reaching to greater heights and so wonderful technological, scientific and industrial advancements. You could have then not planted his foot on the moon or probed Mars and sent flying machines far beyond the planets. Today he is the master of all that he surveys only because of these deep urges to reveal the secrets of nature and spirits. No doubt, man was at first the savage animal like all other animals. Then he lived in caves, under trees, covered himself with barks and leaves and satisfied his hunger by eating flesh of animals. But it was just the beginning of the long age Triumphant March- a march from savagery to civilization, culture and great spiritual heights.
Obviously, bread is important but not all important. Bread sustains us, but the purpose of life is far higher, nobler, subtle, refined and wonderful. Life becomes worthy of its name when its dedicated to nobler aims, activities, achievements and struggles. Man is by nature a dreamer, an idealist and, prophet wants to translate his dreams into a reality. He does not treat life has an empty dream. It is not a walking shadow or a poor player signifying nothing. He is ready to lose his life to discover its real meaning, to lace it with an nobler purpose and significance. Life of man anticipates all these and much more.
Food, shelter and clothing are a mere staff and man never wants to turn them into a crutch. He knows the difference between a mere Tool and the higher goals it is meant to serve. He can never be satisfied with a good length of life but believes in quality, in its meaningfulness and which is why there is so much struggle, effort, exertion and sweat. Man’s search for the truth, the ultimate reality leads him to higher and higher steps of evolution. He knows how to live but still better he knows how to die. He eats to live but never lives to eat. Thus, Its important to say Man does not live by bread alone.