Tag Archives: Hindu Dharma

Integral Humanism – Lectures of Deendayal Upadhyaya – 4

Lecture #1: https://arisebharat.wordpress.com/?p=5281

Lecture #2: https://arisebharat.wordpress.com/?p=5290

Lecture #3: https://arisebharat.wordpress.com/?p=5294

24th April 1965

C H A P T E R- 4

Yesterday we had discussed the functions of State in a Nation. According to the Bharatiya traditions, a nation is an organic living entity which has come into existence on its own and has not been made up or created by any group of persons. A nation brings forth a variety of institutions to fulfill its needs, as well as to give concrete shape to its inner fundamental nature. The State is one of these institutions which though being an important institution, is not supreme. In our literature where the duties of a king are referred to, his importance is definitely recognized. This is so, perhaps, to make him realize his immense responsibility. He exercised tremendous influence on the lives and character of the people. Hence he had to give due attention to his own behavior. Bhishma has said the same thing, in Mahabharat when he was asked whether circumstances make a king or a king makes the circumstances. He categorically stated that the king shapes the circumstances. Now some persons interpret this to mean that the considered the king above all. But this is not true. He did not suggest that the king was above Dharma. It is true that the king wielded a great deal of influence and that he was the protector of Dharma in society, but the king could not decide what constitutes Dharma. He only saw to it that people led their lives according to Dharma. In a way he was equivalent to present day executive.

In the present State, the executive has the responsibility to execute the laws properly, but does not enact laws. When the executive does not function with honesty and efficiency, the laws are entirely disregarded, as we see very well around us. We can well say today “Executive is responsible for the present evils to a great extent.” After all why has prohibition failed? Who is responsible for the failure?? When those very persons who have been entrusted with the task of implementing prohibition. Start taking monthly allowances from the bootleggers, how is the prohibition policy to succeed? The executive is, therefore, responsible for the proper enforcement of law. This is the meaning of Bhishma’s statement. It would be a mistake to interpret it as acceptance of approved supremacy of a monthly allowances from the bootleggers, how is the prohibition policy to succeed? The executive is therefore, responsible for the proper enforcement of law. This is the meaning of Bhisma statement. It would be a mistake to interpret it as acceptance of approved supremacy of a king. If this were so, how was it that the tyrant king Venu was removed by the Rishis and Prithu was enthroned?

This action by the Rishis was never condemned by any one in history. On the contrary it was hailed by everyone. When the supremacy of Dharma is accepted as a principle, then, though the authority of Dharma, the Rishis derive a right to remove a king who defaults in his duty. Otherwise, it would have been absolutely illegal to remove a king from his throne. Thus if a King does not act according to Dharma, it becomes the duty of everyone to remove him. In Western countries, either a King was removed by some other king or people rejected the sovereignty of king altogether. There king was a representative of God and could under no circumstances be removed at least in principle.

In our socio-political set-up, the king and the State were never considered supreme. Not only that, there were other important institutions, (besides the State, which was only one of them) to regulate and to help carry on the social life. Those institutions had been organized both on horizontal and vertical level, i.e. on original and occupation basis. We have evolved Panchayats and Janapada Sabhas. The mightiest of the king did not ever disturb the Panchayats. Similarly there were associations on the basis of trade. These two were never disturbed by the State; on the contrary their autonomy was recognized. They devised their own rules and regulations in their fields. The Panchayats of different communities, shrines, nigams, Village Panchayats, Janapada Sabhas and such other Organization used to set- up regulations. The function of the state was mostly to see that these rules are observed by the persons concerned. The State never interfered with the affairs of these associations. Thus the State was concerned only with some aspects of life of the Society.

Similarly, in the economic field many institutions are created. We have to think what should be the nature of our economic structure. We must have such an economic system which helps in the developments of our humane qualities, or civilization and enables us to attain a still higher level of all round perfection. We should have a system which does not overwhelm our humane quality; which does not make us slaves of its own grinding wheels. According to our concept, man attains God like perfection as a result of development. What structure, what regulation should be specified in our economic system if we wish to achieve this goal? Let us, consider this point.

Economic system must achieve the production of all the basic things essential for the maintenance and development of people as well as the protection and development of the Nation. Having satisfied the basic minimum requirements, the question naturally arises, whether there should be more production for greater property and happiness. The Western societies consider it most essential and even desirable to go on continuously and systematically increasing the desires and needs of man. There is no upper limit in the context. Normally desire precedes the efforts at producing the things desired. But now the position is reverse. People are induced to desire and use the things that have been and are being produced. Instead of producing to meet the demand, the search is on the markets for the goods already produced; if the demand does not exist, systematic efforts are made to create demand. This has become the chief characteristic of the western economic movement. Earlier, production followed the demand, now demand allows the production. Consider the use of tea for example. Tea was produced because people desired and wanted it. But Tea was produced and we were induced to develop taste for tea. Now tea is a common man’s drink. It has become a part of our life. Similar is the case of vegetable ghee. Did anyone ever want to use it? It was first produced and then we were taught to use it. If whatever is manufactured is not consumed, there will be depression. Some of us many remember the great depression of 1930-32. There was abundance of goods at that time but there was no demand. Therefore factories had to be closed down.

Bankruptcy and unemployment were widespread. Thus now-a-days it is most important that what is being produced must be consumed. The Editor of “Organiser”, an English Weekly, had gone to USA for a visit sometime ago. Upon his return, he related an interested instance. There is a factory producing “Potato-peelers”, a device for peeling potatoes. The production of this factory outstripped the demand for the device. The management of the firm faced the problem of finding some way by which people may be induced to buy more potato peelers. They called a meeting of all the salesmen of the firm. Among the suggestions put forward, one was to make the color of the handle similar to that of potato peel. so that along with the peel. the peeler may also be dumped in the garbage, often by mistake. Thus there may be greater demand. Also, the product was offered in a more attractive packing. Now this economic structure is not merely consumption oriented but is clearly leading to destruction. Throw away the old one and buy a new one! Rather than satisfying the need and demand from people. to create fresh demand has become the aim of modern economics.

Supposing that we need not worry about the limited supply of natural resources, there is yet the question of balance in Nature. There is a relationship in different parts of Nature. If from the three sticks standing with mutual support, one is removed, the other two will automatically fall. The present economic system and system of production are fast disturbing this equilibrium of nature. As a result on the one hand new products are manufactured for satisfying ever increasing desires, on the other hand new problem arise every day, threatening the very existence of the entire humanity and civilization. It is essential, therefore, to use up that portion of the available natural resources which the nature will be able to recoup easily. When the fruits are taken, the fruit tree is not injured: it may even be helpful to the tree. However, in the effort to take a greater harvest from the land chemical fertilizers are used which in a few years time render the land altogether infertile. Lakhs of acres of land lie barren in America due to this factor. How long this dance of destruction can go on?

The destruction provides for depreciation fund to replace the machines when worn out. Then how can we neglect the depreciation fund for nature. From this point of view, it must be realized that the object of our economic system should be, not extravagant use of available resources, but a well regulated use. The physical objects necessary for a purposeful, happy and progressive life must be obtained. The Almighty has provided as much. It will not be wise, however, to engage into a blind rat-race of consumption and production as if man is created for the sole purpose of consumption. Engine needs coal for its proper working, but it has not been produced merely to consume coal. On the contrary it is only proper always to see that with the minimum coal consumption, maximum energy is produced. This is the economic view point. Keeping in view the aim of human life, we must endeavor to see how with the minimum of fuel, man proceeds to his goal with the maximum speed. Such a system alone can be called civilization. This system will not think of merely a single aspect of human life but of all its aspects including the ultimate aim. This system will not thrive on the exploitation of nature but will sustain nature and will in turn itself be nourished. Milking rather than exploitation should be our aim. The system should be such that overflow from nature is used to sustain our lives.

If such human angle inspires the economic system than our thinking on the economic question will undergo through transformation. In the Western economics, whether it is capitalist or socialist, value has the most important and central position. All economic theories centre around value. It may be that the analysis of value is very important from the point of view of the economist but, those social philosophers which are based entirely on value are for incomplete, inhuman and to some extent unethical take. For example, the slogan commonly heard now-a-days “one must earn his bread”. Normally communists use this slogan but even the capitalists are not fundamentally in disagreement with it. If there is any difference between them, it is only as regards who earns and how much. The capitalists consider capital and enterprise as important components of production and hence if they take a major share of profits, they think it is their due. On the other hand, communists believe only labor to be the main factor in production. Therefore they concede major share of production to the laborers. Neither of these ideas is correct. Really speaking, our slogan should be that the one who earns will feed and every person will have enough to eat.. The right to food is a birthright. The ability to earn is a result of education and training. In a society even those who do not earn must have food. The children and the old, the diseased and the invalids, all must be eared for by the society. Even society generally fulfills this responsibility.

The social and cultural progress of mankind ties in the readiness to fulfill this responsibility. The economic system must provide for this task. Economics as a science does not account for this responsibility. A man works not merely for bread alone, but also to shoulder this responsibility. Otherwise those who have had their meals would no longer work. Any economic system must provide for the minimum basic necessities of human life to everyone. Food, clothing and shelter constitute, broadly speaking these basic necessities. Similarly, the society must enable the individual to carry out his obligations to the society by properly educating him. Lastly, in the event of an individual falling a prey to any disease society must arrange for his treatment and maintenance. If a government provides these minimum requirements, then only it is a rule of Dharma. Otherwise, it is a rule of Adharma. Describing the King Dilip, Kalidas has said in Raghuvansha “Being responsible for the maintenance, protection and education of his subjects, he was their true farther. Others were merely instrumental in giving them their birth”. The description of king Bharat after whom our country has been named Bharat, also runs similarly, i.e. “by maintaining and protecting his subjects he was called Bharat.” This is his country, Bharat, if in this country maintenance and protection are not guaranteed, and then the name Bharat is meaningless.

Education – A Social Responsibility

To educate a child is in the interest of the Society itself. By birth a child is an animal. He becomes a responsible member of the society only by education and culture. To charge fees for something which is in the interest of the society itself a rather odd. If due to the inability to pay the fees, children are left without education, will the society endure the situation for long? We do not charge fee from trees for sowing the seed and caring for the supplying. On the contrary we invest our money and efforts. We know that when the tree grows, we shall reap fruits.

Education is a similar investment. An educated individual will indeed serve the society. On the other hand it will not be surprising if people grow indifferent to the society, which leave them to fend for themselves. Before 1947, in all the princely states In India, no fees were charged for education. The highest education was free. In the Gurukulas, even food and lodging were arranged without any charge. The student used to go to the society for “Bhiksha”. No householder would refuse the Bhiksha to the student. In other words, society used to bear the burden of education. Similarly, it is rather surprising that medical treatment must be paid for. In fact, medical treatment also should be free as it was in this country in the past. Now-a-days one has to pay even to gain entrance to a temple. In Tirupathi, to enter the Balaji temple, there is a charge of 0.25 paise. However, at noon for one hour, there is Dharma Darshan, which means, during that time, no ticket is needed, as if at other times there is Adharma Darshan. The society should guarantee to all members minimum requirements for maintenance and progress of every individual. Now the question arises that if everyone is to be guaranteed the minimum necessities, where will the resources for all this come from?

Guarantee of Work

It is clear that the resources must be produced by our own efforts. Therefore, where a right to a guaranteed minimum is recognized, any individual who does not share in the efforts to produce is a burden to the society. Similarly any system which obstructs the production activity of the people is self destructive. Such a system will not enable the individuals to fulfill their responsibility. Not only that, but even if the requirements of an individual are met, while he does not share in the efforts, his personality will not develop fully, his progress as a human being will be distorted and lop-sided. Man has stomach as well is hands. If he has no work for his hands, he will not get happiness even if he gets food to satisfy his hunger. His progress will be obstructed. Just as a barren woman experiences emptiness in life and consequent dissatisfaction, so does a man without work. The guarantee of work to every able bodied member of the society, should be the aim of our economic system. Today we witness a very strange situation. On the one hand, a ten-year-old child and seventy-year-old man are toiling and on the other hand youth of twenty five is driven to suicide for want of work. We shall have to remove this mismanagement. God has given hands to every man but by themselves hands have a limited capacity to produce. They need assistance of capital in the form of machines.

Labor and capital bear the same relation to each other as that between man and nature. The world is a creation of these two. Neither of them can be neglected.

Capital Formation

For capital formation it is essential that a part of production be saved from immediate consumption and be used for further production, in future. Thus capital can be formed only by restraint on consumption. This is the basis of capital formation to which Karl Marx refers to as “surplus value” in his treatise. In the capitalist system the industrialist creates capital with the help of this surplus value. In a socialist system, the state undertakes this task. In both the systems, the entire production is not distributed among the workers. If production is carried on through centralized large-scale industries, the sacrifice on the part of the worker in creating the capital is not given due recognition. The advantage in decentralization is in the fact that the workers have a sense of direct participation in the management of this surplus value or capital. Machine is the most common form of capital. Machine was created in order to reduce the content of physical labor in production and to increase the productivity of the worker. Machine, therefore, is an assistant of the worker and not his competitor. However, where the human labor came to be considered as a commodity to be purchased with money, the machine became the competitor of the human being. The principal drawback of the capitalist view point in the fact that by making the machine a competitor of human labor and thereby displacing and competitor of human labor and thereby displacing and subjecting human being to privations the very purpose of creating machine has been defied. Machine cannot be blamed for this. It is the fault of the economic and social system which cannot distinguish between the object and the instrument. We shall have to take into account the limitations on usefulness of machines and decide on its field of application. From this point of view to import the machinery from Western countries, where shortage of manpower was the guiding factor in the design of machines would be a serious mistake.

The merits of machine are, not independent of time and place. Machines are a product of the modern science but not its representatives. Scientific knowledge is not a monopoly of any particular country. But its application has to take into account the particular condition of each country and its requirements. Our machines must not only, by tailored for our specific economic means, but also must, at least, avoid conflict with our socio-political and cultural objectives, if not support them. Professor Vishvesaraya has said in one of his books, that while considering the system of production one must take into account the seven ‘M’s. These are man, material, money, management, motive power, market and machine. The skill and ability of the workers or those who should be provided with work must be considered. Easy availability of the required raw material and the quality and properties of the raw materials available cannot be ignored. We must also think of how much money is available as capital. How this capital can be increased and at what rate? How best it can be utilized for maximum production? How much of it should be put in the fixed assets and how much should be kept in the liquid form? We must also pay attention to the form of power available in the country in addition to the human and animal labor.

Wind, water, steam oil, gas, electricity and atomic power can supply the motive power. Of these, which form of power can be obtained in what quantity and without being uneconomic must be thought of while deciding upon our methods of production. In the same way managerial skills are also important and deserve the attention. If the ability to co-ordinate the efforts of a dozen workers are wanting, all of them will remain unemployed. It is also necessary to think of the usefulness of the goods produced to the society. This means that production of any particular commodity cannot be justified economically without the consideration of the market it commands. Taking into consideration all these factors we should design suitable machines. Instead, we find now-a-days that we install the machines first and try to coordinate all other factors afterwards. Other countries of the world did not progress in this fashion. Otherwise new machines would not have been invested. We are importing the machines and hence, we have little knowledge. We shall have to develop a Bharatiya technology.

None of the seven factors is unchangeable. In fact each one keeps constantly changing. Those who are entrusted with the task of planning must think of how the change is directed towards progress, how physical hardship is reduced, and waste of energy is minimized. As an illustration let us take the low productivity of our worker. It can be increased by using machines, and it is necessary to do so. But if the machine is such that requires only a few men to run it, then the rest of the people will be thrown out of employment. If the machine has to be imported from other countries at such a heavy cost that the additional production it causes will be insufficient to make it economic, then such a machine is not suitable to our requirements. Just as to let a part of the installed capacity of a factory remain unutilised is a losing proposition, so also to let the people of this country remain unemployed is a losing proposition. May, this is even worse.

Whereas a machine ties up only the capital invested in it in past, the unemployed people have to be fed, which is continuous and unending drain on resources, consumed at double the speed. Therefore instead of the usual exhortation “Every worker must get food”, we must think of “Everyone who eats must get work”, as the basis of our economy. No doubt charakha has to be replaced by machines but not necessarily automatic machines everywhere. Full employment must be a primary consideration and then the rest of the six factors suit this.

Man’s Place In The Economy

The use of manpower and the employment question will have to be thought of in the context of the human being as a whole, as an integral being. The economic theories of the past few centuries and the structure of society based on these theories, have resulted in a thorough devaluation of the human being. His personality is altogether irrelevant to the economic set up. Capitalist economy recognizes only an “economic man”, whose all decisions are based entirely on calculations of gain and loss, in terms of material wealth. For this economic man, five rupees are always more than four rupees. He works solely to gain more wealth, and execs to get the maximum gain. For him, just like other commodities, human labor is a commodity to be bought and sold in the market. This is free enterprise. It holds all other restriction and regulations unjust, save the brake of competition. In the race no one is prepared to stop and give a helping land to the weak, who is left behind; elimination of the weak is considered just and natural.

He is uneconomic, marginal unit, not fit to exist. This is what it advocates. By the elimination of such marginal units, the economic power accumulates in the hands of a few. This is considered normal and natural is capitalist system. But when monopoly is a established, even the check of competition ceases to operates. In such a. situation the incentive resulting from competition is no longer available. Prices are arbitrarily fixed and quality of products deteriorates. Even as regards the consumer’s needs, the capitalist is guided not by the necessities and desires of the consumer, but by his purchasing power. The needs of the wealthy and the well fed are attended to rather than those of the poor and the hungry. As a result where countless varieties of goods are produced for he needs of the wealthy, even the basic necessities of life for the poor become scarce. The centralization and monopolization of reduction totally undermine the influence of the consumer. The markets are so organized that the consumer has to go by standard products. This standardization is on the increase at such a pace that individual preference of the consumer is ignored. Like the books in the library, even human beings are allotted numbers as consumers. The system which boasts of giving highest importance to the individual has ironically destroyed all individuality. Clearly, the capitalist system is incapable of helping the development of an integral human being.

Socialist System Is A Reaction

Socialism arose as a reason to capitalism. But even socialism failed to establish the importance of the human being. Socialists contented themselves by merely transferring the ownership of capital in the hands of the State. But the State is even more of an impersonal institution. All the business of the State is conducted by rigid rules and regulations. Generally, there is no place for individual discretion and even where such discretion is allowed, the slightest laxity in the sense of duty and social responsibility on the part of the administrators’ results in corruption and favoritism. The capitalistic system thought merely of the economic man, but left him free in other fields where they could exercise his individuality. The socialist system went much further thinking only of the abstract man. After that, there was no scope for the development of the individual personality based on diverse tastes and abilities. The needs and preferences of individuals have as much importance in the socialist system as in a prison manual. There is no such thing as individual freedom in the socialist system

State’s Claims on Individual

There is no private property in a socialist society. This removes the problems attendants to the institution of private property. However., the incentive for production and conservation of resources and economy in utilization accompany the institution of private property. There has been no alternative arrangement to preserve these. The State is made supreme and sole authority in all matters. Individual citizen is reduced to mere cog in this giant wheel. There are no provisions to inspire the individual to fulfill his role. As Djilas states, the class of old fashioned exploiters has been eliminated, but a new class of bureaucratic exploiter has come into existence. Karl Marx put forward, in his analysis of history, that capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction and that communism is a natural and inevitable successor to capitalism.

This concept may be helpful in fostering faith in the communist about their ultimate victory but certainly such a determinist view destroys the urge for reforms and dynamism in man. He is no longer the creator of a new order; he is merely incidental to a predetermined historic process. His task is only to accelerate the process. Therefore, even as he tries to organize workers, he cares little for their welfare, but uses them as mere tools for the revolution. The dialectic materialism of Marx, too, operates only so long as state is note established as supreme after destroying the capitalists. Thereafter, the state puts a stop to the operation of the principle of dialectic materialism. In the name of crushing and counter revolutionaries, the state becomes more and more totalitarian. The day when the state is to wither away yielding place to a stateless society remains a mere dream. In fact according to the Marxist view, to obstruct the process of these antitheses, is itself reactionary. Marx is thus falsified by his own standards. Both these systems – Capitalist as well as Communist, have failed to take account of the Integral Man, his true and complete personality and his aspirations. One considers him a mere selfish being lingering after money, having only one law, the law of fierce competition, in essence the law of the jungle; whereas the other has viewed him as a feeble lifeless cog in the whole scheme of things, regulated by rigid rules, and incapable of any good unless directed. The centralization of power, economic and political, is implied in both. Both, therefore, result in dehumanization of man. Man, the highest creation of God. is losing his own identity. We must re-establish him in his rightful position, being him the realization of his greatness, reawaken his abilities and encourage him to exert for attaining divine heights of his latest personality. This is possible only through a decentralized economy. We want neither capitalism nor socialism. We aim at the progress and happiness of “Man”, the Integral Man. The protagonists of the two systems fight with ‘Man’ on the state. Both of them do not understand man, nor do they care for his interests.

Our Economic System

The Objectives of our Economy should be

  1. An assurance of minimum standard of living to every individual and preparedness for the defense of the nation.
  2. Further increase above this minimum standard of living whereby the individual and the nation acquires the means to contribute to the world progress on the basis of its own ‘Chiti’.
  3. To provide meanings employment to every able bodies citizens by which the above two objectives can be realized and to avoid waste and extravagance in utilizing natural resources.
  4. To develop suitable machines for Bharatiya conditions (Bharatiya Technology) taking note of the availability and nature of the various factors of production (Seven ‘M’s).
  5. This system must help and not disregard the human being, the individual. It must protect the cultural and other values of life. This is requirement which cannot be violated except at a risk of great peril.
  6. The ownership, state, private or any other form of various industries must be decided on a pragmatic and practical basis.

These are a few general directions which we must bear in mind while developing our economy. “Swadeshi” and “Decentralization” are the two words which can briefly summarize the economic policy suitable for the present circumstances. Centralization and monopolization have been the order of the day for all these years, knowingly or unknowingly. The planners have become prisoners of a belief that only large-scale centralized industry is economic and hence without worrying about its ill-effects, or knowingly but helplessly, they have continued in that direction. The same has been the fate of “Swadeshi”. The concept of “Swadeshi” is ridiculed as old fashioned and reactionary. We proudly use foreign articles. We have grown over independent upon foreign aid in everything from thinking, management, capital, methods of production, technology, etc. to even the standards and forms of consumption. This is not the road to progress and development. We shall forget our individuality and become virtual slaves once again. The positive content of “Swadeshi” should be used as the cornerstone of reconstruction of our economy.

For want of time, I have not touched the natural aspects of economic structure. But one thing is clear that many old institutions will yield place to new ones. This will adversely affect those who have vested interests in the old institutions. Some others who are by nature averse to change will also suffer by efforts of reconstruction. But disease must be treated with medicine. Strength can be gained only from exercise and hard work. Therefore, we still have to discard the status-quo mentality and usher in a new era. Indeed our efforts at reconstruction need not be clouded by prejudice or disregard for all that is inherited from our past. On the other hand, there is no need to cling to past institutions and traditions which have outlived their utility. We have considered what the direction of change should be. We have in the last four days thought over the integrated from of Humanism. On the basis we shall be able to reconcile nationalism, democracy, socialism and world peace with the traditional values of Bharatiya Culture and think of all these ideals in an integrated form. The mutual conflict among these ideals can be removed and they can supplement mutually. Thereby the “Man can gain his lost status and attain the aims of his life”.

We have here discussed the philosophy. But the members of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh are not mere philosophers or academicians. We have set out with the determination to make this nation strong, happy and prosperous through the medium of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh. Therefore, we must carry on practical programs for the nationalist reconstruction on this foundation. We have taken due note of our ancient culture. But we are no archeologists. We have to intention of becoming the custodians of a vast archeological museum. Our goal is not merely to protect the culture but to revitalize it so as to make it dynamic and in tune with the times. We must ensure that our nation stands firm on this foundation and our society is enabled to live a healthy, progressive and purposeful life. We shall have to end a number of traditions and set in reforms which are helpful in the development of values and of national unity in our society. We shall remove those traditions which obstruct this process. Whereas one need not mourn the limitations of the human body, one must undergo the required social operation if any part of the body has cancerous growth. There is no need to to amputee healthy limbs. If today, the society is gripped with evils like untouchability which lead men to treat other human beings as lower than themselves and thereby threaten the national unity, we shall have to end s such evils.

We shall be required to produce such institutions as will kindle the spirit of action in us, which will replace the self-centeredness and selfishness by a desire to serve the nation, which will produce not only sympathy towards our brethren, but a sense of affection and oneness with them. Such institutions can truly reflect our ‘Chiti’. ‘Chiti’ is a nation’s soul. The strength and energy activating the nation is called “Virat” and channeled by ‘Chiti’. The place of ‘Virat” in the life of nation is similar to that of Prana in the body. Just as ‘Prana’ infuses strength in various organs of the body, refreshed the intellect and keeps body and soul together; so also in a nation, with a strong ‘Virat’ alone can democracy succeed and the government be effective. Then the diversity of our nation does not prove an obstacle to our national unity. The difference of languages, occupations, etc. are present everywhere. However, when the ‘Virat’ is awake, diversity does not lead to conflicts and people co-operates with each other like the various limbs of the human body or like the members of a family.

We have to undertake the task of awakening our nation’s ‘Virat’. Let us go forward in this task with a sense of pride for our heritage, with a realistic assessment of the present and a great ambition for the future. We wish neither to make this country a shadow of some distant past nor an imitation of Russia or America. With the support of Universal knowledge and our heritage, we shall create a Bharat which will excel all its past glories, and will enable every citizen in its fold to steadily progress in the development of his manifold latent possibilities and to achieve through a sense of unity with the entire creation, a state even higher than that of a complete human being; to become Narayan from ‘Nar’. This is the external divine from of our culture. This is our message to humanity to cross roads. May God give us strength to succeed in this task.

BHARAT MATA KI JAI

25th April 1965

(Source: http://deendayalupadhyay.org/speeches.html)

Lecture #1: https://arisebharat.wordpress.com/?p=5281

Lecture #2: https://arisebharat.wordpress.com/?p=5290

Lecture #3: https://arisebharat.wordpress.com/?p=5294

 

Advertisements

Sri Adi Shankara – Some Incidents

 

Source – kamakoti.org & esamskriti

About 2500 years ago, in Kaladi Kerala, India, a learned brahmin, by the name of Sivaguru, and his wife, Aryambal, spent their life in pooja and in giving alms to poor and in other good deeds. This childless couple went to Trichur and performed puja for 48 days to Lord Vadakkunathan (Lord Shiva) and prayed for a son.

Lord Shiva melted in their devotion and was bornto Aryambal. As the Lord had already promised that he will be born to do good to this world, the child was named Sankara. Sam means prosperity and Karathi means te giver. All the visitors stood in awe at the divinity of the child and said “This is not an ordinary child”.

As Shankara grew up, he attraced everybody with his intelligence and kindness. At the age of three, he was given “Aksharabyas”, i.e., the learning of writing and reading. At the age of four, he lost his father. At the age of five, he was initiated in Brahmacharyam i.e.,  self-imposed celibacy that is generally considered an essential prerequisite for spiritual practice.   As per the practice the disciple had to go from house to house and take alms and submit this to his guru (teacher).

On a Dwadasi day Sankara happened to go to the house of a very poor lady and asked for the alms. The lady did not have a single grain of rice in her house to give. All she had kept a single berry fruit for herself. She unhesitatingly gave this fruit to Sankara as she could not send him empty handed. Sankara was moved by her selflessness and the poverty of the lady and prayed to Goddess Lakshmi in a beautiful sloka which is called “Kanaka Dhara Stotram”. On completion of this stotram, Goddess Lakshmi appeared in person and showered a rain of golden coins on the poor lady’s house.

One day, the rishis came to him and reminded him of his duty to the land in spreading spiritualism. Sankara agreed it was time to become a Sanyasi and go all over the country to kindle religious ferver. One day when Sankara was taking bath, a crocodile caught hold of his leg. Sankara called out to his mother. Aryambal came running and to her horror she found her son in the grip of the crocodile and she cried that se did not know how to help her son.

Sri Sankara informed his mother that his life was nearing to an end, but if he became a Sanyasi, he could start a new life as a sannyasi. Thus Sri Sankara obtained permission from his mother to become a sannyasi.

Sri Sankara went in the search of a Guru to be formally initiated as a Sannyasi. At the banks of the river Narmada, he found the river gushing forth into floods. By using his powers, he encapsulated the river in his Kamandal (a vessel sannyasi’s carry) and released it in the banks of the river. Sri Govinda Bagawathpathar, an ascetic who saw this, marvelled at Sri Sankara then took him on as a disciple.

Sri Govinda Bagawathpadar taught various vedas to Sri Sankara. He also taught about Advaita, the principle that every one in this world is the manifestation of God and that God and Atman are one and the same. He advises Sri Sankara to go out in the world and spread this truth   throughout the country. One of Sri Sankara’s famous poetic composition is “Bhaja Govindam”.

Sankara and the Outcaste
One Summer noon at Varanasi Sri Sankara after taking a bath in the holy Ganga was proceeding towards the temple of Lord Viswanath along with his disciples. The Great Acharya saw an outcaste, a Chandala, coming along with his dogs in his way. He told the Chandala “get away, get away – move away, move away”.

These innocent looking remarks led to an unexpected questioning from the Chandala and caused Sankara to give out to the world an immortal poem entitled ‘Maneeshaa Panchakam’ which elaborated the Vedantic ideas and brought into focus that even a person belonging to a low caste could rekindle the light of wisdom in the greatest among the great teachers.  Sri Sankara’s encounter and dialogue with the “outcaste” on the streets of Varanasi were of immense and eternal significance.

Issues raised by the “Chandala”
The Chandala asked Sankara:
1. By saying ‘Move away, Move away’ do you wish to move matter from matter or you mean to separate spirit from the Spirit? You have established that the Absolute is everywhere – in you and me and yet you want me to get away from you as if I were different. Is it this body, built up of food that you wish to keep at a distance from that body which is also built up of food? Or do you wish to separate Pure Awareness which is present here from the same Awareness present there?
2. Does it make any difference to the sun when it is reflected in the waters of Ganga or in the dirty waters of the cesspools in the streets of Chandalas? Is there any difference in the space as such, be it in a golden pot or in a mud pot? In the self-existing ocean of Blissful Consciousness, in the inner self, where there are no waves of agitating thoughts, how can there be this great delusory distinction – this is a Brahmin and this is an untouchable?

SANKARA’S RESPONSE
These words of the Chandala struck the Sadguru with astonishment. As a teacher of Advaita propagating the one Infinite Self in all, he immediately recognized that the Chandala taught him his own philosophy correctly.

HE THEN AND THERE COMPOSED THE FIVE VERSES ENTITLED ‘MANEESHAA PANCHAKAM’REITERATING THAT EVEN THOUGH A CHANDALA, HE HAVING EXHIBITED CLEAR PERCEPTION OF THE BRAHMAN, IS INDEED THE GURU OF THE JAGADGURU.

These five verses have been collectively given the name ‘Maneeshaapanchakam’, maneesha means deep conviction and panchakam means fivefold… The word ‘maneeshaa’, meaning ‘conviction’ appears in the last line in all the five verses.

In these verses which expound the wisdom of the Mahavakyas declared in the four Vedas, Sankara not only responded to his critique but also sent a timeless and universal message that distinctions based upon social, moral, ethical and other similar considerations have no relevance in the Upanishadic teachings.

 

 

 

 

Sri Sankara went to Kasi and by that time, he had a lot of disciples.  One of disciple Sanandhyaya, was washes the clothes of his Guru and suddenly Sri Sankara called him to the other bank of the river.  Sanandhyaya, little realising that he would drown, starts walking into the river.  However, the Grace of his Guru resulted in a lotus materialising wherever he was keeping his foot. When asked as to how did he cross the river, he says that when his Guru called, he did not worry about anything.  Sri Sankara named him as Padma Pada (lotus feet).

His mother, Aryambal was in her deathbed, and as per his promise while taking celibacy that he would be by her side while she breathes her last. He reached Kaladi and paid his last respects.  Aryambal was happy that her son had come. Sri Sankara prayed to Lord Narayana who appeared in person and blessed Aryambal. Sri Sankara did the last rites for his mother and put her in the pyre himself and lit it using yog-agni.

Sri Sankara completed his travels and went to Badrinath. Lord Vishnu appeared before him and told that image of Badarinaraya in Alaknanda river should be taken out and a temple be built for it. This temple is called Badrinarayan temple and is one of the important religious places for Hindus.

Towards the end of his life, Adi Shankara travelled to the Himalayan area of Kedarnath-Badrinath and attained videha mukti (“freedom from embodiment”) at the age of 32. There is a samadhi mandir dedicated to Adi Shankara behind the Kedarnath temple.

“Shruti Smriti puranam alayam karunalayam 

Namami Bhagavadpadam Shankaram Lokashankaram”

     

I salute the compassionate abode of the Vedas, Smritis and Puranas known as Shankara Bhagavatpada, who makes the world auspicious.

BBC Documentary-The Story of the Swastika

At last, the BBC has produced an excellent video explaining how Hitler hijacked the swastika–a symbol of auspiciousness used by ancient cultures worldwide and held sacred by Hindus–and distorted its meaning so that the Western world now regards it with fear and loathing, as a symbol of hatred and genocide. Footage of Nazi Germany is contrasted with the swastika’s uses and significance in Hindu culture and religious observances.

Although the narrator doubts we can ever effect a complete recovery (even saying that Hitler “changed the perception of the swastika in the West forever”), the video ends on a very positive note, hypothesizing the day when each child’s early exposure to the swastika will be in terms of its traditional, benevolent uses and meanings–and the later knowledge of Hitler’s misuse of it will be met with the same sense of sock, horror and outrage that Hindus themselves feel. “And if we can get to that point, then Hitler will have finally been defeated.

Info received by Hindu Association USA. LONDON, ENGLAND, May 13, 2014 (BBC):

A Book Review of Indra’s Net by Rajiv Malhotra

THE INTELLECTUAL PUGILIST

 ( Indra’s Net by Rajiv Malhotra, Harper Collins Publishers India, 2014)

By Khandavalli Satya Deva Prasad

Indra's Net

The title of this book is a metaphor for the profound cosmology and outlook that permeates Hinduism. Indra’s Net symbolizes the universe as a web of connections and inter-dependencies among all its members, wherein every member is both a manifestation of the whole and inseparable from the whole. In these pages I seek to revive it as the foundation for Vedic cosmology and show how it went on to become the central principle of Buddhism, and from there spread into mainstream western discourse several disciplines.

The metaphor of Indra’s Net originates from the Atharva Veda, which likens the world to a net woven by the great deity Shakra or Indra. The net is said to be infinite, and to spread in all directions with no beginning or end. At each node of the net is a jewel, so arranged that every jewel reflects all the other jewels. No jewel exists by itself independently of the rest. Everything is related to everything else; nothing is isolated. The mantra is brihaddhi jaalam brihatah shakrasya vaajinivatah(8.8.6), Ayam loko jaalamaaseet shakrasya mahato mahan (8.8.8). The fundamental idea of unity-in-diversity underpins all dharmic traditions….

Now excerpts from the preface of the book:

Each of my books tries to provoke a new kind of conversation, the goal of which is to confront some specific prejudice against Indian civilization. Established biases covering a wide range of issues need to be exposed, especially when they are unsubstantiated. The objective of every book of mine is to pick a particular dominant narrative which is sustained by a nexus of scholars specializing in that theme, and then target it to effectively subvert it. If my counter-discourse can become established in the minds of a sufficient number of serious thinkers, thenit will assume a life of its own and its effects will continue to snowball without my direct involvement. This is the end result I seek. To be effective, a book must resist straying from its strategic priorities and must avoid arguing too broadly.

For example, I developed the strategy, overall thesis, and much of the content of Invading the Sacred so as to take aim at the Freudian psychoanalytical critique of Hindism. This hegemonic discourse was being propagated by powerful nexus in the heart of the Western academia, and had spread as a fad among Indian intellectuals. Invading the Sacred gave birth to, and incubated, a solid opposition which cannot be ignored today.

My subsequent book, Breaking India, focused on demonstrating how external forces are trying to destabilize India by deliberately undermining its civilization. Such efforts are targeted at confusing and ultimately aborting any collective positive identity based on Indian civilization. The book exposed the foreign interests and their Indian sepoys who see Hinduism as a random juxtaposition of incoherent and fragmented traditions. Many watchdog movements have sprung into action because of that book. It has triggered a domino effect with other researchers now exposing more instances of the same syndrome.

My most recent book, Being Different, presents a coherent and original view of dharma as a family of traditions that challenges the West’s claim of universalism. Because Western universalism is unfortunately being used as the template for mapping and defining all cultures, it is important to become conscious of its distorted interpretations of Indian traditions. Being Different is prompting many Indians to question various simplistic views concerning their traditions, including some that are commonly espoused by their own gurus and political leaders. It is a handbook for serious intellectuals on how to ‘take back’ Hinduism by understanding it on its own terms.

The present book exposes the influential narrative that Hinduism was fabricated during British rule and became a dangerous new religion. The central thesis which I seek to topple asserts that Swamy Vivekananda plagiarized Western secular and christian ideas and then recast them in Sanskrit terminology to claim Indian origins for them. Besides critiquing this nexus and defending Vivekananda’s vision, this book also presents my own vision for the future of Hinduism and its place in the world.

Hence the book has two purposes: to defend the unity of Hinduism as we practice it today, and to offer my own ideas about how to advance Vivekananda’s revolution to the next stage.

This volume introduces some new vocabulary and ideas such as ‘open architecture’ and ‘toolbox’, which are critical to my insights on Hinduism. While openness has always been characteristic of Hindus, too much of a good thing can be dangerous. I argue that this very quality of openness has made Hinduism susceptible to becoming ‘digested.’ ‘Digestion’, a concept introduced in my earlier books, is further elaborated in these pages.

In the conclusion, I stick my neck out and introduce a set of defensive strategies for safeguarding against digestion. I call these stragies the ‘poison pill’ and the ‘porcupine defence’. I hope this provocative proposition will trigger debate and controversy.

Some of the new vocabulary that was introduced in Being Different such as ‘history centricsm’, ‘integral unity’ and ‘embodied knowing’ will be further sharpened in these pages. I will also ascribe new meanings to the old Sanskrit terms astika and nastika, and utilize them differently than in the tradition.

Clearly, I wish to influence mainstream Hindus who are often seriously misinformed about their own traditions.

My hope is to spur the genesis of what I call a ‘home team’ of intellectual leaders who would research, reposition and articulate Hinduism in a responsible way on important issues today.

I have made some compromises for practical reasons. For instance, I use the term ‘philosophy’ to refer not only to western philosophy but also, to Indian thought, even though the latter would more accurately be called darshana.

The difference between philosophy and darshana is significant. Philosophy is entirely disembodied and is an intellectual tool driven by the ego. Darshana includes philosophy but goes much further because it also includes embodied experience. Traditionally, Indian thoughthas been characterized by the interplay of intellectual analysis and sadhana, with no barriers between the two. Hindu practices cultivate certain states of mind as preparation for receiving advanced knowledge. In other words, darshana includes anubhava (embodied experience) in addition to the study of texts and reasoning. The ordinary mind is an instrument of knowing , and its enhancement through meditation and other sadhana is seen as essential to achieving levels of knowledge higher than reasoning alone can provide. Western philosophy emphasizes reason to the exclusion of anubhava and thus consists essentially of the disembodied analysis of ‘mental objects’. Such a philosophy can never cross the boundary of dualism.

The very existence of smritis- texts that are written and rewritten to fit the context of each specific period and place- indicates that our tradition has never been frozen in time. It has evolved in stip with the needs and challenges of each era.

Hinduism cannot be pigeon-holed into tradition, modern and post-modern straitjackets in the way the west sees itself, because Hinduism has always been all three of these simultaneously and without contradiction.

The book focuses on toppling a specific, well-entrenched line of discourse that tries to isolate tradition in order to create conflicts and contradictions. My challenge is to help general readers undergo some serious mental shifts.

Following are my comments:

Like the seminal concept of Indra’s Net, most fundamental concepts that are ruling the intellectual space in the modern days are from Vedic (Hindu) India. For instance the very idea of interconnectedness and complementary reflected in the Indra’s Net fascinated the western scientists and contributed in no small measure to the foundation ideas of quantum physics. Scientists like Ervin Schroedinger openly acknowledged their debt to Vedantic ideas in understanding and clarifying quantum concepts. Going further back, it is a well known fact in History of Hindu Science that the Zero symbol, concept of infinity, the number system, the decimal place value system, are the exclusive discoveries of Hindus. This fact is recorded by such historians of mathematics as G.B. Halstead. The medical science, astronomy, the cosmology of Hindus travelled to Arabia and Moorish-Spain in a big way beginning with 8th century. From there these Hindu sciences reached Europe from Spanish moors and also directly from Persia. Buddhism has Hindu knowledge system for its base and served as the export variety of Hinduism (vide S.Radhakrishnan). It is perhaps the first missionary religion in the world and carried Hindu Ayurveda, and Sanskrit lore to distant lands. The sramanas (thera-putras) served the medical and educational needs of the people of foreign lands and gained converts to Buddhism. These conversions were voluntary and never resulted in the disruption of those foreign cultures and societies as is the case with christian and muslim conversions in India at present. The medical services of thera-putras were so popular that the very name for the science and art of medical treatment came to be called therapeutics. It is an undeniable fact that Buddhism adopted its pantheon, and tantric lore from its mother Hinduism, however vehemently may some alienated neo-Buddhists deny the fact. Thus Hindu knowledge first went to Buddhism, then spread to distant lands, though some direct passage also occurred. One point to remember here is that the western mind with its excessively materialistic tendencies and lack of experiential culture, is forever at sea to grasp the Hindu knowledge in the original. So it needed some half-wayhouse. Buddhism and Islam served as the conduits. One who investigates the global circulation of ideas, and the history of ideas will see the truth in this statement.

Rajiv Malhotra attempted in this book not only to turn the tables on the west’s subversion attempts, but also to reestablish the centrality of Hindu knowledge system. His book is important in more than one way to the Hindus in general and to the alienated Hindus in particular who have lost all respect and confidence in their own dharmic religion and culture.

 

 

RSS Speaks on Propaganda of Hindu Terrorism

There is a vicious propaganda by some sections of the politicians and media to promote a brand called “Hindu Terror / Saffron terror” on the lines of “Islamic terror”. Using terror as a tool, they are attacking the organisations like RSS. They want to ensure that Sangh that does not spread its wings. However, the Hindu society sees through their evil designs and shall defeat all their efforts.

The RSS believes in a positive approach and its work has resonated in the hearts of the common people.

RSS General Secretary ( Sarkaryawah ), Sri Bhayyaji Joshi speaks on this subject of Hindu terrorism – Video length 5 mins