On to the path of Wisdom!

   Collective consciousness first has to fully experience and absorb the fruits of body, vital and mind to realize their suffocating limitations in order to rise above the same. This experience even may include an atomic war to realize the logical fruits of civilization of lower self. It would be the retreat of spirit momentarily before it advances again. It may take a long-time and even a very long one. It will depend upon the state of collective consciousness of mankind. Unless there is intervention by Divine in the form of incarnation of some higher being in human blood and flesh, there are slim chances of collective consciousness regaining the state that rejects our civilization of the lower self.

  The fortunate common element of uncompromising love of truth present in the two outwardly contradictory cultures is a living reality and is reflected in the common people’s beliefs and pursuits of life. Each of these people live what they believe in and believe in what is supported , in one case, by mind and, in another case, by spirit.

  The avowed aim of the entire Eastern endeavor in varied forms in varied political countries since the dawn of civilization has been to understand the ultimate truth of existence. However, this endeavor to uncover the truth is directed singularly towards inner realms of human consciousness. Since the time immemorial these efforts have been rewarded in the form of light of Vedas, enlightenment of Buddha and more recently in the form of truth and non-violence of Gandhi and vision of human destiny of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo.

  On the other end, the Western endeavor for the search of truth has been primarily directed to the outer material form of existence. Single minded pursuit of this truth by the West has been rewarded by, starting from, the discovery of natural forces to the relativistic and quantum manner of interaction of the unified field of energy, from geography of our planet to the modern knowledge of the universe, and from biological anatomy to life’s genes. In fact, the modern way of life and thinking of the majority of mankind is completely molded and dominated by the material truth discovered by the West.

  However, today, the truths discovered by East and by West are converging more and more and mankind is nearing the point of time when there would be a whole and unified view of truth synthesizing the two partial and seemingly contradictory approaches. Till such time, East is East and West is West destined to pursue their respective unique and individual evolutionary course of life.

  The Eastern view of life is that everything that exists is, in essence and on ultimate analysis, a Supreme Force, Creative Energy or Divine Existence that is true, conscious and blissful (Sachidanand, that is, Sat, Chit and Anand); even the matter is nothing but a mere frozen form of this energy; thus, every particle of matter is dormant energy that has the potential of consciousness awakened and manifested out of it. Life as we know it on our Earth may have originated out of matter by an accidental and rare chemical reaction million of years ago as stated by modem science or by some other unknown method yet to be revealed by science but there are many more ways by which the life could express and manifest itself out of anything that exists.

  According to a well calculated design and scheme that is not open to mind to comprehend, the life-consciousness once expressed and manifested out of matter embarks on the evolutionary course attaining ever-higher level of consciousness. The sole object of this psychic or consciousness’ evolution (and more correctly, the sole object of the very manifestation of consciousness in matter) remains to become aware and comprehend the true essence of its surroundings in which it is placed by its birth, circumstances or Nature and by this process to elevate its own level of consciousness. In its evolutionary course this life-consciousness attains awareness of firstly body, secondly desires and thirdly mind. In a complex psychic evolutionary process, while traveling from an awareness of body to that of desires and of mind, the life-consciousness develops an awareness of the existence of a distinct ego or self.

  In human beings the life-consciousness is vividly aware of the existence of distinct entities of body, desires and mind. However, what the life-consciousness operating through mind is not aware of is that the true self of human being is basically an evolving Psychic Being imprisoned in animal body and clouded by worldly desires. It requires extra-ordinary and sustained psychic efforts (subject of an elaborate Eastern science) on the part of the individual concerned to become aware of the presence of this true, conscious and blissful Psychic Being in him. Eastern societies provide supporting environment to such individual efforts by protecting one against common man’s ridicule by enveloping him in the historically readymade social values of such effort worthy of being made. This exercise on being applied at societal level produces a chain-reaction between the individual concerned and the society and in the process elevates personal life of the individual concerned, level of the communal culture and quality of overall human civilization.

  The Western view of life is that it is a product of matter and its evolutionary mechanism is its struggle against Nature. In its long evolutionary course of struggle against nature, life has first originated out of matter and then grown from simple to complex in nature; and over this long evolutionary period the life-consciousness has achieved ever higher level culminating in human mind. After emergence of mind this evolutionary process of life has acquired a quantum jump and the mental faculty of reason by ever inquiring into the secrets of Nature is now further, of its own force produced in the process, propelling an ever-accelerating evolution.

  To the overwhelming majority of Eastern people it is a day light truth that needs no proof that there is an eternal element in living beings that is immortal; that life is dominated by pain and sorrow; that there is a cycle of death and birth of all living beings, including of human beings who are at the apex of life evolution.

  The Western common knowledge is that whatever is not found scientifically true can not be accepted as true and it has not been showed that there is any eternal element in human life or other forms of life. On the contrary, the apparent truth is that there is one life only and that comes to an end on death. Life is the gift of natural evolution that should be enjoyed in full as dictated by body, desires and reason only moderated by social concerns artificially formulated by the society in the common interests. Nobody has seen the life after death and reason does not admit such a possibility.

  The Eastern spiritual way of thinking holds that there is a purpose of human life on earth, and that purpose is, to realize this truth of life’s pain and sorrow and of cycle of death and life and to cultivate thereby the detachment towards world and worldly desires. Ultimately the mission of human life on earth is to end the cycle of life and death and to become conscious of and united with Supreme Consciousness that is all pervading, true and blissful and with its (conscious) spark present in human beings in the form of Psychic Being.

  This is Realization of Hiranyagarbha of Rigveda, Ahur Mazda.of Zendavasta, Liberation of Manu, Pragya of Lord Mahavir, Enlightenment of Buddha, Wisdom of Alexander’s Indian friend Kalanos, Law of Tibet’s Milarepa, Lali of Kabir, Destination of Nizamuddin Auliya, Khwaja Moinuddin and Salim Chisti on the path of Allah, Lord (Allah) of Shirdi’s Shri Saibaba, Krishna of Chaitanya and Mirabai, Mother Kali of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, Supreme Lord of Babaji and Yogananda, Truth of Mahatma Gandhi, Divine Lord of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, and the object of supreme reverence, love and devotion of many more yatis, yogis, sages and seers of the East.

  While some of these great men and women attempted, for the sake of human welfare and his mind’s comprehension, to give its vivid description, though, save for a very few, in vain for the large multitude of people, others refused to divulge at all its real contents as being prohibited by the rule of the subject and meaningless for his mind and still some others described it by employing terms conveying human inability to provide any description, all of these sages unanimously recommended to individuals to become completely united and identified with that Supreme Consciousness to know and live it in one’s life. Still, mankind to a great extant has benefited by such an exercise of those great yogis by receiving an impetuous for embarking on the path of conscious psychic evolution. Such is the confused mental notion of its real contents. It was well said ages ago that the Truth is one but learned men say it differently.

  On the opposite end, to the Western materialistic common mind there is also a purpose of human life and, without any doubt, that purpose is to enjoy life to the hilt; therefore, it is legitimate for the individual, for the society and for the nation to create maximum needs and desires and to satisfy them to get the maximum enjoyment of life for the maximum number of individuals. Here the socially sanctioned yardstick of development and culture is the extent to which a society can increase and satisfy those needs and desires. It is not that India has never seen the followers of such mundane philosophy. In ancient times, Charvaka’s materialistic philosophy was advocated by Brahshpati. Brahshpati propounded his philosophy thus: verse 1: Agnirushno (as fire by its very nature is warm) jalam shitam (and water is cold) samsparshistatha anila. Kenedam chitritam tasmat swabhavatadavyavastithi (in the same way, all things of this visible universe are made by the combination of necessary constituents in accordance with their inherent properties). Verse 6:   Yavat jivet (till you live) sukham jivet (live by enjoying pleasure), rinam kritva ghratam pibet (you should drink ghrita – clearified butter – even by securing it on credit); bhasmibhutasya dehasya (this physical body on its death is rendered burnt ash) punaragamanam kuta (and so, how can it come back again?). Its translation may be rendered thus: you should enjoy yourself till you have life; you should do so even by borrowing the means, if it be necessary, because it is not possible for human body, which on death is reduced to ash, to come again in this world.  However, philosophers like Charvaka, though having a considerable following of ordinary people, were never the ideal leaders of Indian society.

  It has been taught to the Eastern common man since time immemorial by their saints and Gurus, and it has become part of his psyche to believe, that when worldly desires rule human life, then they produce ego or arrogance in him. In turn, this arrogance creates an obstruction in his way of realizing the presence of eternal element of his existence and of fulfilling his life’s mission on earth. It is legitimate and commendable on his part to curb his needs, desires and arrogance.

  The yardstick of culture and civilization in East is the extent of ability of an individual to control his desires and minimize his needs. Here, the socially accepted virtue is simple living and high thinking.

  On the other side of the divide is the belief that assertion of self (that is, self composed of demands of body, desires and mind) is a virtue; that ego is an expression of human personality. For its balanced development it is necessary to cultivate, express and respect ego. It is the symbol of individual independence and liberty and it is desirable that it should be individually esteemed and socially approved and accommodated.

  To the East humility is a great virtue. A truly wise man knows that he knows not what is still there to know. He is always open to still greater wisdom that creates in him a sense of humility.

  In fact, this sense of humility is born out of the dawning on him the truth that knowledge and wisdom are infinite in its scope and depth and any arrogant assertion to the contrary by anyone only betrays his ignorance. It is wisely stated that a cowherd (who knows but little) and a truly learned man (who knows too much) reach on the same conclusion: that they know nothing of this vast and wonderful creation.

  To the Western common mind a sense of humility is an expression of lack of self-confidence and is harmful to the development of free and healthy personality. It is cowardice and has to be rejected.

  The ideals of eastern life is to minimize needs and desires and follow high ideals of life or follow the principle of simple living and high thinking.

  Contrary to this, the ideal of Western life is maximizing needs and desires and live a life dedicated to the satisfaction of those needs.

  In this context what is important to remember is that it is virtually impossible for the Westerner to believe in the merit of the Eastern approach and likewise it is not possible for the Easterner to believe in the merit of the Western approach. However it is always possible and open for an individual or a group of individuals or society to choose a path of conscious psychic evolution by embarking on the same and the choice so made has tremendous significance for the present and future of the individual or society concerned.

  India must take the path of yoga- the path of Divine- in her national life. The Divine is not a fictitious mental idea, a mere thought to be paid a lip service because India has believed it for long or it is convenient to let it remain where it is till it is banished by modem science from Indian mind. The Divine- a supreme power-does exist. It really exists. It not only exists but It alone exists.

  It is not an accident of mankind’s history in the cosmic scheme of things that India has over the ages persistently believed in the existence of such an Omnipotent Power. It is not a sign of the dullard India that she has ever been fertile in producing an unceasing crop of personalities like Buddha, Shankaracharya, Hazarat Nizamuddin, Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo etc. and many more known and unknown past and presently living yogis.

 

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