You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘creation’ tag.

Decision Making in bharatiya parampara

In bharatiya parampara decision making occur at four different levels.

Level One. Follow another person or group. Do what s/he does on the assumption that s/he knows better, on the basis of life experience/knowledge level/ merely because it is easier to follow and/or because of being enamoured of the personality- kama.

Level Two. Decision on the basis of anticipated material advantage, artha.

Level Three. Decision on the basis of what is righteous- dharma. Choosing the option that sustain values in society.

Level Four. Decision on the basis of brahma-jnana. Decision taken with intuitive knowledge of brahma.

How the decision is taken reveals the varna of the person or group or the society.

Traditionally in bharatiya parampara decisions affecting society were taken by the kshetriya under the guidance of brahmana guru, criteria for decision being upholding of dharma. Such decisions encouraged dharmic values in society and fostered prosperity and peace.
Decisions on family matters took into account artha– material aspects, in addition, while on personal level, kama– personal preferences, were also considered.

Decision Making in Modern Democracy

In a modern democracy, it is the majority consent that decides matters at societal level.

Majority consent is shaped by public opinion formed on the basis of the following mediums:-

1. News Media– Television, radio, newspapers, magazines.

2. Art – Movies, TV serials, drama, songs, dance, sculpture, paintings, cartoons.

3. Academy– Educational curriculum, text books, classroom discourse, research programmes.

4. Government, including Judiciary- government sponsored schemes, information campaigns, policies, governmental institutions, offices, government servants, law and law enforcement agencies.

5. Political party/NGO activities– demonstrations, mass movements, public awareness programmes, personal interactions.

6. Commercial organisations– MNCs, private companies, advertisement campaigns

7. Religious discourse– Church, Mosque, Sunday Schools, Madrassas, Satsang.

8. Traditions and Culture.

9. Public personalities– Sports stars, movie/tv stars, Sant, Baba, ‘Intellectuals’, political/society leaders, artists, media personalities.

How each of the above mediums perform vis-a-vis the criteria of kama, artha, dharma and moksha, influences the shaping of public opinion and varna of society.

Tamas

News media that follows the lead of western media, Art forms that are shaped under western influence, Academy that looks towards the west for inspiration and direction, Government that is based on western model, Political parties and NGOs that are influenced by western discourse, Companies that function on the lines of western organisational structure and motivations, Religious discourse based on western thought, Traditions and culture of western origin and Public personalities under western influence. These help form a society that is tamasic in character, sudra in varna, that always seek to follow the lead of somebody else.
On occasions where no previous model exists to follow, such a society defers its decisions until passage of time throws up a default decision or presents an emulatable course to follow.

Tamasic Rajas

When the mediums that shape public opinion act with the motive of material gain, society acquires rajasic quality in addition to tamas. Such a society has media dominated by news of material nature, business and financial matters; Art forms exploring technical excellence, deficient in ethics; Academy oriented towards technological advancement, devoid of morals; Government actively involved in infrastructure building, economy, promoting consumerism; Political Parties, NGOs funded and sponsored by business houses. Commercial organisations dominating society; Religious discourse colored by material motivations; Traditions and Culture stressing on material accruement, and Public personalities selling products.

The discourse of such a society will be on material benefit. Decisions revolve around this criteria.

Sattvic Rajas

When the mediums shaping public opinion discourse on values, society acquire sattvic tinge along with rajas. Such a society will have news media discussing ethical ramifications while analysing current events, Art aimed at inspiring altruistic imagination in minds of the public, Academy oriented towards fostering moral living values in society, Government acting decisively to uphold righteousness in society, Law and judicial decisions reflecting dharma, Political parties, NGOs acting motivated by values, Companies producing goods for sustenance of society as well as Nature, Religious discourse directed towards righteous living in harmony with diverse viewpoints, Traditions and Culture promoting moral values in society, and self-effacing public personalities upholding dharmic values.

In short, rama rajya.

Sattva

When the public concentrates on moksha, the mediums that shape public opinion converge towards that goal. In news media, incidental nature of news lose relevance and karmic causes and ramifications are paid attention. Art forms a medium to experience and express realization. Academic pursuit, like all other, orient towards brahma-jnana. History is no more mere chronicling of incidents, instead record the eternal cycle of creations and dissolutions under karmic effect and their dharmic lessons provide inspiration and guidance towards spiritual living. Centralised government lose relevance as people govern themselves dharmically at local and individual levels. Companies shrink in size and number as materials required by society reduce. Religions disappear as people live spiritually. Traditions and Culture inspire realization and Personalities dissolve upon brahma-jnana.

Society Today

Indian society today, by and large, emulates western society and engages in material advancement at all costs to individual, family, society, nation and Nature. Thus it shows predominantly sudra varna that is transforming into vyshya.
Symbolically, India today is headed by people chosen for their sudra characteristic of followership, though trained to be vyshya – products of the british created education system designed to produce technically qualified workers for the empire.

Way Ahead

As rajas rises in society, represented by the transformation to vyshya characteristic from sudra, to check the deleterious effect on human psyche and on Nature, of unbridled rajasic indulgence in materialism, evident in human society today, and for long term sustenance, of individual, society, as well as Nature, tempering and channelization with dharmic considerations are necessary.

Increased deliberations on dharmic aspects at societal level impart kshetriya varna to society and raise sattvic characteristic.

Sustained rise of sattvic characteristic inspire brahma-jnana.

Advertisements

A girl steps out.

A man experiences loving affection.

Another, lustful thoughts.

Yet another, pride.

An older person experiences tender feeling of paternal affection.

Another, a cosmetics seller, greed.

A girl experiences feeling of friendship.

Another, jealousy.

A child, reminded of her grumpy elder cousin, feels nervous.

Another, reminded of his mother, feels secure.

A bhakta sees yet another manifestation of devi shakti that pervades everything, continues to experience devotional joy.

A jnani sees the eternal play of creation, remains centered.

Many perceptions, many reactions.

maya

There is a demon abroad roaming human consciousness.

The first known victim of this demon was the Adam of Eden. He became a victim when he identified with his personal self and sought to acquire fruits for personal indulgence.

Cut to Indian context, in bhagavad gita Sri Krishna advised Arjuna to actualise karma without seeking fruits of his actions.

In western mythology, their version of Sri Krishna bhagavan, God, is supposed to have similarly advised Adam not to seek to enjoy fruits. While Arjuna of bhArata proceeded to actualise karma without seeking fruits of actions, Adam proceeded to grab the fruit seeking to indulge his personal self, with the result that Adam and all his descendants have been descending ever since, literally as well as metaphorically.

Many indians, taking cue from Sri Krishna’s advise, identified themselves as integral part of the brahmAnDh and actualised karma without seeking to indulge in fruits thereof and realised brahma.

Sri Buddha, deprived of spiritual exposure in his childhood by an insistent father, in adulthood began seeking the root of existence and found it by sublimating his personal self. So did Mahavira and millions of others.

The air of India is permeated with dharma consciousness, the effect of dharmic thoughts of millions of brahma-jnAnis who travelled on this land. This pervading dharmic consciousness prompts people with diverse levels of knoweldge and awareness to seek and attain brahma-jnAna. The momentum built up by such dharma-oriented acts and identification with the brahmAnDh , rather than individual self, inspires people to realise brahma in diverse ways- through intuitive wisdom, through bhakti, through karma, through art, sculpture, dance, music, yoga, even in sex.

Indians traditionally subsumed their personal identity with the rta of the brahmAnDh and ascended spiritually. Their motto, so to speak, was – lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu and concept of vasudaiva kutumbakam.
According to their inclination, some realised brahma through spiritual enquiry and imparted their knowledge to society. Some others attained brahma-jnAna by upholding dharma and administering society conscientiously without indulging themselves. Those talented in handling objects produced food and other materials for the society and realised brahma in their acts of creation. Those inclined towards emulating personalities identified those who served society selflessly and emulated them, helping the brahmanas, kshatriyas and vyshyas in benefiting society, actualised karma and realised brahma in selfless service to society.

The awareness about each being being an integral part of the brahmAnDh pervaded the mindscape of indians and rta was sustained by the people through karmic actualisation.

However, over the years, change started to occur with increasing influence of people from outside, such as the yavanas and others of mleccha lands.

Society is sustained by dharma and the khsatriyas are the upholders of dharma by talent and inclination. So, when the kshatriyas start to slip in upholding dharma, the effects have wide ramifications and society begins to suffer.

One of the early indian kings to have fallen victim to the demon of self-indulgence and self-aggrandizement is Ashoka. His surrender to insatiable appetite for power and glory drove him to kill his siblings, grab power and attack neighbouring kingdoms, killing millions of people. After he had brought under his control most parts of india and neighbouring areas he claimed to have adopted the teachings of Sri Buddha. However, instead of following the footsteps of Sri Buddha, who relinquished his kingdom in search of spiritual quest, Ashoka continued to hold on to his throne until death by old age parted him from it. During his reign he erected self-glorifying edicts in stone all across the land, subordinated the spiritual aspect of Buddha’s teachings and instead fostered pacifist sociological aspects among the people which was beneficial for administration. The tendency to kill did not leave him till the end and he killed one of his younger wifes during his last years.

These self-aggrandizing acts by a raja was detrimental to society. It paved way for waning of dharma in society and increase in interactions with adharmic elements from outside.

Those areas bordering bhArata, such as Afghanistan, Baluchistan on which Ashoka’s diluted version of buddhism was proselytized, later fell easy victims to the rapacity of islamic invaders and helped form a base point for the launch of regular attacks on India throughout over thousand years.

In the western sphere, the descend started by Adam’s succumbing to the demon exerted influence over people through the ages and gathered speed with the rise of imperialistic Rome. The successive aggrandizing drives by roman emperors lead up to a critical stage where the drive to self-aggrandizement took on a transformation. This was ironically catalysed by the spiritual teachings of a person called Jesus.

Jesus spread spirituality among the poor folks who were at the receiving end of roman aggrandization. His ideas continued to flourish even after his death at the hands of romans.

Roman emperor Constantine, seeing the spread of spiritual thoughts among the masses, and the increasing respect for a person killed by the romans, recognized the shift in society taking it towards simple living and spiritual thoughts of Jesus and towards self-sufficiency, thus slipping away from roman control. Taking cue from Ashoka, and going one step ahead, Constantine with help of likewise shrewd brains, cunningly appropriated jesus’ teachings, twisted the spiritual, simple-living values of it, in its stead established a hierarchical church as a middle man between the Jesus’s teachings and the people. Then, colluding with the church continued his imperialistic ambitions. This set the trend for many subsequent years when the church and the king supported each other, mutually bestowing divine powers to rule over people on religious and material matters respectively, as a cover for their self-gratification drives.

This justification of self-aggrandizing behaviour citing divine sanction was taken further by one arab native of Mecca. William Muir, who specialised in the history of that time, describes the life of this person thus- “in the Meccan period of (his) life there certainly can be traced no personal ends or unworthy motives,“. However, in Medina “temporal power, aggrandisement, and self-gratification mingled rapidly with the grand object of the Prophet’s life, and they were sought and attained by just the same instrumentality“. Sigismund Koelle finds “the key to the first period of his life in Khadija, his first wife,” after whose death he became prey to his “evil passions”.

The power structure established by this person exported arab imperialism over distant lands through bloody campaigns running for centuries. It exerted its influence over millions of people over millennia, subduing their innate intelligence and wisdom, turning some of them into helpless victims- mainly the women, while some others actively indulged in the self-gratifying avenues provided by this system.

The demon had found more opportunities to establish its power over humanity.

The demon thus gathering strength, generated multiple heads, that of protestant, catholic, orthodox christianity and sunni and shia islam. The demons’ reach also extended all over the world through colonization of all continents.

Colonization, the deliberate destruction of indigenous civilizations and massacre of native population was later ironically called civilization!

The victims of the demon’s influence are uniformly characterized by their ignorance of their own incongruencies and inherent contradictary stands. Under the demons’ s influence, they are blinded to righteousness and reason and engage in self-perpetuating self-gratification drive.

After hijacking religion and politico-administrative space, the demon enlarged its reach by grabbing commercial mindscape through dogmas of capitalism and communism. It later reared new heads in socio-political sphere, the more prominent ones being Nazism and Fascism, to continue to expand its influence while maintaining its characteristic drive towards self-aggrandizement. The conflict intrinsic to the inherently aggressive heads caused them to fight each other, some of them severing some others in the process.

What this demon feeds on becomes a part of it. When it fed on indian culture and traditions, those being spiritually oriented pursuits, the demon could not digest much. However, whatever little it digested became a part of it, although, very different from its other heads due to the spiritual nature of indian culture from which it had taken form. This difference makes the new head called Hinduism stand out from the others. This new head is not self-aggrandizing to the extent the others are, it does not seek to enlarge its influence, it is not inherently aggressive. It retains much of its spiritual core that characterised indian culture from which it emerged. As to be expected, anyone who displays different characteristics from what is accepted as common, is looked upon with suspicion and sometimes attacked. Amidst the other rapacious heads of the demon, the new head is naturally singled out for attack. Being easy prey, due to inherent non-aggressive tendencies, it becomes the pastime for other heads to attack it.

This is the story so far. Whether the new head of the demon will be able to withstand the various attacks from different directions, whether it will be able to prevail over the other aggressive heads or whether the new head, in its intent to survive, loses its spiritual roots and emulates the other heads, are open to question.

The demon, acting through afflicted individuals or communities or nations, appropriates and assimilates everything it lays its hands on on its unbridled drive to enlarge itself. When it encounters good nurturing concepts in its victims, that are at contradiction with its inherent nature, it takes that from its vanquished victims and later transforms that concept and uses it as a shield, as a cover for its rapacious heads. Thus peace, love, science, rationality, logic, equality; everything loses their essence and becomes a tool in the demon’s hands. They are then apportioned between the diferent heads to give them a sense of respectability. The demon then uses these covers to fool its victims with sense of respectability. Its further acts of selfishness are later justified using these covers. These tools add to the demon’s repertoire which includes the claims to divine sanction that was used to justify its gratification drives earlier.

Despite the aura of respectability and sense of justice that the demon strives to create, it still remains a demon, driven by its insatiable drive to self-aggrandizement, towards self-gratification at the cost of everything.

What is of essence is that a human being realises itself when it goes beyond the clutches of the demon. It is then that it realises itself to be brahma.

The demon is a creation of man, created when he identifies himself as a limited individual self, and with that identification, seeks to enlarge himself. This contradictory state that that human being finds himself in, creates strain and instability within him, which he seeks to circumvent by identifying himself with a group of like people having a socio-political goal and/or claiming connection to divine power, thus seeking to enlarge his reach.

Vanquishing of the demon is necessary for the sustaining of rta, for the prosperity of living beings, for sustenance of nature, for life of bhumi devi, for dharma.

In the puranas, whenever the weight of demons increased on earth, daeivika quality was generated to destroy the demon and to sustain rta.

It maybe time for Sri Rama to take birth again, in the minds of people. For ramayana to play in their minds, for destruction of the multiheaded demon Ravana who has appropriated their sense of identity, to re-join their sense of identity with righteousness.

Their sense of identity got separated from righteousness when, enamoured with the illusionary nature of perception, they sought to capture the illusion, with the aim of indulging in it. In that state of befuddlement they rejected their protecting sense of loyalty towards righteousness and further succumbing to illusionary perception, lost themselves to aggrandizement and gratification. Once they fell to aggrandizement and gratification, even the effect of age old bhAratiya parampara could not rescue them.

Right now many are like the Sita of ashoka vana, surrounded by materialistic wealth, yet separated from their sense of righteousness, pining for it; while the multiple headed demon cajoles and tempts them with more materialistic wealth for abandoning the seeking of sense of righteousness altogether. Many people have succumbed and lost their identity to this materialistic self-aggrandizing demon.

For those who haven’t done so yet, ramayana provides glimpses to –
– arrange for their sense of righteousness to meet with bhakti and sthirata, allegiance and perseverence of action
– get their sense of righteousness to vanquish impetousness that otherwise would displace sthirata
– get their bhakti to realise its strength and to seek and meet their sense of identity, to assure themselves that righteousness with perseverence will rescue them from the demon’s control.
– build a bridge over vacilitating thoughts that protects the abode of the demon, through actions under the direction of sthirata
– have their sense of righteousness fight the aggrandizing multi-headed demon
– first kill the demon’s brother- the tendency towards indulgence
– next, let loyalty to righteousness kill the demon’s progeny- loud voice, eagerness to show off
– then let righteousness kill the demon himself, targetting its source of life- the insatiable greed for power and control.

Thus ramayana plays out in the minds of people.

Archives

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6 other followers