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The Past

A look into the past reveals that Roman Church and Islam had rapid success in converting the populations of Europe, Arabia, parts of Africa, Iran, and parts of Afghanistan, devouring the indigenous cultures and misappropriating many of their traditions. They could take absolute political control of these areas within a few years time. But the story in Bharat was different. The early forays by muslim invaders into Bharat were met with by stiff resistance and they could not establish roots here despite displaying unparalleled brutality. It took them many centuries of constant attacks to gain semi-permanent politcal dominance in this land.

Although they gained political power through deception, and shrewd policies- such as by Akbar, they still were not successful in converting the people to any large extent. Even though they were making progress, the indigenous culture of dharma was strong,  and it motivated the people to resist the adharmis consisitently. When the bigotry of islamists such as Aurangazeb became excessive, they were defeated by the people of this land.

When the britishers came, the close to one millennium of slow wearing down of indian culture was begining to show some discernable results. The britishers correctly identified the prevalent traditional education system as the mainstay of cultural strength and continuity that resisted foreign influence. They went about dismantling and replacing it with western education system with appreciable results, producing brown sahibs. Yet, they were met with resistance regularly from the people inspired by bharatiya samskriti, such as Tilak, Aurobindo, Savarkar. There were also people such as Swami Dyananda Saraswati, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, who revived the spiritual values that strengthened this culture. The cunning british then made a clever move positioning the british-influenced Gandhi, who appropriated the icons of cultural strength such as bhagavad gita and Sri Rama naam, that were vital sources of inspiration for dharmic thought, and misinterpreted them, twisting their meaning around. For half a century the british fostered Gandhi, who went on to emaciate the people of this land of their dharmik strength and vitality. Then weakened by WW II, they handed over power to the brown sahibs that they had bred. These brown sahibs then continued with all the systems created by the british for exploitation and emaciation of this land and its people; their education system continued to churn out coconuts (as defined by Richard Crasta in ‘Impressing the Whites‘).

The trend to be noted is that, the conversion of people away from dharmic thought was extremely slow in the begining, the pace has been slowly picking up over the past millennium.

The Present

The majority of people born in india today automatically grow up to be ‘coconuts’. That is not surprising, considering that the earlier generations grew up listening to stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata and puranas from their grandparents that inculcated a strong sense of dharma in them. The current generations probably hear only stories of Cindrella and red riding hood and grow up to consider Sri Krishna and Sri Hanuman as indian versions of superman and batman. The effect of this is reflected in the way even some supposed torch bearers of indian culture are now seen following the way of the westerners.

The current situation is such that the system of deracination now runs on its own steam. Earlier considerable effort needed to be put in by muslim marauders through acts of monstrous brutality to convert the people, which were met with by strong backlash from the indians. Thereafter, the british had comparatively easier time making use of the already converted people as sepoys and further creating brown sahibs, although they still had to face considerable resistance from the rest. But now, the brown sahibs and sepoys find little resistance; they only get adulation and are even considered role models. Currently, the pace of conversion is very fast, with influence of TV, Internet, prevalent ‘education’ system which has been made compulsory now, and the emerging culture of seeking employment as white collared labourers for MNCs or in companies abroad. The trend is similar to the exponential curve or the trend of compound interest.

The characteristic of an exponential curve is that at advanced stages, the growth is unfathomably phenomenal. When that stage is reached, the transformation of society would be spectacular, yet almost imperceptible to the transforming people themselves in their adharmik stupor. In structural engineering, when an object is subjected to continuously increasing external pressure, at first there may not be any discernable effect, later it starts to deform in elastic fashion, i.e., it changes shape but would return to original shape when the external force is removed. Later it reaches its limit of elasticity called yield point and starts to yield, i.e., deforms in plastic fashion, which means, some amount of deformation is permanent even if external force is removed. By and by it reaches a point, caled Ultimate Strength, beyond which even if the applied external pressure decrease, the deformation will continue to occur, ultimately leading to a point where the material ruptures completely.

bharatiya samskriti has been resisiting applied external forces for millenniums, at some stage it began to yield little by little. At present it seems that the ultimate strength point, beyond which deformation occurs with reduced external pressure, has been crossed. A pessimistic view though it may be, if the trend seen is correct, it seems like things are moving towards rupture point.

However

Unlike material structures, that undergo permanent plastic deformation and yield to rupture inevitably, living beings have the potential to reverse the trend, not only to gain back the previous position of strength, but also to go further beyond the earlier strength. They have the ability to regenerate and rejuvenate themselves- physically, mentally and spiritually. However depraved a being may seem, s/he is always integral with brahma and have the potential to realize themselves as such. 

The question is, will indians utilise their potential, regain their dharmik consciousness and bring back rama rajya ?

The Future

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… is yours ours to fill.

 

 

 

 

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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.

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