Technologically, we live in a borderless world. In reality, however, we exist in compartment separated by walls of caste, religion and geography. We acknowledge the information explosion as being a great achievement and take pride in describing ourselves as a knowledge-based society.Snowed under as we are with the mouse of information, we are facing a paradox; we find that ignorance levels are growing as well. The rate at which we are accumulating information is not commensurate with the rate at which our awareness is growing.How much more do we know about reality and existence? The amassing of worldly knowledge is acting like a moat that prevents the passage of an even more important kind of knowledge, knowledge about the Self.
The ignorance of Self is compounding individual tensions creating discord in relationships and responsible for changing the character of the family as a reliable support system. More and more people are acting out of fear, hatred and violence. These negative emotions have filled almost all spheres of life whether in the relationships or societal activities. Since long, the basic objective of all human beings is to attain happiness and peace. Towards achieving this goal all schools of Indian philosophy advocate the cultivation of the art of discovering the self. Sage Narada tells Sanatkumar in the Chandogya Upanishad:” Only he who know the self goes beyond sorrow”. By knowing the self, the unseen becomes the seen, the unknown become the known and all doubts get destroyed. But we have to shake off the falsehood in us and recognise illusion for what it is. This is the way to dissolve all differences between individuals, communities and faiths.
Values are relative as is reflected in the following story: A Brahmin Priest was returning home after taking a customary dip in the sacred waters of Godavari river, he was chanting mantras as he pushed the beads to keep count. On reaching the main road he found a donkey lying dead. Deeply disturbed by the sight he remarked; “The killer of this innocent animal will surely go to hell”. Just right after his cursing, someone came from the behind and tapped his shoulders. He informed the Priest; “The donkey has been killed by your own son”. To this the Brahmin replied; “Actually the animal is relieved from the chain of life and death and the person who facilitated this will surely go to heaven”. Looking for the peace without making any effort to look for the Self is looking like searching for the footprints of the birds in the sky. The process to see the self is simple but requires practice and perseverance.
First, we need to believe that our goal in life include achieving happiness, peace and bliss. Second, we need to spare at least 10 to 15 everyday morning and evening to reflect and what effect any action or word of ours is going to have on other people- are we helping them feel better or worse? Third, we should get sensitized to the way we affect other fellow humans. And fourth, we need to attune ourselves to receive or hear the truth. I would like to end by quoting:
”If a man craves for gold he must dig for it or be content with straw. If one wants pearls one has to dive deep into the sea or be content with pebbles on the shore”.
The choice is ours whether we want Enduring Peace and Brotherhood or Perennial Strife and Violence.
a remarkable person and a good friend of mine. Thank you for writing for the jansevaks and help in bringing out change!!!