Jeevan Vigyan - ( Science of Living )
The Building of a Spiritual cum Scientific Personality
Efficiency of Working
New Dimensions of Education
The Resolve to build a healthy Society
The Practices of Jeevan-Vigyan
New Man : New World
The Building of a Spiritual cum Scientific Personality
Mahavira said, "Discover th truth yourself.' It is a scientific view point. The madern scientist discovers facts with the help of machines like fine microscopes and telescopes. Mahavira said,"The instruments you manufacture and use for discovering facts are all within you. Your spiritual awareness has infinite possibilities of development. You can know microscopic, remote and hidden facts. The whole reality is in front of you, the whole sky is before you, the whole time faces you. But truth can only be experienced and such consciousness only awakened as are beyond time and space.'
The Materialistic View
Modern scientists are also engaged in discovering facts. They have discovered subtle laws and have done such fine investigations that they have succeeded in analysing matter upto the level of atoms. The scientific view of investigating truth has thus developed, but the spiritual view has not developed. Instead of creating goodwill, nuclear, biological, chemical and laser weapons capable of destroying the whole of the world in a few minutes have been developed. It represents the materialistic view of modern man.
Discover facts and be friendly towards the subtle facts discovered. The concept of education in the form of jeevan vigyan is based in these two facts.
The Criterion of a Spiritual Personality
That man can be said to be spiritual who has developed the feeling that everyone else has to be treated as himself. He becomes aware that everyone has the same soul as he himself has. Everyone is poised on the same spiritual scales. The personality of a man who develops such an awareness is truly spiritual.
One Who Has Conquered The Sense Organs
Similarly, that man has also a spiritual personality who has understood the importance of controlling the senses and the mind. Wants, desires and passions of the senses are infinite. No man who fails to control them can be a boon to society. The big problem today is that man can rule others but cannot rule his own senses. He can be a social leader or a big industrialist, but cannot control his senses. Chanakya had said that one who leads people will always suffer. It is also true of anyone who wants to develop a spiritual personality. He should not be a slave to senses, but their master. He should control his mind.
Refining Repressed Desires and Passions
The third criterion of a spiritual personality is refinement of the repressed desires and passions. It is inconceivable that man can be free from desires and passions. It is inconceivable that man can be free from desires and passions. Man carries repressed desires of many lives with him. If these desires are subjected to constant refinement, all is well with life. If these desires are subject to constant refinement, all is well with life. If they are not refined, man suffers a moral decline and so does society. A spiritual man is he who knows how to refine desires and keeps trying to refine them.
Awareness of the Importance of Money in the Context of the Inner Nature
The fourth criterion of a spiritual man is his soc ial and economic sense in relation to his inner nature. Today, economic factors have acquired a dominant role and all other considerations are subordinated to them.
Engels, a colleague of Marx, once remarked,'Our doctrines have been distorted to imply that the economic aspect alone is the decisive factor in one's life. I never said so.' In this money-dominated, keenly competitive world people have come to believe that money is the be-all and the end-all of life. What was merely, means of satisfying life's basic needs has been made an end and given the highest importance to mankind and raised a number of problems in society.
Basic Importance of Instincts
The criterion of a spiritual personality is to see money in the context of one's inner nature. A spiritual man will give importance to money but not by ignoring the inner nature. Money and society shorn of the context of man's inner nature become a hindrance rather than a help. The basic element is our inner nature and it is being ignored. Modern education is oriented towards economic and social factors but not towards man's inner instincts which give birth to economic rivalry. It is these instincts which cause problems in society. These repressed desires are responsible for generating an atmosphere of conflict. Students are not asked to refine them, to practice restraint and to control the mind.
Controlling the Instincts
If we must accept each situation as it arises and do not attend to instincts and natural desires, we create a vicious circle and the circumstances go on becoming more and more intractable. The mouse is afraid of the cat, the cat of the dog, the dog of the tiger, the tiger of man and man of death. It is an unending series.
Accept the challenge, face the circumstances, do not seek escape from the situation. The above lesson is not taught. The inevitability of circumstances and therefore living under their constant threat is taught. We can face circumstances only when their constant threat is taught. We can face circumstances only when we are first given to conquering their instincts. Spiritual teachers discovered the above truth regarding practicing self-restraint and defeating natural desires. Mahavira had said, 'Observe restraint'. Anuvrat proclaimed, 'Life is nothing but self-restraint'. One of the criteria of a spiritual personality is paying attention to the instincts and studying the economic or social situation and reforming it in the light of the instincts.
The fifth criterion of a spiritual personality is nonattachment. It is true that without material goods life is not possible. Food, housing, clothing, medicines, education are all possible only when there is money to buy them. However, a spiritual man regards them essential and useful only as goods. and no more. He does not treat them as part of himself. He does not have any attachment to them. When 'me' and 'mine' occupy the centre stage, society gets derailed. It functions well when the soul is central. Psychology has discussed 'ego' and 'super-ego' at length. Spiritual teachers have concentrated on the instinct to possess. This concept of possession is a big illusion. The truth is that even the body is not mine. If it is 'my body' is a mere belief, which is not really true. In reality, nothing is mine, for if it were so, it would never separate from me.
One's Own and Someone's Else's
Many years ago I wrote a poem: Its idea was as follows: It rained heavily. It was first welcome by pits and trenches which took as much water as they needed. The rest was allowed to flow further. It was next welcomed by ponds and lakes and they took as much water as they needed and allowed the rest to flow out. Next came the rivers and they took it to the sea, which not only welcomed it but allowed it too make the sea its home. After one's own and someone else's is someone else's. The latter will only welcome the former to the extent it finds it useful. Once the utility is over it will push out what is not needed.
How can we say that someone is ours? It is only the soul which is one's own, for it never separates. It is wrong to suppose that elderly people can be wise and discriminating. The soul of a child may be awake, while that of an adult may be asleep. A small child was playing with clay. A ruler and his royal entourage passed before him. The ruler saw the child. He found the child so attractive that he went to him united. The child went on playing, unmindful of the royal presence. The ruler said 'Look here child, see who is standing near you.' The child looked at the ruler. The ruler spoke to him. 'You are a very good child. Why are playing with clay?' The child replied, 'Don't you know it?' With what will an effigy of clay play if not with clay?' The ruler was taken aback. He once again praised the child and told him 'I wan't to take you to the palace. Will you go with me?' The child grew a little serious and replied, I can accompany you on two conditions'. ' What are they? ' asked the king. The child said "the first is if you keep awake while I sleep and the second is that you will stay with me throughout not leaving me for even a moment'.The ruler said 'How is that possible? My guards are awake when I am asleep. How will it be possible for me to remain awake? And I will have to go to various places as the state's ruler. So even your second condition cannot be met.' Hearing it the child remarked "Then I cannot fulfill your wish. I always live with the Lord and He always lives with me. He keeps awake while I am asleep. Why should I leave Him and go with you?'
Beyond the Illusion of Attachment
Spiritual consciousness dictates:Nothing is mine except my soul. You can call the soul by name - Lord, God, etc. When we are with the soul, the wordly goods are treated merely as essential or useful objects. There is no attachment for them. Nonattachment cannot develop without the experience of the soul. Else, why would a millionaire get worried about the loss of a hundred-rupee note? This is not because of the value of the money lost, but the attachment for the money. It is attachment that causes suffering.
Our search for the truth will reveal that in reality, nothing is ours. The truth will reveal that in reality nothing is ours. The truth dawns on some quite early in life, while in the case of others it does not dawn even in old age. A spiritual personality is not subject to the illusion or falsehood of the feeling of possession.
The Quest of Truth
Let us discuss the criteria of a specific personality. The first criterion is the quest of truth. A person with a scientific attitude will not be stubborn and will have a non-absolutist viewpoint. A scientific outlook eschews all presumptions and keeps a man constantly engaged in the effort to find out the truth and discover new facts. Lord Mahavira said,'Reals are infinite and laws are infinite.' 'Real' meansthat which is existent at a particular time. Modes and laws are infinite. One cannot lay claim to total knowledge just by knowing a few laws.
A Very Vital Answer
When someone told Newton,'You have discovered a number of laws', he gave a very vital and touching answer. 'Whatever you might say, I am a child gathering precious shells on the sea shore. The precious stones hidden in the middle of the sea are still very far away from him.'
That person is gifted with a scientific sense of a lot of humility. He can keep an open mind. Many people boast they know they know as much as was necessary to know and nothing is left to know. It represents one-sided insistence which causes all kinds of controversies, disputes and fighting. Everything appears coloured coloured to the person wearing coloured spectacles. Produces and insistences breed endless problems.
The Quest of the Human Mind
The second criterion of a scientific personality is the discovery of man. Very little has been done in this direction. Scientist have experimented on mice, frogs, monkeys and other animals, not on human beings. Hardly has any effort been made to understand man. It is time man was thoroughly studied, particularly his mind. The mind along with the nervous and endocrine system is after all the patron and the governor of all our education, civilization, culture and values of life. All of them are outside the pale of scientific investigation and research, which are confined to matter. This is our basic mistake. How can we find a proper solution under these circumstances? What is needed is a study of man and his mind. The day it is undertaken, there will be the beginning of the integration of the spiritual and the scientific personalities.
The First Point of Departure
The concept of a spiritual-cum-scientific personality took shape in the seventy-fifth year if revered Gurudeva. We got an occasion to deliberate on it. If the spiritualist keeps sitting quietly in his cave and the scientist keeps manufacturing the nuclear bombs, the nuclear radiation is bound to reach the cave too. Therefore the need of the hour is that every student should become a scientist, not only an ordinary one but a spiritualist-cum-scientist. Our times demand that everyone entering a religious order or institution need not become exclusively spiritual. He must have a scientific outlook. A combination of the two alone can offer an answer to the present day problems and it is this combination which marks the point of departure as far as jeevan vigyan is concerned.
Efficiency of WorkingEvery man choose his field of activity. Working and working efficiently are two different things. Today thousands of professionals are working as doctors, engineers, professors and scientists. There is a wide variety of fields of activity.
One person works efficiently and gets success in his work. Another does not work efficiently and courts failure. For a doctor, it is not enough to be skilled physician; he should also be professionally competent and so hesitated to decide about the right medicine. He practiced jeevan vigyan for three days, which increased his self-confidence, and that in turn, removed all his hesitation in prescribing medicines.
The second principles of sucess is the development of the ability to take decisions. A number of people are just unable to decide. They lack decisiveness. Both self-confidence and ability to take decisions are extremely necessary for man to be successful. Even a few minutes delay in arriving at a decision may prove costly.
Development of Concentration
The third principle is concentration. Sometimes people begin a piece of work, give it up half way and start doing something else and so on. A French scientist wrote nine hundred articles on different topics of science. It is said that if he had chosen one direction in which to work, he would have become one of the greatest scientists in the world. For lack of concentration he failed to achieve that distinction. It is necessary to get involved in whatever one has undertaken to do and being so devoted to it that nothing else may enter the mind while the work is being executed. Jain ascetics practice avadhan vidhya. Avadhyan, pranidhan and samadhan constite an experiment in concentration. Work losses are largely caused by the deflection of the mind. Mental unsteadiness is a common problem. It results in an activity being completed in four times as much time as it should have taken.
Concentration Needs Practice
It is quite difficult to concentrate . Even seasoned practitioners experience unsteadiness of the mind. It is therefore all the more difficult for the learner. But systematic practice can develop concentration. Arjun saud to Krishna, the supreme Yogi, "The mind is extremely inconstant. Restraining or controlling it is as difficult as seizing a gust of wind." Krishna remarked,"Arjuna, there are two ways of controlling it - practice and detachment." It cannot be expected that all students will be recluses p[practicing renunciation of the world. But everyone can practice. Through practice the mind can be steadied. How to undertake different practices with a view to reducing mental inconstancy and developing concentration is explained in Jeevan Vigyan. How can the fickle mind be studied with practice, and concentration be developed? A young man was studying in the University of Bombay. But he left the University and started doing business. Some years later, he felt like going in for higher studies.He registered himself again with the Association Secretary course of the University. But he felt that since he was resuming his studies after many years, it would be better to attend a prekshadhyan camp before starting the studies. He joined the camp and learnt to practice concentration as a result of which he stood first in the University. He felt that his sucess was due to concentration and blessings.
Development of Memory
The fourth element is the development of memory. Good memory makes for sucess. Concentration and memory are both good in the case of a man who comes to know the secrets of the mind. One feels astonished to come across a man of eighty having a better memory than that of a young man. A sharp memory is essential for developing efficiency of working.
The fifth element is emotional balance. It is the most effective principle of working efficiency. Failure is certain in the case of people who lack emotional efficiency. Balancing emotions is one of the most difficult tasks. Disorganized working, quarrels, family and international disputes are all the result of unbalanced emotions. Clash of egos is the biggest obstacle to sucess. Even though he knows its harmful effects, man does not renounce his egoistic disposition. If any reform is to be brought about in the field of education, teachers, students and administrators will have to practise the balancing of emotions.
The Problem of Intolerance
Intolerance is the biggest problem today. Practicing tolerance is extremely difficult, but tolerance guarantees efficiency of work. Once Acharya Bhikshu was talking to an ascetic of another sect. The latter got infuriated and said, 'You blasted brother-in-law I'll cut your head'. Normally Acharya Bhikshu too should have reacted angrily, but he was an accomplished ascetic. He showed no emotion and said smilingly, "You have called me a blasted brother-in-law and accused me of incest with my sister. But that doesn't matter, because all the woman are my sisters. But did you have some reservations and commit some lapse while taking the vow of continence? However, even if you have married, your wife is my sister and I am therefore your brother-in-law. If you are not married the moral blemish of telling a lie will stick to you." It was a remarkable example of tolerance.
Controlling and balancing the emotions of egoism, anger, fear, intolerance, greed and lust leads to sucess. And it is the most important element of the efficiency of work.
Developing the Strength to Work
The sixth element of the efficiency of work is the development of the strength to work. With it talking about efficiency is meaningless. Education which is incapable of developing this strength is futile. What can be more shameful than an educated man being inactive, idle and lazy? Education should awaken the consciousness of being active.
Development of Creativity
The seventh element of the efficiency of work is the development of creativity. People become dull-witted if they lack creativity - new ideas about the future, new creation, brilliance and vibrancy.
The burning problem today is that every educated person wants to take up a white collared job. He does not like to work in the fields. Surprisingly even the son of a farmer does not want to work as a farmer. No one wants to follow the ancestral profession. White collared jobs hold out a tremendous attraction. What can explain it? It is because of a false norm according to which one cultivates the land is an inferior being, whereas in reality he is the best man.
Agriculture Is the Basis of Life
Jain philosophy has discussed non-violence profoundly. Acharya Jinsen wrote that cultivating the land is a less objectionable and sinful undertaking than lending money on interest, which constitutes a very big sin and great violence. Now the times have changed. A man prefers to sit idly at home than to work on the land as a farmer, even though agriculture is the basis of life. Today people look down on cultivating the land as a result of which the problem of unemployment has emerged. Education has been sullied by the notion of false consciousness.
The First Necessity
Balancing of emotions is our first necessity.Unfortunately man's entire life operates on the basis of emotions. He looks apparently serene, but carries within him a volcano of emotions. He goes on weaving webs like a spider. Even education has paid little attention to emotions. There are all types of long training courses, but none in balancing emotions. The director of Administrative Training came to see Gurudeva in Jaipur and expressed a desire to have a two week training in prekshyadhyan given to the probationers of the Rajasthan Administrative Service. Gurudeva readily agreed. After the completion of the course, the probationers told Gurudeva that their training course was very long and arduous and they used to take sleeping pills which spoiled their health. The two week practice of prekshyadhyan had increased their concentration and they could finish their work in much less time.They no longer needed sleeping pills and they could finish their work in much less time.Similarly surprising results were obtained in the case of prekshyadhyan training to police officers and other staff at the request of the Inspector General of Rajasthan Police Academy at Jaipur. Nearly on hundred police officers were given training in prekshyadhyan.
Revered Gurudeva was walking to Mewar. Between Mewar and Marwar is village, Bhim, in one of the valleys of the Aravalis. Gurudeva camped there. The very next day, as he was departing from there, the area sub-inspector of police came to meet him. He told Gurudeva that he was stationed there. Bhim was a big station of trucks and had liquor stall which naturally gave rise to a number of immoral practices. Some of the local inhabitants were also present on the occassion. They told Gurudeva,"We have never had such a police officer here before. The place had a corrupting influence even on innocent officers who resorted to bribes and other malpractices.This sub-inspector is the first example of complete probity and just behaviour. The officer then said, "Maharaj, all of us who took training in prekshyadhyan at Jaipur are discharging our duties most conscientiously. In fact, we have created a new image of a police officer. If the goverment of Rajasthan had continued to impart training in prekshyadhyan, the police department would have undergone a radial transformation and would have projected a very good image of itself in public life. May I entreat you to kindly urge the goverment to continue that training?
The Balancing Process
One very important factor in the context of education or work-efficiency is the balancing of emotions. How to achieve this balance is what education should concern itself about or else it will be education only in name, capable only of intellectual development, but incapable of building only good character and developing personality. It is here that the relevance of Jeevan Vigyan lies. Some people say that students can improve by reading the biography of great men. We do not deny it . By reading about an incident involving courage and fortitude in the life of Mahatma Gandhi, on will get an idea of what courage is. Similarly devotion to duty and honesty will inspire the readers mind. But we forget the strange nature of the human mind. Can we guarantee that the inspiration will endure? Waves come and go on the surface of the ocean. We should find out the method of making them endure.
Today, people talk of values in education. Despite the imparting of lessons in the awareness of duty, responsibility and national integration, nothing much will be achieved in the absence of their repeated practice. No lasting results can be expected without the practice of auto-suggestion and without internalizing a particular value through relaxation in the kayotsarg posture. And it will have to be continued for months together in order to yield real results.
The practice included in Jeevan Vigyan are very effective for increasing work-efficiency. Jeevan Vigyan has laid down exact practices for different achievements like improving decisiveness, developing a good memory and acquiring concentration. These practices must be repeated over a long period. By so doing, a man can succeed not only in increasing efficiency of work, but efficiency in all other fields.New Dimension of Education Human life is multidimensional. Life has many aspects-physical, spiritual, economic, social, cultural, political etc.It cannot be explained in terms of any single aspect. Likewise, education also cannot be unilateral. How can it be given to highlighting a single aspect of life? True education fulfils all requirements of life.
We sometimes use generalization and sometimes specialization. Earning the M.B.B.S.degree is an act of specialization. Let us discuss both these processes in relation to education. Studying upto Higher Secondary level is an act of generalization which comprises first literacy and later the ability to read, write and think - all facets of intellectual development. Then the stage of specialization begins and a student may opt for commerce, science or arts.
The Aspect of Character
Economic, physical, and therapeutic aspects have their respective branches of knowledge, but all of them relate to the body and its health. In fact, there is a branch for practically every aspect of life, where a special study of the subject turns specialists in that field. But there is no branch of study that independently takes care of character. Behavioral psychology does mention a thing or two about it but no one has ever felt the need for a specialised training in building character. Is it not surprising that amongst scores of departments and faculties in the Universities there is not one devoted to the science of character training in non-violence? It indicates that whereas all other branches are thought to be helpful for learning a living, character was left out as being of no consequence.
How about a character School?
It is said that Narada once visited Ravana. The latter was a great scholar. He had mastered innumerable branches of knowledge. Ravana took Narada to the building where he had his study, laboratory etc. Narada put him a question,"You have shown me so many workshops. But how about one relating to character? Ravana said that he did not have it. There upon Narada remarked that in the absence of the workshop for character building all the others would destroy him.
Character Training must be Compulsory
It is a very serious matter. In the absence of character training, all teaching proves distress. Why then does the world of education give it no importance?Why have educationists neglected it?
There are two possible solutions to this problem: (a) An independent school for character-building, specialization in good conduct and (b) good conduct in general. The first one appears to be preferable. Whatever branch of knowledge one opts for, one should have education in character building as a compulsory component. This is generally true. But there must also be a provision for specialization in the science of character building. Of course, specialization cannot be compulsory. Only those interested in it may go in for it. What is needed is a faculty in universities under which such a specialization can be undertaken. As far as general instruction is concerned. there should be compulsory training in character building right from the primary to the university stage. General education in character should be imparted in every class of every subject. The question is how to do it? It is necessary to have the primary stage an independent subject relating to the awareness of the science of character, morality and spirituality. It should be obligatory to give pupils at the primary level knowledge of and practice in all the aspects of spirituality like truth, non-violence etc.At the graduate and post-graduate levels, it should be incorporated right in the subjects that are being studied.
Method of Incorporation
Elements of character should be fused with the study of Economics even as sugar and milk become one with the added quality of sweetness. All forms of non-violence devoid of racial frenzy and sectarian dogmatism are a call to human unity as are freedom from drug-addiction and awareness of the purity of environment and democracy. All these aspects of non-violence may be so amalgamated with the subject that the learners may enjoy and experience them without feeling that something extra has been added to the subject. Along with qualifying as economists, sociologists and environmentalists students should become aware of spirituality, so that a mental transformation should come about. This awakening and transformation is lacking at present.
Nonviolence and the Concepts of Economics
Once Gurudeva was staying at the Jain Vishwa Bharati. The Vice-Chancellor of the Ajmer University, Dr. Ahuja, came there. During discussions, we said that nonviolence should be incorporated in economics. It should be non-violent economics. She said that on the contary economics since its inception has been teaching violence. All economic concepts are violent oriented and are geared to consumerism and competition. Endowed with the intellect, man tries to earn more and more. Increasing needs, desires acquisition and production are economic concepts. How them can one talk of non-violent economics? The two things are incompatible. We asserted that it was very essential at present to change the concepts of economics. Those wedded to Gandhian economics did make some efforts in that direction, but people living in the modern materialistic and money-centred environment do not feel attracted towards them. The modern concept is Athsar Suvarsvam, that is all that matters is money. Moral concepts have, therefore taken a back seat.
A Favourable Atmosphere
We have again an opportunity to change the concepts because of the phenomenal rise in economic crimes, complexities and violence. Today, the best way to grow rich is to first kidnap and then demand ransom. It has almost assumed the proportions of an industry. Newspapers are full of stories related to this and other economic crimes of a nature unimaginable in the past. Education has increased intellectual efficiency which is being abused in committing social and economic crimes.
Obviously, when a problem becomes extremely acute and endemic, people are compelled to think of possible solutions. And those who have been victims of abductions for which huge amounts have been demanded as ransom and for which they have to come to some sort of compromise particularly think along these lines.Even Goverments are required to make such comprises. People in whose houses there are robberies in broad daylight think all the more of such things. Those who have been living under the shadow of terrorism have been forced to give huge bribes and dowries, definately think that the situation should change. Therefore we now have a very favourable atmosphere for training in Jeevan Vigyan or non violence. If educationists miss the present opportunity, they will not excuse them. History will record this dangerous lapse.
Religious Teachers Responsibility
Religious teachers also face the same problem today. There are only two institutions that can bring about a transformation of mental awareness - education and religion. If people connected with them miss the present opportunity, history will not spare them.
Revereda Gurudeva has given serious thought to it. It is inspired purely by the feeling of doing good to others. The entire thinking is altruistic. Praising Lord Mahavira, Acharya Hemachandra said Anahut shaystv khamkaran vatsal : (You are a brother to the brotherless and spontaneously affectionate). This spontaneous disposition is the outcome of vibrant altruism. Its only aim is to ensure good conduct of individuals and society. Educationists should also think of ways of bringing about mental transformation. New dimensions will have to be discovered and there will have to be bold departure from the present stereotyped thinking.
There can be twofold education - education without language and that with language. There is a segment of science education where language is not uses or sparingly used. For the rest, language is needed as a vehicle of instruction and this applies to mathematics, grammar, logic, and a sizeable segment of science. One of the aims of Jeevan Vigyan is to add language-free education to education carried through language. It is a new dimension of education.
Language is a useful tool for training the brain, but there is a section of the brain which does not respond to language. It is activated only through p[practice and experience. The right lobe of the brain responds less to language;it is chiefly oriented towards practice, experience and activities. It is language free education that is needed to activate that lobe.
Problems and Tensions
Students have to keep free from tensions or else they will become indisciplined and agressive. Is it possible to keep the mind free from tension in the face of examination time, teacher's watchful eye, domestic and social problems? If we tackle the problem intellectually, the answer is no. But they can be kept free from tension by language free method. This what the art of living implies - staying free from tension even in the face of problems. It is important to remember that it is not problems that cause tension, it is our mental weakness or part of the brain that always remains active, which gives birth to tension. Even the most acute problem will fail to generate tension in us if we succeed in awakening that part of the brain which releases tension and does not allow it to accumulate. With its awakening, man will be able to rid himself of tension and find solutions to his problems.
The Formula of Victory
In ancient times there used to be contentious debates on scriptures resulting in arguments and counter-arguments. There were set positions to which the debating parties firmly stuck. The Agam literature advises people caring for sucess to remain calm and unagitated when the opponents in the debate behave excitedly. The other side is already excited and you will unfailingly lose if you too get excited. If you remain calm when the opposing side is excited, you are bound to win. The illustration of reverend Kalugani is very apt: Two persons are engaged in a tug of war. If both pull it hard, the tug will give way and both will fall down. If one pulls hard the other will loosen his grip, the former will fall down. Jeevan Vigyan enjoins that all problems should be addressed in a tension free manner. Calmness within and activeness without is the formula of problem solving, Whereas activeness within and calmness without is sheer pretence.
Change of Mentality
Training in Jeevan Vigyan imparts inner calmness and induces outer activeness to enable a person to find a solution to his problem. Today, people believe in the principle of Shethe Shatya Samachaitra (return wickedness for wickedness). This mentality has to be changed. Do not sit back idly, try to solve a problem, but not through reciprocal croockedness, because it will further compound the problem. Life's secret lies in leading a tension free life and using the right lobe of the brain when faced with a problem.
The Problem of Education
The right lobe of the brain is responsible for good conduct and self-discipline. Its very function is related with character. For mundane matters the responsibility lies with the left lobe. It is time the right one is activated too. Not that life can go on without the use of the left lobe, but along with it, the use of the right lobe is a vital necessity.
Jeevan Vigyan insists on activating the right lobe with a view to keeping the student free from tension, balancing his nervous system and properly regulating the endocrine glands.
Various Aspects of Education
Education has been viewed from different angles giving rise to such concepts as basic education and vocational education. They are useful as far as they go, but they neglect the biological aspect. Not much thinking has been done from the point of bringing about biological cum chemical transformation. Psychologists do take it into account, but only marginally and not in practical terms. On the other hand, Jeevan Vigyan has given it a deep thought, has deliberated on it extensively, and has determined the nature of practices calculated to develop the students mind in a balanced manner and to activate all those segments of the brain which are intimately related to life, so that the imbalances of the nervous system may be set right. A methodology combining yogic and scientific techniques has been evolved which is intended to be used as a supplementary and complementary technique of education.
A Complementary Method
In our country, we have effectively worked out a method of using complementary items in addition to regular food. Tumeric, cumin seeds, dried ginger, black pepper etc. are all complementary materials. This is how we look at Jeevan Vigyan. It provides the art, mysteries and principles of life which act as supplements and complements of common education in a manner which avoids putting an extra burden on the students.
Gandhiji had laid great stress on education without books. It is unacceptable today as it would put an end to the multi-million rupees business of publishing books. No profiteer would like that to happen: in fact many ancillary businesses are prospering as a consequence of the book trade. Vested interests are at work. But even if the books are found indispensable at the moment, let something be added to that so that a new dimension and a new thinking emerge in the field of education. It appears that this fact is being gradually understood and some people are along the above lines. There is no other alternative if we are interested in transforming society. Jeevan Vigyan should be treated as something connected with revered Gurudeva Tulsi. It is a practical need, one that cannot be wished away. Accepting facts alone will provide the best solution to our problems.The Resolve to Build a Healthy Society
When we look around we find that the individual as well as society is ill. Man never wants to fall ill. Intelligent people and thinkers in every era have given a planned outline or philosophy of social health.
Where is Illness?
Some economists and philosophers have attributed social illness to the economic problem. According to them, it is economic factors which make or mar society. Therefore, society will become healthy if the economic system is improved. Socialism and Communism were the outcome of the above philosophy. Inspired by them, a lot of efforts were made to balance the economic system and thereby make society healthy, but to no avail. Imbalances kept growing. Far from economic problems being solved, economic crimes have multiplied and social health has declined. Where after all is the illness? And what is the illness? These two points will have to be deliberated upon.
Gratifying Wants and Acquiring Wealth
Gratifying wants and acquiring wealth are two basic instincts. Is it the former which helps the later or vice versa? Very little attention has been paid to this question. Consciousness of want is natural and the desire to acquire wealth comes later. In fact man is born with wants and so, gratifying wants is the basic human instinct. If all the instincts are taken together and classified, the last to survive will be gratification of wants. It gives birth and fillip to all other dispositions.
Marx concentrated on wealth and studied it in the historical context. The problem would have been historically solved if he had given attention to wants. As noted earlier, the basic disposition is gratification of wants. 'Kaam Jhanami te roop sankalpath keel jayse'.Here kaam does not merely mean sexual desire. It implies all wants and desires associated with the sense organs. As there are sensual desires, so are there mental and emotional desires.
Wants, Wealth and Consumption
Man is his wants and unsatisfied desires- Aesh vae kaam - human life will be transformed in the absence of wants and desires. The Geeta has aptly used the word Nioshkam (that which is desireless). If one does not desire the fruit of one's endeavors, both economic rivalry and economic crimes will disappear. If the desire for acquiring wealth and having wants had been discussed together, we could have possibly got close to finding the right solution. Religion has explored the problem of desires extensively, whereas socialism and communism have studied the problem of wealth in great detail. Both studies remained independent of each other. If they combine, they can considerably solve the problem. Further, there should be a joint study of desire and wealth. I am not talking of kama in the sense of sexual desire, but as desire in general. If we combine wants. wealth and consumption, we get a combination which constitutes the process of keeping society healthy.
Characteristics of a Healthy Society
Man can face difficulties and not resort to thieving if he is free from desires. There are theives who steal not because they are poor, but because of a compulsive desire and habitual traits. Most crimes are acquited without any ground, just to indulge the repressed desires. If desires are not regulated and restrained, crimes will naturally grow.
There are three characteristics of a healthy society: Control of desires, absence of unnecessary violence, absence of economic crimes.
In fact, the first characteristic is in itself adequate to ensure a healthy society. The other two can be added for the sake of expressing the point better. The basic thing is desire. Lord Mahavira said kaame kaamahi kamiye khu dukh (All sufferings accompanies desires). Overcoming desires will automatically put an end to suffering. Do not try to remove suffering. Go to its roots. The root of suffering is desire. Seek a solution there. Then you will experience that there is nothing like suffering in the world.
Spiritual teachers knew the root, but the leaders of socialism and communism did not. Instead, they concentrated on the trunk. The basis of a healthy society is control of desires and its concomitant is economic restraint. With these two in place, the necessary background to building a healthy society is ready. Control of desires automatically results in controlled consumption.
The Psychological Viewpoint
Let us view the problem psychologically. We desire an item, obtain it and for the time being are satisfied. Then we see its more expensive and attractive version with our neighbor and once again the desire to have the more superior item is roused. Desire is an almost interminable drive. In today's world rank consumerism is growing fast precisely because of this reason. Craziness for newer and more expensive goods reflects uncontrolled desire.
The Cause of Crimes
We asked an industrialist why he strayed away from the straight path despitely being enormously rich. He frankly said what caused him to commit economic crimes was his desire to become the number one industrialist of the country.
The Geeta rightly says that it is desire which is at the root of all sins. Financial or economic control is impossible without the control of desires. What we see are numerous efforts to control the economy without restraining our wants. It was this which was responsible for the failure of socialism and communism. And it is at this point that spirituality comes into the picture.
Every man has strong desires. Economic controls can at best instill external fear of severe punishment for economic crimes, but they will not stop the chains of compulsive desires which perpetrate crimes. A healthy society realizes the truth that control of desires is of paramount importance.
This is where socialism and spirituality come together. Towards the end of their lives, Marx and Engels had a late realization that if only they had come to know the above spiritual principle in their younger days, they would have had an entirely different philosophical approach. They expressely stated that mere econism without right conduct or spirituality would be of no avail. And spirituality means control of desires. Once desires are controlled, the economy can be easily regulated. An extensive and intensive study of the nature of desire and dedicated practice to control it is the basic need of a healthy society. Once it is done, it becomes very easy to find remedies to the complex problems arising out of economic crimes and consumerism.
The biggest problem we are facing is consumerism. Superficially, we see the disparity between rising consumption and diminishing goods. We want to solve it intellectually. Intellect cannot go beyond the dichotomy between material and economic factors. Experience and intuition will take us further to the root of the problem. We shall discover that the basic problem is not economic or consumeristic, but one rooted in desire.
Unfulfilled desire creates a hiatus between words and deeds. Thus the reason of the hiatus is neither economic nor social, but spiritual. It pertains to the inner world, the world of desires. After imprisoning the ruler of a communist state, his palace was searched. Among the items discovered were shoes studded with diamonds and other unimaginably precious items. That wealth would of satisfied the needs of hundreds of thousands of poor people. How ironic that one who led a state wedded to an ideology opposed to accumulation and exploitation himself possessed such abnormal wealth! What could explain it?
The Principle of Jeevan Vigyan
Why are we so blind to the truth? It can neither be grasped nor retained without having keen eagerness for and deliberation on spirituality. Ecologically speaking goods are limited and consumers too many; hence the need for cooperative distribution. Universal welfare is an ancient concept. Similarly Chanakya said,'Don't eat alone;eat and feed others'.But today's thinking is bribe and get bribes. There is an unholy pact among functionaries at different levels for corruption across the board. We have come to such a pass because the science of Spirituality was given the go-by by those pursuing disciplines like economics, sociology and ecology. Society cannot become healthy until spirituality guides all our endeavors. And restraining desires is part of spirituality.
The Life Energy of Society
Restraint is the life energy of society. How to establish its importance is the question. One of the ways of doing it is education. From early childhood, the awareness of non-violence should be inducted in the mind. Awareness of the control of desires is in fact awareness of nonviolence. The more unrestrained the desires, the greater the violence. The converse is also true. Therefore every education should teach young children that they should not really indulge all their desires, but trim them. We believe in trimming and pruning plants thus caring for their external beauty, but we do not trim and prune our desires to ensure our inner beauty. Every desire when born should be viewed from three angles:Is it obligatory to fulfil it? Is it necessary to fulfil it? Is it just not an ardent longing? The first represents an obligation; The second a necessity; but the third calls for control or restraint. Every desire should be analyzed in terms of these three angles.
Why do Plans Fail ?
One single reason of the failure of the plans is the unending cycle of desires. If it had not been for the refinement of the above disposition, there should have been no examples of asceticism and personal sacrifice. If education plays its role in encouraging these three dispositions, all will be well with individuals as well as society. But for the time being let us have a less ambitious target. We can ensure the well-being of a little more than fifty percent people by making awareness of controlling desires a part of education. All the people everywhere cannot be improved. How can a man with an undeveloped mental awareness improve? There are desperate cases where no remedy works. But society will improve even if fifty percent people improve.
Dont Think of making People Passionless
Just as a healthy state of the body does not imply total well-being but right functioning of the digestive, excretory and respiratory systems on the whole, a society is also deemed healthy if it is free from violence and economic crimes born of uncontrolled desires. Do not think of making the entire society completely passionless and non violent. If the aforesaid limited target is acheived, adequate transformation is acheived. adequate transformation is possible. That much awareness is aroused and the method of doing it is Jeevan Vigyan. Scientific experiments have proved that by applying proper electrodes at crucial and specific points of the brain, astonishing results can be acheived - lions can be tamed and mice can be made aggressive.
If the fear point can be activated, the point of fearlessness can be activated too. There is no reason to doubt that through dedicated practice, by meditating on the point of desires, they can be controlled. Already ways of controlling desires have been discovered. More such techniques can be discovered. Jeevan Vigyan presents a method of making society healthy - free from violence and economic crimes - through the use of education to control desires. It has discovered the technique of shifting the mind's awareness from the gonads and the adrenal to the vicinity of the pituitaary and pineal glands and fixing it there. It will free society from crimes and render both individuals and society healthy. Try to assess, adopt and include in education the above mysterious method and the dream of a healthy society shall come true.The Practise of Jeevan Vigyan There are three obstacles in the way of attaining samadhi (Yogic trance), adhi (mental suffering), vyadhi(physical suffering) and upadhi(anxiety). The first two belong to the external world, the third exists inside us. Today, we confine ourselves to the external factors, ignoring the inner world of emotions. No lasting solution of a problem is possible without tackling the inner world. So we must attend to the basic question of finding ways of refining the emotions.
The Idea of Refining Emotions
The whole idea behind Jeevan Vigyan is to refine the emotions. Contary to popular belief, man does not change. We saw in the prekshadhyan camps that man does change. It is usually believed that man does not change. There is a well-known Rajasthani couplet:
Jhaka padya sabhav, jhasi jeev sune
Neem na meethi hoye, socho good dheev sune
Man cannot change his nature; a neem plant cannot become sweet even if watered with jaggery and clarified butter.
Modern scientists have bought about changes undreamt of before. A seedless variety of guava has been developed, its colour has been changed and it has been made to yield a pleasant smell. New species of fruit and cereals have been produced. Then why can man not be changed? We are convinced that man can be transformed by spirituality, Yoga and religion.
The training camps of prekshadhyan have shown that highly irascible people return home after the training as sober and calm human beings. On seeing these startling results revered Gurudeva thought that it would be far more useful to train young students. More enduring results are obtained by trying new things at an impressionable age. The idea of Jeevan Vigyan was born to achieve the above purpose. It was decided that the practice of Jeevan Vigyan should be combined with education.
Uselessness of Adding the Book Burden
It so happened that revered Gurudeva arrived at Jaipur just when the then Education minister of Rajasthan had resolved to include moral education in the school curriculum. Already the school children bore a heavy burden of books. The minister wondered what else could be done. Gurudeva asked him to give the matter some serious thought.
It is not Faulty but Inadequate
The Education Minister arranged a seminar which was attended by many officers of the ministry including the secretary, university professors and other people related to education. Addressing the seminar, Gurudeva said that Contary to what others had said, he did not consider the education faulty. On the other hand it was inadequate. If the system had been faulty, it could not have produced good doctors, engineers and scientists. But it was certainly inadequate because it was not fulfilling all the expectations the people had from it. It did not succeed in instilling in the students morality, honesty, discipline, a sense of responsibility and dutifulness. Education simply lacked the elements capable of yielding the above results.
Selection of Schools
The then Education Secretary Mr. K.K.Bhatnagar said,'Acharyaji, it is the first time we have heard such a thing. You have given us in fact a new insight. Will you tell us the way of removing the inadequacy?' We suggested that they should first of all begin by training the teachers. We would give them training in Jeevan Vigyan and these trained teachers would in turn train the students of their respected schools. The Ministry of Education made the necessary arrangements. Training camps for the teachers were organised. Hundreds of teachers were trained. A few resource persons were also prepared. Then a few schools were selected- a dozen to begin with. Practice of Jeevan Vigyan began. The results reported after a year of practice were surely startling. Impressed by them, the schools run by Christian Missionaries wanted the experiment to be extended to their schools too.
The Students Experiences
Revered Gurudev arrived in Udaipur. The practice of Jeevan Vigyan was started in Guru Govind High School. Its principal, requested us to go personally to his school and see the practice of Jeevan Vigyan by the students. We went there. After watching the practice by the students we talked to them and listened to their experiences. Many students told us that earlier they used to get angry often, but the practice of Jeevan Vigyan had rid them of it completely. Some of them said that as a result of the practice, they were able to concentrate on their studies better. Principal Niaz Beg said that the students had become disciplined. We felt encouraged by these remarks.
The Guardian's Surprise
The experiment of Jeevan Vigyan began in Bikaner. The Director of Tulsi Adhyatma Needam and education officers of the goverment of Rajasthan went there together to asess the results. The principle told them that initially the school authorities did not pay heed to it as they thought it was one more govermental plan among many meant as paper work. But on of the resource persons trained by us showed extraordinary keenness to make a success of it. And the results of his efforts were simply astonishing. Our attention to the results was drawn when many guardians came and met us about their pleasant surprise at their ward's improved behaviour at home. Formerly, they were complaining a lot, but for some time past they had stopped complaining altogether. It further convinced us of the efficacy of Jeevan Vigyan as effective means of transformation.
If it had been in my Power
There is a Jain residential teaching institution in Beware, where regular practice of Jeevan Vigyan was in vogue. The principal was a Christian. We asked what he thought the results were like. He said not to speak of the results. the entire atmosphere of the school had changed. If it had been in his power, he would have immediately made the practise of Jeevan Vigyan in the whole of Rajasthan.
At Least I have Benefited a Good Deal
In fact we did not get a single negative report about Jeevan Vigyan from wherever it was practised. On the other hand, the reports said it benefited not only the students but also the teachers and the guardians.
Once revered Gurudeva was staying on the campus of the Jain Vishva Bharati. It was the final day of a training camp meant for teachers. They related their experience to Gurudev. I don't know when the students will benefit from it, but I have benefited all right. I was given to alcoholism and chain smoking. All that is history now. I feel blessed.
The teacher camps proved highly sucessful. The training campaign and a large number of teachers took training in Jeevan Vigyan there.
He is the Same Man
There is a village called Nava near Parbatsar in the Nagur district. One day, the District Education Officer came unannounced to the village school for inspection. He was late and the principal told him that the school was over, but he could, if he so wished, see the practice of Jeevan Vigyan going on there. The officer agreed to do so. One teacher was giving practice to about thirty to forty students. The officer was very pleased at the way the teacher was training the students and expressed his admiration to the Principal. The latter remarked that the teacher being admired was once the most indisciplined member of the school staff. He was a veritable tyrant but was now completely transformed as a result of his training in Jeevan Vigyan. He was the same man who was once a terror to everybody in the school.
The same experiment was repeated in the schools at Bokaro. Prior to that, Pandeji, a Yogacharya, of that place, acquainted himself with the method of Jeevan Vigyan. He liked it so much that he said he would introduce it at as many places as possible in Bokaro. His efforts bore fruit, so that at present, some seven thousand students studying in fifty different schools are practising Jeevan Vigyan. In one of the functions organised by Pandeji as many as twenty thousand guardians took part.
The Point of Transformation
Rather than relate innumerable similar incidents, it is better to understand the basic principle of transformation. Which is the point responsible for bringing out the change. All talk about moral education will be in vain if we know the point of transformation. And that point is our brain. Language does not have an effect on our mind, but it is temporary. If only listening to moral instruction could bring about permanent change, the world would be completely metamorphosed by now.
The Process of Transformation
Sometimes people wonder why the desirable change does not occur. Similarly teachers had understood the problem two to three thousand years ago. Mahavira said, Savane, naane, vinaane, pachkaane, that is the first listen, then know, as a result of which discrimination will grow and the ability to refute will be earned. It makes it possible to abandon the undesirable, accept the desirable and ignore what is not worthy of notice. One has to go through the entire process. The principle enunciated in the Upanishads is shravan, manan, and nidhadhyasan (listening, reflecting, and deeply meditating). Mere listening is not enough. Emulating and practising the good are important. Constant study and practice spread over a long period build permanent traits of character.
The Importance of Character
Someone wanted to know in a couple of minutes how to restrain the fickle mind. I told him that if it had been an intellectual question, it could have been answered in two minutes. But the question related to the inner being and even if a short answer were given it would be no good. He could find the solution to the problem if he stayed with us and practised for at least ten days.
It is only intellectual activities with which the world of modern education is concerned. The intellect does develop the thinking power. Subjects taught under the faculty of Arts do not require an intellectual basis. But when it comes to Physics, Chemistry, and Biology and other subjects like these, practicals are compulsory. It is through practical experimentation that a scientist becomes an expert in his field of study, and yet the problem of character would be before him too.
What causes Suicides?
Revered Gurudev was in Delhi in 1987. Dr. Daulat Singh Bhandari along with four or five professors of physics came to meet him. A few days earlier a scientist of the Pusa Institute had commited suicide on the issue of job promotion. I expressed surprise at such reputed scientists committing suicide. Dr. Kothari was a wise scholar. He said he would not have done so had he recieved training in nonviolence. He further said that there were a number of scientists living under severe stress which sometimes resulted in an extreme step like suicide.
Indira Gandhi's Experience
One of the aspects of our personality is character. It can be said to be either the aspect of peace or that of non-violence. It is a compulsory component of every branch of education for those who practice Jeevan Vigyan. The aspect of mental peace or nonviolence or character should be part of all education, because it is every man's need.
Revered Gurudeva was sitting in the Adhyatma Sadhna Kendra. Mrs Indira Gandhi came there too meet him. At that time, she was not Prime Minister. Janata Party was ruling at the centre. During long talks, seeing that she was sad and tense, Revered Gurudeva advised her to practice prekshadhyan. She was also told about some practises involved in prekshadhyan. She did not tell us anything about herself, but Pupul Jaykar in her book about Indira Gandhi writes: 'Indiraji told me that she had gone to meet Acharya Tulsi and learned a few practices of meditation, which enabled her to get a lot of mental peace. She was very tense then but experienced extreme tranquility of mind after meeting him.'
It should Be a General Practice
Innumerable experiences prove the same truth. Jeevan Vigyan is both an art and a science of living. It is a science because it interprets scientific facts. The art of living should be learnt by everyone whatever branch of knowledge he opts for. It should not be specialised but generalized. There is no choice but to practice Jeevan Vigyan if someone wants to live peacefully and non violently. The biggest problem facing us today is violence, not only in the form of fighting and killing but in its myriad forms in every walk of life. That explains why the Goverment is more worried about internal security than about the security of the borders of the country. If a well-thought out long term policy decision is taken to overcome it, the results will be simply disastrous, ushering an era where the law of jungle will prevail. It will be difficult to distinguish man from animal. The need today is to inactivate the animal brain, and to activate the neo-cortex or the reasoning mind so that the violence may be minimised. Future generations will curse us if our educationists do not understand the above fact. The situation is truly grave and calls for utmost seriousness. Revered Gurudeva has drawn the attention of many important dignitaries to this problem and all of them had assured him of their cooperation in his endeavour to find a lasting solution to the problem.
We shall do justice to the future generations by starting a massive programme of building character. By doing it, we will ensure the end of the prevailing indiscipline and lawlessness.New Man : New World
The drop and the ocean have been related since ancient times. Likewise, the body and the universe have been deemed to be related in Philosophy. In simple language we can use the terms man and the world. The later is a totality comprising not only man but also other beings and material objects.
The Internal Relations
Every man is related to the world. In order to understand a single individual, the whole world will have to be understood and vice versa. They are so internally related and interactive that one cannot be interpretated without the other. Even if an atom is to be understood, the whole world will have to be understood. Mahavira said, jai ang janai se saavn janai (he who knows one, knows all, knows everyone). No one can be known without knowing all. Externally, all appear seperate, but internally all are interrelated. I have a piece of cloth in my hand. Even though very small. it is related to the whole world. Space is associated with it, which is related to another part and that to third and so on. It is a whole series. A quiver in this piece of cloth creates vibrations in the whole world.
Two doctrines were prevalent in the whole world of philosophy-dualism and monism. The former posited two elements. the animate and inanimate. Both are independent. The latter posited only one element, viz. the animate. The other does not exist. In reality, the two doctrines cannot be seperated. Anekantvad (the doctrine of non-absolutism or manifold aspects) has viewed them together and that is why it has properly explained both man and the world. If we interpret man for own convenience, for making right individuals and the right world, for making conduct and our behaviour right, it implies the development of our individual consciousness. If we interpret the world, it will imply the development of group or collective consciousness.
Two Dimensions of Consciousness
Every man's consciousness needs two dimensions. Anuvrat is the principle of the development of individual consciousness. Fraud and defeat prevail and many problems arise where group consciousness is sought to be developed without first developing individual consciousness.
Political ideologues tried to develop socialism and communism. The motive was not bad; in fact it was sublime and compassionate. But one thing was forgotten. They tried to develop collective or group consciousness and forgot to look after individual consciousness. As a result, the noble aim sought was defeated, purity was lost, fraudulence and deceit went on flourishing and the rot spread to the whole society.
Anuvrat's Code of Conduct
Development of individual consciousness is vitally important. Anuvrat's code of conduct is a code to develop individual consciousness. It is said that anuvrat does not address itself to the development of group or social consciousness. Particularly people in western countries keep telling that while they are working for the good of society, we are doing it for the good of individuals. They wonder how the entire world can improve in a finite period of time if attention is directed to individuals. According to them each individual would reform in one stroke once social consciousness was developed. It is a nice thought but impossible to translate into reality. Social consciousness will not awaken without being based on the purity of individual consciousness.
The Result of Social Consciousness
Let us recall the well-known story of a ruler who ordered that each individual had to drop a jug full of milk in the town's empty pond that the pond could be full of milk the next morning. The ruler visited the site the next morning and found the pond full of water. The reason was that each man had thought that after all his one jug would make no visible effect to the filling of the pond by milk. The result was that the pond got full of water instead of milk. The lesson to be drawn is that the level of thinking depends on the level of human consciousness.
Emperor Subhoga was going over the sea in his aerial chariot which was being carried by 16,000 gods. One of the Gods thought that when there were so many others carrying the chariot, nothing would happen if he opted out. Then one by one the other Gods also thought the same thing and as a result of that collective thinking all the 16,000 gods widrew their support to the aerial chariot and it fell into the sea.
Anuvrat, the Basic Support
The making of a good man and a good world cannot be conceived until collective consciousness gets the basic support of individual consciousness. The basic principle of anuvrat has been to make individual consciousness so pure that the edifice of social consciousness may be erected on its basis. For any mansion to be big and strong, there has to be a strong foundation. Anuvrat is the basic support on which a pure social consciousness can be developed.
The Basis of Collectivity
No society can function which does not have a tradition of nonviolence. If we glance at social history we find that society was formed only on the basis of nonviolence. Primitive man who lived in the jungle was uncultured. He lived in isolation. But once man came out of the jungle and began forming groups in villages or small towns, he had to enter into a social contract. It was based on reciprocity. No one shall trouble anyone else. All shall live together, cooperate with one another and shall not harm one another. Society was formed on the basis of the above contract.
The Basis of Individual Consciousness
How does one purify and develop consciousness? How does one acquire self-restraint? Desires have a strong urge, so how does one curb them? The first method is self-restraint, the second is practice. The former cannot be cultivated without the other. The mind and its fickleness weaken the restraint. We should practise in such a manner that unsteadiness of the mind is reduced and instinctual urges are curbed. The practice of prekshadhyan helps us achieve it. The mind is cleansed and self-restraint follow as a natural corollary.
Wheat and Bread
Strenghtening restraint is like turning wheat into bread. Anuvrat can be regarded as wheat, it cannot be eaten without turning it into bread. The raw material has to be changed into finished goods. Anuvrat is the main basis of self-restraint. The process of maturing it, of changing wheat into bread is prekshadyan. The bebefits of the practice should reach out to a large sections of population. This could be ensured by involving schools for carrying out the practice. That is why Jeevan Vigyan was introduced in the schools.
Elements of Individual Consciousness
A strong foundation enables a strong edifice. Likewise by cleansing individual consciousness, collective consciousness can be developed. Anuvrat, prekshadhyan and Jeevan Vigyan first act as principles of individual consciousness, but later they become principles of individual consciousness. The three together awaken sensitivity and compassion and strengthen the principle of reciprocity. As a result, our behaviour towards one another becomes honest, sweet and courteous. People with humility have collective consciousness awakened in them. Neither socialism nor communism can be successful without collective consciousness.
An Example of Polite Behaviour
The western thinker Tripling was an accomplished person. One newspaper published the news of his death. He read it and wrote to the newspaper's editor,'You are an authentic person and your newspaper is a prestigious publication. It publishes news only after a thorough investigation. You have published the news of Tripling's death only on the basis of correct information. Please strike of my name from the list of your subscribers, since I am no longer alive.' The editor felt ashamed to read the letter. He admired the politeness of the letter, who completely abstained from hurling words of abuse, displaying anger and holding out threat of a law suit.
Man of the World (The Cosmopolitian Man)
The above polite behaviour is the outcome of a pure individual consciousness. Such an individual is bound to affect collective consciousness. Behaviour implies collectivity. It would not be possible if there were only a single individual. It is our behaviour with another person, which relates us to the world. Talking about an individual gives us the theme of man and the world, while talking about collective consciousness changes the terms of reasoning as also the nature of language, and as a result, what what emerges is the Cosmopolitian man. The world precedes man. The Cosmopolitian man is the outcome of collective consciousness. No man will first see himself as Cosmopolitian. He will first see the world and then see himself. It is obvious that collective consciousness can develop reciprocity, organization, a social or political system, but not purity.
A system based on Cosmopolitian man will be pure only when it is based on the purity of individual consciousness. History bears witness to it. All collective endeavour has led to distortations in the absence of individual consciousness. Even communist states had to yield to the demand of individual proprietorship. The capital nations marched ahead of the communist states in the economic field. They realised their mistake. Capitalism also is therefore tottering and is in its present shape equally dangerous. You may wonder about the choice left if both individuality and collectivity pose danger to mankind. The solution to the dilemma lies in anekant.
The Third Option
The philosophy of anekant can be called the third option - neither nityavad (eternalism) nor anityavad (non-eternalism) but the third option Nityanityavad (eternalism and non-eternalism).Neither Vaiyaktikta (individuality) nor Samudayakita (collectivity) but a combination of both, Vaiyaktiktayukta Samudayikta and Samudayiktayukta Vaiyaktikta. If we think of building a new society on the above basis, I believe we shall be quite close to the truth.
The True Nature of Anekant
The studebt who says that the cow has three legs is closer to the truth than the one who says that it has only two legs. We have to first approximate the truth before we can actually attain it. This truth will belong to anekant -neither communism nor capitalism, neither collectivity nor individuality, but a combination of both. By combining the good points of both, a third form will evolve. Neither existance nor non-existance but a combination of both is the third hypotheses. Let us not take any one-sided or unilateral view, but integrate all views through anekant and thus conceive the new man and the new world. Only the new man and the new world can be the solution of the present problem.
[ Home Page of Science of Living ] [ Impression Gallery ] [ Feed Back ] [ Email ]