By: JYOTIRMAYA THAKUR
JYOTIRMAYA THAKUR is an Indian poetess, literary critic, peace activist and multi-prize winner. Her literary works are characterised with a high degree of creativity and authenticity. By the virtue of her intelligence, skill and imagination, she infiltrates human psychology and arrests the most evasive and invisible states of mind; moments of joy, sorrow, tedium, frustration and jubilation in very magically fascinating imagery. Yet, she is not confined to states of mind, she has rather exceeded them to nature beauties brought forth by the changing seasons and their impact on the human soul because she is fully infatuated with Nature. However, she does not theories or intellectualize about nature as some of the romantic poets did. Being a social and cultural activist, she is a true defender of many social issues like women’s emancipation, peace promotion, and religious endurance. She is also a true fighter against racial discrimination as regard color, race, sex and religion and the like. Yet, she has not made her poetry a domain for propagating her ideologies. She rather lays much emphasis on the issue of developing her artistic craftsmanship. She aims to harness the power of her pen championing to eradicate social issues of child abuse, mental health awareness and crimes against humanity. She exemplifies the ideal that writing is more than just words on paper, it is a means of creating positive change in the world. She loves travelling around the world and is in love with all cultures and portrays them in her work.
In the present scenario, with the rapid boom of industrialization, mechanisation and materialism when life is taken for granted as a mere convenience and values at decline , literature should be written to reignite a spiritual spark questioning one’s attitude and approach towards life in general. In this era of conflicts of discrimination, disparity, inequality,insanity of power, and terror of violence;there is a serious need to educate and bring sanity by awareness of the grim situation and future consequences of today’s actions.A good and conscientious literati will try to show a mirror to the society of the discrepancies that prevails and needs to be eradicated before terrorism will bring annihilation to humanity at large due to fanatic beliefs or greed for power. An educational magazine aims at bringing writers and poets of like minded people together giving a platform to bring a revolution by thought provoking articles which will give an insight to a vision of harmony and peace by changing personal and social morality. Our purpose would be to tap out the dormant faculties of compassion,empathy and understanding to revitalise the inner spirit sharpening the purpose of human life for peaceful existence on this globe for all.
Why Maladies ??
Since the time the humans got organised in a society and civilizations developed, cultures flourished, some kind of maladies in each society have perennially remained there. Each generation has tried to solve this problem with the then available resources & information but no final solution has as yet emerged. History tells us, as explained by Sri Aurobindo, that human life starts with an animal consciousness, instinctive mind, and later develops its own consciousness and becomes a thinking animal but still remains ignorant of the meaning and purpose of life. Nevertheless the life’s journey goes on from actualities to potentialities in each individual. Hence humans in spite of having dual personalities and double nature strive for the higher and nobler values of life, a better society, and a better world. The inner driving force in an individual is the evolutionary pressure towards the next step of its development from one’s actualities to one’s potentialities. As our topic is the problem of maladies in the present society, let us first have a glance on the contradiction of human actualities and potentialities of the present day society, in the words of Sri Aurobindo :-
Our actualities are our present forms and values or power of expression which we have attained at this particular stage of evolution.
Our potentialities are possibilities of new forms, values or power of expression which we can acquire at a higher level of evolution, according to the laws of evolution. The actualities are governed by reason. The potentialities are beyond reason.Reason favours uniformity.
Potentialities demand diversity. Human reason can deal effectively with physical life and the world because both are mechanical and run through fixed cosmic habits. Human life is mobile, progressive and an evolving force. i.e. the increasing expression of an infinite power. It is aware of its own subtle variation, needs and diversities. For this reason all truths are relative and not absolute although some truths are eternal and absolute.
Caught in this tug of war, each generation of humanity has got a glimpse of nature’s tendency, objects and higher mysteries and taken that as an absolute principle and ideal of life and conduct and projected that one sided and partial aspect as the whole absolute truth. Each generation has also aggressively tried to universalize and make it acceptable to all that mere glimpse as a perfect system. Hence conflicts of civilization & empires and religious war etc etc.
It is believed that the world started taking its modern shape against the backdrop of Reformation & Renaissance in Europe and the slogan of liberty, equality & fraternity of the French Revolutions of 1789 gave its principle of social and political ideas. This was reinforced by the ideals of the American war of Independence, Industrial Revolution, and Russian Revolution of 1917. It was further crystallised by the ideas of Adam Smith, Darwin, Freud and Marx to name just a few. The two world wars and the technological revolution and the resultant information explosion have accelerated the journey of humanity towards its potentialities to an unprecedented higher level of achievement and with ever increasing speed of rapid innovation and creativities in almost all spheres of life. At the same time with all the noble ideals of humanity the gap between the rich and poor, developed and underdeveloped, is ever increasing and we are caught in a whirlpool of material prosperity, human misery & deprivation of the masses, conflicting political ideologies and terrorism in the name of religion.
The root of these maladies:
Following the French Revolution principles, individual democracy spread but in practice it became the rule of the dominant & privileged class. This led to this real war of classes and ushered in the democratic socialism from democratic individualism. Thus the individual’s liberty got replaced by the liberty of the collective through equality of collectivism. And the contradiction and conflict between the two ideals got accentuated in competitive political rivalries and dominance over the world. The failure of all political “isms” and systems to achieve the ideals of equality, liberty and fraternity in a harmonious manner appears to be one of the main causes of political, social, economic and religious crisis in the modern society and systems.
The possible way out :
A society is made of individuals with needs, wents and aspirations. A society provides an arena, opportunity and perspective for fulfilment of individuals’ biological, social & cultural needs and aspirations to evolve further and refine its ideals. It is a dynamic process and institution. Here first of all we have to understand and accept the idea that all individuals are not born equal. Humanity is graded according to an individual’s innate qualities & capacities. There are graded virtues in each individual. Virtues different according to the environment, cultures and varying conditions of an individual’s life. Nonetheless, each step in the gradation leads to higher virtues in the scale of life and ultimately to the full flowering of one’s potentiality and self actualization.
This undeniable fact of life was explained by the Lord Sri Krishna centuries back when he said that the innate qualities of individual propels one to action according to his qualities [gunas: tamasic (Inertia & Ignorance) rajasic (Kinetic vital action) or sattvic. (Balancing force) to fulfil his needs and aspirations.
The Lord has further provided the tools for development of the individual to the higher step in gradation when he said that the predominance of one of the gunas in the individuals can be balanced by practice of meditation, different kinds of yoga, different ways of worship, self studies and finally by the performance of one’s duties in the society.
Any of these tools suitable to one’s personality and aptitude can help one develop one’s potential to blossom into one’s conduct and behaviour in the society and ultimately one attains the desired perfection and success in life, thereby creating a society without any maladies.
Is born to perfection
And each shall attain it
will he but follow
His natures duty”
(Gita 18/45 translation by Paul Elmer More, as quoted in The Spiritual Heritage of India by Swami Prabhavand, Christopher Isherwood and Fredrick Manchester)
With this understanding, acceptances and performance of one’s social obligations people in general can come out there individualistic or communal ego and a deeper brotherhood can become a solid foundation for the reversed triangle of the ideals of equality, liberty and fraternity originally standing on its instable apex of equality. The union of liberty and equality may then be possible consciously by the power of human brotherhood and with this realisation by a critical mass of individuals who can lead the masses.
Reviewing the teachings of Christ, such as non – resistance, humanity and renunciation, Paul Elmer More remarks :
The doctrine of Christ, if accepted in their integrity would simply make an end of the whole social fabric and there is every reason to believe that Christ looked to see only a few chosen souls follow in his footsteps, because only a few are ideal leaders endowed with sattwa guna. And such leader can inspire and lead all other to seek graded ideals, graded standards and duties in order that in time they also attain the highest possible flowering of their potential and also on this solid foundation of brotherhood the ideals of equality and liberty.
Since ideas, good or bad generate in human consciousness it is necessary to recall the words of The Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducheri, in conclusion
” The future of earth depends on a change of consciousness.
The only hope for the future is in a change of man’s consciousness and the change is bound to come.
But it is left to men to decide if they will collaborate for the change or if it will have to be enforced upon them by the power of crashing circumstances.
So, wake up and collaborate.
[ A message of August 1964 on the occasion for the First World Conference of the Sri Aurobindo Society at which the idea of Auroville was first proposed.
Today Auroville is a UNESCO project where people from about 200 countries of different faiths are living and working harmoniously together for an ideal society free from all maladies]
History is the witness that the progressive change for the better in human society willingly by individual effort or by the force of the circumstances has been an inevitable and inescapable fact.
Reference source :- Webliography References