Social Problems : Spiritual Solution
Economic inequality is a glaring problem of our society. Acharyashree put forward a spiritual solualtion of this problem at a press conference in New Delhi. Its importance lies in its potentiality to bring about a change in the outlook of an individual. Some of the extracts of his speech are reproduced here:
We cannot lose sight of the worsening situation rendered by economic inequality. I think it to be the main cause of the advent of communism... Some people ask me whether communism will come to India. How can i make any prediction about it ? I am compeled to say that will come provide you invite it. If you do not it won't come. The people who really care for religion and are so concerned about its existence should refrain from accumulating welth. This will naturally lead to the fulfillment of their desire.
Do not let your desire for amassing wealth grow even for the sake of charity. People donot need your charity. They are indignant at your tendency to accumulate wealth. If the cafpitalists still turn a blind eye to this stark reality the tide of people's anger will sweep them all. Neither an atom bomb nor other nuclear weapons will be able to stem it.
Do not think that I am protagonist of communism. I see that, like capitalism, it too has it own weaknesses. Concentration of wealth in the hands of the state is as bad as it is in those of an individual. Socialization of the resources of basic needs will prove superficial so long as people are not made to realize that it is imperative for them to curb their desire to hoard. An individual willtake the place of a nation. One country will tend to exploit another. The principle of economic equality irks only capitalists but the principle of restraining desires sounds irksome to all. Even if it displeases people, it cannot be helpedsince it is the only way to remedy the malady. Hence the question whether one likes or dislikes is irrelevant.
Acharyashree once asked the people of uttar Pradesh how their crops were. The only answer was that they were extremely good.
Acharyashree : Then, how is it your clothes are torn and houses are dilapidted ?
The People : Maharaj, the fact is that mosar (a feast that follows someone's death as an obligatory social ceremony) consumes us all. It costs each of about three to four thousand rupees.
Acharyashree : Is it essential for you to perform it ?
One of them : Yes, Maharaj. One has to carry it out. It is a social obligation. No one can escape it. If someonw fails to do so the people of the village comment sarcastically that here he is enjoying his meals while his grandfather is rotting and starving at the crematorium there. They look down upon him and say many unpleasant thing about him. So a man is obliged to do it whether circumstances permit him or not.
On the one hand I was listening to his conversation and on the other hand I was thinking, "poverty is a misery and it is man's own creation. Some people are unhappy because they are landless and have no means to subsist. This is one kind of problems. Then there are those who have both land and means to support their lives out are nevertheless unhappy. This is another kind of problem. Marx considered the former vitally important and studued society. He chose a library as the field of his practical study. Acharyashree regards the latter as the primary one. He approaches the problem from his angle and his field of practical study is his direct contact with villages and village people. Marx discovered that the root of the social change in the transformation of man's nautre. He does not consider a system enternal, nor does he oppose any change in it. But of those two he has chosen the change in mans nature as the area of his study. The Anuvrat Movement is a concreate shope of this conviction.
Acharyashree saw verdant fields dotted with heaps of crops and overflowing greenaries an either side of the G. T. Road. Then in the vicinity he saw people in tatters sitting before their dilapidted huts. It was not a paradox but a direct contradiction. When he made inquiries about this miserable plight of the people, he found three additional reasons responsible for it - tabacco, alcoholism ans frenzied revelry. The use of drugs gives rise to a state of frenzy and a man who has been worked up into a frenzy is easily led into a brawal. It look us by surprise when we came to know that there were hundreds of lawyers dealing with criminal cases. The profession of practising law does not come into being on its own. It thrives mainly on the mental imbalance of people. As long there is mental equilibrium (self-control), there can be no occasion for a man to commit a crime. The presence of such a large number of lawyers practising criminal law gave us enough hint that the root of this undesirable situaton lay in ingnorance and illiterancy. With the development of knowledge they might refrain from being led into a frenzy. But to our great chagrin we did not find even the field of knowledge free from this menace. What we saw in the cities and towns was an unsual spectacle. Examinations were being conducted in colleges and schools in the presence of police. Acharyashree said, "An examinee ought to feel ashamed if the situation demands the presence of polece for holding examination." But who is to blame forn thes humilation ? Does the Government design it deliberately ? It sounds incredible that a sensible man will ever think of subjecting his future generation to this dismal state. It results from ones own activities.
When I hered that the students indulged in arson at one place and violence at another, I wondered if trhe educated were gentler then the educated. They also suffer from a deep sense of madness. We discover in them the saame mental imbalance arhibited by those who are illiterate. Because of their senseless argumentation they have lost even the little amount of reverence we still find in the uneducated. There is no doubt that ignorance is the root of suffering but the question as to why knowledge is becoming the cause of misery is still difficult to answer. These circumstances added to the utility of the Anuvrat Movement. I heared people say in different villages, " Acharyaji, we need this movement badly. It should spread fast. You have done a great service to mankind by launching a movement torpor. "Acharyashree would say, " brothers, the Anuvrat Movement is not hungry for kudos. It only expect you to extend it your active co-peration. Either you should say that you have no need for it or you yourself should come forward to become anuvratis (submit yourselves to the disicipline of Anuvrat vows) and Persuade others to do likewise. TO say that it is not needed is reject humanism. Hamanism is imposible to achive unless morality is developed."
In the course of his marches Acharyashree noticed that the modern cities had become the sources of physical comforts despite their internal vaccum, whereas the villages, which are the main source of producation, were being reduced to a sad plight on account of a lack of basic amenities. The truth is that movements dedicated to the cause of moral awakening are experiences a greate difficulty in bringing home the meaning of "arthmanarh bhavaya nityam" (always think that wealth is an evil) to the people. It is so because the main question facing people today is that of getting amenities and one can get them solely by means of money.
What Acharyashree was trying to bring home to the people was not that they should renounce their wealth and the comforts obtained by it. Renunciation concerns asceticism. It is something beyond an ordinary man. Acharyashree only asked them to refrain from resorting to corrupt means in order to acquire wealth and from a tendency to move earth and heaven for physical comforts. The people listened to Acharyashree attentively. They did so because his discourses revealed a truth path to them. Being dishonest and corrupt is not something that one boast of. A person who resorts to dishonesty in his dealing with other people fears himself more then anyone else. Can he ever experience peace and happiness in the real sence? Acharyashree would elucidate this truth in such a lucid and straightforward language that the people who heared him began to realize that they were far from the real goal of life. We still find predominance of a self- centered attitude in the people of india. They think more of their own interest than of the interest society. All religions teach us not to come in the way of other people's interest but the number of the religious people who cursh other's interests but the number of the religious people who crush other's interest for the sake of their own in not small. Those who heared Achryashree Tulsi included people from all sections of society i.e., buisnessman, government officials, teachers and students. What Achryashree said on the bank of the Triveni (confluence of the three rivers - the Ganga, the Yamuna and the invisible Saraswati) in the holy city of prayagraj was undoubtendly a challenge for various religious leaders. In the language of poverty he said :
Oh religious people ! Whither do you still go on drifting ?
Are you able to preserve the real glory of the religion of the truth or are you going to lose it ?
When it temples, you seem to surpass even Prahlad's devotion to God.
But when you come home, you become become crueller then even Hirnankush.
Then you are planying a hoax on God and are only befooling yourselves.
Indevotional songs or in the company of the pious, you shaw ecstatic joy on a par with Meera and Sur.
But in practice you exhibit the wickedness of Shupanakha.
Do you leave behind what you get in the company in the pious there itself ?
This trend of thought agitated the minds of religious people and led them to think again.
Acharyashree was explaining to the people that the very idea of casteism was the antithesis of reality. At the end of his discourse Mehendra Kuamr Nyayachuarya, a lecturer at the Banara Hindu University, remarked : "To look on all living beings as yourself is an attribute of a saint. In your first discourse you said that extending support to the believe of casteism is something that should fill a man's heart with shame. You accept bhiksha even from the people of low castes. Such words can flow from the lips of a saint only."
In the columns of Jnanoday, a prestigious Hindi monthly, Kanhaiyalal Mishra Prabhakar has written thus :
Saint Acharya Tulsi, sponsor of the Anuvrat Moveement, has painted a beautiful picture of the perversion in society i.e., denying oneself the pleasure what one already has and pining incessantly for what one does not have, pithily in two words. Even one thousand voluminous books, each running into a thousand pages, written by one thousand scholars cannot potray this evil better then what Acharyashree has done in two words, i.e. bhuk (hunger) and vyadhi (malady).
The Saints says, "some people say that modern man is suffering from hunger for fame, power and self-interest. But in truth it is not so. What he is really suffering from is a malignant disease consisting of these symptoms. It continues to eat into his vitals and does not abate at all. The message of the saint is that we have this hunger for fame, power and self-interest but we must not allow it to degenerate into a disease."
In Acharyashree's view caste and privileges are insignificant. Unfortunately we find that the values detrimental to social interest are being encouraged and those that are worhty of encouragement are degenerating. The Anuvrat Movement aims at reversing this trend. It is possible only though the development of character.
Addressing an enlightened gathering in the Senate Hall of Patna University, Acharyashree said, "The first and the most important question before us today is how a man can become a man. Dr. Zakir Hussain, the then Governor of Bihar, said, "Today man is striving hard to become every thing expect a human being in the real sense. But he will not be able to become anything unless he first becomes a human being. The Anuvrat Movement is a project for making a man a man.
The Anuvrat Movement has left an indelible impression on everyone's mind in society. It has own a good deal of verbal support from people so far. But the movement the question of putting in into practice crops up, they slink off. This doesnot mean that they donot like morality and integrity but the fact is that morality is unable to solve the problem of earning their bread. People attach prime importance to the question of earning their bread. The question of morality comes next. Viewed from the angle of one's need, it may be true but is not so when he look at from the point of its utility. A man's ability to earn his bread is no achievement. His real progress lies in his achievement of morality. The question of bread has always been a subject of politics while that of morality is still connected with the domain of spirituality.
Even in the countries where socialistic and communistic forms of political systems are at the pinnacle of their success and people do not have to struggle for earning their bread, We do find instances of hostility, suspicion and fear in personal relationship. Immorality does not mean only dishonesty in husiness matters and acceptance of brides. It includes terrorization of a small country by a big one and the manufacturing of destructive weapons in the name of the peace and secruity. Its solution does not lie in the replacement of one political system by another. The only way to deal with it is the development of self-control. sanyasmah khaly jeevanam. (nothing but self-restraint is life) When the voice of these words reverberated across the valleys and mountain caves of Rajgrih some year ago it brought backvivid memories of Lord Mahavir.
Source From : Achrya Tulsi (A Peacemaker Par Excellence)
By : Yuvacharya Mahapragya