Rediscovering the roots

The lack of ethical and moral values in our personal, family and social life is pretty well established fact today. The qualitatively difference of values with alien imported values and former’s importance to our mundane and spiritual progress is intrinsic to our thinking. We complain about ascendency of money and power in family and social life is real to us; we all feel it but somehow find it beyond our control, May be we lack moral conviction and courage to face the evil and choose the easier way of compromise. What is important to recognize here is that many of these vices don’t belong to our value universe and since they are alien, it is far easy to discard them.

The Progressive rationalists discourse has been fully hijacked by the left leaning intellectuals, who bore exceptional antipathy to dharmic civilization. The balanced and open elements of earlier days faded out and rabid fringe elements took control of the movement. Though these elements have very little democratic support, owing to their utility for the cause of white Christian progressive liberal, they enjoy very high support and coverage.

Such elements thoroughly de-valued the education and culture of India. Following the French proletariat blindly they indiscriminately mocked traditional values and virtues. And being alien to the rationalism culturally, they had nothing concrete to offer. The new education had no scope for shared values that emotionally and spiritually connected them to their nation. Instead, new fake symbols were created around constitution, socialism, secularism, and reservation etc. This fired imagination of beneficiary people and overnight hand-outs became birthright and the moral stigma attached to relief was replaced with politically correct arguments in garb of affirmative action.

An Indian bereft of connection with its value universe is a weak and artificial entity, where in classes and pressure groups work to their petty ends. In such scenario of big loot where inept and lawbreakers prosper, the law abiding and principled person feel punished. Only a few people endowed with wisdom and patience could retain faith in values.

The role of values is most critical for any civilization or for that matter a nation. The traditional dharmic value universe is based upon ten fundamental universal dharma - Dhriti (Patience), Kshama (forgiveness), Dama (piety or self control), Asteya (honesty), Shaucha (sanctity), Indriya-Nigrah (control of senses), Dhi (reason), Vidya (knowledge or learning), Satya (truthfulness) and absence of Akrodha (absence of anger). Upon these values conduct of an individual in family and social setting is drawn. Like one should respect one’s Guru, parents, ancestors, Rishis and living beings, one should not steal, one should not covet and one should shun indolence and so on. Such a conduct is divinely ordained by Veda and thus is expected to be followed in letter and spirit. This dharma takes form of different responsibilities for different Varna order. Thus knowledge, Tapa and equanimity becomes foremost virtue for Brahman, For Kshatriya King Jitendriyata (Self control), truthfulness,
protecting righteousness, knowledge of Vedas, statecraft and various sciences, stable mindedness etc. are considered as basic virtues.

Various kings assembled at Dashratha’s court enumerate some qualities of Sri Rama that makes him fit to become the king of Ayodhya.  Maharshi Valmiki in Ayodhya Kand records them saying:

Rama is the world renowned gentleman. He is keenly interested in truth and righteousness. Only Rama can make both righteousness and wealth combine without separation – 2-2-29

He is equal to moon in making the people happy; equal to the earth in the quality of forgiveness; equal to Brihaspati in wisdom and verily to Devendra in valour. – 2-2-30

Rama knows all righteousness. He is true to his word and has good character. He has no envy. He has patience. He consoles those who are in troubles. He speaks good words. He has gratitude. He keeps senses under control – 2-2-31

Rama is soft natured; has stable mind, always an auspicious man, and has no envy. He speaks truthful and loving words to all living beings. He worships aged Brahmans endowed with knowledge of various sciences. By that, his name, glory and splendor are growing in this world. – 2-2-32&33

He is skilled in the use of various weapons known to celestials, demons and men. He has duly concluded his vow of studying the various sciences and has systematically learnt all the Vedas along with its branches – 2-2-34

Rama is best in the world in the art of music. He has best relatives. He is gentle. He is not weak in mind. He has great wisdom – 2-2-35

Rama was trained in all matters from the best of Brahmans skilled in the art of righteousness and in the science of political economy. If it is necessary to go to a battle to protect a village or a city, Rama goes with Lakshmana and returns home only after obtaining victory – 2-2-36

This value orientation is unique to our civilization. derives popularity through his adherence to Dharmic virtues and this makes him Maryada Purushottma. This is essentials of dharmic values universe. Mahabharata the greatest epic ever conceived by human mind is not a story of royal feud, it is primarily concerned with establishing right values in society. Thus we see the basic story comprise of very small portion of the epic and majority of Akhyaans and Upakhyaan teaching imparting some moral teaching. In comparison despite some basic similarities the Greek Epics like Iliad appear mainly war-plunder and love story. Another noteworthy thing is that the dominant Western Abrahamic value universe is successful owing to brute power and control of nature and external elements. The frontier of growth for them has been armament and industrialization. Indian thoughts spread with Brahmans, Sramans, traders, artisans and their works.

Lack of character and ethics visible among today’s political class and bureaucracy has its root in progressive rationalism that has utilitarianism, anthropomorphism and equality, liberty and remnant religious thought of Abrahamic tradition and experiences of like Renaissance, French revolution, Protestantism etc. We have observed a sharp decline in morality, ethics and virtues in our personal and social life ever since independence. The political leaders, their personal and family life are too well known to people close to them and journalists etc.; one can safely give benefit of trust to all rumors that one come across about some political personality. If we closely observe the deeds and life style of sons, brothers and daughters of politician and even bureaucrats, we find power hungry psyche given to all sorts of corruption and vices. It has ceased to bother us anymore. Many of them are personally God fearing and even ethical in their conduct but feel nothing wrong in getting illicit advantages and bribes. Their India is totally disconnected from Bharat which for them is source of plunder and loot.

This is not limited phenomena. Education bereft of values has made elite and so-called intelligent, educated class useful idiots and Gungadins. They have internalized the anti-dharmic values fully and it is reinforced again in academics and popular culture. Thus we find moralist stands from IITs and IIM students with rare exceptions. It has left them incapable of understanding the differences with ‘us’ and ‘them’. They condone all historical wrongs of aggressors at a drop of hat and go round and round condemning their own tradition for its real and imagined faults.

This effect of secularization and so-called westernization of education has been disastrous on our generations. Owing to their anti dharmic political bias progressive rationalist value order undervalued the role of time tested values. The economic model developed on this thought process has sidelined sacred and sustainable ecological perspective and replaced it with industrial agriculture, animal farming, exploitative policies as to land and sea resources. This all destruction is going on in name of rational, progressive and scientific temperament. 

The only way to break this vicious circle seems returning to roots; rediscovering our tradition, its values and knowledge system form original source itself. Today we need concerted efforts of investing our energies and resources earnestly for its revival in our personal, family and social life. All riches and achievements are not worth a penny if it is attained at cost of our identity and values.
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