Modern society is blissfully ignorant that the only purpose of our whole life is to somehow regain (religion) and reunite (yoga) with our basic inherent changeless nature of ‘ananda’. Whereas our forefathers, whom we consider illiterate and superstitious, the Vedic Rishis, Seers, not savages and monkeys, based on their personal experience tell us, as do Founders of all Religions, that if someone sincerely wants to live a long healthy, happy life, he has to be convinced that fulfilling our swadharma, our respective vocational and societal duties, ethical righteous conduct, practice of virtues, universal human values, etc. is the only way!
Why? Because these refine the embedded impressions in our mind, Samskaras, by pouring holy impressions; this makes our mind calm and only a peaceful mind can help us go within to know our real Self, our changeless ananda-Swaroopa.
The foremost of all knowledge, is to know of our internal nature, our mind, the field where flow all our thoughts, choices, ideas, decisions, and from where all our feelings and emotions arise We can never have knowledge of our own mind, until we have the power of first going inwards, of observing the thoughts and intentions that are continuously flowing in our inner-being.
It is very easy to observe facts in the external world, and many thousand instruments have been invented to observe every point of nature, but in the internal world we find no instrument to help us. The science of religions and yoga, in the first place, proposes to give men such a means of observing the internal states, and the instrument is the mind itself. The power of attention of mind, when properly guided, and directed towards the internal world, will analyse the mind, and illumine facts for us.
The powers of the mind are like rays of light being dissipated; when they are concentrated, they illumine everything. This is the only source of knowledge that we have. Everyone is using it, both in the external and the internal world. The minute observation which the scientific man can throw upon the external world, will have to be thrown on the internal world, our own mind, and this requires a great deal of practice.
We’ve to realize that normally our mind is very restless; whereas only a calm peaceful mind, not an ever-restless mind, can be managed and forced to turn inwards to examine itself. So, while we sincerely practice, we’ve to also ensure that our samskaras, the embedded-impressions that we’ve gathered in our mind, by previous thoughts-actions, have to be refined and purified by ethical, virtuous, righteous thoughts-actions while fulfilling our respective duties, our swadharma, daily prayers, etc. These are absolutely essential because these refine and purify our mind and make it relatively calm and therefore more concentrated; and that is why we’re all continuously been asked to be good and to do good!
Therefore, education and parenting have to help us get established in daily self-development practices so that we’re constantly reminded of the goal and purpose of work and life and can reflect and seek to know and do our swadharma, duties, in various situations. Once we follow righteous conduct, fulfil our duties, strive for quality and excellence in whatever we do, and have spontaneous feeling of love, care and concern for others, then we are on the path to ‘ananda’, long healthy, happy life. Anything, which takes us towards this state of guaranteed unadulterated happiness, is right, is good, and will give and lead towards the highest.
The modern problems are that we, especially those from education, academia, scientists, governance, have no idea that righteous conduct, commitment to swadharma, i.e., our respective duties, ethics, virtues are extremely important, and universal time-tested scientific means for improving the quality of our mind. These not only refine and prepare our mind for greater worldly success in our respective fields but also lead to spiritual success just as do our respective prayers, meditations, worship, etc.
Modern society, education, religions have failed to intellectually understand the great importance of commitment to fulfilment of our respective duties. Thus, this idea is neither being instilled by religions or education!
Modern preachers of different religions are focused only on enforcing mere ‘belief’ in an ideology and on increasing the quantity of their flock, never on inspiring the followers for striving to fulfil their duties and work for good of all people. And, the result is that religions have been thrown out of mainstream education, sciences, and governance.
Thus, the educated today believe that religion and metaphysics, and all search after a Supreme Being, ‘Perfection’, our ananda-Swaroopa is futile. Some others believe these practices really have no basis, that their only value consists in the fact that they are strong motive powers for doing good to the world; if men believe in a God, they may become good, and moral, and so make good citizens.
We cannot blame devotees for holding such ideas, seeing that all the teaching we get is simply to believe in an eternal rigmarole of words, without any substance behind them. We’re asked to live upon words and belief and no one is responsible to produce men of character working together for the good of the nation.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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