Since the past few months, we are noticing a huge change in Indian economy which is in buzz not just in the nation but also all around the world. Demonetization, followed by introduction of new currency was a major step in removing the black money from the face of the country. Since years, or maybe decades, the black market was growing strong. It was in the knowledge of all but in the control of none. Government, media, market, people- everyone was aware and affected by it but was empty handed when it came to solution. In one blow, the old aged- black face of the economy was hit hard by the current government with a sudden announcement of demonetization with immediate effect. It left everyone in awe and wonder and dumbstruck for a moment. Later, there was a tsunami of comments and reactions on the bold step taken. With majority of people appreciating the revolution, others not knowing what will happen next, few criticizing on the account of foreseen challenges, few prophesying failure of the move, few hoping that the news turns out to be a bad dream and that the scene can be shift-deleted from the face of time and all will be well soon, and many worried about what to do of the overmuch so-called Lakshmi which rather than becoming a boon is turning out to be curse for them. And then began the melodrama wherein it became a steaming topic for discussion on the television, in the news, on air, in the social media, in the college canteen, wherever there was any small or big gatherings and in every household. With so-much hue and cry about the economical reform, there never were the weekends so busy; never was the queue in front of the banks and ATMs so long; never were the relatives so near and dear (that people were transferring the manageable amounts in their accounts); never did we feel so lucky and blessed to have coins and smaller denominations in the pocket or wallet; never did the immandar aam admi sleep so carefree; never was the green and peach such a disliked color and pink so much in demand. 31 December 2016 was not just an end to the past year and marking the change of the calendar; but also seemed to be an end to an era of corruption and black face of the economy, bringing the rich and the poor closer to the same level. But wait…
Do we really mean it?! Can it really be assured?? Is it truly a sure-shot solution??
We may say that this measure has somewhat helped India fight the kala- dhan but the root of the problem is actually somewhere else… People may still find out ways soon to develop some or the other corrupt practices and if we do not take a measure urgently, the evil of corruption would soon flourish either monetarily or otherwise as some corrupt practices. This is because people adapt to corrupt means as a result of their corrupt thinking and belief systems which has given room to dishonesty, lack of integrity, greed etc. Hence the problem is not the kala- dhan, but kala- mann, or a mind with a depleted level of ethics. Through various similar measures, we can curb the dishonest practices for a short while but cannot instill honesty in the minds of people. Just as a pin-point of infection in the body eventually grows to become a full-fledged disease, this infection of corruption in the minds of the people may ultimately lead to the birth of the whole dynasty of evil practices. Moreover, corruption, dishonestly and greed are only a few of the evils that we face in the present scenario. There are several other challenges that the global face of humanity is encountering, be it- crime of lust in the form of eve-teasing, sexual abuse and assaults on women of all age groups, domestic violence; or crime of anger and non-tolerance in the form of violence, murders, communal disharmony, riots; crime of attachment in the form of favoritism, social prejudices or crime of ego in terms of misuse of authority and power. This has lead to total depletion of ethics over the globe in all dimensions and at all levels- personal, families, social, organizational and humanitarian. And until we find out a solution to transform the corrupt and unethical attitude and thinking permanently, there cannot be complete peace, prosperity, happiness, harmony, security, sovereignty and freedom in the world. Thus to overcome these problems permanently and uproot the vices (which are the cause of such a behavior) we have to provide an antidote to these vices, that is, re-programme the minds of people to infuse ethical instincts.
But to find the actual and most effective antidote, let us first analyze the root of ethical depletion:
Depletion or decay of anything with the passing of time, is a law of nature, whether be it matter or energy. We can see for ourselves that the state of world is that of continuous decay. It may seem at some point of time that the technical- medical- nuclear- political advancement is to reverse the process of decay; but just as each coin has two-sides, each of the advancements paves a path to a new issue. Let us take a sample of the past 100 years of the history of mankind. In the past century, there have been a lot of ‘advancements’ and ‘reforms’ but when we compare the present state of human mind and life and the world at large, we find that it was much better at the time of our forefathers and even better at the time of their forefathers. As comfort and facilities have grown in leaps and bounds, the usage of these facilities has taken the form of exploitation and dependence creating a black hole of desires which never seems to replenish. Moreover, with the fast pace of the today’s life when everything can happen in a blink of an eye, there is no time to even think before saying or doing anything or even the patience to wait and analyze the consequences of the actions performed.
Just as a decaying fruit implies that it was once fresh, such a decaying state of the world denotes that there must have been a perfect state sometime. So if the world has become debased, it means it only a deviation from a perfect world, which is also remembered in all ancient scriptures and folklores. It is believed that God created Man in his own image. God being a perfectionist possessing virtues of a superlative degree must have created a pure and perfect world with the Man and Nature being in their perfect and purest form. Going in the flash back, a few thousand years ago- such a world existed and is referred to as the ‘Golden Age’, ‘Swarg’, ‘Paradise’, ‘Heaven on Earth’, ‘Bahisht’ etc. This was the world where every individual was in the soul-conscious stage. Natural resources were abundant, pure and co-operative to the mankind and same co-operation was extended by the people towards fellow beings, animals and nature. This was because the soul was in its purest form, full of divine virtues like love, happiness, peace, knowledge, bliss, purity and power. There was no trace of sorrow or disease and there was no question of insecurity as all the resources was ample and hence this world was a world of complete prosperity. This was the era where corruption, competition, jealousy, anger, hatred, lust and other vices had no place in the society because there was no place for them in the minds of the people. Similar was the ‘Silver Age’ where although with the passing of time, the quality of matter and energy had began to decrease, but the soul was free of vices and hence prosperity continued.
These ages were like the morning and afternoon of the world when the soul was in its ‘awakened’, soul-conscious stage. But as time passes, afternoon turns into evening. When referring to the evening of the world drama, this was the time and stage referred to as ‘Copper Age’, when the energy of the soul dropped to a certain level where the human minds entered into the darkness of body- consciousness (tam) due to aged long association with body and bodily beings. Then, instead of experiencing the inner treasures of the soul, they began to search for peace, love, happiness, knowledge, power…etc through bodily beings or materials. With this, began the feeling of hollowness within (while all the treasures lay locked up right inside), exploitation of natural resources and exploitation of each other on the basis of cast, culture, wealth etc. for fulfilling our desires. Thus the vices of lust, anger, greed, attachment and ego had made entry into the minds of the people and so the actions began to be unethical or in other terms- ‘corrupt’ (here by corruption, we do not merely mean practices due to dishonesty, but practices due to loss of sanctity of the human soul). Since the soul was not completely exhausted of its original virtues; there were also percentages of love, humility, co-operation and honesty, but instead of them being for the entire society, these remained confined to only the near and dear ones. And so came a shift from the feeling of ‘Vasudhev Kutumbhkam’ (entire world is one family) to selfishness.
Slowly when the depletion continued for few more years, the percentage of the original divine virtues began to fall and fall and the percentage of vices kept on increasing. This has led to a world where we are living today, a world of complete darkness or tam, where although we have heard, read and known that we are not just this body made up of 5 elements but a spiritual entity, still we have completely lost touch with our original identity and fail to experience it or bring it into consciousness while thinking, speaking or performing any action. Every mind is full of lust, anger, hatred, jealousy and this is evident from the deeds happening in the world. This is the ‘Iron Age’, denoted as the night of the world drama, where mankind is blindly running for the fulfillment of its desires whether be it on the cost of nature, its own values, someone else’s happiness or the future of the coming generations. The vices like greed and lust have made its roots so deep into the minds of people that they end up doing malpractices, leading to non-uniform distribution of wealth and resources and an unsafe, dishonest and unethical society. Thus, even though the resources are not that scarce to serve every individual’s need but only because of their unequal distribution and exploitation, these are unavailable to a huge part of the society. People are so much intoxicated by the vices that they feel they are necessary.
It is mentioned in Gita – ‘atma swayam ka mitra bhi hai aur swayam ka shatru bhi’, meaning- that our greatest enemy is our own sense of desires, lust, anger, greed, ego and attachment which was created by our obsession of body consciousness and that have led to actions which have in turn depleted the ethical base on which the spiritual instincts thrive, leading to spiritual devastation of the human and the world. So, when all these evils reach their zenith as mankind failed to end them up or keep a check on them, it goes beyond the control of the human tendencies which created them. At this critical point, these forces of evil and vices having destruction tendencies which have been destroying the human instincts since they were created, gradually take a dreadful- self destructive global form and due to their destructive nature start destroying the every cause of their existence- their creator.
Many reforms and measures are being taken by the Government and social organizations but they have failed to fill in the huge gaps of society. This is because, as a diseased tree cannot be cured by cutting off the branches unless the roots are cured; similarly, the social problems cannot be put to an end unless the minds are freed from the influence of vices. People are worried about the future of the world. But little do they realize that it all started by humans, through humans and has created craters on human mind which now have to be filled with spiritual awakening and ethical reformation. No wonder the same scriptures that exemplify the initial perfect creation of God, warned us of the upcoming degradation of ethics, talk about the final stage and fate of the world, also mention about its restoration which is as definite as other phenomena. It is of utmost importance and relevance for mankind to realize that instead of blaming others for the present state of world and waiting for or demanding others to bring about a positive change, we need to show concern for self change, and now is the time to initiate it because the gravity of the problems are indicative that the point of explosion will reach very soon.
Let us all, therefore, know that our first responsibility is for self change and freedom from vices, for this is from where world transformation starts. Since it was the depletion of our energy and values, the lack of inner peace, happiness, purity, love … that had forced us to search them outside and eventually fall into the trap of vices. So only when we get a means to overcome our ever going depletion of values will we be able to get away from the clutches of vices. Hence, arises the need for Spiritual Awakening.
Spiritual Awakening or Spirituality is the process of regaining our soul-conscious stage. It begins with the knowledge and realization of being a pure energy full of virtues which is the driving force in this body. The more and more we realize ourselves as this spiritual energy ie soul, we open channels to let the original essence of the soul freely flow into our thinking, behavior and actions. Moreover, a little practise of spirituality through Rajyoga Meditation also makes God, the ever-pure, the ocean of knowledge, peace, love, happiness, bliss and power, easily accessible to us as our Supreme Father, Supreme Mother, Supreme Teacher, Best Friend and World Preceptor. When we refill ourselves by these virtues from the Supreme and start experiencing these virtues ourselves, the base of ethical behavior strengthens and their vibrations can be spread easily into the world, leading to its transformation from ‘Iron Age’ to ‘Golden Age’ once again.