The Mother Divine
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By Swami Krishnananda

Part - II

It may be held that the question of one's relation to the world and humanity shall remain valid as long as knowledge comes through the senses and the world is visible before one's eyes. This situation of the sensibility of the world includes the perception of others outside oneself, especially other human beings. One's physical and psychological limitations manifesting themselves generally as hunger, thirst, heat, cold and fear of death and specially as the desire for wealth, sex and power, compel a person to depend upon other persons for the fulfilment or the mitigation of these instincts, and this results in the concept of humanity as a corporate body, an indispensable necessity and where utter selfishness of individuals or a group of individuals does not attempt to ruin other individuals even at its own peril, mankind exercises that understanding by which it recognises the need for a mutual co-operation among people, naturally involving some sacrifice of personal interest, and realises the impossibility of existing in the world without such co-operation. While the majesty of the Absolute in its superabundance and completeness referred to earlier in this section above is mainly the central content of the Upanishads, a divinely related humanitarian concept of mutual service is the preponderating doctrine of the Bhagavad Gita. The sage of the Upanishad merges into the Absolute and enters the very fibre of all creation as its very soul and existence, and the Krishna of the Bhagavad Gita, while he draws into his personality the dignity of the Universal God, at once becomes the paragon of humanity and exemplifies in his life the integrality of behaviour, conduct and action which sweeps over all mankind and unifies it as a social organism not only spiritually but also ethically and politically. We are here speaking of the position of man who is incapable of avoiding the sensing of a world outside him and Krishna's teaching is to such a man. It is also with due consideration to this situation of man in the world that the ancient seers ordained upon him the daily performance of the five great sacrifices known as Pancha Mahayajnas, viz., service to the celestial beings, service to the seers of learning, service to the ancestors, service to man and service to the sub-human creatures of the world. This is an all-comprehending system of ritual to accentuate service of others which is obligatory on the part of man as long as he enjoys personally the bounties of Nature and the charitableness of other human beings. This is the position impossible of avoidance so long as the universal flood of God-urge has not yet been stirred within oneself and man perforce hangs on the world and the other individuals for his subsistence in a variety of forms.

With this intention of the fulfilment of duty as mutual service and support, the organisation of people into the spiritual, political, economic and labour groups was formed in ancient times, particularly in India, under the Sanskrit names of Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra. These groups were especially classified as mutually inclusive powers and never exclusive elements as they later on got interpreted by habit, prejudice and selfishness of the part of the ego of man. Everywhere, it should be easy to see that fulfilment and complete success of the core cannot be achieved without the mutual collaboration of spiritual power, political power, economic power and man-power. This classification of human groups for the purpose of the constructive activity of society as a whole can never be gainsaid and substituted, much less avoided, by any other means of achieving human welfare. Spiritual idealism bereft of the other three brother forces in the world is likely to get degenerated into arm-chair philosophy and impractical suggestions for the improvement of man's condition in the process of evolution. Here we have to carefully distinguish between this class of spiritual ministry as a part of the social set-up and those rarer, master-minds who seek to merge and absorb all these four values of life in the universal divine flood about which we have made sufficient observation above. These are the higher classes of an almost super-human type who are a little different from the kind of spiritual teachers and guides who are referred to here as forming a group to minister to the spiritual needs of people. Where the political aspect is emphasised to the detriment of the other three aspects, it may land in tyranny, despotism and dictatorship. The history of the world has seen both these over-emphases through the churches of the religions and the rulers of states. A tendency to emphasise the economic aspects leads to materialism, atheism and hedonism, which is the marked trend of the present day world, especially in the second half of the 20th century. This aspect is, however, linked up with the emphasis of the labour group also, so that, today, we find the third and the fourth groups getting mixed up promiscuously and attempting to rule human destiny. It need not be reiterated that such illogical over-accentuation of any particular group is not only harmful to the growth and function of the other three essential aspects of the life of man but also defeats its own purpose in the end, due to its false isolation of the other necessary aspects of the life complete.

There is also another aspect of this question which has originated in the rising of several institutions in the world whose founders honestly felt a need to serve humanity. But the intention of the founders is with difficulty carried through by their alleged followers not only on account of inadequate spiritual inspiration and understanding but also the intrusion of practical interest of a personal nature that dilutes the original wish of the founder. This deficiency has another awful side and it is the fact that where the spiritual ideal is ignored, the material aspects of life automatically get bolstered up, even as strong winds begin to blow when the sun is covered with clouds. This is natural law and it does not spare anyone from the impact of its operation. Thus, religious churches and institutions may degenerate into centres of mere economic force which may exclusively attract the attention of their heads who may not be aware that they have totally missed the aim for which the organisations were originally formed. But the difficulty does not end here. It goes further head-long into the political field and the institutions may not only engage themselves in their own internal political administration but also take part in the outward politics of the State, far, far from the original ideal of the founders. Now, nothing can be a greater travesty than this, that the intention to do service gets side-tracked along the lanes of wealth and power. 

Courtesy: published by Divine Life Society