The Process of Social Change

Published: 06.03.2003
Updated: 02.07.2015

TODAY'S genetic scientists claim that the attitude of man grows from within along with his life. I read an article in which the discussion was centred on the subject that the attitude of man is determined on the basis of his hormones and it is already predetermined. As a matter of fact, we have to retrospect and become aware, where our nature is actually being formed for true awakening. In case, we cannot retrospect, then there is absolutely no difference between sleeping and waking.

Today we have a burning question - that is in spite of so many preachings and sermons from different religions the actual conduct is not changing at all. Man is the same, unchanged. Anuvrat revolution - a movement initiated by Acharya Tulsi in 1949 - explored its reasons and preached that human conduct is most important from the religious point of view, not the worship or performing of rituals. The foremost is conduct; worship and rituals are secondary. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that nowadays prayer, worship and rituals have become primary, and human conduct, behaviour and character have been rendered secondary or ignored altogether. Deliverance cannot be achieved by repeating any word in particular, it is achieved by directly experiencing the ultimate truth. Also there is no predetermined path. That is the reason that religious sermons appear ineffective, dull and impotent. Religion is not able to influence and transform the individual and society.

The second important subject is to authorise only the pious in behaviour for conducting worship and performing rituals. People with good character feel uncomfortable in the company of bad characters. Will God not feel uncomfortable when worshipped by persons with polluted and perverse characters?

In Jain tradition, there is a categorised list of sins. In that, 18 kinds of sins have been explained. If man can live avoiding them then he can automatically solve and check most of the problems in his life. I am just explaining four sins out of those 18 sins. These sins are quarrelling, blaming, backbiting and censuring. Yesterday somebody asked, “Is the definition of sin and sacredness eternal or impermanent?”

Though the nature of sin and sacredness changes in the context of social values, it remains eternal in the context of attachment and hatred. Quarrelling is eternally sinful. A religious man should always avoid quarrels; this is his primary duty. He should never indulge in quarrels knowingly.

The second doctrine of awakening is to be free from the act of blaming others falsely. Without proper and complete knowledge, we should never blame others. It is the greatest sin. It tantamounts to murdering the person, though death comes to all one day, whether naturally or unnaturally, timely or untimely. His chapter of life is closed after death. But assassination of character is the biggest sin. An awakened person avoids it and never gets involved in it.

The third doctrine of the awakened life is commitment towards the truth. Today, materialism is at its height and it is expected that in the 21st century, man will not have to do any work; the machine will do everything. That will be totally a machine era. Even after attaining the Machine era, if man still does not reform then people will prefer to have that old, less developed era and culture, because, in due course, the situation may worsen to the extent that it may not be reversible and repairable. That is why, it is essential that man should develop his commitment towards truth.

Compassion is an important principle of social change. It is one of the most authentic expressions of spirituality. Compassion involves standing together with all. Man should not torture any creature. In spite of so many doctors, hospitals and an advanced system of medicines, we have many diseases. On critically analysing with profound insight, you will observe that there is extreme cruelty behind the modernisation and advancement of medical systems. In order to diagnose and find treatment for a disease, thousands of frogs and monkeys are killed in the wake of initial trials being done on them. The single, onerous purpose of the merciless killing of mice and monkeys is to keep man healthy. There is so much of cruelty at the background of health that obviously the number of diseases will increase. So the diseases are the outcome of the cruelties inflicted upon innocent frogs, monkeys and guinea pigs.

Today the system of monarchy has collapsed in India. Formerly there were so many kings, now there are none. Their cruelty was responsible for their unforeseen death and removal. Kings had been relentlessly killing millions of birds just for the sake of their lustful desires. They indulged in the cruelest acts to excite and fulfil their lusty feelings. The tongues of lakhs of birds were used to make aphrodisiacs for them. This is the height of cruelty and madness. Till today, history has witnessed several instances that wherever cruelty reigned, society or individual had a downfall. A society which is devoid of cooperation and compassion will cease to exist.

The awakened person is committed towards truth, compassion and mental peace. These are the doctrines of social change. For developing awareness, a calm, compassionate and truthful personality is imperative. A thoughtful person has to seriously and meticulously contemplate today about the process of social change. Society should change but before that the individual responsible for changing society must change. The process of Prekshadhyana is not to change society directly but first to change the individual constituting society. As long as the individual constituting society will not change, no radical change can be expected.

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  1. Acharya
  2. Acharya Tulsi
  3. Anuvrat
  4. Cooperation
  5. Prekshadhyana
  6. The Tribune
  7. Tulsi
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