Developing Consciousness

Published: 31.07.2008
Updated: 12.03.2009


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Developing Consciousness

The drop and the ocean have been related since ancient times. Likewise, the body and the universe have been deemed to be related in Philosophy.

In simple language, we can use the terms man and the world. The latter is a totality comprising not only man but also other beings and material objects. Every man is related to the world. In order to understand a single individual the whole world will have to be understood, and vice versa. They are so internally related and interactive that one cannot be interpreted without the other.

Mahavira said, he who knows one, knows all and he who knows all, knows everyone. No one can be known without knowing all. Externally, all appear separate, but internally, all are interrelated.

It is a whole series. Two doctrines were prevalent in the whole world of philosophy- dualism and monism. The former posited two elements, the animate and inanimate. Both are independent. The latter posited only one element, viz the animate. The other does not exist. In reality, the two doctrines cannot be separated. Anekantvad (the doctrine of non-absolutism or manifold aspects) has viewed them together and that is why it has properly explained both man and the world.

If we interpret man for our own convenience, for making right individuals and the right world, for making conduct and behavior right, it implies the development of individual consciousness. If we interpret the world, it will imply the development of group or collective consciousness. Every man's consciousness needs two dimensions. Anuvrat is the principle of the development of individual consciousness.

Political ideologues tried to develop socialism and communism. The motive was not bad; in fact it was sublime and compassionate. But one thing was forgotten. They tried to develop collective or group consciousness and forgot to look after individual consciousness. As a result, the noble aim sought was defeated, purity was lost, fraudulence and deceit went on flourishing and the rot spread to the whole society.

Anuvrat's code of conduct is a code to develop individual consciousness. It is said that anuvrat does not address itself to the development of group or social consciousness. Particularly people in western countries keep telling that while they are working for the good of society, we are doing it for the good of individuals.

According to them, each individual would reform if social consciousness was developed. A nice thought but impossible to translate into reality. Social consciousness will not awaken without being based on purity of individual consciousness.

Sources
Deccan Herarld - by the efforts of Mr. Lalit Garg.
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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anekantvad
  2. Anuvrat
  3. Body
  4. Consciousness
  5. Deceit
  6. Lalit Garg
  7. Mahavira
  8. Monism
  9. Non-absolutism
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