New Man : New World: [19] The Resolve to build a healthy Society

Published: 28.12.2008

When we look around we find that the individual as well as society is ill. Man never wants to fall ill. Intelligent people and thinkers in every era have given a planned outline or philosophy of social health.

Where is Illness?

Some economists and philosophers have attributed social illness to the economic problem. According to them, it is economic factors, which make or mar society. Therefore, society will become healthy if the economic system is improved. Socialism and Communism were the outcome of the above philosophy. Inspired by them, a lot of efforts were made to balance the economic system and thereby make society healthy, but to no avail. Imbalances kept growing. Far from economic problems being solved, economic crimes have multiplied and social health has declined. Where, after all, is the illness? And what is the illness? These two points will have to be deliberated upon.

Gratifying Wants and Acquiring Wealth

Gratifying wants and acquiring wealth are two basic individual instincts. Is it the former that helps the latter or vice versa? Very little attention has been paid to this question. Consciousness of wants is natural and the desire to acquire wealth comes later. In fact, man is born with wants and so, gratifying wants is the basic human instinct. If all the instincts are taken together and classified, the last to survive will be gratification of wants. It gives birth and fillip to all other dispositions.

Marx concentrated on wealth and studied it in the historical context. The problem would have been considerably solved if he had given equal attention to wants. As noted earlier, the basic disposition is gratification of wants. Here Kama does not mean merely sexual desire. It implies all wants and desires associated with the sense organs. As there are sensual desires, so are there mental and emotional desires.

Wants, Wealth and Consumption

Man is his wants and unsatisfied desires. Human life will be transformed in the absence of wants and desires. The Geeta has aptly used the word Nishkam (that which is desireless). If one does not desire the fruit of one's endeavours, both economic rivalry and economic crimes will disappear. If the desire for acquiring wealth and having wants had been discussed together, we could have possibly got close to finding the right solution.

Religion has explored the problem of desires extensively, whereas socialism and communism have studied the problem of wealth in great detail. Both studies remained independent of each other. If they combine, they can considerably solve the problem. Further, there should be a joint study of desire and wealth. I am not talking of Kama in the sense of sexual desire, but as desire in general. If we combine wants, wealth and consumption, we get a combination that constitutes the process of keeping society healthy.

Characteristics of a healthy Society

Man can face difficulties and not resort to thieving if he is free from desires. There are thieves who steal not because they are poor, but because of a compulsive desire and habitual traits. Most crimes are committed without any ground, just to indulge the repressed desires. If desires are not regulated and restrained, crimes will naturally grow.

There are three characteristics of a healthy society:

    • Control of desires
    • Absence of unnecessary violence
    • Absence of economic crimes

In fact, the first characteristic is in itself adequate to ensure a healthy society. The other two can be added for the sake of expressing the point better. The basic thing is desire. Lord Mahavira said, “All suffering accompanies desires.” Overcoming desires will automatically put an end to suffering. Do not try to remove suffering. Go to its roots. The root of suffering is desire. Seek a solution there. Then you will experience that there is nothing like suffering in the world.

Spiritual teachers knew the root, but the leaders of socialism and communism did not. Instead, they concentrated on the trunk. The basis of a healthy society is control of desires and its concomitant is economic restraint. With these two in place, the necessary background to building a healthy society is ready. Control of desires automatically results in controlled consumption.

The Psychological Viewpoint

Let us view the problem psychologically. We desire an item, obtain it and are for the time being satisfied. Then we see its more expensive and attractive version with our neighbour and once again the desire to have the superior item is roused. Desire is an almost interminable drive. In today's world rank consumerism is growing fast precisely because of this reason. Craziness for newer and more expensive goods reflects uncontrolled desire.

The Cause of Crimes

We asked an industrialist why he strayed away from the straight path despite being enormously rich. He frankly said that what led him to commit economic crimes was his desire to become the number one industrialist of the country.

The Geeta rightly says that it is desire which is at the root of all sins. Financial or economic control is impossible without the control of desires. What we see today are numerous efforts to control the economy without restraining our wants. It was this, which was responsible for the failure of socialism and communism. And it is at this point that spirituality comes into the picture.

Every man has strong desires. Economic controls can at best instil external fear of severe punishment for economic crimes, but they will not stop the compulsive chain of desires, which perpetrates crimes. A healthy society realizes the truth that control of desires is of paramount importance.

This is where socialism and spirituality come together. Towards the end of their lives, Marx and Engels had a late realization that if only they had come to know the above spiritual principle in their younger days, they would have had an entirely different philosophical approach. They expressly stated that mere economism without right conduct or spirituality would be of no avail. And spirituality means control of desires. Once desires are controlled, the economy can be easily regulated. An extensive and intensive study of the nature of desire and dedicated practice to control it is the basic need of a healthy society. Once it is done, it becomes very easy to find remedies for the complex problems arising out of economic crimes and consumerism.

The biggest problem we are facing is consumerism. Superficially, we see the disparity between rising consumption and diminishing goods. We want to solve it intellectually. Intellect cannot go beyond the dichotomy between material and economic factors. Experience and intuition will take us farther to the root of the problem. We shall discover that the basic problem is not economic or consumeristic, but one rooted in desire.

Unfulfilled desire creates a hiatus between words and deeds. Thus the reason of the hiatus is neither economic nor social, but spiritual. It pertains to the inner world, the world of desires. After imprisoning the ruler of a communist state, his palace was searched. Among the items discovered were shoes studded with diamonds and other unimaginably precious items. That wealth would have satisfied the needs of hundreds of thousands of poor people. How ironic that one who led a state wedded to an ideology opposed to accumulation and exploitation himself possessed such abnormal wealth! What could explain it?

The Principle of Jeevan Vigyan

Why are we so blind to the truth? It can neither be grasped nor retained without having keen eagerness for and deliberation on spirituality. Ecologically speaking, goods are limited and consumers are too many; hence the need for cooperative distribution. Universal welfare is an ancient concept. Similarly, Chanakya said, “Don't eat alone; eat and feed others.” But today's thinking is “bribe and get bribes”. There is an unholy pact among functionaries at different levels for corruption across the board. We have come to such a pass because the Science of Spirituality was given the go-by by those pursuing disciplines like economics, sociology and ecology. Society cannot become healthy until spirituality guides all our endeavours. And restraining desires is part of spirituality.

The Life Energy of Society

Restraint is the life energy of society. How to establish its importance is the question. One of the ways of doing it is education. From early childhood, the awareness of nonviolence should be inducted in the mind. Awareness of the control of desires is, in fact, awareness of nonviolence. The more unrestrained the desires, the greater the violence. The converse is also true. Therefore, early education should teach young children that they should not fully indulge their desires, but trim them. We believe in trimming and pruning plants, thus caring for external beauty, but we do not trim and prune our desires to ensure inner beauty. Every desire, when born, should be viewed from three angles: Is it obligatory to fulfil it? Is it necessary to fulfil it? Is it just not an ardent longing? The first represents an obligation; the second a necessity; but the third calls for control or restraint. Every desire should be analyzed in terms of these three angles.

Why do Plans fail?

One single reason of the failure of the plans is the unending cycle of desires. If it had not been for the refinement of the above disposition, there should have been no examples of asceticism and personal sacrifice. If education plays its role in encouraging these dispositions, all will be well with individuals as well as society. But for the time being, let us have a less ambitious target. We can ensure the well being of a little more than fifty percent people by making awareness of controlling desires a part of education. All the people everywhere cannot be improved. How can a man with an undeveloped mental awareness improve? There are desperate cases where no remedy works. But society will improve even if fifty percent people improve.

Don't think of making People passionless

Just as a healthy state of the body does not imply total well being but right functioning of the digestive, excretory and respiratory systems on the whole, a society also is deemed healthy if it is free from violence and economic crimes born of uncontrolled desires. Do not think of making the entire society completely passionless and non-violent. If the aforesaid limited target is achieved, adequate transformation is possible. That much awareness can be aroused and the method of doing it is Jeevan Vigyan. Scientific experiments have proved that by applying proper electrodes at crucial and specific points of the brain, astonishing results can be achieved. Lions can be tamed and mice can be made aggressive.

Mysterious Method

If the fear point can be activated, the point of fearlessness can be activated too. There is no reason to doubt that through dedicated practice, by meditating on the point of desires, they can be controlled. Already ways of controlling desires have been discovered. More such techniques can be discovered. Jeevan-Vigyan presents a method of making society healthy, free from violence and economic crimes, through the use of education to control desires. It has discovered the technique of shifting the mind's awareness from the gonads and the adrenals to the vicinity of the pituitary and pineal glands and fixing it there. It will free society from crimes and render both individuals and society healthy. Try to assess, adopt and include in education the above mysterious method and the dream of a healthy society shall come true.

Sources
Edition 2005
ISBN No. 81-7196-019-7

© Adarsh Sahitya Sangh
210 Deendayal Upadhyay Marg,
New Delhi-110 002

Edited by:
Muni Dhananjay Kumar

Translated by:
Prof. R.P. Bhatnagar

Published by:
Kamlesh Chaturvedi
Adarsh Sahitya Sangh,
210 Deendayal Upadhyay Marg
New Delhi

Printed at:

R-Tech Offset Printer Delhi-110032

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Body
  2. Brain
  3. Chanakya
  4. Consciousness
  5. Consumerism
  6. Ecology
  7. Fear
  8. Fearlessness
  9. Geeta
  10. Gonads
  11. Jeevan Vigyan
  12. Kama
  13. Mahavira
  14. Nishkam
  15. Nonviolence
  16. Science
  17. Violence
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