The Vision Of A New Society ► 15 ►Healthy Individual: Healthy Society

Posted: 20.10.2019

It is necessary for all to be healthy, whether it is the individual, the society or the nation. He who is contented with himself is healthy.[1]He whose bones are strong, is healthy.[2] The combination of these spiritual and physiol­ogy is the brief and meaningful definition of health.

Who would be healthy? To find out the answer to this question, we have to understand that the health of the individual is the foundation. When the individuals get together, they constitute society. At this stage, the health of the society is implied. If the society is not organised, it cannot be well-structured. The concept of a well-structured society is very pleasant. If things are done in accordance with it, man's world can be beautiful. But in the context of the perversions appearing in our social organisation, any idea of health seems fanciful. In such a situation, even thinking about this subject seems surprising.

 

Who Brothers about Health?

Healthy social structure- this combination of three words is very attractive from the point of view of word composition. But who is bothered about the concept? Everyone is busy earning his livelihood the thinking of the Indian people is quite narrow as it is. They are satisfied with their conditions of life. If their livelihood is not affected, no one is bothered whether there is order or disorder in the country.

The people who spend their life on pavements have no complaint against the government so long as they are not removed from there. The entire community of GadiaLohars[3]does not settle anywhere. But for these people birth, death, marriage, festivities, earning livelihood, rest- everything takes place around their carts. Even if someone wants to give them permanent houses to live, they are not convinced. They feel happy with their nomadic life.

It is not the point whether they are GadiaLohars, fakirs or beggars. What is important is the mentality. So long as the mentality of the individual does not change, even better conditions appear worse to him. In this situation, who would think about establishment of a healthy society and why would he do it?

 

Two Points of Attraction

Those who are firmly rooted in society, who are not faced with the problem of earning their livelihood and who are sufficiently comfortable in life, are free from the worry of building up the society. Physical passion and wealth are their two main attractions. The world of man's desires and passions is so complicated and so vast that he finds no way to come out after entering it. It is a kind of a labyrinth. At the time of entering it, man thinks that he would not loose his way. But after going into it a little further, he looses his sense of direction. It is difficult to find his way out or to walk back to the point of entry.

The other main thing at the centre of man's activity is money. Man needs money to live, but it cannot be placed higher than character. When character is forgotten for the sake of money, man also forgets about shaping himself well. The blind competition for acquiring mon­etary gains reduces man's character to insignificance and leads him towards savagery. It obstructs his sense of discretion. In such a situation, who would bother about the health of society?

 

Need to be Restless

Feeling worried at the level of thought is one thing and feeling worried deep at heart is another thing. The latter kind of worry makes man restless. He cannot help doing what needs to be done. At every stage, whether asleep or awake, eating or drinking, sitting or standing, he is always seized with the desire to do something.

Once a disciple went to his guru and said, "Gurudev, please show me the path for doing sadhana." The guru said, "Come tomorrow." When the disciple arrived the next day, the guru again asked him to come the following day. Seven days passed in that process and the disciple did not find the way to sadhana. When he became somewhat impatient, the guru took him to a lake. He pushed disciple under water and pressed his hand on his head so that he may not be able to come out. The disciple wriggled under water. He found it difficult to breathe. He was not in a position to remain under water even for two minutes more.

Finally, when the disciple came out of water, the guru asked him, "What did you feel when you were under the water?" The disciple said, "Gurudev, I was feeling so suffocated that I could think of nothing except coming out!” The guru said, "I shall show you the way to do sadhana when you would become so restless for it."

 

Who can be Healthy?

When man becomes restless about the establish­ment of a healthy society, the dream of building such a society would not remain unfulfilled. Shaping of the individual is the basis of building a society. So long as the individual is not healthy, he would not let the society be healthy. Who is a healthy being? According to an ancient concept:
"The person who always eats the proper food, who goes for regular walks, acts thoughtfully, who is not attached to pleasures of the senses, who is generous, equanimous, devoted to truth and tolerant and who derives benefit from his proximity to righteous people is healthy.[4]"

Being healthy from physical, mental and emotional points of view is being perfectly healthy. If every individual becomes healthy like this, the healthy society would automatically come into being.

 

India of Gandhi's Dreams

Mahatma Gandhi had a dream. It was dream of an independent and beautiful India. In that India of his dream, a person addicted to intoxication had no place. Nor was anyone expected to have a feeling of untouch­ability in his heart. No one was to harass an innocent creature. With the onset of Indian independence, I began the anuurat movement. The anuvrat code of conduct is the one that would make Gandhi's dream a reality. If only Gandhi had lived a little longer! I would have met him and discussed the anuvrat philosophy with him and would have made combined efforts to give a new shape to India. But all too suddenly Gandhi was assassinated. Physi­cally, he is not with us, but his soul resides in every nook and corner of India. It is the responsibility of all those who are proud of Gandhi and wish to make his dream a reality and want to contribute towards the building of the healthy society to become healthy themselves.

 

Recognising Beauty

Most people pay attention only to the beauty with the idea of being healthy and beautiful. They beautify their bodies and treat only their physical ailments. External beauty is not without its use. But that is not the only thing. An incident that took place between Chanakya and Emperor Chandragupta reveals the truth of this statement.

Emperor Chandragupta and his queen were taking rest in their inner chamber. The Chief Minister Chanakya went there for some special purpose. After discussing the important matter, Chandragupta said, "Chanakya, you are really very intelligent. I am proud of your intelligence. If only your body too had been as handsome and shapely:" Before Chankya could say anything, the queen said, "Maharaja, external beauty has no particular value. Inner beauty has its own importance. Without giving any chance to Chanakya to react, Chandragupta said, “Present some example to support it." Chanakya said, "Maharaja, any number of examples can be cited. But drink some water first."

Chanakya brought water in two mugs. One of the mugs contained water from a golden pot and the other one from a mud pot. Sipping water from the first mug the Emperor said, "You call this water, is it? How would this water, which tastes like oil, quench the thirst?" Chanakya said, "But this water is from the golden pot, which is studded with gems. Water in the other mug is from an earthen pot. You may drink that water if you please The Emperor tasted that water and soon gulped down all the water from that mug. That water was sweet and cool. It quenched the Emperor's thirst and he praised that water in superlative terms. The queen said, "Maharaja, what is the purpose of merely external beauty? Your thirst was quenched with water from the earthen pot."

 

You Have Got Lovely Hands

One gets attracted by the external beauty, because it is visible to the eye. Everyone does not have the eye to recognise the inner beauty. Hence, it is difficult to make an assessment of it. But sometimes, a moment comes in the life of an individual when his inner eye opens and he is able to glimpse the inner beauty. At that moment, his thinking and behaviour undergo a change.

An adolescent boy remarked looking at his mother's gnarled hands, "Ma, you are so beautiful, but how did your hands become like this? They look very ugly. You must get the plastic surgery done." The mother ignored that suggestion with a mile. The son repeated his suggestion several times, and the mother persistently ignored it. But one day, when the son insisted too much, she said, "My dear son: When you were just a child sleeping in the cradle, etc. suddenly our house was on fire. You were engulfed in that fire. I rushed and thrusting my hands through the flames I removed you from the cradle. My hands got burnt, but you were saved. My daring act served the purpose."

The boy's eyes opened when he heard from his mother why her hands had become crooked. He looked at his mother's hands very intently and felt that those hands reflected affection. And the words spontaneously ema­nated from his mouth, "Ma, your hands are very lovely. That boy who had insisted all along on plastic surgery, never mentioned about it since that day, because he had come face to face with the inner beauty.

It is necessary to enhance the inner beauty of the society to make it healthy. The anuvrat code of conduct is a surgery which can make man's life beautiful.

Footnotes:
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