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Economic Development In Light Of Spirituality

Published: 05.07.2010
Updated: 06.07.2010

Central Chronicle


A student can lead a successful life if he comes by the formula of transformation of cultivating right traits and rooting out wrong traits- Acharya Mahaprajna

That 'non-violence is the supreme religion' is regarded as the great saying of the Jain religion. How can I say that there is no truth in this?

But I look at this truth the other way round. The first truth is 'non-possession is the supreme religion', then comes another truth after it 'non-violence is the supreme religion'. This is totally a psychological phenomenon that man does not acquire possessions for violence, but develops and acquires non-possession. The central point of possession or acquisition is man's own body. From there the awakening of possession/acquisition spreads.

A religious person starts practicing religion with kayotsarga, or with freedom from physical misperceptions. As the sense of attachment with body goes on decreasing, the blind desire for possession also goes on diminishing. Only he who abandons the Illusion, the state of the body can be clothed or unclothed.

Man is a living creature. The sense of living is not mechanical. Accordingly, all the people are not alike. In them there are differences of likes, thoughts, thinking and mental dispositions. That is why like for the lifeless world, no universal rule can be made for the living world. It does not seem possible that all those who renounce possessions as a matter of religion become followers of the practice of non-possession. But some of them can turn out to be so. It is not possible that everyone of them would follow that path. Our thinking becomes complicated because we adjudge the follower of religion and religious persons by the same standards. The follower of religion is one who lives by accepting religion as good, but he is not capable of fully practicing it. It would be unrealistic to assume that all the followers of Jain religion would renounce possessions completely.

People can enjoy taking interest in religion-inspired activities; they cannot enjoy taking that interest in practicing religion. They can abide by the formal role of religion, but cannot be sensitised fully by the spirit of religion. This distance between the two axes is the product of man's inner capacity. Between these two, the configuration of principles is linked. This is why we should not reject the fact that a follower of religion exercises moderation, but that he is not able to live the life of a vrati. We should not have the same expectations from followers of religion, from those looking at religion as noble and from those who are religious and vratis, totally dedicated.

There are many causes, conceptions and contexts of violence. The notion of intense egoism lies at the back of racial frenzy; that of strong conceit and being self-opinionated behind communalism. These notions have led man to violence. Society is afraid of aggressive violence and the whole environment is being polluted because of unnecessary violence. Use of drugs is an open invitation to criminality. Is it possible for any society to remain healthy by abandoning integrity and probity? There is no doubt that violence, terror, fear and aggressiveness are on the increase. Anuvrat is a sacred resolve to give up violence and adopt non­violence, and the first principle of transforming the individual and society is a good resolve. The process of inner change sets in with the development of will power or resoluteness.

It is not an easy task to change an individual or society. Changing a system is difficult, but changing individuals and society is far more difficult. It was this fact, which gave a new dimension to prekshadhyan. It was seen that individuals and society under a system of tight control and harsh penal laws for a long time apparently looked attractive, but could not become beautiful from within. What is needed for a man to have inner attraction is change of heart or chemical change in the language of science.

Practice of prekshadhyan is an exercise in creating inner beauty. It is highly valuable for developing self-confidence, tolerance, patience and emotional balance. Society would have ascended a high pedestal if we had given proper value to concentration. Fickleness and unsteadiness of mind have contributed to sorrow and despair. A person who values deep trance and mental peace not only changes himself but gives momentum to the general process of transformation.

The question concerning when the process of trans­formation should begin is both serious and important. A student can lead a successful life if he comes by the formula of transformation of cultivating right traits and rooting out wrong traits. The experiment of jeevan vigyan began as a result of the above notion. Assertions like "Education imparts humility" and "Education is that which liberates" are fast turning into relics of history.

It is the crying need of the day to understand their present-day relevance. Can any individual or society lead a tension-free life in the absence of tolerance, patience, goodwill, compassion and sensitive­ness?

Economic development and surfeit of consumer goods cannot reduce violence and crime. On the contrary, they can be instrumental in increasing them. The future of humanity lies in a balanced development of labour, wealth and self-restraint. Labour and wealth represent the basic aspects of life. On the other hand, self-restraint represents life's spiritual aspect. A mentally steady life is impossible to conceive if education or training is not based on all the three. Experiments in jeevan vigyan are experiments in steadfastness of life; they are experiments in harmonizing of value-oriented education and education in Yoga.

Central Chronicle - 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. Acharya
  2. Acharya Mahaprajna
  3. Anuvrat
  4. Body
  5. Central Chronicle
  6. Conceit
  7. Concentration
  8. Environment
  9. Fear
  10. Jeevan Vigyan
  11. Kayotsarga
  12. Lalit Garg
  13. Prekshadhyan
  14. Science
  15. Tolerance
  16. Violence
  17. Vrati
  18. Yoga
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