Author: B.K. Jagdish Chander Hassija
First Edition ……… 5000
Om Shanti Press
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Much of the turmoil and suffering in our world is, and has been, due to one or the other kind of disharmony. Some feel tormented because of disharmony between their emotions and intellect, desires and judgment, beliefs and behaviour, or views and values. Because of this inner disharmony, they suffer from sleepless nights, restless moods or constant stress and fatigue and the consequent psychic disorders or psychosomatic diseases. Others suffer mental agony because of disharmony in the relationships of family members - father and son, husband and wife, bride and inlaws, brothers and sisters or cousins and kins. Even one single member, because of some ill-will, negative motives, bad habits or unfair dealings may create havoc in the whole family and may, ultimately, bring a split. This disharmony in the family also may cause peptic ulcers, high blood-pressure, and even cancer to some members whereas others may feel that life is a burden; it is not worth living. Disharmony among neighbours or between tenants and their landlord may make one’s life difficult and joyless and may give a person constant headache. Disharmony in the relations between students and teachers may spoil the educational atmosphere and may lead to indiscipline and unruly behaviour on the part of the students. Similarly, lack of harmony in an Administration may lead to lack of coordination, non-co-operation, delay, inefficiency and many U other maladies. Disharmony at workplace may kill the team-spirit and may cause emotional turmoil and make job a mill-stone round one’s neck and lead to outbursts.
Disharmony may manifest in the form of communal discord and strife and may lead to riots, arson and destruction. It may leave seething scars or simmering sores on the mind of the members of the two communities. It may keep the law & order situation in many towns and cities severely tense and may put the whole legislative, governmental, administrative and judicial machinery under great strain and may give a strong feeling of insecurity to the citizens. It may even lead to disintegration and endless hostilities.
Disharmony at the international level may also find expression, in the form of suspicion and fear or anger and vengeance between two countries or two power-blocks and may lead to manufacture and stockpiling of deadly weapons of mass-scale destruction or to cold or hot war. The use of these weapons may bring doom to the whole world.
And, until then, it may cost trillions of dollars every year and may keep millions of able-bodied youths and thousands of top-class scientists busy with preparations for weapons and war.
In the field of politics, it may cause in-fights and split in a political party or constant confrontation, battle-like situation or bitterness and hostility among various parties and may thus result in political instability, absence of a stable government and a state of deterioration in law and order. It may make a nation weak, torn by internal strife, and may make it vulnerable to external aggression or internal criminal elements.
Disharmony may also raise its ugly head in the form of racial feuds, gender-discrimination, caste-conflict or class-conflagration and may thus generate a state of constant social upheavals. Social disharmony may rip apart various constituents in a society and cause a situation of constant conflict.
In a nation’s economy, disharmony in growth and living-standards of various States, communities or tribes may cause great disparities between various sections and may result in vast cleavages, imbalances, disequilibrium, commotion, grave injustice and its consequences. In the field of business or industrial management, it may result in loss of many working days and in closure of a factory. Disharmony between the rich and the poor or the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ or the bourgeois and the working class may lead to serious repercussions of various kinds, including loss of human rights and basic freedom.
When man leads a life in disharmony with Nature and with other forms of life, then the result is ecological imbalance and environmental pollution. Disharmony with Nature and with living beings of different kinds may lead to a great catastrophe of unknown dimensions. When man ruins or ravages the environment, the environment rebounds on him with full furry so as to return to its state of harmony and, in this process, there is a devastation, deluge and destruction on a global scale.
Unbearable strain on society because of disharmony
We have given above examples of only some few forms of disharmony and that too in a very simplistic manner. The simple words, used above, in explaining them may, perhaps, make disharmony appear less dangerous, less harmful and less problematic than it actually is. But the fact remains that trillions of dollars are lost in the world everyday over preparations for war or for controlling vario is kinds of confrontations or crimes or for meeting the demands of litigation, law-enforcement or treatment of psychic disorders or psycho-physical diseases, caused by disharmony of one or the other kind. In many homes, the situation is that of a trauma and in many parts of the world, it is that of a holocaust due to ethnic, racial, regional, linguistic, territorial, communal, political, social or economic disharmony and all this is costing mankind very dearly in terms of life and property or health, wealth and happiness.
Harmony is the Prime Value
In the present situation, the world is faced with many problems and each one of these is considered to emanate from the loss of some moral, human, social or spiritual value. So, from that point of view all values are important. But from what has been said above, it should be amply clear that harmony, as a value, stands distinct from all the rest at this juncture of history, for due to its absence, even the whole human civilisation may be lost either due to a nuclear catastrophe or through world-wide environmental calamities or through racial, ethnic, regional linguistic or other kinds of strife and these, as has been explained earlier, are due to disharmony in inter-national and inter-communal relations or in man’s relation with Nature and ecosphere. So, harmony becomes the first priority because the very existence of humankind is threatened by forces of disharmony. The present situation may be compared to the critical condition of a patient who is suffering from various diseases. The patient has been admitted for a surgery but he has high blood pressure and blood - sugar and certain other ailments, some of which need more urgent attention as compared to surgery because those other ailments threaten the very survival of the patient. Similarly, even if harmony is not the most fundamental or most important value, it is presently to be given a high priority because, without it, the humankind is in danger of being lost.
It should further be seen that though Harmony seems to be one single value, yet, in truth, it is the group name or corporate name given to a set of values. For ‘Harmony’ has love, unity, concord, amicability, sociability, friendliness, spirit of co-existence and reconciliation, proper communication, openness of mind, self-control, non-violence, sweetness, tolerance, consensus, etc. as its essential components. Without these values, there cannot be an enduring and holistic harmony.
Harmony does not imply absence of diversity
The word ‘harmony’ implies concordance, agreeability and a pleasing blend of &verse colours, diverse musical notes or diverse designs; it does not imply negation of diversity. All the colours of a rainbow are different and yet their pattern is harmonious. In an orchestra, different musical instruments are used and yet a happy blend of the tunes and tones of all creates a concordant tune and has the harmonious effect of music. Similarly, there may be flowers of different kinds and colours in a garden and yet their arrangement in the garden may create a harmonious and a beautiful design. Similarly, people may live in different parts of the globe, have different colours of their skin and different facial features, yet they can live with a spirit of amity and in a state of harmony. There may be certain kinds of diversity which create discord but all kinds of diversity are not inimical to harmony. So, harmony in human relations in the present-day world is possible to a great extent if the basic components of harmony, namely, love, goodwill, proper communication, spirit of co-existence, tolerance, sweetness, etc., are there.
The causes of disharmony
Above, we have said that the essential components of harmony are goodwill, love, unity, friendliness, spirit of co-operation, tolerance, non-violence, etc. Naturally, it implies that the negative forces that cause disharmony, discord or conflict are hatred, anger, enmity, intolerance, greed, selfishness etc. But the question is what gives rise to these negative tendencies or harmful attitudes?
A close look at the problems, facing us to-day, would show that their different names give us the wrong impression that they are of different nature or have a different origin or they are the result of a different kind of disharmony. The truth, however, is that they are like branches of one same tree and, therefore, their roots are the same.
The root cause of all kinds of disharmony, or of negative forces that give rise to various kinds of disharmony, is that man, is ignorant of his real identity and his basic relationship with others. Presently, he identifies himself with his race, region, language, etc. It means that he considers himself a body, for these former are the epithets that are based on various particulars of the body. The truth, however, is that the self is not a body; the self is an ‘embodied’ being; the self is a soul in a body. As is the difference between a house and its occupant, or a chariot and its charioteer, even so is the difference between the body and the soul. There is another, more fundamental difference between the two. The body, in its very nature, is material or physical. So, the laws of physics and chemistry apply to it. It is an organic whole and functions as a physiological organism. Therefore, the laws of physiology and biology apply to it. But the self, which uses this organism is of the nature of ‘consciousness’ to which laws of chemistry, physics or biology do not apply. No doubt, the self manifests through this organism and its existence is inferred or known mainly, though indirectly, through this organism but, as an entity, it is altogether of a different class, genre and nature. It is not material or physical or even terrestrial; it is metaphysical, supermundane and transcendental. So, laws of natural or biological sciences do not apply to Thought, which is one of the manifestations of Consciousness. In this essential nature, namely, consciousness, awareness, or as moral beings, our identity is known as ‘souls’, ‘the beings of light’, ‘the eternal and immortal selves’, ‘the divine or spiritual entities which are subtler than the subtlest form of matter or energy and are conscient.’ If man knew this real identity of his, as distinguished from the identity of his body, then the distinctions of race, region, caste, country, etc., would become only superficial, for the body is the carnal form whereas the self is a soul that incarnates. The differences based on body are as differences between outer dresses of persons and the persons themselves or between houses and the residents or between cars and their owners.
How to re-establish Harmony?
So, if man did not suffer from this basic ignorance or amnesia as to his real identity, then all things would appear in their true light. The delusion, confusion or illusion about the self is the start of all our troubles. This spiritual illiteracy has deprived us of harmony and of many rewards and joys of life. If we knew or if we did not forget that we are souls and, as such, we are divine children of the Immortal and are conscient stars of light, then our attitudes, outlook, tendencies, behavioural patterns and life-styles would be different. Then our relationships would be of love, for we, as souls, are spiritual brothers; we are denizens of the same world-of-light namely the Soul World. Then we will transcend the mundane differences of racial colours and contours, etc., for we, in our real nature, are light and might; we are neither flesh nor bodies, neither skins nor skeletons. Our this divine awareness would transform us into gods who give rather than demons who grab; we would live as lights or angels rather than as shadows or devils. Harmony would be the natural result of our this kind of life and life-style because, as brother angels, love, kindness, goodness and co-operation would then become our natural traits. It is only when we consider ourselves as shadows that the negative tendencies of hatred, anger and their dark habits become manifest.
Secondly, we have to recognise and to understand that whatever exists in this world, has a purpose and whatever happens has a cause. We, out of our stark ignorance, begin to hate certain things and certain events, for we do not realise that there is the basic law of Karma operative in this world and, according to this, we reap as we sow; We have more to blame ourselves for our Karmas rather than blame others. It is the bondage of our negative Karmas that has brought some negative reactions from our neighbours’ adversaries or relatives in response to our acts. Or, if they cause us insult or injury not as a reaction to our karma but because of their own spoiled nature, then the law of Karma will take its own course and we must, therefore, observe patience and not behave in the manner in which we do not wish others to behave with us. on the other hand, we must bear in mind that it is love which eliminates hate; it is kindness that kills cruelty; it is compassion which calms down one’s passion, it is co-operation that brings help and draws out love and when we bow, then only we bend others. These are the factors that create harmony.
Thirdly, we must clearly understand and firmly believe that when we change then only things around us begin to change. As long as we remain slaves to our circumstances and wait for others to change, that long we remain to be slaves and waiters - on - others only. When we become independent of others in our efforts and in our process of change, then only we have real independence; then we see that change starts taking place in others as well. If I do not move my hand, how can I move my table? If I do not press the button, how can I effect even remote control? So, the button of change is in my hands. Let me first have my mental harmony and this internal harmony will start the process of external harmony. If I myself am not in order, what authority or credentials I have to call others to order? only a moving thing can move others. So, first of all, let me move to move others. First, I should fill my mind with love for all and have goodwill towards all, then these thought-waves will resonate in others. Like tuning forks, the minds of others also will become in tune with goodwill in my mind. Let us understand that all things in this world are interconnected in more than one way and there is some kind of a resonance there in all things of the cosmos.
Inter-connectedness of all things
If we have a close look at the cosmic order, we find that there is some inter-relatedness between various systems and also between various phenomena. If any change takes place in one system, the other systems also cannot remain totally unaffected; there are at least some minimal corresponding changes in other systems as well even as one cog-wheel moves another into which its cogs are fitted. Nothing in this cosmic order exists absolutely isolated from all the rest so that it could remain totally un-influenced by changes in others. on the other hand, it seems that the very existence and function of one entity or phenomenon has linkages with others so much so that, in order to understand one, we have to understand at least something about the others. Scientific probes or explorations, by various disciplines, lead us to the conclusion that even a slight disturbance at one place, and in one system, causes at least some spin off in other systems notwithstanding the astronomical distances between the two.
So, one basic truth about the cosmic order is that there is some kind of a bind, some kind of a symbiotic arrangement, some sort of synchronization, some essential inter-connectedness between any two systems. This connectedness is not merely at work in the phenomena of Nature or in the inter-planetary or cosmic order but there is also an intimate connection between the astronomical, ecological, environmental, social, economic, political, religious, emotional; cultural and aesthetic aspects of life of a community or a nation. one of these may be termed ecological, the other biological, the third geographical, the fourth meteorological, the fifth racial and the sixth cultural aspects of human existence but all are interwoven into a network. Various systems in the cosmos are like various instruments of an orchestra, each making a note that is, or was, in harmony with the notes of other instruments. If one of these is in discord, then it creates disharmony in the total. So, universal harmony, in this context, means harmony between all systems.
Further, we observe that the relatedness between various existences and between various phenomena can be of different kinds. This relation may be in the form of dependence of one on another, or of emergence of one from the other or of one supporting the other or one keeping in check the other or one suppressing or even devouring the other, They may strengthen each other, delimit each other, neutralise each other, balance each other or live or stay together for each other’s benefit. But, whatever be the form and nature of their relationship, their existence has a meaning; it is for a purpose or it is indicative of the disease or dying state of a system. This gives us another basic truth that anything - even a straw - or any event, however small, has a meaning and a place in the scheme of things or in this drama of life. Anything and everything - as it is and where it is - has a place and a role in the world drama. What have now come to be known as ‘biodiversity’ and ‘ecological balance’ are indicative of only part of the truth. There is harmony in many other spheres and that too has not be disturbed. There are living beings which have a role in this World Drama and we have not to indulge in a killing spree because we, out of our ignorance, think that they have no justification to live. on the other hand, we should have goodwill towards all. Our own goodness and harmony will begin to tune in all the satellites and spheres and all beings in this world through the mysterious phenomenon of interconnectedness - call it ‘resonance’ if you will - and all things will, one day, begin to reverberate with love, unity, kindness, co-operation, concord and amity.
This interconnectedness is in more ways than one. For example not only does the sun give light and heat but it also cleans the atmosphere and is responsible for rains, for change of weather and for photosynthesis and so on. Similarly, not only do plants and flowers supply food and medicine and colour, beauty and fragrance but, through photosynthesis, they absorb carbon-dioxide and give oxygen which is very essential for life.
On the other hand, the oxides of carbon and sulphur that emanate from fossil fuels or form diesel and petrol engines may lead to acid rains or greenhouse effect.
As is now known, the sun and the plants are made up basically of material energy. These various forms and patterns of material energy act and react in response to one another and all this happens in a complex and, ultimately, a mysterious way in spite of enormous distances between two objects. There is some kind of a telekinesis. We had also given the example of the effect of hydro-fluro-carbons on the ozone-layer which is at a great distance. Now, as these material forms of energy influence things and the atmosphere, even so does the thought energy influence things and the atmosphere.
Of all human actions, thought is the basis. And, in Meditation it is the packets of thought-energy which, like laser rays, are released to purify and pacify the atmosphere and to restore law & order and universal harmony. This also happens in a mysterious way. This power is known as the yoga-power or the power of mental purity and inner harmony. It is the power of positive thoughts which is energy of a different kind but which sets new patterns as a magnetic force does with the iron-files. It develops into a field of spiritual energy; the outreach and influence of this field is tremendous.
So, let us realise the significance of our actions and thoughts. As entities, we are smaller than even the smallest; we are infinitesimal. We are just tiny tots or small specks in the vast or infinite space. Yet the space of our mind can embrace the whole outer infinite space. True to the scientific concept which says that ‘when you move your little finger, you move the stars’, we can change the world by changing ourselves who are little dots. This adage has two meanings. The first of these is that, ever since we lost our inner harmony, we began to lose harmony among the celestial spheres and the terrestrial beings. As the harmony of our emotions with our mind and our intellect deteriorated, the harmony in Nature, in the environment and among the living species also began to degenerate in quality and quantity.
The second implication of this is that if we now change, the whole cosmos will change because of this interconnectedness. We may not yet know how this cosmic change will take place. Yet we can say that this will take place because all systems have linkages and a change in one, in turn, produces a change in others.
The original stage was of harmony
It should not be difficult to understand that the original stage of the cosmos and the society was of health and harmony. The number of human beings was small and neither were there millions of diesel or petrol vehicles nor factories, billowing out tons of smoke, nor were there waste affluents from the industries that flowed into rivers and changed them into gutters or sewers. Neither were any hydro-fluro-carbons used nor was any deforestation and fossil-fuel used on such a gigantic scale as now. So, there could neither be any hole in the ozone nor could there be any acid rains or greenhouse effect. Man mainly used the clean solar energy. He lived close to Nature. He was not over-consumptive and greedy. He was not blinded by selfishness; so he did not commit any acts of devastation of the nature. But, as time passed and the population increased and man’s greed and gluttony grew, exploitation of the natural resources started in such a way that there was ‘grave damage’ caused to the environment.
Also, as the humankind spread over different countries and continents, different races, languages, cultures and creeds came into existence and there began disputes and conflicts, based on these factors or on the country of a person’s origin. Distances and dissensions led to conflicts, misunderstandings and clashes. All these factors of disharmony are only a later phenomena. Population increased because growth-rate went up due to sex-lust. Violence and wars came up because hatred, anger and thoughts of confrontation and vengeance increased. And, all these arose because man became more and more body-conscious and he identified himself with his body. He mistreated others and made many slaves and created an atmosphere of distrust and fear.
It should thus be realised that it is the loss of knowledge of real identity that has led to the present crisis, Ever since man identified himself with his body, he became materialist and consumerist. A conflict started between his material desires-cum-pursuits and his moral conscience. Sometimes, he felt more drawn towards Mammon and things made of matter-material comforts and sensual pleasures while at other times, he felt a strong pull towards God and goodness. He opted for God at one moment and gold at another. He aspired to be a yogi on some occasions and a bhogi (carnal-minded person) rest of the time. Thus his mind was torn into two halves-one half for God and the other half for Mammon. Later, he surrendered himself to Mammon who sometimes permitted him to pray to God for things which are of this world. There was thus a paradigm-shift. His set of values changed. His vision of reality and the goals that inspired him changed as well. The place of peace was captured by preparedness for war. Tolerance was pushed aside and the policy of tit-for-lat took its seat. Love and Tranquility were asked to surrender their credentials and resign their posts and Hatred and Anger were asked to take charge of their portfolios. There was thus a coup-de-palace and the guards or captains of Harmony gradually retreated into oblivion, giving place to the forces of Disharmony. Greed and Gluttony, Sex and Violence, Jealousy and Jingoism took hold and Goodwill and Co-operation, Sweetness and Service receded into the background. As a result, we see Global Disharmony today where once ruled the Universal Harmony.
So; in order that Universal Harmony may return to its’ lawful throne after this long period of banishment or neglect, we have first to have a vision of the coming world order which will have perfect harmony of all kinds and we have to welcome or to reinstate and re-install the set of values that are the harbingers or founders of Universal harmony. For re-invigorating those auspicious values, we must first reestablish ourselves firmly in our real identity, which is that we are souls - the eternal points-of-light and might and purity and peace. In order to be able to do this successfully, we must establish our love-link with God who is the Being-of-Light that never loses His inner harmony. When we establish a mental link with Him by practising constant awareness of Him as our Most Beloved Mother- Father and Infallible Guide and Sincerest and Dearest Friend, then our emotions become perfectly clean and balanced and perfect harmony between our Mind and Intellect gets established. This spiritual effort of establishing a conscious love-bond with Him or of having a mental rapport with Him or of installing a line of communication with Him by means of cognitive awareness is called Meditation. This special type of Meditation is known as Easy Raj Yoga that leads to Sahaj Samadhi - the easy and natural stage of equilibrium and stability. The rhythm, the harmony, the tranquility thus attained are so powerful that they influence not only the practitioner but others also through Him. They set in motion the process of establishing world-wide harmony or ’Universal Harmony’ at an increasing momentum. Let us practise this Yoga Tapasya, silent meditation, this deep Sadhana, this Sahaj Samadhi and spiritual self-renewal. Let us be born again through this effort which changes all other work into effortless effort.
Divine Qualities that bring Harmony
Also, one should practise the internalisation of such divine qualities as love, humility, sweetness, compassion, service, etc., for these are conducive to harmony. Most important of all is positive thinking. Positive thoughts are the remote control devices that restore harmony. Let us understand the value of positive thoughts. If radio waves can travel over great distances, positive thoughts also can and can establish harmony which is their basic quality. These values and Rajyoga Meditation alone can bring about Universal Harmony for Meditation produces such thought-waves.
To-day, harmony is on the top of the nation’s agenda. All fora, all institutions, all platforms echo, with one voice, the demand for harmony between various communities, castes and regional, linguistic and other interest groups. Since the last some decades, especially after the recent communal flares, there has been a heightened awareness that, in the absence of harmony, all energy, money and attention is wasted either on efforts to prevent worsening of relations between various antagonistic groups or much efforts have to be ma& to bring to normalcy the. conditions of law and order after even a brief episode of disturbance in relations between various communities or groups has occurred. In fact, the aftermath of such uncivilised and inhuman events is beset with so many and so complicated problems that the governments, the intelligentsia and the wellwishers consider it a time-consuming and very hard task to give a healing touch to the wounds, scars or chasms left on the minds of the people by the ugly events.
One thing which has clearly emerged on the world-scene, after all the variety of human experience, is that, at some places, it may be the political or economic factor and, at others, it may be the ethnic, racial, social, cultural or communal factor that leads or contributes to disharmony, but disturbance in one field disturbs the whole society. The society, as it is constituted, to-day, is so clearly knit that a disturbance caused by one factor in one sector, sets waves of disturbance in other sectors of the society also. The society is one whole, even if we divide it into parts in order to understand how they work. An act of disharmony, wrought by science, technology, education, art or religious worship, in fact by any aspect of a society’s life, can upset harmony and let loose the forces of disturbance in all or most other fields as well. Disharmony in the form of environmental degradation is an example. It is, therefore, essential that all types of institutions and all aspects of an organised society should work in unison to create holistic harmony, else incongruous step by one or a de-synchronised tune by another can disturb the total harmony or break the rhythm of the total system. Let us have a quick tour of our society and survey briefly what its various organisations, systems or institutions should do in order to maintain at least a minimum level of harmony.
1. Jurisprudence or Law & Justice
There is no gainsaying the fact that if there is no social, economic, political, distributive or legal justice, people will be a dis-satisfied lot and they would either take law in their own hands and create situations of grave lawlessness and disorder or the state would march towards a state of anarchy and become very weak. If there is discrimination between citizens on the basis of caste, cult, community, race, ethnicity, religion, language, region, culture, etc., there cannot be a state of harmony because, by their very nature, these factors will give rise to hatred, enmity, violence, etc. Harmony requires love, co-operation and friendliness in relations and lack of justice strides at the root of these, so, while other kinds of justices are the major concern of the economic, political and such other institutions, at last the law and justice Department, the judiciary and all jurists, in general, are responsible for juridic or legal justice.
But if justice is delayed and the legal system caters to the needs of those who can comfortably afford its rising costs, or if the path of justice is so labyrinthine that one gets lost, then ‘justice’ is not the appropriate term for this process. If the process of justice empties one’s pockets, robs a person of his self-respect, creates more bitterness in the litigants and requires visits to the court-room lasting over months and years, necessitating the bread-earner’s frequent absence from hi job or urgent family duties, then such a justice is a ‘moth-eaten’ thing; it is not fit for consumption, for it causes illness to one’s heart and sickness to one’s mind and makes the justice- seeker either a ‘passive criminal’ or causes him to frown at the very utterance of the word ‘justice ‘.If the judges are under pressure from those in whose hands their promotions or future prospects lie, or of those who threaten their life with dire consequences, or of those who want to purchase them or be obliged by them, how can then justice maintain it.
If, therefore, the jurists facilitate the process of justice and deliver it expeditiously and without any prejudices, partiality, malafide intentions, or by bending the law in favour of some parties, then they will be making a worthwhile and valuable contribution to restoring people’s faith in justice and will thereby, be restoring a feeling of satisfaction in the public mind, thus facilitating the forces of harmony.
This is easily possible if, in the very first instance, those whom society has entrusted with this great service, consider justice as a divine and sacred thing and if they sit on judgment of others after judging whether their own mind, at that time, is free from all kinds of pollutions and disturbances, and if they are also aware that there is a court higher than the highest anywhere on earth which finally administers pure and distilled justice and it is to this final Arbiter of Justice that the Justices-on-earth also would be finally responsible for retribution or reward, strictures or encomiums. The Lords on earth have a Lord-on-High to whom they should look for divine guidance or enlightenment while taking into account the language, construction syntax and semantics of the clauses .of law.
Indeed by doing “fair and timely justice”, the jurists - all officers assisting the process of the court included - will be making their contribution to reducing the conflicts in the society. If the justice is not only done but appears to have been done, then the citizens will have the satisfaction of having at least someone whom they can approach for justice.
2. Administrative system
A civilised society is an organised society. It has many organisations, institutions and constituted bodies that work for fulfilling various needs of the society It has educational, developmental, cultural, economic, social service and other type of institutions that promote the wellbeing of society and make scope for many meaningful activities. All these are run or led by administrators, managers, organisers, directors or executives. These persons co-ordinate the functions of various sections, departments or workers and facilitate their march, as a team, to their goal. Their work requires not only thorough knowledge of the work of the institution, organisation, department or office and its set targets but they have also to be conversant with the nature of the personnel involved in that work and have to use their managerial skill and their organisational abilities to achieve the goal with excellence and on time and within the contemplated or budgeted costs in spite of various difficulties.
In this work, knowledge of human nature is essential but, perhaps, the most important thing is control over one’s own nature. How can one have a long-time co-operation of the staff and the workers if one’s own mind and intellect, or emotions and will, or head, heart and hands, do not co-operate with each other? one cannot expect to have control over others if one cannot have control over one’s own sense organs, thoughts and emotions. if one is of a volatile nature, whose hatred and anger easily flare up or who makes ugly gestures or postures when disturbed or agitated, one cannot occupy this seat of responsibility for long, for one’s relationships with others do not rest on an even keel. The tempestuous nature, the frequent outbursts, the use of provocative words and threats and the undignified mannerism makes one an abhorred boss. If one does not do justice and does not tolerate even very small lapses on the part of workers who are from a different cultural and family strata, how can one administer?
But, to have control over one’s thoughts, sense-organs and emotions and to do things with ease and without feeling tense, and without creating tense situations, one himself requires a special kind of consciousness-training that smoothens the ruffles of his mind and gives him easy self-control. It is this training and practice which creates harmony at work place. This is possible only through proper alignment of one’s own identity with the identity of others and by working as a trustee and by leading a life of self-respect and behaving with others with a sense of human dignity. This is what comes from spirituality, from observance of values and from practice of meditation. It is these which give an administrator a harmonious personality so that he can do his job successfully without having heart attack and peptic ulcer.
3. Political Harmony
To-day, we find honourable members of one same political party engaged in a political tug-of-war. We also see different parties, vying with each other, in an effort to unseat the one which is controlling the levers of power. We find that disharmony in political parties is one major factor which is creating disharmony in the society. The media make all their inter-party political fights public and present the leaders in their true colours. So, the leaders now do not inspire people for national unity, communal harmony, social justice or for making sacrifices for a national cause. When the people see the political leaders favouring, somehow or the other, their own kith and kin, they get dis-enchanted and they have no longer any rallying point. They have no one who should lead them to the fulfilment of national aspirations. on the other hand, they see leaders busy with regional fights and inter-party or intra-party squabbles.
So, the first requisite in the present situation is the emergence of such leaders who can rise above narrow interests and have proven integrity and a strong sense of justice besides having strong roots in amity and reconciliation. If anyone does not himself have an integrated or harmonious personality, how can he bring about national integration or harmony in the society?
What is, therefore, necessary is that politics be based on values and the leaders must scrupulously observe those values and maintain harmony in their own mind. This, as we have said earlier, cannot happen unless they have given up lust for power or money and have the spirit of service and consider themselves as humble instruments for sewing the poorest of the poor and the lowest of the low in the best manner they can. These qualities come when a person deeply cultivates spirituality and thinks that one is responsible to the Supreme Power.
4. Business and Industry
Business and Industry provide essential goods and also articles of daily use and comforts for life. They are thus a very important activity that bring prosperity, provide employment and supply commodities. They also contribute to the welfare institutions and run many charitable organisations. In fact, there is no article which we use but which has not passed through the hands of a businessman at one point or another. Thus, Business is a major activity of the society from which the government, the institutions, the public and the individuals gain or meet their requirements. It is as necessary as blood circulation in a living human body.
But what happens if the blood gets poisoned? The person gets diseased and he suffers in various ways. The same thing happens with the society if Business and Industry indulge either in exploitation of the workers or the consumers or they rob the government of its dues or they embark on dishonesty. The whole economy gets vitiated and the society becomes corrupt if Business and Industry lose their integrity. All suffer because of the foul methods adopted by some among the whole community. The government officials, the bureaucrats, the public service institutions, even many religious institutions fall a prey to the corruptive influence of those who have no principles, no sanctity of means and no moral norms. Loss of integrity leads ultimately to dis-integration of the whole nation. If balance sheets are manipulated, the whole society loses its balance. If harmony between the workers and the proprietors or managers and the labour is disturbed, it leads to disharmony in the whole society.
So, Business and Industry can contribute to the harmony of the society if they treat the producers or the labour with human dignity and justice and treat consumers with all fairness and integrity and, while they make profits, they give up greed and keep in mind that social good is also one of their concerns.
Also, they should employ such methods of production as do not lead to environmental pollution and do not disturb man’s harmony with nature.
5. Media and means of mass-communication
The print media, the electronic media and films have the potential to change the world. They are no longer any means of reporting the events or reflecting the present state of society; they are now setting the national agenda. They are leading the leaders and creating news, institutions and values, They may put lime-light on some persons and totally neglect or relegate others into the background. They propagate new life styles, generate new norms and may demolish and destroy the reputation of some institutions and individuals.
Thus, with this great potential, they can make or mar the future of the society by right or wrong comments on, and interpretations of, events and focus on or neglect certain values and institutions. If they indulge in skull-drudgery, character-assassination, vilification-campaigns, biased news and distorted versions, they can darken the future and if, on the other hand, they are fair in their comments, truthful in reporting, balanced and discreet in interpretations and feature-writing and do justice and observe dignity and restraint, then they are promoting wellbeing of the society. If the media display, day in and day out, that the society is on fire and that there is social or communal upheaval and anarchy, then all will get panicky and throw up their hands and if, on the other hand, they maintain the grace and are fair in criticism and commendation, and give a proper lead towards the national goals, then the society will march from success to greater success.
It would, therefore, be in the fitness of things if the media use their zeal for upholding values, for pre-mediating, pre-empting and preventing unsocial acts, helping reduce crime and communal frenzy and creating greater awareness for keeping the physical, social, political and economic environment clean. This will be their great contribution for the cause of social, political, communal and environmental harmony.
6. Science and Technology
Whereas Science and Technology have given innumerable benefits to the society in the form of development and in terms of consumer goods and better understanding of phenomena of Matter, Nature and Cosmos, it has also had some negative influences on the environment and on urban development and expansion. Not only has it promoted consumerism and commercialism and strengthened the attitude of materialism but also it has made life too fast and a little more dependent on machines and has given to some people a kind of addiction of doing more and more things mechanically rather than manually. It has, no doubt, given scientific temper and improved sanitation, but technology has also led to pollution of air, water, land and the environment in many ways - either through the increasing use of radioactive materials, high consumption of petroleum products and energy or by dumping industrial wastes without taking necessary or utmost precautions.
One noticeable impact of Science and Technology has been that, because of man’s increasing association with the machine-culture, man himself has become more like a machine, devoid of the noble feelings of love, sympathy, kindness, compassion and kinship. His relationship with fellow beings has become almost mechanical.
Also, even though Science has definitely developed man’s rational and analytical aspects it has, at the same time, delt a severe blow to faith and trust. By laying over-emphasis on ‘Doubt’, it has given rise to perpetual tendency to doubt even when there are factors which should lead to genuine faith. This has caused a set-back to the sacred and sentimental aspect of human relationship and has disturbed the apple-cart of kinship and friendly ties which prompt the natural flow of kindness and voluntary and willing co-operation. In the net result, the use of scientific know - how without referring to social and human values, over-dependence on machines, the consumerist attitude, over-stress on the value of doubt, and the lack of love and care for the preservation of environment have led to dis-equilibrium and disharmony. What is, therefore, required, under the circumstances, is orientation of Science with Spirituality, or giving to science a value-system so that it can have a clear-out social direction. This will develop ever-more the qualities of humility and the spirit of service and will activate, in scientists, the springs of spiritual love and compassion and these would create an atmosphere of harmony among human beings and their harmony with Nature.
7. Health Science and Health Services
When there is pollution in the environment and disharmony with Nature and man leads his life with the attitude of a consumerist and in a rush-rush manner, he is likely to fall a prey to new kinds of diseases. Particularly, when man is constantly under situations of stress and is often tense due to lack of love and co-operation in the family and the society, he is liable to have a variety of psychosomatic diseases. Also, when the articles of food have chemical preservatives and are not fresh and in a natural stage, there is fear of attack by other kinds of diseases. Added to all this, if one’s life-style has deviated enormously from what is natural, the possibility of having diseases increases. And, people who are sick physically or mentally do not have psycho-physical harmony.
But, in such a situation, if they are given only medicine and hospitalisation without, at some stage, and in some way, being made aware of the principles of health and hygiene and the way to build positive attitudes and lead a happy and contented life, and do their work or duties in a comparatively relaxed manner, how can they have their physical and mental system restored to harmony? Further, if a man is not happy with himself, how can he, as a dis-satisfied and tense person, maintain harmony in the society?
It is, therefore, necessary that people are given such knowledge as should enable them to have love and harmony in relationships, build positive attitudes and outlook and have a sattwic life-style rather than depend only on anti-biotics, sleeping pills, pain-killers and the like.
8. Educational System
In order to create a healthy and happy society in which there is social, political, and economic justice and harmony, Education must enlighten the educands on the need to inculcate human values and divine qualities in their life. Presently, this element in education is neglected. The result is that even many highly educated people do not know how to live a peaceful life and how to face their problems without much mental tension. It is found that the present system of education does not cultivate the qualities of tolerance, self-control, humility, service, co-operation, concern for the wellbeing of society, and responsibility for one’s own actions.
Also, students are not given a clear knowledge, of the value of simplicity, honesty, justice, non-violence and fairplay. The result is that, even after spending so many years in a school and college or at the university, there is often lack of gentleness, nobility, sincerity and humanism, and an inspiring goal is missing in life. The society, therefore, may have a high percentage of literates or educated people and yet there may be commotion in legislative bodies, disobedience to orders of the highest court of the land, total disregard for law, criminal tendencies, and unsocial habits. one does not need lengthy explanation, to understand that it is the afore-said factors that create disharmony. Education would, therefore, fulfil its noble objective if it imparts teaching in such values that create harmonious personality and helps maintain harmony in the society and man’s harmony with Nature, with the environment and with the self.
About 50% of the society is constituted of women. So, if they are exploited and are not given a proper place in society, how can there be harmony in the society? Not only are women considered as second-rate citizens in many communities and families but are insulted and treated as bonded labour or slaves. They are looked upon as another kind of consumer goods and are treated as mere machines for child-production and for providing all comforts and necessities to man who, in some communities or castes, is expected to be considered as a deity or even as God to his spouse. In fact, from the time of seeing the light of the day, a daughter is considered inferior to a male child and is treated even as a monetary burden in the future.
There is need of this awareness in women that there are ‘tender qualities’, namely the kindness, motherly love, self-sacrificing nature for the sake of family-members, which are the need of the hour. Unitedly, women, by virtue of these tender qualities can efface violence and cruelty from the world if they decide to stop men from indulging in bloodshed and wars. Also, they can stop bribery and, corruption if each woman refuses to permit any such earnings of her spouse entry into the house and use for their sustenance.
Woman, being the first teacher of man, can impart the first lessons to the child to live a life of mutual love, co-operation, kindness, justice and harmony. If these qualities are imparted to a child at that stage, there is hardly any reason why a grown-up person should indulge in acts of hatred, violence and injustice.
It is a pity that, sometimes, women themselves break harmony in the family. Sometimes, the mother-in-law herself makes demand on her daughter-in-law to bring more things from her parents or the daughter-in-law pays little respect to the mother-in-law. If these small number of women at home present a better picture of love, justice and kindness, then women, as a united force, could exert their moral influence on men to be more tolerant, loving, just and kind and these are the qualities that are required for harmony.
10. Social Service
Social Service is the need of the times because a large number of people are suffering from diseases, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, injustice and cruelty of the more privileged classes. Considered in this light, opening and running of hospitals, schools, orphanages, relief homes, homes for the aged and the handicapped, and providing consultation and help to those who are not cared for and are in distress, is, no doubt, Social Service. It is indeed noble work, done on humanitarian grounds.
But, considered within the framework of a long-term perspective and in a detached and more analytical manner, one comes to the conclusion that most of our miseries or sufferings are the result of violation of some laws, infringement of some values or some negative actions on our part in this or in our previous life. So, while ad hoc measures of social help are essential for immediate and short-term relief, it cannot be denied that, for our final redemption from all kinds of sufferings, we have to stand on our own feet and have also to correct our outlook and attitudes, be more positive in our thoughts and acts and to cultivate moral and human qualities. We have to work for the eradication of the causes that have led to our present predicament and have to root out those causes so as to cut asunder our bondages.
If this view is agreed upon, one would not shirk from yet another higher step in social service, namely, of building self-confidence and attitude of self-reliance in those whom we serve and also making them more spiritualised so that they can rise higher and higher towards their goal which is not confined to their physical welfare or monetary help only.
So, while providing immediate help, we have also to look beyond that. In other words, spiritual social service should play a complementary and supplementary role in order to give the needy more contentment, more happiness, strong will and noble character. We may give them articles of food and also provide them monetary help but let us build up in them spirituality and let us give them prosperity in virtues and wealth of nobility and increase their inner richness as well.
The youth to-day, is under many pressures. on one side, in these fast changing times, there are many demands on him, He has to work hard for his studies and yet it is not certain whether he would get a gainful employment and have job-satisfaction. The family, the political parties, the teachers, the seniors or elders, all want him to meet their expectations. In this confusing situation, in which there are many factors exerting their pull on him, hardly does he find anyone who should inspire him selflessly to a noble goal. He has his own ambitions but he wishes to dedicate to noble causes and lofty aims provided he finds a leadership that itself is head and heart involved in that goal and has a character that can infuse zest into the life of others. This, however, is very much missing. Values are changing and he is not able to decide which system is better because he sees that those who talk of certain values do not themselves practise it.
The youth have a high spirit that can accept responsibilities, challenging tasks and even heavy burdens. They are willing to do or die for a cause provided they see that it is worth dying for. But they see only selfishness around. only vested interests are at play. So, they throw up their hands and, in this stage of despondence, depression, frustration or broken dreams, they may even take to drugs or bad ways of life.
What is therefore, required, under these circumstances, is such distilled spirituality that can intoxicate them more than the drugs and can create in them enthusiasm for creativity, with a deep sense of humility. There is need, at this hour, of sincere, dedicated, deeply spiritualised persons whose own life is a model, unto others, of sincerity, service, compassion, dedication and simplicity. This would serve as a key to open, in them, the locked potential for social good and holistic harmony.
Some have said that Art is for art sake. Others have emphasised that art is for life; if it does not give enjoyment, entertainment and inspiration to life, it is not Art. Still others have said that Art is for society; it should work for social good. If it does not reflect the failings and true state of the society and does not inspire people to liberate themselves from political, economic or social slavery or from injustice and inhumanity, it does not serve its purpose.
But, one thing is clear. If Art deviates or gets divorced from the Art of happy and meaningful life, what use is that art? If it does not take one’s imagination to its aspired high goal, if its aesthetic elements are not in alignment with its ultimate good, if it does not establish a rapport of human mind with the Higher Mind and, while portraying Nature and its exquisite beauty, if it does not lead man to spiritual ecstasy and inner refinement, then such an Art does not yet touch its aspired heights.
Art may soar high without being tied by any ropes but it would not be faithful to its true character if, in the process, instead of uplifting the human spirit, it becomes demeaning and breaks the lofty norms of refinement of human character. It seems that the creative effort of a sublime artist culminates in the high flights of the spirit to the realms of spiritual bliss and ennoblement of character. If there is no union between Art and spirituality, then the former may become vulgar, obscene, depraving and degrading and such a creation comes from a mind that is highly disturbed. It may have harmony of colours or musical notes but it cannot create harmony in the society.
Decidedly, therefore, Art has role to play, It has to develop one’s aesthetic sense, feed its tender tastes, entertain him with beauty and yet not to go astray and away from its important purpose of establishing harmony in the family, the society and, first of all, in the human mind.
In the light of the above, it would be natural to conclude that if Art, Science, Education, Social Service and various groups and institutions strike blows to values and disturb inner, interpersonal, national, communal or environmental harmony, they do disservice to man. Their efforts, however rewarding they may appear at present, are in reality, far behind the ultimate goal of human happiness. We have seen that, for establishing harmony, it is indeed necessary to observe moral and human values and to cultivate divine qualities in life and these require spiritual culture for their growth. It is, therefore, essential to have spiritual education and to practise meditation and tapasya in order that there may be inner harmony between our mind and intellect or mind and emotions. We must, therefore, first, know our real identity and our basic relationship with fellow beings so that we can have spiritual love and can have concern for the wellbeing of others. We must also realise that we have a responsibility for our actions and that the quality of our actions can be raised by tapasya. These are some steps which can help us restore holistic harmony.