Integral Humanism, the guiding philosophy of the Bharatiya Janata Party, was first presented by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya in the form of four lectures delivered in Bombay on April 22-25, 1965.
Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya was born on Sept. 25, 1916, in a village Nagla Chandrabhan, Near Mathur in Uttar Pradesh. He passed his Matriculation standing first class, first in the Ajmer Board Examinations, winning two gold medals. He again won two gold medals in Intermediate examination securing first rank. He did his B.A. in mathematics in first class.
Panditji joined the RSS in 1937 as one of the first few Swayamsevaks and rose to be its Joint Provincial Pracharak.
He joined the Jana Sangh in 1952 and was appointed its General Secretary, which post he retained till he became the President of the Party in 1967. After the death of Dr. Syama Prasad Mookherji he shouldered the responsibility of building up the party and he achieved a remarkable success in this onerous task.
Pandit Upadhyaya edited PANCHJANYA (Weekly) and SWADESH (Daily) from Lucknow. He has also written a drama CHANDRAGUPTA MAURYA in Hindi, and later wrote a Hindi biography of SHANKARACHARYA. He translated Marathi biography of Dr. Hedgewar, the founder of RSS.
His death in tragic circumstances on Feb. 11, 1968 is an irreplaceable loss to the country.
Integral Humanism - Chapter 1
I am asked to present my thoughts on the subject of "Integral Humanism" in a series of talks beginning this evening. Last January at Vijayavada, Bharatiya Jana Sangh adopted the statement of "Principles & Policies" in which 'Integral Humanism' has also been accepted. There has been scattered discussions here and there on the subject. It is necessary that we consider Integral Humanism in all its aspects. So long as the country was under the yoke of the British rule, all the movements and policies in the country had one principal 'aim to drive out the foreign rulers and to achieve independence'. But what would be the face of the new Bharat after independence? In which direction were we to advance? These questions were precisely thought out. It would not be correct to say that no thought was devoted to these aspects. There were people who even at that time had considered these questions. Gandhiji himself had set out his idea of the independent Bharat in his book "Hind Swaraj". Prior to this Lokmanya Tilak discussed the philosophical basis of the rejuvenation of Bharat in his book 'Gita Rahasya'. He gave a comparative discussion of the various schools of thought current all over the world at that time.
Apart from these, the Congress and other political parties adopted various resolutions from time to time which contain references to this subject. However the subject requires much more serious study than was devoted to it at that time. It did not attract serious attention at that time because everyone believed it was more important to think of ways to drive out the British and the other things could be discussed later on. It did not seem right to waste time in internal discussions while the foreign rule continued. Hence even if there might have been difference in views, they were shelved for the time being.
As a result, even those who held the view that socialism should be the basis of the future Bharat, worked in the Congress as a socialist group. They did not attempt to form as a separate party as such.
The revolutionaries too, were working independently in their own way. All were agreed, however, that the foremost task was to gain independence.
Having attained Independence, the question naturally ought to have occurred to us, "Now that we were independent, what shall be the direction of our progress?". But it is amazing that serious thought has not been given to this question and today even after seventeen years of independence we cannot say that a definite direction been decided upon.
From time to time, Congressmen or others have declared Welfare State, Socialism, Liberalism etc. as their aims. The slogans have been raised. But this ideology slogan attached little significance to the philosophies, apart from the slogans. I am saying this on the basis of personal discussions. A leading gentleman once suggested during a conversation that a joint front should be for against Congress, whereby a good fight can be given. Now a days political parties adopt this strategy. So, it was surprising to put forward this suggestion. However, naturally, I asked, "What program shall we adopt? If such a joint front is formed some idea of the program essential. What will be our economic policy? What will our foreign policy? These questions should also be broadly tackled."
"Do not worry about it. Whatever you like you can adopt. We are ready to support, anything from extreme Marxist to downright capitalist program." The reply came as if this was natural. He had no difficulty in adopting any program. The only object was somehow Congress should be defeated. Even now some declare that Congress must be defeated even with the cooperation of communists and all the rest.
Recently elections were held in Kerala. During the elections, Communists, Muslim League, Swatantra Party, S.S.P. Rebel Congress is known as Kerala Congress, Revolutionary Socialist Party etc. entered into a variety of bilateral of multiple alliances. As a result, it was difficult to imagine that any of these parties had a definite ideology, principles and aims. This is the situation as far as principles are concerned.
Congress too, is in a similar state. Even though the Congress has proclaimed democratic socialism as its goal, the behavior of various Congress leaders shows one thing clearly that there are no definite principles, no single direction in Congress. There are staunch communists in Congress fold. There are also those who have faith in Capitalism and oppose communism to the teeth. All brands of people are arrayed on Congress platform. If there can be a magic box which contains a cobra and a mongoose living together, it is Congress.
We must ponder whether we can progress under such conditions. If we stop to analyze the reasons for the problems facing the country we will find that the confusion about our goal and the direction is mainly responsible for the chaos. I realize that all the 450 million people of Bharat cannot agree on all or even on a single question. That is not possible in any country. Yet there is generally, what is called a more or less common desire of the people of any nation. If this popular longing is made the basis of our aims, the common man feels that the nation is moving in a proper direction, and that his own aspiration is reflected in the efforts of the nation. This also generates the greatest possible feeling of unity. The truth of the statement is borne out by the response of the people during the Chinese Invasion of October/November 1962. A wave of enthusiasm swept across the country. Action and sacrifice, both obtained in abundance. There was no barrier between the government and the public or between various political parties. How did this happen? The external threat made us recognize ourselves. The government adopted that policy which reflected the widespread feeling in the people and which enhanced their sense of self-respect with a call for sacrifice. The result was, we stood united.
The Root of Our Problems-Neglect Of Self
It is essential that we think about our national identity. Without this identity there is no meaning of independence, nor can independence become the instrument of progress and happiness. As long as we are unaware of out national identity, we cannot recognize and develop all our potentialities. Under alien rule this identity is suppressed. That is why nations wish to remain independent so that they can progress according to their natural bent and can experience happiness in their endeavor. Nature is powerful. An attempt to go against nature or to disregard her leads to troubles. The natural instincts cannot be disregarded but it is possible to elevate this nature to the level of culture. Psychology informs us how by suppression of various natural instincts different mental disorders ensue. Such a person remains restless and dejected. His abilities slowly deteriorate and become perverted. The Nation too like the individual becomes a prey to numerous ills when its natural instincts are disregarded. The basic cause of the problems facing Bharat is the neglect of its national identity.
Opportunism Has Shaken The Confidence Of People in Politics
A majority of those who lead the nation today as well as those who take an active interest in the affairs of the country are not sufficiently aware of this root cause. Consequently opportunists with no principles reign in politics of our country. Parties and politicians have neither principles nor aims nor a standard code of conduct. A person feels nothing wrong in leaving one party and Joining another. Even alliances and mergers of the parties or their bifurcations are dictated not by agreement or by differences in principles purely by gains in elections or in positions of power. In 1939 Shri Hafiz Mohammed Ibrahim was elected on a Muslim League ticket. Later when he joined Congress, in accordance with healthy principles of public conduct he resigned and sought re-election on Congress ticket and was once again elected. In 1948 when socialists left Congress and founded Socialist Party, all those who were members of legislature resigned and fought elections on socialist tickets. But thereafter this healthy tradition was forgotten. Now there is complete license in politics. As a result, in public mind there is distrust for everyone. There is hardly any reason whose Integrity is beyond doubt in the public mind. This situation must be changed. Otherwise, unity and discipline cannot
What Should Be Our Direction?
The nation is at crossroads. Some people suggest that we must start from where we have left off one thousand years ago, when the foreign invaders disrupted our lives. But a nation is not an inanimate object like a cloth so that weaving can be taken up after a gap in time. Besides it would not be rational to say that the thousand year old alien rule has interrupted the current of our national life so completely that from that time to this day we remained stationary and inactive. The nation has certainly put her genius to work, in the changing circumstances to meet the challenges thrown at her. We have struggled to continue our life forward and to wrest independence from the aliens. The current of our national life was not interrupted but has gone on ceaselessly. The task of turning the waters of Ganga back to some previous point would not be wise. Ganga at Banaras may not be crystal clear as at Haridwar. But still it is the same holy Ganga. It has absorbed numerous rivulets with all their refuse. However, these have no separate existence but have become Ganga. The current Ganga must inevitably glow onwards. If this was all that happened it would still not be a big problem. But there are other nations in the world. They have made phenomenal progress in the past one thousand years. Our entire attention was engaged in fighting for independence or staving off new hordes of invaders. We have not been able to contribute to world progress. Now when we are free, is it not paramount that we fill this deficiency at the earliest and stand shoulder to shoulder with other advanced nations of the world?
Up to this point there is no room for difference of opinion. The difficulty arises when we fail to discern the reasons of the spectacular advance of the West, its effects, real and apparent. This is further complicated by the fact that Britishers, representatives of the West, ruled this country for a century and, during this period adopted such measures whereby in the minds of our people a contempt for things Bharatiya and respect for everything Western were subtly created. Along with scientific advance, their way of life, manners and food habits etc. came to this country. Not only material sciences but also their social, economic and political doctrines became our standards. Today the educated in this country clearly display this effect. We shall have to decide whether this effect is good or bad for us. We had taken pride in resisting things British while they ruled us, but strangely enough, now that the Britishers have left, westernization has become synonymous with progress. It is true that a narrow sense of nationalism should not be allowed to obstruct the progress of the nation. However western science and the western way of life are two different things. Whereas western science is universal and must be absorbed by us if we wish to go forward, the same is not true about the western way of life and values. In fact thoughtless imitation of the West must be scrupulously discarded. There are those who consider economic and political doctrines of the West as the epitome of progress and desire to transplant the same in our country. Therefore when we are trying to decide where we wish to take our country and how, we must also take into consideration the basis of various economic and political doctrines of the west and their present position.
The Rise Of European Nations
Among various Isms that affected the West, the principal ones are Nationalism, Democracy and Socialism. At the same time there have been some who cherish world unity and world peace and have made some efforts in that direction.
Among these, nationalism is the oldest and the strongest. After the fall of the Roman Empire and decline in the influence of the Catholic Church, Europe witnessed the rise of several nations. The history of Europe in the past thousand years is the history of the rise of and conflict among various nations. These nations extended their empires beyond the European continent and subjugate other independent countries. Nationalism brought the nation and state together resulting in nation states. At the same time the decline in the influence of the Roman Catholic Church gave rise either to national churches or to complete disappearance of religious influence on politics. Anyway the concept of a secular state arose out of this situation.
Birth Of Democracy In Europe
A revolutionary concept which made a deep impact on the political life of Europe is a Democracy. In the beginning, every nation had a king as its head but there was a gradual awakening in the minds of people against the autocracy of the royalty. The industrial revolution and the international trade resulted in the rise of a business community in all nations. Naturally there ensued a conflict between these new centers of power and the established kings and feudal lords. This conflict, adopted 'democracy' as its philosophical basis. The origin of democracy was sought in the Greek city republics. The common man was attracted by the lofty ideals of equality, fraternity and liberty of every citizen. France witnessed a bloody revolution. In England too, there were periodic movements. The idea of democracy gained foothold in the mind of common man. The royalty was either liquidated or their powers were drastically curbed and constitutional governments were established. Today democracy has been already accepted in Europe. Even those who have suppressed democracy do not denounce it. The dictators like Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin too paid lip service to democracy.
Individual Was Exploited
Every individual got a vote in the democratic setup. But the real power stayed with those who had led the revolution. The industrial revolution had generated faith in the new methods of production. Instead of working in the freedom of home, workers had started working in the factories taking orders from the factory owners, The worker migrated from his home town to dwell in crowded cities. There was no provision of proper housing. There were hardly any rules in the factory to protect the worker. He was economically weak and not yet organized. He became a victim of exploitation, injustice and harassment. Those in whom political power was vested were members of the same group who exploited the workers. Hence there was no hope of redress from the state.
A number of persons led movements in protest against this injustice with the desire to improve the lot of workers. They called themselves socialists. Karl Marx was one of them. In an effort to lead the movement against this injustice, he studied the entire history and structure and presented his analysis of the situation. He claimed to have given a scientific basis to his theories. All subsequent socialists might not have agreed with Marx but they were all considerably influenced by his ideas.
Dictatorship Of The Proletariat
According to Marx's analysis-dialectic materialism, the root cause of exploitation, lies in the private ownership of the means of production. If these means are made the property of the society (for the Marxist, the Society synonymous with the State) then there will be no further exploitation. But before this, the state should be redeemed from the hands of the exploiters and ensured against their influence in future. Towards this end, the dictatorship of the proletariat must be established. In order that people tolerate this dictatorship, it was held as an ideal that when the exploiter class has been finally liquidated, and possibility of its resurgence exists, the state will replaced by a classless, stateless society. Marx also attempted to show that capitalism contains seeds of own destruction and that socialism is inevitable.
In some countries of Europe there was a social revolution. Even where, socialism was not accepted, politicians had to accept the rights of workers. "Welfare State" was accepted as an ideal. Nationalism, democracy, socialism or equality (equality is there at the root of socialism; equality is different from equability), these three doctrines has dominated European social political thinking. Every now and then apart from these, ideals of world peace and world unity also cropped up. All these are good ideas. They reflect the highest aspirations of mankind. But by itself each of these doctrines is incomplete. Not only that, each stands opposed to the rest in practice. Nationalism poses a threat to world peace. Democracy and capitalism join hands to give a free reign to exploitation. Socialism replaced capitalism and brought with it an opposition to democracy and individual freedom. Hence the West is presently faced with the task of reconciling these good ideals. They have not succeeded to this day, in this task. They have tried combinations and permutations, by emphasis on one or the other ideal. England emphasized nationalism and democracy and developed her politico-social institutions along those lines, whereas France could not adopt the same. There, democracy resulted in political instability. The British Labor party wanted to reconcile socialism with democracy but people have raised doubts whether democracy will survive if socialism gains strength. Hence the labor party no longer supports socialism so strongly as the Marxist doctrines advocate. If socialism has been diluted considerably, Hitler and Mussolini adopted nationalism cum socialism and varied democracy. In the end socialism also became a tool for their nationalism which posed a great threat to world peace and unity. We may indeed seek some guidance from the western world but the fact is, it has no concrete suggestions to offer. It is itself at crossroads unable to decide what is good. Under such circumstances we cannot expect guidance from the West. On the contrary we must consider whether in this present state of the world, we can contribute something to resolve its dilemma. Having taken note of the progress of the world, can we add to the common store of Knowledge? As a member of the world community , we must discharge our responsibilities. If we possess something that may prove helpful to world progress we should not hesitate in imparting it to the world. In this era of adulteration, instead of adulterating ideas we must on the contrary scrutinize and improve upon them wherever possible before accepting them. Rather than being a burden on the world, we must attempt to resolve if possible the problems facing the world.
We must also consider what contribution our tradition and civilization make to the world culture. We shall consider this tomorrow evening.
Integral Humanism - Chapter 2
Yesterday we had seen that even after 17 years of independence, we have still to decide what direction we should adopt to realize our cherished dream of all round development in the lives of our countrymen. Normally people are not prepared to seriously consider this question. They think only of the problems which they face from time to time. Sometimes economic problems are viewed with concern and an attempt is made to resolve them, and at other times social or political problems come to the forefront claiming attention. Not knowing fundamentally the direction in which we go, all these efforts are not accompanied by sufficient enthusiasm not do they give a feeling of satisfaction to the people engaged in these efforts. These efforts produce only a fraction of the results which they ought to have produced.
Modern versus Ancient
Those who advocate some definite direction include two distinct groups of people. There are some who suggest that we must go back to the position when we lost our independence and proceed from there. On the other hand there are people who would like to discard all that has originated here in Bharat and are not ready to think about it. They seem to think that western life and thoughts are the last word in progress and all of it should be imported here if we are to develop. Both these lines of thought are incorrect, though they do represent partial truths and it will not be proper to discard them altogether.
Those who advocate starting from where we left off a thousand years ago, forget that whether it may or may not be desirable. It is definitely impossible. The flow of time cannot be reversed.
The Past Cannot Be Disowned
In the past one thousand years, whatever we assimilated, whether it was forced on us or we took with willingness, cannot be discarded now. Besides, we too have created originality, not a little, in the life of our society, We have not remained always mere passive witnesses to whatever new challenging situations arose; nor did we merely react to every alien action. We too have attempted to reshape our life as required to face the new situations. Therefore, it will not do, simply to close our eyes to all that has happened in the past one thousand years.
Foreign Ideologies Are Not Universal
Similarly those who would like to make western ideologies the basis of our progress forget that these ideologies have arisen in certain special situations and time. These are not necessarily universal. They cannot be free from the limitations of the particular people and their culture, which gave birth to these Isms. Besides many of these ideas are already out of date. The principles of Marx have changed both with the changing times as well as with varying conditions to the extent that parrot like repetition of Marxism for the problems facing our country would amount to a reactionary attitude rather than a scientific and pragmatic one. It is indeed surprising that those who claim to reform society by removing dead traditions, they fall prey to some outdated foreign traditions.
Our country: Our problems
Every country has its own peculiar historical, social and economic situations and its leaders decide the remedies to the ills that beset the country from time to time, taking into consideration its background. It is illogical to believe that remedies which the leaders of one country decided to try for their problems are likely to be applicable as such to all other peoples. A simple illustration will suffice. Even though the basic organic activity is the same in all human beings, the drugs which may be helpful in England may not prove equally helpful in India. Diseases depend also upon climate, water, dietary habits and heredity. Even though the external symptoms may be apparently similar the same drug does not necessarily cure all persons. Those who apply a single panacea to all diseases must be considered quacks rather than doctors. Therefore Ayurveda states i.e. for the disease in each place remedy suitable to that place must be found. Therefore, it is neither possible nor wise to adopt foreign Isms in our country in the original form in toto. It will not be helpful in achieving happiness and prosperity.
Human Knowledge Is Common Property
On the other hand, it needs, to be realized that not all the thoughts and principles that have sprung up elsewhere are necessarily local in space and time. The response of human beings in a particular place time and social atmosphere may, and does, in many cases have relation and use to other human beings elsewhere and at other times. Therefore to ignore altogether the developments in other societies, past or present is certainly unwise. Whatever truths these developments contains must be taken not of and accepted. The rest must be scrupulously avoided. While absorbing the wisdom of other societies it is only proper that we avoid their mistakes or perversities. Even their wisdom should be adapted to our particular circumstances. In brief, we must absorb the knowledge and gains of the entire humanity so far as eternal principles and truths are concerned. Of these the ones that originated in our midst have to be clarified and adapted to changed times and those that we take from other societies have to be adapted to our conditions.
The Conflicting Ideas
The western political thought has accepted Nationalism, Democracy and Socialism or equality as ideals. Besides now and then, there have been attempts directed at world unity which took the shape of the "League of Nations" and after the second world war, the "United Nation Organizations". For a variety of reasons those have not succeeded. However, those definitely were attempts in that direction.
All these ideals have in practice proved to be incomplete and mutually opposing.
Nationalism led to conflict between nations and in turn to global conflict, whereas if status-quo is regarded as synonymous with world peace, the aspirations of many small nations to be independent would have never been fulfilled. World unity and Nationalism conflict with each other. Some advocate suppression of Nationalism for world unity whereas other regard world unity as an utopian ideal and emphasize national interest to the utmost.
Similar difficulty arises in reconciling Socialism and Democracy. Democracy grants individual liberty but the same is used by the capitalist system for the exploitation and monopoly. Socialism was brought in to end exploitation but it eliminated the freedom and dignity of the individual.
Mankind stands confused, unable to decide what is the correct path for future progress. The West is not in a position to say with confidence that "this alone and no other" is the right path. It is itself groping. Therefore simply to follow the West would be an instance of a blind being led by another blind.
In this situation our attention is claimed by the Bharatiya culture. Is it possible that our culture can point the direction to the world?
From the national standpoint we shall have to consider our culture because that is our very nature. Independence is intimately related to one's own culture. If the culture does not form the basis of independence then the political movement for independence would reduce simply to a scramble by selfish and power seeking personals. Independence can be meaningful only if it becomes an instrument for the expression of our culture. Such expression will not only contribute to our progress but the effort required will also give us the experience of joy. Therefore, both from the national as well as human standpoint it has become essential that we think about the principles of the Bharatiya culture. If with its help we can reconcile the various ideals of the western political thought then it will be an added advantages for us. These western principles are a product of revolution in human thought, and social conflict. They represent one or the other aspiration of mankind. It is not proper to ignore them.
Bharatiya Culture Is Integrated
The first characteristic of Bharatiya culture is that it looks upon life as an integrated whole. It has an integrated view point. To think of parts may be proper for a specialist but it is not useful from the practical standpoint. The confusion in the West arises primarily from its tendency to think of life in sections and then to attempt to put them together by patch work. We do admit that there are diversity and plurality in life but we have always attempted to discover the unity behind them. This attempt is thoroughly scientific. The scientists always attempt to discover order in the apparent disorder in the universe, to find out the principles governing the universe and frame practical rules on the basis of these principles. Chemists discovered that a few elements comprise the entire physical world. Physicists went one step further and showed that even these elements consist only of energy. Today we know that the entire universe is only a form of energy.
Philosophers are also basically scientists. The western philosophers reached tip to the principle of duality; Hegel put forward the principle of thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis; Karl Marx used this principle as a basis and presented his analysis of history and economics. Darwin considered the principle of survival of the fittest as the sole basis of life. But we in this country saw the basic unity of all life. Even the duelists have believed the nature and spirit to be complementary to each other than conflicting. The diversity of life is merely an expression of the internal unity. There is complementary underlying the diversity. The unit of seed finds expression in various form - - the roots. The trunk, the branches the leaves, the flowers and the fruits of the tree. All these have different forms and colors and even to some extent different properties. Still we recognize their relation of unity with each other through seed.
Mutual Conflict - Sign of Cultural Regression
Unity in diversity and the expression of unity in various forms has remained the central thought of Bharatiya culture. If this truth is wholeheartedly accepted then there will not exist any cause for conflict among various powers. Conflict is not a sign of culture of nature: rather it is a symptom of their degradation. The law of the jungle, "Survival of the fittest" which the West discovered in recent years was known to our philosophers.
We have recognized desire, anger etc. among the six lower tendencies of human nature, but we did not use them as the foundation or the basis of civilized life or culture. There are thieves and robbers in the society. It is essential to save ourselves and the society from these elements. We cannot consider them as our ideals or standards for human behavior. Survival of the fittest is the law of the jungle. The civilizations have developed not on the basis of this law but by consideration of how the operation of this law will be the least in human life. If we wish to progress, we have to keep this history of civilization before our minds.
Co-operation also obtains in abundance just as conflict and competition in this world. Vegetation and animal life keep each other alive. We get our oxygen supply with the help of vegetation whereas we provide carbon dioxide so essential for the growth of vegetable life. This mutual cooperation sustains life on this earth.
The recognition of this element of mutual sustenance among different forms of life and taking that as the basis of an effort to make human life mutually sustaining is the prime characteristic of civilization. To mold the nature to achieve the social goals is culture but when this nature leads to social conflict it is perversion. Culture does not disregard or deny nature. Rather it enhances those elements in nature which are helpful in sustaining life in this universe and making it fuller richer, and curbs others which obstruct or destroy life. Let us take a simple illustration. The relationship such as brother, sister, mother and son, father and son are natural. These are same both in man as well as among animals. Just as the two brothers are sons of one mother so also two calves have a single mother cow. Where lies the difference?? In animals by lack of memory the relation is short-lived. They cannot build up an edifice of civilization on these relations. But men use this natural relation as a basis to construct a more harmonious order in life, to establish other relationships flowing from these basic relationships so as to knit the whole society in single units of co-operation. Thus various values and traditions are built. Standards of good and bad are constructed accordingly. In society we find instances of both affection as well as enmity between brothers. But we consider affection good and aim at enchanting affectionate brotherly relations. The opposite tendency is disapproved. If conflict and enmity is made the basis of human relationships and if on this basis history is analyzed, then it would be futile to dream of world peace to result out of such a course of action.
A mother brings up her children. A mother's love is held up as the highest love. On such a basis alone we can devise the rules regulating the life of mankind. Sometimes there are examples of selfishness and cruelty of a mother toward her child. Among some species of animal's mother devise her progeny to satisfy the hunger. On the other hand among monkey's mother carries her child long after its death. Both types of behavior are found among living things. Which of these two principles of nature can be made the basis of civilized life? We cannot but conclude that alone which helps to sustain life can be chosen, the contrary cannot lead to civilized life. Human nature has both tendencies, anger, and greed on the one hand and love, sacrifice for the other. All these are present in our nature. Anger etc. are natural to man and beasts. For the reason if we make anger a standard in our life and arrange our efforts accordingly then the result will be a lack of harmony in our life. Therefore the exhortation, "do not yield to anger". Even when the anger arises in one's mind one can exercise control over it and one should do so. Thus control becomes a standard of our life and not anger.
Such laws are known as the principles of ethics. These principles are not framed by anyone. They are discovered. A suitable analogy is that of the law of gravitation, that if we throw a stone it falls on the ground. This law of gravitation is not framed by Newton. He discovered it. When he saw an apple falling to the ground from the branch, he realized there must exist such a law. Thus he discovered this law, he did not frame it. Similarly there are certain principles of human relations such as, if one feels anger it is on the whole beneficial to mankind that one must control anger. These principles of ethics are then discovered.
"Do not tell lies to one another, say what you know to be true". This is a principle. Its usefulness becomes apparent at every step in life. We appreciate truthful person. If we speak lies, we ourselves feels unhappy; life cannot go on; there will be great confusion.
Modern versus Ancient
These Principles Constitute Our Dharma
A child does not speak lie by nature. Often Parents, teach their child to speak untruths. When the child desires something, if parents do not wish that child should have it, they conceal the object and tell the child that the desired object has disappeared. The child may be fooled a couple of times but soon knows the real situation and learns to speak untruth. This fact that by nature a person is truthful is a law that is discovered. Many other principles of ethics are similarly discovered. They are not arbitrarily framed by someone. In Bharat these principles are termed "Dharma", laws of life. All those principles which bring about harmony, peace and progress in the life of mankind are included In this "Dharma". On the sound basis of "Dharma". Then, we must proceed with the analysis of life as an integral whole.
When Nature is channeled according to the principles of Dharma. We have culture and civilization. It is indeed this culture which will enable us to sustain and sublimate the life of mankind. "Dharma" is translated here as law. The English word 'religion' is not the correct word for 'Dharma'.
As pointed out earlier an integrated life is the foundation and the principle underlying this culture as well as its aims and ideals.
We have thought of life as Integrated not only in the case of collective or social life but also in the individual life. Normally an individual is thought of in the physical bodily forms. Physical comfort and luxury is considered happiness. But we know that mental worry destroys bodily happiness. Everyone desires physical comfort. But if a person is imprisoned and there he is given finest of food etc., will he be happy? A person does not experience joy on getting nice food if it is also accompanied by a few abuses. There is a well-known incident in Mahabharata. When Lord Krishna went to Hastinapur as an emissary of Pandavas, Duryodhan invited him to enjoy his hospitality. Lord Krishna declined his Invitation and went instead to Vidura's home. Overjoyed by the visit of this much revered guest, Vidura's wife served the banana skins while throwing away the pulp. But Lord Krishna enjoyed even the meal of a banana skin. That is why it is said, "Even a modest meal served with dignity and affection tastes better than the best delicacies served with disrespect". It is necessary therefore to take not of the mental happiness.
Similarly there is an intellectual happiness which too must be considered. Even after a person gets comforts for the body, and importance, affection. etc. Which pleases the mind. if he is involved in some intellectual confusion he is reduced to a state almost similar to madness. And what is madness itself? A lunatic may have all physical comforts, he may be perfectly healthy and properly cared for by his relatives; but he does not posses intellectual happiness. Intellectual peace is also essential and important. We will have to take all these things into consideration.
Modern versus Ancient
The Political Aspirations of Man
Body, mind, intelligence and the soul.-these four make up an individual. But these are integrated. We cannot think of each part separately. The confusion that has arisen in the West is due to the fact that they have treated each of the above aspects of human being separately and without any relation to the rest. When there was a movement for democratic structure, they proclaimed "man is a political animal" and therefore his political aspirations must be attended to. Why only one person should be the king and others his subjects'? Let everyone rule! In Order to satisfy this political man they gave him the right to vote. Now he did get the right to a vote, but at the same time other rights diminished. Then the questions arose. "The voting right is nice but what about food? What if there is nothing to eat ?"
They wondered, "Now that you have voting right, you are the king. Why need you worry?" But the man replied, "What shall I do with the state if I do not get any food? I have no use of this voting right. I want bread first. Then came Karl Marx and said, " Yes, bread is the most important thing. The state belongs to the 'haves'. So let us fight for bread. He saw man as primarily made up of body, wanting bread. But hose who followed the path shown by Karl Marx came to realize that they had neither bread not voting-right.
At the opposite end there is USA. There is both bread as well as voting right. Even so there is a lack of peace and happiness. USA has highest list of the number of suicides, a number of mental patients and number of persons using tranquilizers to get sleep. People are puzzled as to the cause of this new situation. The man obtained bread, he got his voting right, still there is no peace, no happiness. Now they want back their peaceful sleep. Sound and undisturbed sleep are a scarce commodity in the present day America. Those who think realize that there is a basic mistake somewhere, whereby even after acquiring all good things of life, they are not happy.
The reason is that they have not thought of the integrated human being. In our country we have thoroughly considered this matter. That is why we have stated that the progress of man means the progress of the body, mind, intellect and soul of man, all together. Often it has been propagated that Bharatiya culture thinks only salvation of the soul. It does not bother about the rest. This is wrong. We do not think of the soul but it is not true that we do not consider the body, mind and intellect of much importance. Another gave importance of body alone. Therefore our attention to the soul is unique. With time this created an impression that we are concerned only with the soul and not with other aspects of the human being. A young unmarried boy cares for his mother, but after marriage he cares for his wife as well as his mother, and discharges his responsibilities towards both of them. Now if anyone says that this man has no loves for his mother, it would be untrue. A wife also loves only her husband at first, but after the birth of a child, she loves both her husband and child. Sometimes an unthoughtful husband feels that his wife neglects him, after the birth of their child. But this is generally not correct. If that is true then the wife has certainly slipped in her duty.
Similarly, while we recognize the need to pay attention to the soul, we do not neglect the body. Upanishads declare in unambiguous words i.e. weakling cannot realize the self. Again Body is truly the primary instrument to discharge the responsibilities that dharma in joins. The fundamental difference between our position and that of the west is that. whereas they have regarded body and satisfaction of its desires as the aim, we regard the body as an instrument for achieving our aims. We have recognized the importance of the body only in this light. The satisfaction of our bodily needs is necessary, but we don't consider this to be the sole aim of all our efforts. Here in Bharat, we have placed before ourselves the ideal of the four fold responsibilities, of catering for the needs of body, mind, intellect and soul with a view of achieve the integrated progress of man. Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha are the four kinds of human effort. Purushartha means efforts which befit a man. The longings for Dharma, Artha Kama and Moksha, are inborn in man, and satisfaction. Of these four efforts too, we have thought in an integrated way. Even though Moksha has been considered the highest of these purusharthas, efforts for Moksha alone are not considered to give benefit to the soul. On the other hand, a person who engages in action, while remaining unattached to its fruits, is said to achieve Moksha inevitably and earlier.
Artha includes what is known as political and economic policies. According to the ancients, it used to include the justice and punishment also. Kama relates to the satisfaction of various natural desires. "Dharma" defines a set of rules to regulate the social activity. Artha and Kama, so as to progress in an integral and harmonious way, and attain not only Kama and Artha but also Moksha eventually.
Thus even though Dharma regulates Artha and Kama. all the three are interrelated and mutually complementary. Dharma helps achieve Artha. Even in business, one requires honesty, restraint, truthfulness etc. which are the attributes of Dharma. Without these qualities one cannot earn money. It must be admitted that Dharma is instrumental in attaining Artha and Kama. Americans proclaimed, "Honesty is the best business policy". In Europe they said, "Honesty is the best policy". We go one step forward and assert "Honesty is not a policy but a principle" i.e. we believe in dharma not just because it is instrumental in acquiring Artha but because it is a fundamental principle of civilized life.
Kama too can be attained only through Dharma. Having produced the material things such as nice food. when, where, how and in what measure it will be used can be determined only by Dharma. If a sick person eats food meant for a healthy one and vice-versa, both of them will be at a disadvantage. Dharma helps in restraining the natural tendencies of man, whereby he is able to determine what is beneficial to him apart from what is pleasurable. Hence Dharma is given the foremost place in our culture.
Dharma is of primary importance, but we should not forget that it is not possible to practice Dharma in the absence of Artha. There is a saying "What sin will not be committed by one who is starving? Those who have lost everything become ruthless." Even a rishi like Vishwamitra driven by hunger broke into the home of a hunter and ate the flesh of a dog. Therefore we are enjoined to see that there is enough wealth created continuously, since wealth. also strengthen Dharma. Similarly the government has maintain law and order and prevent chaos, which definitely destroys Dharma. At the time of Chaos, law of the jungle prevails where the strong feed upon the weak. Therefore stability in the state is also essential for the prevalence of Dharma.
In order to do this, education, character building, spread of idealism, and suitable economic structures are all necessary. Governments also fall inside the realm of Artha. Excessive power of state is also harmful of Dharma. It was said that a king should be neither too harsh nor too soft with his people. Heavy reliance on harsh measures produces a feeling of revolt in people. When state usurps the rightful position of Dharma, then there is this evil of preponderance of power of the state. Dharma suffers thereby. This is the reason of the decline of Dharma in ruthless states.
When the state-acquires all powers, both political and economic, the result is a decline of Dharma. In this way if the state has unlimited powers, the whole society looks towards the state, for everything. Officers of the government neglect their duties and acquire vested interests. These are all signs of the preponderance of the powers of state.
Dharma staffers a setback. Hence Artha should no be allowed to acquire hod in either of these two ways.
Karma too has been considered on the same lines. If the physical needs are neglected, and desires entirely suppressed, Dharma does not grow. Dharma cannot be observed if one has no food to eat. If the fine arts which satisfy the mind, are altogether stopped, then the civilizing influence on people will not be present. Mind will become perverse and Dharma neglected. On the other hand, if greediness of the gluttons of Rome or sensuousness of Yayati prevails, then the duties will be forgotten. Hence Kama too must be pursued consistent with Dharma. We have thus considered the life of an individual in a through and integrated manner. We have set the aim of developing body, mind intellect as well as soul in a balance way. We have tried to satisfy the manifold aspirations man taking care that efforts to satisfy two different aspirations are not mutually conflicting. This is the integrated picture of all the fourfold aspirations of and individual. This concept of a complete human being, integrate individual, is both our goal as well as our path. What should be the relation of this integrated human being with the society and how the interests of the society should be enhanced will be discussed tomorrow.
Integral Humanism - Chapter 3
Yesterday we considered man as an individual. There are different aspects of an individual personality, different levels of needs of an individual. In order to develop complete personality, to satisfy the needs progressively but simultaneously at all levels, certain specific kinds of effort's are needed. These, too, were considered. But man does not exist merely as an individual. The individual comprising of body, mind, intellect and soul as not limited to singular "I" but is also inseparably related to the plural "We". Therefore we must also think of the group or the society. It is a simple truth that society is a group of men. But how did society come into being? Many views have been put forward by philosophers. Those propounded in the West and on which the western socio-political structure is based can be broadly summarized as "society is a group of individuals brought into being by the individuals by an agreement among themselves." This view is known as "Social Contract Theory". Individual is given greater importance in. this view. If there are any differences in different western views, these pertain only to the questions, namely, "If the individual produced a society. then in whom the residual power remains vested, in the society or in the individual? Does the individual have the right to change the society? Can the society impose a variety or regulations on the individual and claim a right to the allegiance of the individual to itself? Or the individual is free as regards these questions?"
Individual Versus society
There is a controversy in the West on this question. Some have opted for the society as supreme and from this a conflict has arisen. The truth is that the view that individuals have brought society into being, is fundamentally incorrect. It is true that the society is composed of a number of individuals. Yet it is not made by people, nor does it come into being by mere coming together of a number of individuals.
In our view society is self-born. Like an individual, society comes into existence in an organic way. People do not produce society. It is not a sort of club, or some joint stock company, or a registered co-operative society. In reality, society is an entity with its own "SELF", its own life; it is a sovereign being like an individual; it is an organic entity. We have not accepted the view that society is some arbitrary association. It has its own life. Society too has its body, mind, intellect and soul. Some western psychologists are beginning to accept this truth. McDougal has produced a new branch of psychology called group mind. He has accepted that the group has its own mind, its own psychology, its own methods of thinking and action.
Group has its feelings too. These are not exactly similar to the individual's feelings. Group feelings cannot be considered a mere arithmetic addition of individual feelings. Group strength too is not a mere sum of individuals strength. The intellect, emotions and energies, strength of a group, are fundamentally different from those of an individual. Therefore, at times it is experienced that even weakling, despite his individual weak physique turns out to be a heroic member of the society. Sometimes an individual may be ready to put up with an affront to his person, but is unwilling to tolerate an insult to his society. A person may be ready to forgive and forget a personal abuse to him, but the same man loses his temper if you abuse his society. It is possible that a person who is of a high character in his personal life, is unscrupulous as a member of the society. Similarly an individual can be good in society but not so in his individual life. This is a very important point.
Let me give you an illustration. Once during a conversation between Shri Vinobaji and the Sar Sanghachalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Shri Guruji, a question arose as to where the modes of thinking of Hindus and Muslims differ. Guruji said to Vinobaji that there are good and bad people in every society. There can be found honest and good people in Hindus as well as in Muslims. Similarly rascals can be seen in both the societies. No particular society has a monopoly of goodness. However, it is observed that Hindus even if they are rascals in individual life, when they come together in a group, they always think of good things. On the other hand when two Muslims come together, they propose and approve of things which they themselves in their individual capacity would not even think of. They start thinking in an altogether different way. This is an everyday experience. Vinobaji admitted that there was truth in this observation but had no reasons to explain it.
If we analyze this situation. we shall discover that the modes of thinking of an individual and of a society are always different. These two do not bear an arithmetic relation. If a thousand good men gather together it cannot be said for certain that they will think similarly of good things.
An average Indian student at present, is a mild and meek young man. Compared to an average student of twenty years ago, he is weaker and milder in every way. But when a score of such students get together, the situation becomes difficult. Then they indulge in all sorts of irresponsible actions. Thus a single student appears disciplined but a group of students become undisciplined. We shall have to consider why this change comes about. This is known as mob-mentality as distinct from individual mentality. This mob-mentality is a small aspect of mind. When a group of persons collect for a short time, the collective mentality obtained in that group is known as mob-mentality. But society and social mentality evolves over a much longer period. There is a thesis is that when a group of people live together for a long time, by historical tradition and association, by continued intercourse, they begin to think similarly and have similar customs. It is true that some uniformity is brought about by staying together. Friendship arises between two persons of similar inclination. However a nation or a society does not spring up from mere co-habitation.
Why Mighty Nations Of Antiquity Perished ?
It is known that some ancient nations disappeared. The ancient Greek nation came to end. Egyptian civilization similarly disappeared. Babylonian and Syrian civilizations are a matter of history. Cynthia's perished. Was there ever a time when the citizens of those nations stopped living together? It was only the fact that there were wide differences among people that let to the downfall of these nations. The Greece in the past produced Alexander and Heredotes, Ulysis and Aristotle, Socrates and Plato and the present day Greece is inhabited by people of the same hereditary stock. There was no interruption in their heredity, because there never was a time when the whole of Greece was devoid of human population and when a new race inhabited that country. Such a thing never happened. Father and son tradition of old Greece was never interrupted. It is possible to trace the ancestry of present day Greeks to the old Greeks, some 250 to 500 generation back. Despite all the old Greek Nation is non-existent. So also the old Egyptian Nation Is no longer there. New nations have arisen in those places. How did this happen? This simple fact is indisputable, that nations do not come into existence by a mere cohabitation. There was never a time in the lives of the citizens of these decadent nations, when they stopped living in a group. On the other hand Israeli Jews lived for centuries with other peoples scattered far and wide, yet they did not get annihilated in the societies in which they lived because of cohabitation. It is clear therefore that the source of national feeling is not in staying on a particular piece of land, but is in something etc.
What Is A Nation?
That source is in the goal which is put before the people. When a group of persons lives with a goal, and ideal. A mission, and looks upon a particular place of land as motherland, this group constitutes a nation. If either of the two-an ideal and a motherland-is not there, then there is no nation. There is a "Self" in the body, the essence of the individual; upon the severance of its relation with the body, a person is said to die. Similarly there is this idea, ideal, or fundamental principle of a nation, its soul. Although it is believed that man take birth again and again, yet the reborn person is a different individual. They are treated as two separate beings. The same soul leaves one body and enters another, but the previous and the latter are two different individuals. The end of a person is nothing but the departure of his soul from his body. The other components of the body also undergo change. From childhood to old age, there is a drastic change! The biologists tell us that in course of a few years, every cell of our body is replaced by a new one. A variety of changes takes place. Because the soul resides in the body without interruption, the body continues its existence, such a relation is known as "the law of identity" in logic. It is due to this identity that we admit the continued existence of any entity. In this connection a nice illustration of a barber's razor is sometimes advanced.
Once while shaving a customer, a barber, prided in his razor being 60 years old. His father too had worked with the same razor. The customer was surprised especially because the handle was quite shiny and new In appearance. "Why the handle is quite shiny? How have your preserved the brightness for sixty years?" He asked. Barber too was amused with this. Is it possible to preserve the handle in a brand new appearance for sixty years? It has been replaced only six months ago". He replied naturally. The customer was curious and asked and how old is the steel? Three years was the reply. In brief. the handle was replaced. the steel was also replaced, but the razor remained old! Its identity was intact. Similarly a nation too has a soul. There is a technique name for it. In the "Principles arid Policies" adopted by the Jana Sangh, this name is mentioned. The word is Chiti. According to McDougal, it is the innate nature of a group. Every group of persons has an innate nature. Similarly every society has an innate nature, which is inborn and is not the result of historical circumstances.
A human being is born with a soul. Human personality, Soul and character are all distinct from one another. Personality results from a cumulative effect of all the actions, thoughts and impressions of an individual. But Soul is unaffected by this history, Similarly national culture is continuously modified and enlarged by the historic reasons and circumstances. Culture does include all those things which by the association, endeavors and the history of the society, have come to be held up as good and commendable. but these are not added on to Chiti. Chiti is fundamental and is central to the nation from its very beginning. Chiti determines the direction in which the nation is to advance culturally. Whatever is in accordance with Chiti, is included in culture.
Chiti, Cullture, Dharma
By way of an illustration consider the story of Mahabharat. Kauravas were defeated, and Pandavas won. Why did we hold up the conduct of Pandavas as Dharma? Or why this battle was not considered just a battle for a kingdom? The praise for Yudhistir and the dishonor heaped on Duryodhana are not a result of political causes Krishna killed his uncle Kansa, the established king of the times. Instead of branding this as a revolt, we consider Krishna as an Avatar of God, and Kansa as an Asura.
Rama was assisted in his invasion of Lanka by Vibhishana, brother of Ravana. Such conduct of Vibhishana instead of being branded as treason, is considered good and exemplary. He betrayed his brother and his king even as Jaichand had one later on. He might be branded as a "quisling". But Vibhishana is not called "quisling' by any one. On the contrary he is highly praised for his conduct, and Ravana actions are disapproved. Why so? The reason behind this is not political.
If there is any standard for determining the merits and demerits of particular action, it is this Chiti; from nature whatever is in accordance with 'Chiti', is approved and added on to culture. These things are to be cultivated. Whatever is against 'Chiti,' is discarded as perversion, undesirable, is to be avoided. Chiti is the touchstone on which each action, each attitude is tested, and determined to be acceptable or otherwise. 'Chitti' is the soul of the nation. On the strength of this 'Chiti', a nation arises, strong and virile if it is this 'Chiti' that is demonstrated in the actions of every great man of a nation.
An individual is also in instrument in bringing forth the soul of the nation "Chiti". Thus apart from his own self, an individual also represents his nation. Not only that, but he also mans the various institutions that are created for the fulfillment of the national goal. Therefore he represents these too. The groups larger than nation such as "mankind" are also represented by him. In short, an individual has a multitude of aspect, but they are not conflicting; there is co-operation. unity and harmony in them. A system based on the recognition of this mutuality complementary nature of the different ideals of mankind, their essential harmony, a system which devises laws, which removes the disharmony and enhances these mutual usefulness and co-operation, alone can bring peace and happiness to mankind; can ensure steady development.
"Institution"- A Means To Fulfill National Needs
According to Darwin's theory, living beings develop various organs as per the requirements dedicated by the circumstances. In our shastras, it was stated slightly differently, that the soul constructs, using the strength of "Prana'", various organs as the need is felt, for the purpose of continuing life. Just as the soul produced these different organs in the body, so also in the nation many different organs are produced as instruments to achieve national goals. Like various departments in a factory, building, machinery, sales, production, maintenance etc. nations also produce different departments, which are called
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