Difference in the Western and Indian World-View » Bhajpa Ki Baat
-Pt. Deendayal Upadhyaya
We are engaged in organizational work with the aim of making our society prosperous, happy and progressive. We must realize that our nation cannot attain a position of honour and respect without strength, and strength cannot be achieved without organization and unity. Achieving a position of strength is the raison d’ etre of our organization.
The Natural State of the Society
Organized state is the natural state of a society. The absence of organization is indicative of the absence of a society’s natural state. A scattered group of people cannot legitimately lay a claim to be called a society. Scattered grains of earth are not called a stone or brick. Without an undifferentiated state, the grains of earth cannot lend themselves to the purpose of construction, and nobody would become a brick. Separate, they cannot be strong, cannot lend themselves to the purposes of construction, and nobody would bother about them. Everyone would appreciate their importance as stones of bricks, would maintain a safe distance from them but as grains of earth they would only be trodden over. The same principle applies to a society. A collective state alone is a society’s natural state.
But in the context of a society another thing has to be borne in mind apart from the idea of the collective. ‘We are all one’-
this realization is not possible without an awareness of the elements that underline this oneness.
Positive and Negative Thoughts
Till now the idea of unity that is presented to us had negative connotations rather than positive ones. Some people look at the the concept of the nation itself as something negative with little positive in it. When china attacked us, our national sentiment came to the fore. Some people believe that we feel like a nation only when attacked. This is a foreign perspective. National sentiment might have arisen in England when the country came under attack. There is an English saying. “Nationals die in peace and live in war.” That we should unite at the time of war is fine, but it is not a very happy situation that only war should unite us. Our nation has existed for thousands of years, but it is not right to say that only conflicts, wars and catastrophes formed its basis.
We exist as a nation on the basis of a positive sentiment. We are guided by a definite philosophy of life. We are born in this word not for hostility towards and conflict with others. We are guided by a positive thought that unites rather than splits. Those who don’t have positive thoughts may say as they wish.
Engaged in organizational work, we find culture is our unifying factor. We must devote some thought to this aspect of our nationhood. Many people ask us now a days as to what ‘ism’ do we believe in. The answer is we don’t believe in any ism. We believe in Hindu culture of Bharatiya philosophy. We are then asked in which one of the modern ‘isms’ communism, capitalism, anarchism or imperialism- we believe. We believe in none of these. These are all for all foreign countries. People asked me, Would you like to have champagne or Beer? Both of them are different types of liquors. I refused both of them. In the same manner, some people in our country ask if I believe in Capitalism or Communism. We say ‘no’ to all these. It is, as if these are the only two ideologies. These are all alien ideas, we believe in our own.
However, we accept truth from everywhere because truth is independent of geographical location. Our openness to new and foreign things is evident from our acceptance of the railways. Western philosophies, as they are, are incomplete. They don’t look at life holistically, in its entirety and are lopsided. That’s why we don’t accept them. What is distinct about our culture is that it looks at life in all its dimensions.
The West : Its Tendency to View Things in Parts
As a student of economics I recall the first lesson characterizing economics as both science and art. Economics was defined as the centre of all human activity and everything else as its appendage. When I Studied logic, I found the same thing said about the subject. In the West, there is a tendency to treat any and every subject as central to life. Everything is seen through the same coloured glasses. The West sees everything from all perspectives, all dimensions. We have looked at life in its entirety. It is, however, true that every part was also looked at for purposes of deeper understanding. We might have read an anecdote-about some blind persons and an elephant. Each one described the elephant differently, in his own way. That was because the blind not possess the ability to describe the elephant in its entirety. Mere probing cannot lead to completed understanding something, Moreover, probing can lead to an error too. And that’s precisely the problem with the western approach.
Senses Alone Lead to Incomplete Knowledge
Western knowledge rests on senses, but this perception doesn’t yield complete knowledge. Eyes can’s see everything and every visible thing can also not be seen in its true form. The West has devised some instruments also for the purpose, but they also have their limitations. It is like stars in the sky whose light take hundreds of years to reach the earth. We do not even know whether those stars still exist when we see them or have already become extinct. Yet, their light is visible. Likewise, while sitting in a train, trees seem to be racing past. Among moving clouds it is the moon that seems to be moving, All this proves that eyes are not always reliable visual guides, Instruments like telescopes and microscopes have been invented to remove the deficiency to the eyes. But it has not been possible to create a microscope of infinite capacity to see all microscopic things. Telescopes have also remained inadequate tools. It can thus be said that externally directed senses yield only incomplete knowledge.
Therefore, It is that we have emphasised looking within. View the world and creation through wisdom. Wisdom alone leads to complete knowledge. Our sages could see reality in its completeness by turning their gaze within. It is difficult to see this totality, but not all that so. It is possible if efforts are made. Just as a good Vaidya can diagnose all the bodily ailments by reading the pulse, in a similar manner, the present past and future of a human being provide his complete picture. Completeness has always been our focus. Oneness and unity is the basis of our thought. Compartmentalisation, lop-sidedness characterise the thought processes of others.
Man is not free
The West is grappling with the question whether the individual has primacy or the society. Many aver that and individual is free to do anything he or she likes. But can a man claim to have absolute freedom? The individual cannot do anything by himself. He has to work in conjunction with others. For his food, nourishment, routine activity for virtually everything he depends on others. Even as science progresses, the individual is becoming increasingly dependent on others. The farmer produces food grains, but for clothing remains dependent on others.
A human being is the most helpless creature at birth. All activities walking, talking, eating, learning everything is taught to him by others. His joy, happiness also depends on others. Eating, drinking, travelling, celebrating festivals, visiting fairs alone give him no joy. Our happiness multiplies on auspicious occasions. Like in wedding, it multiplies only when others come visiting us. Even though during illness and grief visitors can, at times, prove more of a burden than help, their company tends to lighten our grief and provides succour. The conclusion is that one cannot live alone. Materially, socially, in all respects, man is dependent on others.
(Excerpts from the book – “Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya A Profile” edited by Sudhakar Raje.)
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Bhajpa Ki Baat staff and is published from a Bhajpa Ki Baat feed.)
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