Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!
We are now undertaking basic technical discourse on Vedanta. The text forming the basis of these posts is 'Kindle Life'.
Please do reread part one to ensure grasp of flow…
Ch. 25; VEDANTA - LIFE AND ART OF LIVING, continued.
In every experience man yearns to gain perfection. He wants happiness and peace. Perfect peace and endless happiness as what satisfy him. Thus, seeking new occasions to experience a more perfect and more complete happiness, he goes from one set of circumstances to another created by changing the arrangement of things; all in the hope [of procuring] a greater and better happiness, fuller and deeper.
Whatever be the type… it is certain that an experience can only gained when we come across the world of the experienced. The greater the understanding of the world of objects, the better shall be our relationship with it. With that right understanding if we approach the world, it shall certainly yield for us a fuller satisfaction and with less chances of disillusionment and despairs. The thesis that Vedanta propounds is that in our hasty, unintelligent evaluation of life, of things and beings, we have always made a wrong estimate of the world; by superimposing false values, we have come to suffer the consequent imperfections in our experiences. This pale vision of a misinterpreted world, which naturally doles out to us our ample share of sorrows is fully condemned by the wise seers in the Upanishads. They make a passionate appeal to man to make a right re-estimate of the world of objects.
It is in this sense that Vedanta declares, "The world is unreal, the Truth (Brahman) is the only Reality." Therefore, if understood properly, Vedanta only demands of us a healthier re-interpretation of the world. The calumny that is generally thrown at the doors of Vedanta - that it admonishes us to be indifferent to the sorrows of man, to social injustice, to poverty and slavery - is an unjust criticism made by those who are interested in this blasphemy. They are applauded only by the gullible and the ignorant.
Religion is not the personal property of an individual or and institution. Properly understood, it is not a set of declarations made by some strange men with rare powers of vision or some bundles of mysterious rituals or some secret den of ominous conspiracies. On the contrary, it is a complete science of perfect living, whereby society can learn to [exist fully and in peace].
There was a time when religion chose not to recognise science and refused to shake hands with her and this almost prepared religion's grave. Today, we find the same mistake repeated in the opposite camp. Science has deliberately and openly disowned religion and, consequently, materialism is groaning with the sorrows of its own creation. Neither of them can stand on its own if it wants to bring happiness to the society [it serves].
In fact, the principles of science and the scientific approach vitalise religion. Similarly, the achievements in production, the efficiency in distribution, the gains of cooperation, the marvels of discoveries, the victory over nature, et cetera, cannot in themselves meet the demand of life and assure a greater share of human happiness. These should be backed by the practice of nobler values of healthy living as preached in religion. The individuals constituting the community should also strictly pursue the teachings of Self-integration. A community or a nation is, we should not forget, constituted of its members and the strength of the nation or the happiness of the community depends not only upon the material gains or the peculiar pattern of the circumstances in life, but also upon the structure and composition of the individuals themselves. We can, with a knowledge of architecture, make easily a perfect blueprint for the most magnificent edifice in the world, but in its construction, unless we are careful of the quality of the bricks used, the edifice will soon entomb all the inhabitants who take shelter within its accommodation.
Similarly, secular plans and scientific knowledge of this materialistic age are certainly magnificent on paper and in theory, but all of them seem to crumble into nothingness, entombing our happiness, when they are put into practice. This has been the repeated experience of our materialistic civilization. History records it; our own experiences endorse it in no uncertain terms.
The redemption seems to be in the happy marriage between the secular and the sacred, the scientific and the religious. So far, the scientist, pure and simple, has failed to establish a schema of living by which man can attain a peaceful and joyous way of existence. The history of man has been a melancholy story of repeated wars and revolutions - all fought in the name of peace. In its sacred name, we have learned to take weapons of destruction and kill each other with ruthless efficiency!!!
The peace that we know today is but the exhausting, fatiguing, demoralizing pause between two immediate wars. After every spasm of cruelty and bloodshed, the animal in us, in sheer exhaustion, seeks a shelter wherein to mourn or to roll upon itself until it licks its wounds dry and gets ready to fight again…
...to be continued...