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 previous posts to ensure grasp of flow…
Ch. 25; VEDANTA - LIFE AND ART OF LIVING, continued.
All the lovely wars and revolutions have not succeeded in discovering that secret prescription for joy or that system of perfect government where each citizen can bloom forth in the maximum happiness he is capable of. This failure can directly be traced to the very ignorance in us of the real meaning of life and its component parts. It is forgotten, or not realised at all, that the external pattern of objects cannot consistently remain long in any given scheme, formulated through the pen, the word, or the sword. The pattern changes eternally and so do the minds of individuals. In this welter of change, to maintain equilibrium is a Utopian dream. Thus all revolutionary changes for a congenial living pattern are necessarily endeavours doomed to failure, so long as they ignore the subject unit constituted of the mental, the intellectual and the spiritual personalities of man.
Is Philosophy, then, a dream of despair? If it were so, man would have long ago thrown it overboard and got himself relieved from its severe implications. On the other hand, True Philosophy is the most optimistic call to man to act diligently and wisely, carving out for himself from moment to moment a greater state of perfection, whereby he can come to live in a fuller world of nobler endeavours, pursuing the more enduring values.
The solution which our seers have offered to the world seems to be a call to accomplish this inner revolution. According to them, the true goal of joy can be reached only if the mind and intellect of the individuals are controlled and patterned so as to find for themselves their equipoise in all the changing vicissitudes of life. They have minutely described the strategies to be followed and the methods to be adopted to achieve this inner transformation. Their aim was in fact to discover the fundamental and the Absolute Reality in life.
It took them many a century of minute observation, patient analysis and laborious recording, to discover that an experience consists of three fundamental factors, viz;
- The Subject, that is to say, the experiencer
- The Object, " " , the experienced
- Their Relationship, " , the experiencing
Where any one of these three is absent, an experience cannot come to pass just as, in the absence of any one of the components of the atom, it must disintegrate.
In this triad of experience, it is evident that the secular scientists chose for themselves the field of the experienced for their investigation, while the subtle scientists of life, the Rsis, took up for their field of enquiry the world of the exeriencer.
These subjective thinkers found that when a subject comes across an object and earns for himself an experience, the experiencer becomes a composite structure of four different personalities; the physical, the psychological, the intellectual and the spiritual. The various subtle aspects of his reaction make him so; they are so subtle, and at the moment of experience the all work so quickly, that the superficial observer fails to recognise the fine distinction in this process.
The efforts of the Rsis crystallize for us the clear theory that when a subject comes into contact with an object, it does so not as an integrated whole, but with four distinct layers within the person, each having its own demands and values, rising to the challenge of the situation created by the object. Thus, at every moment, in each of our experiences, four processes fight for dominance. The lust of the physical, the need of the psychological, the assessment of the intellectual or the detachment of the spiritual. These responses will be weighted according to earlier experience (amongst other factors) and to how much was gained from that. Similarly, it becomes apparent to most, in the average experience, that all four parts within the personality cannot necessarily be entirely satisfied. One of other of the four is likely to 'miss out'.
In this scheme of existence, man's attempts at peace and tranquillity, his ambition to gain joy and perfection, hope to live in cheer, should necessarily get blasted and push him to the chasm of despair and disquiet, for it is the very disjointedness of these four parts of his personality which results in the sorrows of life.
The Rsis discovered a method by which man could efficiently and faithfully integrate the four entities in him, bringing an integrated personality conducive to happiness itself. A chariot drawn by four horses, each pulling with its own strength and against each of its team-partners, will surely land in strife! Equally, if our inner being is whipped by the four parts of our personality which we have given free rein, is it any surprise we land in 'ditches and bogs'?
The practical proposition of religion is a theory that propounds how we can train the 'four' and bring a cohesiveness to our 'team', so that the chariot of our personality can enjoy the ride through the avenues of our appointed life. The suggestions, recommendations and practices of religious philosophy contain this integrative promise. The greater the integration, the greater is our freedom from the thralldom of samsaara.