Sunday, January 25, 2009

Republic Day Week Special - 3: Fulfilling our fundamental duties

(I request readers to have a breeze past the last two posts to get a better idea on this one)

Ok.. so we come to the last post in the series, i.e. of this festival season.

Now, I will connect once again the quotes from the Gita to the content of the last two posts properly. Well, the point I intended to make was that renunciation, of all kinds is essential for the performance of any kind of duties. For example, in order for you to respect your parents and be able to follow them at all times, you must renounce your ego. In order to effectively learn something with your teacher, you must renounce the urge to belittle your teacher whenever he/she makes a mistake, considering themselves as human as you are. The list of things to renounce thus continues.

The text from the Gita I highlighted opens with Arjuna asking Shri Krishna about the purpose of renunciation by the Sanyasis. As per Shri Krishna, there are two doctrines associated with renunciation. 1) Sanyasa - which is the renunciation of activities that are based on material desire, and 2) Tyaga - which is the renunciation of all activities.

By His opinion, there are some activities, namely charity, sacrifice, and penance must never be given up, but they should be pursued and that should be done without any desire for the goal. (For this doctrine, refer to this post) But infact, they should be pursued as a sense of duty. And that duty has always to be adhered to, without any sense of attachment towards material goals. Only then would we be able to enjoy the true pleasure of renunciation.

Charity, sacrifice and penance,.. these are the qualities that will enable us to fulfill our duties even today. While the world has changed a lot in terms of the sciences, man's baser instincts remain essentially the same. In fact, we have become even more carnal in our desires, but I will leave that for a future post.

Getting back to the fundamental duties enshrined in the constitution, I wish to say that in order for us to fulfill our fundamental duties, we need to renounce:

1) Our petty problems with regard to language, religion, caste and regional issues and come together to forge a unique pan Indian identity. With today's means of education and media, we can make it the most powerful the nation has ever seen in quite a long time.

2) Our greed for money. No other solution comes to mind for the rampant corruption we see in our system. The amount lost in scams just keeps growing every time a new one comes up. This must not be tolerated.

3) Our skills at procrastination. Yes, the bed, the home and the carress of the loved ones are very comfortable indeed. But there is more to life than that. We must develop an attitute of proactivity in life, getting things done on time. We're not to be here forever, we have a limited time to do what we're sent here to do, and we must act with a sense of urgency.

4) Our affinity towards anything foreign. We must learn to respect homegrown or self produced goods and services more than foreign goods. The 'Swadeshi' movement of our freedom struggle needs to be rejuvenated. This will in turn, lead us to respect our composite culture, and as the emphasis is laid on home products, would also lead to in-house scientific research and advancement of science and technology in the country.

5) Our disregard for cleanliness outside our homes, understand the shortcomings of the nation in appointing cleaners for every nook and cranny of the country and take it onto ourselves, to preserve hygiene. Once this is done in the villages, the towns and the cities, the campaign must be taken to the industrial centers and we must have environmental preservation schemes implemented.

6) Our ability to accept anything reported in the Media as satya (truth), all the while forgetting that realizing satya is for us to do ourselves by toil and sweat. Nobody will hand down truth on a platter down to you and if it is happening, then there must be something wrong. Let not psychological/philosophical inclinations delude you into believing something is true. A statement must be accepted only if proof is provided, and even if proof is provided, we must develop a questioning attitude towards it. Nothing should surpass the hammer of our reasoning, and the anvil of truth unscathed.

7) Our affinity for piecemeal measures towards attaining success, and then getting into a state of complacency. We must be resolute in demanding the perfect accomplishment of our goals and only then should we rest. Swami Vivekananda said "Rise and stop not till thy goal is reached!"

It is thus evident that "Tyaga" is not of essence right now, for we still have a lot to do. "Sanyasa" is what is required, an abrogation of material desires, and alligning our minds to our duties, adhering to them till the very last breath.

With this, it is time to depart. Let us make a resolution this Republic day, that we will strive to fulfill our duties to the maximum, and aid India/Bharat/Hindusthan in re-achieving its glorious past.



Anonymous said...

why you conflate nationalism/patriotism with spirituality ? Say some person dislikes India so settles in USA. Does it mean that person cannot worship Lord Krishna or read the Gita ?
Sri Krishna's doctrines are not about India's republic day independence day gandhi jayanti dasara deepavali holi bogi etc. He lived in a different age. India as you know, it is only some 50 year old country, a very recent invention. So don't combine tyaga with swadesi movement, one is spiritual, other is political.


Karmasura said...

Well.. this was a post that was meant for people who stay in India. Of course, you can practice spirituality outside India as well.. in no way do I suggest barring those people from practising Sanatana/Hindu Dharma. Btw, I'm living outside India too, and when I came here, I sort of disliked it. This love is only very recent after some serious disillusionment.

The post was meant for resolutions to be taken for Republic Day and I suggested a way to do that deriving some lessons for the Gita.

Of course, Hindu/Sanatan Dharma >> India, but it is unto people living in India to make them synonymous. It is my humble opinion only that this can be done by deriving and practising such lessons from the past.

And about swadeshi movement, you cannot do that without 'tyaga' of foreign made goods... so please suggest why are they not correlated.

Hoping to listen more from you.

Gandaragolaka said...

nri anna,
Without political and military, spiritual will not save you. Suppose after listening to Krishna, Arjuna got all spiritual and left the battlefield and all politics... In that case, India (and probably you and I) would not have remained the way we are now.

Spiritual is always superior, but we must make sure it is saved. Dharmo rakshati rakshitah-- If you save Dharma, Dharma will save you.

dr_iqmal said...

thanks for dropping by...
hope to see more from u...
shall we do some link exchange?