Schism in Human Motivations
There is fundamental difference between western society and the Indian one. Primarily it is that western society has been developed under monotheistic systems- be they the military state such as that of Roman Empire and other empires that claimed divine right to rule, with everyone owing allegience to one supreme ruler and dynasty, or in the form of monotheistic church, where everyone is sheep, and should follow their shepherd unquestioningly.
In India, on the other hand, there was no mono-way of living that everyone had to comply with. There were many panchayats, many janapadas and at times many kingdoms that administered the land. Unlike in western society, here people were not expected to, nor made to, follow one particular way. Most importantly, people were not considered sheep to be led by a shepherd, many people realized themselves as brahma, and people engaged in pursuits that helped actualize karma.
bharatiya samskriti recognizes four purusharthas – dharma, artha, kama, moksha, that motivate individuals based on their varna– expression of inherent motivation.
Depending on the varna, that again depends on the proportion of gunas- sattva, rajo, tamo, individual’s motivation changes.
The variation in the gunas is more a function of time, as well as samskara.
atman takes birth, extingushes karma samskara in pursuits suited for the purpose, sometimes accrues more, to be exhausted later, sometimes having exhausted karma attains moksha.
Thus in Indian context, there is no hierarchy. A common man may have exhausted karma and may be a mumukshu, as in the case of Raikva, mentioned in chandogya upanishad. A brahmana, learned in veda and having attained high spiritual insights, may yet accrue karma samskara, as in the case of Ravana, when he abducted Sita devi.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Abraham Maslow, based on his study of western society, proposed a Theory of Human Motivation based on a Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s theory, though finding relevance in the context of an oppressive society, does not have relevance in a dharmik society.
The primary motivator in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, Physiological needs- food, air, water, sleep, are available in Nature. In normal circumstances, these needs are automatically met.
The Safety need requirement arise only when there is adharmikata, when aggrandizing people expropriate from others. In dharmik society, such needs are also automatically satisfied as conscious kshatriyas uphold dharma.
Social needs are also automatically satisfied in a society that values family and extended family including that of animals and environment, as in the case of bharatiya samaj.
It is when people are made to consider themselves as individual units limited to within their physical bodies and its immediate needs, that the resulting emaciated sense of self seeks compensation by way of social distractions.
Engaged in pursuits leading to atma sakshatkara, recognizing physical body as temporary vessel for purpose of exhausting karma, dharmik people do not seek recognition, attention, or applause. They engage in nishkama karma.
It is when people are made to consider themselevs as selfish individualistic entities and treated as automations that the resultant lack of self-esteem drives them to seek it outside.
In bharatiya samaj, the ‘Self-actualization’ needs- ‘Truth, Justice, Wisdom and Meaning’, are also automatically experienced.
Theories in Context
A person, using color, canvas and brush, produces a painting, should not expect others using the same implements to produce the same painting. Skill, temperament, talent, creativity and motivations lead individuals to produce unique paintings. Societies, based on their value systems, create unique realities. Theories developed based on realities created by one society are inapplicable on others.
Western theories find relevance only in the self-aggrandizing adharmik environment of western society.
In the real world of dharma, western society, their selfish narrow outlook, their systems of rapacious exploitation and resulting theories do not have relevance.
Like, the anxieties experienced during a nightmare do not have relevance upon waking up.
India’s current situation, of more than 70% people living in material poverty, is caused by the implementation of western exploitative systems in society for the past millennium.
The solution is simply in removing the exploitative structures.
In most cases Nature heals when the injury causing foreign object is removed from the body. In India’s case, the western structures and systems of exploitation that mughals and british imposed and continued with by current rulers.
bharatiya samskriti and dharma have the vitality to rejuvenate and re-establish itself if each of the aggrandizing western structures are identified and removed.
Instead, if we choose to live the nightmare, we will experience new anxieties and continue sweating, fabricating fancy theories that have just as much endurance as the nightmare itself.