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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.
“I think, we should not waste our time in explaining to those who say “Its individual wish to marry any one”.. …….
Instead of explaining things to them, which their closed mindset will never open up, we have to restrict ourselves in exposing their double standard, and moral hollowness…”
This blog is about what he refers to as “closed mindsets”, that may sometimes appear as “will never open up”.
When we plant a mango seed, it will grow up to produce mango fruit.
The seeds of thought that we plant in our mind grow up to produce their characteristic fruit.
If we plant propaganda material found in yellow rags masquerading as english language newspapers and TV news channels, our minds will produce fruits of that nature.
Take the case of the blogger here, who, having been schooled in a convent run by nuns, has apparently internalized the western colonialist propaganda of people of dark color being ignorant, less ‘developed’, lower in the ‘evolutionary’ ladder, which lie incidentally drives the skin-cream industry all over the world. So, when she blogs on the role of prejudices and narrow mindsets in shaping societal attitudes, she inadvertently reflects her internalized prejudices. Herself a colored person in western nomenclature, she portrays darker people as having narrower mindset and discriminatory attitude towards people of lighter shade in the exact pattern that colonialists used to caricature dark colored natives as ‘primitive’, ‘narrow minded’, ‘ignorant of world’ etc., and themselves, white people, being more ‘evolved’, ‘modern’ and ‘liberal’, whose burden it is to emancipate their darker brethren- which propaganda was then used to enslave, genocide, plunder and displace native people from Africa, America, Australia and Asia. She further displays western propensity to stifle criticisms and dissenting voices, by refusing to post a comment critical of that article, given below –
“Is it necessary to caricature blacks as evil … when it is they who have been plundered, enslaved, genocided and put in reservations by the whites…?
Indians traditionally respected black ‘krishna varna‘ more than white. eg., Sri Krishna, Sri Rama, Shiva bhagavan, Kali Ma, Draupadi, Arjuna, Krishna Dvaipayana (Vyasa) etc.
This article seems to follow the path of imperialists, that of demonizing people of color, caricaturing them as primitive, barbaric, childish, not evolved etc…
Disappointing, to put it mildly.
Thus, the ideas and thoughts that we expose ourselves to, influences and shapes our thinking in subconscious ways- even in those cases when it is done with the purpose of countering those very ideas, as this blog reveals.
However, such displayed behavior does not necessarily mean that the people’s minds are closed. Poisonous trees growing in a field does not mean that the field is capable of producing fruits of that nature only.
It only means that some de-weeding is required, followed by planting of good seeds.
Still, planting of good seeds by itself does not guarantee that the harvest would be automatically good. Ravana’s mind was seeded with good thoughts by his father Vishravas, who taught him veda and shastra. Yet, the seeds of selfish aggrandizement inherent in Ravana outgrew and displaced those of the good thoughts planted by his father. A more recent example is that of Rajasekara a.k.a Nithyananda, who despite being exposed to veda shastras allowed selfish duplicitous thoughts to overtake sense of righteousness.
Due to samskara of our past, seeds of weed may be present in our minds, which germinate at times. Also, seeds of weed dispersed by wind may land from neighboring fields.
So the fields of our minds needs to be kept weed-free through constant vigilance, planted with healthy seeds after turning over the hardened crust of set prejudices, regularly irrigated by attention and insights and well exposed to rays of illuminating consciousness, in order to produce edible crop.
Our ancestors did so and produced the best of the crops as veda darshana shastra purana, which seeds are still with us. Do we prove to be true sons and daughters of the soil, worthy descendents of our ancestors, or bonded farmers who buy GM seeds from westerners, destroy ecology, perennially depending on westerners for future seeds of thought ?
1. Certain fields have been planted with poisonous plants so heavily that the numerous seeds of poisonous weeds present in that soil make any decent cultivation very tough proposition. It may be advisable, in such cases, to leave the field barren for some period, regularly uprooting the germinating weeds, until the seeds present in the soil get depleted before planting new crops. For faster results it may be necessary to burn that soil with the fire of enquiry, or waterlog it by immersing it in deluge of knowledge, or upturn that soil, burying it so deep that the seeds cannot germinate, by undergoing life transforming experience.
2. Certain regions are not conducive to certain crops. While bharatam has very fertile fields that can grow most plant varieties, certain parts of the world are not so and it is almost futile to try and grow similar varieties of plants in those fields. Even if they are grown forcefully, with much effort, its produce won’t taste the same, though, limited success may be had in controlled environments using fabricated glasshouses.
3. It is also meaningful to remember that the seeds of thoughts- both good and bad, are originally not inherent to the soil, that these are introduced separately, which then grow up and produce their respective fruits; that the original nature of the soil is seedless, plant less, still, dormant, pervaded by rays of illuminating consciousness, moistened by insightful attention. That original nature, realized our ancestors, tat twam asi.