INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE WELFARE BASED ON ANCIENT INDIAN WISDOM
As an individual, one is never isolated from one's environment / society, which is a collective whole comprising both living and non-living beings. The individual has no other option but to co-exist in order to not only overcome the primal fear of death (survival) but also to depart from this world on a better note.
To some, it means both living and dying happily ... and to some - MOKSHA - the ultimate state of liberation that is beyond the duality of sadness and happiness.
KARMA [action and results] is the common thread linking one's past, present and future during this life.. or several lifetimes - should you believe in reincarnation.
It is your DHARMA that determines your karma. Karma based on your Dharma is most likely to enable you learn, achieve and participate in the creative / destructive process destined this lifetime of yours. Dharma is not merely religion or duty; it has no perfect word in English to explain... so examples suggesting inherent nature of beings comes close to understanding Dharma. Like, it is the dharma of the sun to provide light and heat. It is the dharma of air to remain non-local and constantly moving. It is the dharma of clouds to precipitate, cow to feed on grass, lion to prey on a herbivore, etc. Instinct guides every other being and object to be / act As It Is! It is only we humans that have been endowed with the unique faculty of discrimination - called VIVEK in Sanskrit.
Vivek is the power that one uses or abuses knowledge [VIDYA] to attain the resources [ARTHA] in order to fulfil one's desires [VASANAS]. The sage uses Vidya or knowledge to ascertain what is truth and what is not; and also, what is acceptable and what is not.
As explained earlier, karma being the binding link.. knowledge is acquired [action] to attain desires and also, desire for knowledge is based on action. The intensity of action is called KAMA - passion to act comes as a close explanation, but mostly other connotations such as physical attraction or sin have quite often been used to explain this profound concept. Can action ever happen without the slightest will or driving force that propels the action? Thus, it would be unwise to assume Kama as anything less than extraordinary force of existence [or Godliness, if you will].
But what triggers kama under whose influence this body performs karma, while the ATMA (soul) remains witness?
INDRIYA - the sensory powers - performing the input /output function. Without appropriate command over one's sense organs [INDRIYAVIJAY], intelligence [BUDDHI] would malfunction in terms of right decision-making [read VIVEK] and one's action thus would result in good or bad results. Good or bad result for the individual is bound to influence the collective (societal or the world at large) fabric, because the individual and the world is interconnected. If you have understood quantum physics, you would relate to this truth effortlessly.
Thus, the individual actions affect the whole, the society's way of existence affects the individual!
But what are arriving at by the identification of result of an action as 'good' or 'bad'?
Good action brings happiness, bad action - does not. And MOKSHA has been the ultimate goal (happiness in a way - or better put as - End of Suffering) of the advanced seeker.
Is there a way out for the individual to benefit from the environment in the best way possible whilst pursuing one's PURUSHARTH [the 4 pillars: MOKSHA, DHARMA, ARTHA, KAMA]? When Ancient India was at its peak of glory, there used to be such a way of life! A truly humble, yet profound way of life.
Just a handful of Chanakya's first few sutras lead us to this wisdom:
1. Sukhasya moolam Dharmah - सुखस्य मूलं धर्मः
Meaning – The basis of “sukha” or all true pleasantness is “dharma” or righteous conduct. An artist would seldom trade his pursuit of art for a sedentary job.
2. Dharmasya moolam Arthah - धर्मस्य मूलं अर्थः
Meaning- The basis of all “dharma” is “artha” or wealth. To follow one's basic nature, resources matching the same are essential. What would a soldier do without weapons, a tailor without garments, a farmer without land?3. Arthasya moolam Rajyam - अर्थस्य मूलं राज्यं
Meaning – The basis of all “artha” is “rajya” or the State. This entails creation or discovery of, management of and judicious distribution of resources to fulfil basic needs and wants for the common good. From the individual's perspective, it means having the right authority and command of one's resources or wealth.
4. Rajyasya moolam Indriya Jayah - राज्यस्य मूलं इन्द्रिय जयः
Meaning – The basis for the stability of the State lies in control over the “indriya“ or sense faculties providing pleasure. Carelessness will result in poor control, coordination and unfavourable results.
5. Indriyajayasya moolam Vinayah - इन्द्रियाजयस्य मूलं विनयः
Meaning – The basis for control over the sensual faculties is in “vinay” or humility. True wisdom makes one humble upon mastery. As a beginner or student, one needs to be humble so that knowledge is gained with apt focus and restraint of senses.
6. Vinayasya moolam Vruddhopasevah - विनयस्य मूलं वृद्धोपसेवः
Meaning – The basis for humility is devotion to those grown old through wisdom. In other words, skill and experience that come with age is always respected and treasured. One does not live that long enough to learn everything by making mistakes oneself, instead of learning from the experience of those who have already seen it all and done it all.
7. Vruddhopasevaya Vijnanam - वृद्धोपसेवाय विग्न्यानं
Meaning – Through devotion to the seniors and the wise, one attains proficiency with the maximum efficiency.Meaning – True knowledge helps one (and the reigning authority) know how to perform which duties with the maximum efficiency.
8. Vijnanena atmaanam Sampadyet - विग्न्यानेनं आत्मानं सम्पद्येत
8. Vijnanena atmaanam Sampadyet - विग्न्यानेनं आत्मानं सम्पद्येत
9. Samapaditatma jitatmama Bhavati - समपदितात्म जितात्मम भवति
Meaning – Efficient execution of this knowledge and control ensures prosperity to the individual galore.
10. Jitatma sarvarthe Sanyujyate - जितात्मा सर्वार्थे संयुज्यते
Meaning – Thus the victor of one's senses will become prosperous naturally, can retain that prosperity, and (will) be successful in further endeavours. Overall welfare results for the individual as well as for the society.
** BEST WISHES FOR YOUR PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS**