Updated: Nov 14, 2020
The tragedy with our people is we keep getting stuck in the mire of atma, parmatama and tons of words like that. The largest sources of knowledge - veda, purana and upnishads contain fewer words than the existing pile of commentaries and interpretations published till date. Even these are very incomplete.
If we are able to ignite the spark of scientific temper and proper reasoning in discussions and discourses the nation would be moving ahead at a better pace.
At times I wonder what is causing a greater loss to the nation the Cricket Mania or the prevailing form of Spiritualism.
First let me show you the effect of Cricket on the Nations.
List of cricketing nations (members of ICC) –
Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
Their medal tally in Rio Olympics 2016
Australia-29, Bangladesh-0, Great Britain-67, India-2, New Zealand-18, Pakistan-0, South Africa-1, West Indies-0, Zimbabwe-0
Little is done to promote other sports in nations where cricketers are treated like demi-gods and are honored as national heroes. Interestingly, cricket is not even included in international sporting events like Olympics. Individual and team sporting events should be promoted so that we become a nation of healthy people and not of couch potatoes.
Apart from the developed nations like England and Australia, rest of the countries have a lot to do on the development front too. Right from early days when we had no TV sets, even then the nation used to suffer from bouts of Cricket fever resulting in massive manhour losses.
The fact become more glaring when compared to the performance of countries where cricket is not a mania, like – China, USA, Russia, Germany, Korea, France, Israel, Japan, Canada etc.
They as a nation are more work oriented and sports are promoted in a balanced way, giving preference to individuals. This has been adequately reflected in their performance at the international level. The medal tally at Rio Olympics, 2016 speaks it all: China-70, US-121, Russia-56, Germany-42, South Korea-21, Japan-41, Italy-28, France-42, Ukraine-11, Canada22 and Israel-2.
What has this mania given to the nation apart from lost man-hours? The association of businessmen, politicians, bookies and scandals is now in the open.
Now take a look at the Rs 2,50,000 crores plus Spiritual market. Apart from those who are running their own show, has the nation benefitted? Has their spiritual messages in anyway been able to lower the crime or improve the moral levels and reduce the corruption? Unfortunately, no. Instead it has only brought to fore more degeneration of minds and people coming-up with all sorts of charges against them.
There are just a few enlightened people who have studied the scriptures properly and drawn inferences. You can count them on fingers. We never had so many areas of specializations in the past, yet the knowledge was much deeper and complete. Now we are receiving shallow knowledge with attractive labels marketed in modules purely from a commercial perspective.
How do people read Ramayana? They do it ritually and periodically. What do they gain? At the most, peace of mind. But why don’t the so-called ‘swami’s encourage people to ask questions and guide them with proper scientific explanations.
Let me share an incident to illustrate my point.
This incident dates back to pre-independence days. The DAV institutions in those days had a strong tradition of inviting learned people to deliver lectures on spiritualism, share their vedic knowledge and experiences with the students. On one occasion a very learned and well travelled Swami ji was invited to lecture at this particular college in Ludhiana. During the discourse, he encouraged the students to develop the scientific temper and not be just passive listeners. He shared an interesting personal experience that happened in Germany. During his visit to Germany, in one of his lectures he encouraged people to study spiritual books and meditate. After the lecture was over one German Scientist invited swami ji to his residence for dinner and during the course of discussions he mentioned that he often became restless, was not able to focus on research and at times suffered from depression.
Swamiji gave him some advice on meditations, taught him some basic yoga exercises and asked him to read Ramayana for inspiration.
Two years later on another visit to that place when he tried to contact this scientist hoping to see some change in him, he was surprised to know that the scientist is not easily approachable. His family was also not particularly happy to see the swamiji again as they believed it was at his advice that the scientist had virtually renounced the family life and now mostly stayed at the guesthouse close to the research laboratory.
Slightly elated that at least he has one serious follower, Swamiji tried to contact the scientist at the laboratory. When swamiji approached the venue he was informed by the security that the gentleman concerned had given strict orders not to allow any visitors. Swamiji asked the security officer to convey to the scientist that his Swamiji from India has come to meet him.
Promptly the scientist rushed out in great excitement to meet his guide. He said to Swamiji that there could have been nothing more miraculous than this visit of Swamiji’s as he needed his guidance. Swamiji was greatly pleased with this development. He asked his disciple what is bothering him. The scientist mentioned that he is slowly progressing in his study of Ramayana but now he is stuck-up and unable to understand.
Swamiji said, “No problem. I have studied the scripture many times over so I can certainly remove all your doubts.”
At this the scientist mentioned that he had been able to understand most of the things up to the incident of Lakshman creating Lakshman Rekha for the protection of Sitaji. He has tested the device too but is unable to understand what type of device Sita ji had that could avoid explosion while crossing Lakshman Rekha? Stumped, the Swamiji expressed his inability to tackle the query and confessed that we only read the text and comment in the spiritual context but have never ever considered the scientific aspect of it.
If you have not already guessed, the scientist was talking about the landmines laid by Lakshman, and was keen on development of a landmine detection device which he believed Sita had with her. Since this incident, science has made much progress and just a few years back some landmine detection device has been field tested.
Now this is what I have been pointing at in my earlier blogs too. Our epics are full of advance scientific knowledge that needs to be explained in the right perspective and that can be used to move further instead of exploiting the public sentiment for money or politics.